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For the love of carbs

By Dr. Ink

Devine Pastabilities makes no apologies for the high levels of carbohydrates it slings in the form of “torpasta” sandwiches, which are hollowed-out submarine rolls filled with various pastas and sauces — and meat if you’re hankering for a dose of protein.

“Tappy hour,” as they call it here, is no exception when taking into account the varying measures of carbs you ingest when drinking craft beer and noshing on the free “bread holes” that accompany each draft order.

A strip-plaza eatery with an affordable “tappy hour” (Photos by Dr. Ink)

Even the staff attire tells you this is no place for disciples of the Atkins diet. Their T-shirts read: “I love carbs.”

The signature torpasta sandwiches aren’t discounted during happy hour, but all draft beers, mostly local crafts dispensed from nearly 20 taps, are $1 off their regular prices. In addition, a select brew is offered for $3.50. It changes daily, eventually hitting every label in the tap lineup.

I ducked in for a couple of torpastas to go, but lingered first to enjoy the suds. The beer of the day was Two-Hearted Ale by Bell’s Brewery in Michigan. Hazy orange in color and served ice-cold, it’s a single-hop IPA that finished with the flavors of orange rind and caramel — just enough complexity to quell the hops.

Beer and bread holes

While munching on the crust-less, lightly buttered bread holes, which are gouged from the sesame-seeded rolls used for making torpastas and feel as light in the mouth as cotton candy, I proceeded to a glass of Blazing World by Modern Times Beer in San Diego.

Loaded with hops, it tasted harsher in comparison and matched the mild sting of the jalapeno poppers I ordered. The poppers were also $1 off and came to $5.79 for six pieces of deep-fried goodness that pair essentially to any type of beer. Parmesan-garlic french fries and regular seasoned fries are also discounted during happy hour.

Jalapeno poppers

The torpastas, however, are what put Devine Pastabilities on the map and allowed it to expand in space and beer selection. They start at $6.79 for salad-only fillings and range from $7.29 to $13.49 for those filled with pasta and meat additions. By all accounts these clever sandwiches don’t exist anywhere else and you’d be remiss to leave without indulging in one.

RATINGS

Drinks: 4

With nearly 20 taps, the eatery offers a sturdy selection of craft beers that are mostly local and with plenty of styles to choose from. The wine list is sparser in comparison, with varietals by Barefoot and a few from less-commercial wineries such as J-Lohr and Old Soul.

Food: 4

The jalapeno poppers were hot and crispy, as were the complimentary buttered “bread holes” served with each order of beer. But the signature dish here is the “torpasta,” a hollowed-out submarine roll stuffed with various pastas, sauces and meats. They aren’t discounted during happy hour, but worth checking out.

Value: 4

Beer and wines by the glass are $1 off regular price during happy hour, although you’ll save a few dollars when choosing the draft beer of day, which is always from a craft brewery and priced at $3.50.

Service: 5

The staff is young, cheerful and well-trained.

Atmosphere: 4

Booths and tables run through two casual dining rooms that are clean, bright and strewn with flat screens and miscellaneous décor.

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