Over the past few years there’s been a flurry of activity at Pechanga Resort and Casino. Major renovations and improvements have taken place throughout the hotel and casino and restaurants have been transformed. Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar has become a standard for upscale dining in the Temecula Valley. For coffee and pastries, check out Blends Coffee & Wine Bar. Last October, Kelsey’s Bar & Grill reopened its doors with a whole new look and attitude. We were invited for a preview and to tell you I’m impressed with what I saw and tasted would be a gross understatement.
Kelsey’s is a sports fanatic’s dream come true. Nearly everywhere you turn you’ll see flat screen TVs, dozens of them, displaying sports of every description. There are 48 beers on tap, including several local brews and if you like you can order a beer flight. There’s no mistaking the smell of barbecue in the air. Kelsey’s is a smoked meat lover’s haven. I sat down with General Manager Daniel Thompson and his excitement at seeing his vision come to life was undeniable. “They asked me what I wanted to see here and they gave me everything I asked for” he told me. Head Chef Ronnel Capacia hadn’t smoked meat before, but he was excited to learn the craft and he perfected it in short order.
You’ll find brisket, of course, as well as trip tip, brisket, pulled pork and more. The menu is extensive with all sorts of comfort food from build-your-own burgers, to salads, to pizza and flat bread and more. The decor is cozy and modern and the staff is top-notch. There’s a whole lot to like about the revamped Kelsey’s, not the least of which are the prices. Most items are in the $15 to $25 range, with appetizers starting at under $6.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.