In operation since 1953, the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center has had a long and storied past in San Diego but its fair to say that the Hotel Circle property has never been known for its food. Things began looking brighter when it was announced that new management company Destination Hotels (L'Auberge Del Mar, Paradise Point) would be bringing back executive chef Paul McCabe (L'Auberge Del Mar, Delicias) to help refresh its food offerings in conjunction with the resort's $80 million reinvention that should be completed in 2018.
McCabe, who left San Diego in 2013 to head up Destination Hotels' relaunch of the signature restaurant at Phoenix's Royal Palms Resort and Spa, returned from Arizona with chef de cuisine Matt Hobbs. With their kitchen team, they've revamped Town and Country's sports bar and eatery, Charlie's, which just reopened with a makeover and a completely new menu based on real-deal barbecue.
Wood-smoked on-site are dry-rubbed chicken wings, baby back ribs, pulled pork and Texas-style brisket, which also makes its way into poutine with deep-fried cheese curds and gravy. Hobbs makes all sauces in-house, from regional barbecue sauce like the lesser-seen Alabama white to a range of naturally-fermented hot sauces fueled by fiery Scorpion peppers to the world's hottest Carolina Reaper. There's also the Pig Mac burger, which stacks a beef patty on a pork patty and tops it with shredded lettuce, bacon, Thousand Island dressing and cheddar, plus a new beverage program that includes 10 taps of local beer and cocktails using local spirits. A revamp of the resort's all-day Terrace eatery is also in the works, with a locally-sourced seafood and vegetable-driven menu on the way.
All buns and bread, plus desserts and more, are by locally-renowned pastry chef Jack Fisher (NINE-TEN, CUCINA urbana), who oversees Town and Country's giant pastry kitchen that will produce everything from croissants to his signature chocolates.
Newly-named the resort's food and beverage director, McCabe told Eater that Charlie's will be razed at the end of 2016 when the Town and Country starts construction on three new restaurants planned for the property. Although details are still scarce, the chef said that there will be a new food and beverage element in the lobby and a venue for more formal, elevated dining. With the amount of attention and time they're putting into their smoked meat program, it's likely that a barbecue restaurant will be in the cards when the new food outlets finally make their debut in 2017.