Urban Solace – Where comfort is on the menu

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Since opening almost two years ago, Urban Solace has established itself as the preeminent dining destination of North Park’s Restaurant Row. Receiving many culinary accolades, the fanfare over this humble neighborhood eatery keeps on growing. The restaurant has become hugely popular both in the local neighborhood as well as throughout the greater San Diego area, making the establishment a huge success.

The restaurant is the creation of business partners Matt Gordon and Scott Watkins who wanted to create a place that had a neighborhood feel to it, where people would know they were always welcomed. That vision is fulfilled every time someone walks through the door into Urban Solace. This neighborhood restaurant is an oasis from the outside world that offers comfort in your surroundings as well as in your food.

Executive Chef Matt Gordon

Executive Chef Matt Gordon

The menu, created by Executive Chef Matt Gordon, boosts new American comfort food and features some distinctly southern touches. A great way to start your meal is with a basket of mouth-watering warm cheese biscuits served with orange-honey butter or sweet potato French fries accompanied by blue cheese-buttermilk dressing. Dinner entrees include such delights as pulled chicken and buttermilk dumplings and bacon wrapped scallops. The signature dish that has everyone wanting more is the “not your momma’s meatloaf” which is a delicious mixture of ground lamb, figs, pine nuts and feta cheese all cooked to perfection.

Some decidedly adult versions of classic childhood favorites are the Wisconsin white cheddar mac n’ cheese with caramelized bacon and charred tomatoes and the grilled four cheese sandwich with creamy tomato-fennel soup. As Chef Gordon likes to put it, “These dishes are really great versions of things you grew up with or maybe wish you had grown up with.”

The menu is highly influenced by the season and with summer fast approaching, Urban Solace is again offering their famous watermelon salad, much to the delight of their enthusiastic patrons. The flavor of hidden chunks of watermelon within a green salad “just never fails to astonish someone, “ boasts Chef Gordon.

The finishing touch to a satisfying meal at Urban Solace is one of the house-made desserts. Chef Gordon puts his own unique twist on classic favorites by offering a peanut butter and chocolate crème brulée and a “not so red” velvet cake—both are out of this world!

The full bar offers an excellent selection of West Coast wines that are reasonably priced for every budget. A very pleasant bottle that pairs well with menu items is the Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre blend under the label of Leal “Threesome” San Benito ’06. Founding partner and General Manager, Scott Watkins, also promises to deliver a diverse and unique selection of handcrafted brews for the beer connoisseur.

Happy Hour, referred to as “Comfort Hour” by the staff, is offered from 4-6 p.m. weekdays and offers discounted food and drink specials. Live jazz can be heard Tuesday and Wednesday night on the patio from artists such as: Danielle Spadavecchia, Scott Taber, Paper Moon, Chris Clarke and Dave Bandrowski.

Not to be missed is the Bluegrass Brunch when a selection of breakfast and lunch items is served on Sundays from 10am to 2:45pm. The brunch menu showcases house specialties such as the portabello mushroom or flat iron steak benedict and eggaroni, a cheesy macaroni and egg casserole with Quincy ham and charred tomatoes. Definitely delicious!

Urban Solace is conveniently located in North Park just minutes from Mission Valley, Hillcrest, and Downtown San Diego. Open seven days a week. You’ll find them at 3823 30th Street, (619) 295-6464. For more information, visit http://www.urbansolace.net/.

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