Cocktails and a Roxy menu

The Roxy, Rockin’ Since the ‘70s

We’re on a quest to eat our way up and down Highway 101 through all the restaurants in Encinitas.  It’s Date Night, and we’re on Restaurant Number Two:  The Roxy!

Know Your History

Longtime Encinitans may remember that The Roxy was originally an ice cream shop when it opened at 101 and D Street in 1978.  My first visit was 1980.  It was a Friday night, and I was in 7th grade with a group of girls, thinking we were “all that” in our disco shorts and knee-high socks on roller skates!  (Shh, don’t tell Mom!)   As the years rolled by, the ice cream shop transitioned, slipping sandwiches and smoothies onto their menu, and adding places to hang out.  

In my 20’s, I spent many afternoons laughing with friends and enjoying The Roxy’s smoothies, sprout sandwiches, and chips and salsa.  When life took me away from Encinitas, I always made sure to drop in whenever I came home for a visit.  In 2016, The Roxy had a makeover.  Now it’s a restaurant and bar with a 1920’s vibe, live music, craft cocktails, and an upscale but fun menu… just in time for me to move back to Encinitas with my new husband!  It has become one of our go-to places for cocktails, small plates, and tasty entrées.

Chillin’ On the Lot

On this overcast Saturday night, we make reservations for the back lot, which is a funky outdoor seating area added in response to COVID.  Roxy set it up with fire pits and a second stage for live music (besides the one inside).  Someone strung up a (wink-nudge) “French Laundry” banner on the fence!  Our server offers to light the fire pit, but it’s already plenty warm tonight.

Our musical diversion for the eve: Tsunami Sound Waves, a Pacific Beach band playing a wide variety of cover songs and their own originals (a cross-pollination of rock and reggae).  They explain they are just two of the five usual members, but they really jam!  They even stop at our table for a chat between sets. 

To cool us off on this humid, slightly stuffy evening, we order our favorite cocktails.  Mine is the Paloma, a refreshing drink made with tequila and grapefruit.  Andy’s standby is the Old Fashioned, made with whiskey and bitters.  

At appetizer time, we go a little wild and decide skip our usual go-to favorites, opting instead for the Pork Belly Adobo.  We expect a BBQ-type dish, but instead it’s a nice surprise to taste Roxy’s version with an Asian twist!  The pork belly is sliced and served with white rice, soft boiled egg, scallions, and a hint of soy. Definitely a naughty choice!

Drool Meter Warning!

NY Strip peppered with happiness.

For our entrées, Andy selects the Prime NY Strip served with blistered red peppers, shishitos, cherry tomatoes, and seared potatoes.  I’ve been well-done-shaming him, and it appears to be working:  he orders it medium-well!  (Hey, small victories, right?)  It’s perfectly (for him) done, thick and juicy.  The peppers are an excellent complement, accenting each bite of the steak.

Roxy’s Falafel Burger: penance for Pork Belly Adobo!

My usual sandwich at The Roxy is the Artichoker because it reminds me of the sprout sandwich of Roxy Past.  But now I may have a new favorite:  the Falafel Burger!  I went with it because it at least felt like a healthy balance after the decadent pork belly.  Roxy serves it with thick-cut steak fries, and the “burger” is a big, thick patty of falafel with melted mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, tomato, onion, and tahini dressing on a big ol’ 7-grain bun.  It is delish!  

Following dinner, we pat our bellies, and I have one more Paloma while the band jams on.  Dessert?  After pork belly appetizers and our amazing dinners, we would be comatose!  So who’s next on 101?  I think we’ll go veggie!