Hidden away in a business park in San Juan Capistrano is Docent Brewing, one of the favorite craft houses of South Orange County. I’m not much of a drinker, but all my craft beer enthusiast friends seem to enjoy most of Docent’s creations.
The food menu is big for a brewery, with some interesting modern fusion to go with your beer. It emphasizes their passion for fermentation, with things like housemade pickles and kim chi; so expect some briny goodness from most of their dishes.
The Docent Brewing Korean Rueben
Docent uses a buttery grilled white bread that is nicely browned with a crispy crust. It’s the perfect bread for this type of sandwich and you have to appreciate a place that does it well. It’s just sturdy enough to hold the sauce and meat without getting soggy.
As far as Ruebens go, Docent’s doesn’t really follow the formula. It uses a lot of adjacent ingredients that have similar flavors with some tasty differences. The pastrami is mild and cut a bit thicker than I’m used to. The soft and briney flavors are a perfect compliment to the nutty melted swiss cheese. Instead of the traditional sauerkraut, Docent uses a house made spicy kimchi. If you haven’t had kimchi before, it’s a traditional Korean dish of fermented cabbage with spicy chilis and other spices.
I’m not a huge fan of Kimchi, but it works incredibly well with the pastrami. It’s mild spice and slightly crunchy texture is a marvelous compliment to the sandwich as a whole.
When I think of a Rueben the beautiful flavors of a tangy and sweet Russian dressing comes to mind. Docent goes a different route and uses a chili aioli, a somewhat spicy and creamy sauce. I don’t know if the spice came from the aioli or the kimchi, but I thought all of it was great. I appreciate that it’s not burning hot, because you can taste all the components in the sandwich.
There are a variety of sides to choose from, but one that I haven’t seen anywhere is devilled eggs. Don’t sleep on them, because they are damn good.
At $11 with a side the Korean Rueben is a very reasonable dish. I got 3 deviled eggs and ordered another side of arugula salad making grand total of my lunch $14. I imagine most people go here for beer, so you’ll likely pay a bit more total, but the food is a decent price for what you’re getting.
Breweries are evolving past just comfortable tasting rooms into culinary powerhouses. I may not be a beer drinker, but I am looking forward to trying out the food that these places are starting to produce. That may be my goal in 2021, so stay tuned.
and if you have a suggestion, DM me on instagram.
33049 Calle Aviador Suite C, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675