Cuisine as fresh as the sea and sky at Board & Brew in Del Mar

By Kelley Carlson

Board & Brew is more than 30 years old, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the sandwich shop (with locations in Del Mar, Carlsbad and San Clemente) will soon be expanding into Rancho Santa Margarita and Scripps Ranch.

The Turkado, with ‘dirty’ potato chips and a soft drink, is a signature sandwich. Photos by Kelley Carlson

The flagship site in Del Mar continues to draw crowds, everyone from business executives and professional athletes dressed casually to students and locals just in from the beach. About half of them call or text in their orders and pick them up to go, many opting for a picnic in the scenic community, according to founder/owner Tom Powers. The rest gather on the front and back patios and inside the restaurant decorated with wood paneling and surfboards. Tables are high demand, so Powers recommends having a person save a seat while another orders at the counter.

Perhaps one reason Board & Brew has become a staple in Del Mar over the years is due to its use of fresh ingredients. There are no processed meats – according to Powers, the roast beef is top-of-the-line certified Angus, and cooked on-site. Chicken is brought in each day, and marinated overnight in a special blend of herbs and spices. Specially made breads from local bakers are also part of the daily deliveries. And care is taken to obtain high-quality vegetables such as vine-ripened tomatoes; green leaf lettuce; hothouse cucumbers; Hass avocados; and strong, spicy jalapeños that aren’t canned.

Among Board & Brew’s specialty sandwiches is its signature Turkado, composed of a thick stack of turkey breast and jack cheese, avocado, mayo, onions, tomato and lettuce, layered between slices of sourdough. Powers’ favorite is the California Delight, featuring turkey breast, cream cheese, sunflower seeds, mayo, tomato, lettuce and sprouts on slightly sweet squaw bread.

A Green Salad with green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs and grilled chicken.

There are hot sandwiches served on toasted baguettes, as well, such as the Chicken Club with bacon, melted jack cheese, mayo, tomato and lettuce. Powers identifies the spicy Baja Chicken as the restaurant’s best and most unique sandwich — it’s topped with grilled onions, jalapeño peppers, melted jack cheese, mayo, tomato and lettuce.

The front patio of the original Board & Brew in Del Mar.

House salads are also offered at Board & Brew, including a Caesar with grilled chicken breast, parmesan cheese and homemade croutons; and the colorful Green Salad that combines green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, croutons and a choice of grilled chicken or tuna.

A special house-made, creamy “sweet and sour” sauce (not to be confused with the type used in Chinese cuisine) can be used to dress both the sandwiches and salads. At first taste, it’s sweet, but there’s a bit of a tangy aftertaste. It’s the most requested item at Board & Brew, Powers noted.

To accompany the sandwiches and salads, there are several options of sides: the House Potato Salad and assorted flavors of “Dirty” Potato Chips (in which the potato slices are not washed), with Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert.

And don’t forget the beverage: Board & Brew sells fountain drinks, freshly brewed ice tea, an array of juices, and bottled beers from Mexico and the San Diego-based Ballast Point.

Board & Brew

Address: 1212 Camino del Mar, Del Mar

The Vibe: Casual and relaxed

Signature Dishes: Turkado, Chicken Club, Baja Chicken

Open Since: 1979

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily


Phone: (858) 481-1021; text orders: (858) 353-4644

Reservations: No

Patio Seating: Yes

Takeout: Yes

Happy Hour: No

On The Menu Recipe

Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story.

This week: Board & Brew’s House Potato Salad

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Posted by Staff on Jan 3, 2014. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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