Restaurant Review of “Raglan Public House”

by on May 18, 2012 · 16 comments

in Culture, Economy, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

Raglan’s burger and fish and chips. (All photos by Judi Curry.)

What a fun place to eat with friends: the Raglan Public House – at the corner of Bacon and Niagara. The ambiance is inviting; the beers are numerous – I counted over 81 on the menu; the food is wonderful and the waitstaff – Josie and Alex – were delightful. Josie is really from New Zealand, and her charming accent only added to the atmosphere of the place. Alex, for the women in the audience, was nice to look at; has a mean handshake – like he was really glad we were there – and charming as well.  (Yes, I know it is a sexist comment, but let’s face it – I enjoyed watching him.)

Do I need to write more?  For those of you that criticized me on my last Ocean Beach venture, I hope that this redeems my taste buds and you no longer come after me with a forked tongue or steak knife.

A friend and I went for lunch at what was formerly “The Vine.”  I remember the same restaurant when it was an Italian Restaurant and, like “The Vine” was sorry to see them both close down. I hope that this eclectic place remains in Ocean Beach for a long time.

The lunch special was really “a special” – price wise, quantity wise, and taste wise.  The special is only Monday-Friday from 11:00am – 3:00 pm.  It was advertised as “Burger, Fries, and Beer for $10.99.” One heck of a good deal, because there were four different kinds of hamburgers to choose from  and one “grilled bird.”  If you didn’t feel like a sandwich, you could also choose one of two salads.  If you ordered directly from the menu and not from the special, you would pay $9 for the “Bare Burger”; “Queenstown Fave”  the “Average Joe” and the “Lil Bitties” were $9.90 and those were the burgers offered on the lunch special.  The “Grilled Bird” was also $9.90 and none of them came with French fries nor beer. (The fries varied from $3.50 to $6.50 and if you wanted sweet potato fries the cost range was from $4.90 to $8.50.)  The beers that are offered on the lunch menu also varied in price.

1/2 of the “Hogs and Heffers” burger.

Since the friend I was with doesn’t drink beer, he elected to order the “Hogs and Heffers” which was a grass fed beef with bacon, avocado and Edam cheese. It was cooked to perfection.  I elected to have the Fish N’ Chips, which was $12.90. It came with fries cooked perfectly and hot when they got to the table. The side of tartar sauce and malt vinegar enhanced the already tasty flavor of the meal.  We also tried their special sauces – a garlic aioli, a tomato chutney, and a horseradish base sauce.  They were also very tasty and complimented the meal.  Additionally, I ordered the Julian Hard Cider, and was surprised to find that the alcohol content was 6.9%. (No wonder I am having trouble typing this review.)

The menu, written on what appears to be a cocktail napkin – it isn’t because it opens up to a full size menu – has many different offerings, and quite a bit available for those that don’t eat meat.  Besides the burgers and chicken offerings, there is a section on “munchies”; “townie Faves”; “Got Greens”; “happy N’ Ding” which included ice cream floats made with Young’s Double Chocolate Stout or IBC Root Beer. There is also a selection of Wines, some of which are from Australia, New Zealand, Napa Valley and California. (Yes, I know that Napa Valley is in California, but that is how it is listed on the menu.)

There is no question about going back to eat again. In fact, three in my widow support group will be going back with me on Saturday following our massage. And,  besides a breakfast brunch that ends at 1:00pm on the weekend, from 11:00-3:00pm Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s, Sangria’s and Bloody Beers are only $3.  So yes, I do recommend the Raglan Public House – 1851 Bacon St., Ocean Beach –(619) 794-2304.

There are only two things I want to mention –  because the burger and fish and chips are finger foods there were no utensils served. I could have used a fork with my fish, not because it was messy, but it was HOT!  And…our bill, with a tip came to $38, which is pricey for a lunch for two.  BUT the food was so good, I will go back, even though  it cost more than I thought it would. (And…I might even have a plastic fork in my fanny pack.)

Raglan’s Josie and Alex.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Brittany Bailey May 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

Sounds good, Judi! Can’t wait to try it myself :)


avatar Goatskull May 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

I still can’t beleve I haven’t been there yet. Maybe this weekend will be the call.


avatar judi Curry May 18, 2012 at 10:53 am

I think you both will be pleased. Let me know what you think of it.


avatar OB Mercy May 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I have already been a couple of times and I agree with all you said Judi. I’m very picky about my burgers, and Raglan does me right. I can get an organic burger cooked the way I want, MR, which is hard to get these days. A bit costly, but worth it. Also had their Sunday buffet brunch. It wasn’t the best, but they just need to up their game a bit on some of the dishes. I’ll give a full review on Yelp. Going back again with some of friends on Sunday to try their regular breakfast menu for my birthday. $3 mimosas here I come!


avatar Goatskull May 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Finally went there this afternoon and like it alot. Excellent beer selection and high quality food (as far as pub grub goes). I too had the fish and chips and they were delicious. I was was bummed when the Vine closed but this is a good replacement.


avatar judi Curry May 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Thanks for letting me know. I was there today, also, and 3 of us had different things – each was good and satisfying. BTW – I had the yam burger and it was great!


avatar Goatskull May 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

One little interesting fact I learned from one of the bartenders (the guys with glasses) is the owners are the same who own Bare Back bar and grill both in PB and Downtown.


avatar OB Mercy May 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

Beat you to that info yesterday Goatskull! Read below.


avatar Goatskull May 20, 2012 at 8:36 am

Yeah I saw that after I posted.


avatar OB Mercy May 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Not sure if anyone knows that this is owned by Bare Back Grill, which is in PB and downtown I think. They were going to name it that when I talked to the owners before it opened, but I guess they thought better of bringing a chain restaurant into OB. I asked one of the servers why they named it Raglan Public, and they said it was the name of a town in New Zealand, where this restaurant came from.

Does anyone know what happened to my pic on here??


avatar Goatskull May 20, 2012 at 7:27 am

Raglan is a very popular surfing area in NZ, ironically all the owners are Yanks.


avatar OB Mercy May 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Ok, weird, there’s my pic. I guess it doesn’t show up when I use my iPad. Never mind!


avatar judi Curry May 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Enjoy your birthday breakfast tomorrow Mercy. I may bring one of my student’s there for dinner. I was there today at 2:00 and it was packed. Even though the televisions were on – cheered the Preakness – it was not too loud to talk, They are going to give Hodad’s a run for the hamburger trade.


avatar OB Mercy May 20, 2012 at 7:48 am

The Vine had the best burger in town IMHO. Love to support local biz, but other then constantly being on the Food Network, Hodad’s popularity confounds me. It’s a dried out burger, and they won’t cook it the way you want it. Raglan and Mothers have Hodad’s beat by a mile.


avatar Goatskull May 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

I enjoy both for what they are and depending on what my taste pallet is for the moment. Truth is, my favorite burger in all of San Diego is Nunu’s in Hillcrest, But Raglan, both Bare Back’s AND Hodad’s are all excellent. Rocky’s too of course.


avatar dave rice May 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I just got my first taste a week or so ago – Chris and I were debating on going here or Kecho’s to try something new, but Judi’s last review swayed me. I was impressed too…and I was also sad to see the Vine go, that place was excellent as well and despite being a “wine bar” with no beer taps they had a great bottled beer list.

I got a burger with hot sauce and jalapenos (fresh, not pickled), ordered medium. It actually came out with a good amount of pink in the middle, which was great. Wish they offered smaller sides all the time, though, the wife and I couldn’t agree so we each got a half order of something different and it was way too much food.

Raglan does a great job of what I guess you could call “gourmet burgers,” with eclectic topping choices and a good grade of beef. I love the greasy goodness of a Hodad’s bacon cheeseburger too, but in my mind that’s more of a “traditional burger,” and I really don’t think there’s any justice in trying to compare the two heads-up – they both start with meat and bread but go entirely different places, both of which are successful.

I already posted a much longer review over on Yelp, including detailing some odd service quirks ( What’s cool is that I got a response from the staff thanking me for the review despite the criticism, and inviting me back for a free burger. I’m a cheapskate so I’ll certainly take advantage, but I’m also planning to bring a big group of friends in with me that I think will enjoy the place too.


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