Going Retro at The Smoking Gun in San Diego


This past week I had to opportunity to head into San Diego’s Gaslamp Corner to check out one of it’s newest hot spots, The Smoking Gun! I was excited to see this new twist on a neighborhood bar and restaurant, offering up a southern inspired menu, nostalgic details, and old school games! I was immediately charmed with the details that greeted us, from the menu in an old school folder, to the drinks presented in this favorite childhood toy, and especially by the oldies playing all night long!

The Smoking Gun
555 Market St., San Diego, CA, 92101

After a long day, I was in dire need of a cocktail and was immediately intrigued by A Salt With A Deadly Weapon, I mean, with that name how could you not be? This cocktail combined El Jimador tequila, ancho chile, lime, grapefruit, Peychaud’s bitters, and Himalayan pink sea salt to create a refreshing, lightly sweet flavor with the perfect amount of kick.

I really enjoyed the way The Smoking Gun has designed their menu, serving up meats, sides, salads, smoked and pickled dishes, soups and sliders all family style and meant to be shared. We decided to start with a few of the “side pieces” and share them all along with our choice of meats. We opted for the thick chips, cornmeal crusted fried heirloom tomatoes, and the white cheddar grits with habanero brown butter. The thick chips were a perfect French fry alternative and served with the tastiest housemade ketchup and garlic aioli. The cornmeal crusted fried heirloom tomatoes were such a fun take on a fried green tomato, perfectly crusted, and totally irresistible. And then there were the grits, do not even get me started on the grits. I don’t even like grits, and I am now a believer. These were insane, I mean, habanero brown butter, do I need to say more? Don’t ask questions just go eat these immediately, and you’re welcome.

We also each ordered our choice of meat, I opted for the Lemon Herb Chicken with maple bbq gastrique, and Courtney tried the Brandt Farms Beef Brisket with bbq au jus. Though I didn’t sample Courtney’s meat since I don’t eat beef, she did love it, and my chicken was perfectly tender and had great flavor!

The Smoking Gun is such a fun new addition to the Gaslamp and is sure to become a favorite pre or post game spot or destination for a fun night out! Serving up craft cocktails, loads of nostalgia and delicious eats, this is one you should be sure to check out. I know I’ll be back for more of these grits, and their homemade apple pie rumored to be making an appearance soon!

Thank you to Alternative Strategies for setting up this tasting at The Smoking Gun.


Most everyone is convinced that I only moved to San Diego for the mexican food, and I can’t say they’re wrong. There is nothing I love more than chips, guacamole and a margarita on Taco Tuesday. I grew up in Orange County as the world’s pickiest eater, my mother entirely convinced I would never eat anything except chicken nuggets. I was literally on the pilot episode of Food 911 quoted as saying “I love chicken nuggets” in olive green corduroy overalls, my proudest moment to date. I then got pretty unfortunately chunky in college, and when I started getting skinny I realized broadening my horizons was a must. In the past 5 years I have become a major foodie, and a huge fan of everything green. I have recently taken on the challenge of teaching myself to cook, and make the best brussel sprouts on earth. Aside from my love of mexican food and foray into healthy home cooking, I have the biggest sweet tooth around and love anything and everything dessert. I make it a point to eat something sweet after every meal, and usually have some sort of candy on me at all times, which I balance out with a daily yoga practice and lots of running around like a crazy person. I am itching to get out and start exploring all San Diego has to offer, and am so excited to be able to share my findings here with all of you!