Today’s post is on a MilMomAdventures favorite restaurant in Temecula. So if you live close by, or visited a kid-friendly winery in wine country during the day, make this a planned dinner spot on the wayout of town.
Luke’s is in Old Town Temecula – a collection of western style buildings and restaurants is reminiscent of the Old West that is channeled in Hallmark’s tv show When Calls The Heart but with Starbucks, indoor plumbing and parallel parking. Parking is on the street or in lots. You might have to circle for parking on the street, but it is free and didn’t taken long to find an empty space even on a busy Saturday afternoon/early evening.
Part of the magic of this restaurant is the speakeasy like feel of it. While you can see the restaurants’ sign from the street, it is on the third floor. You have to go to an elevator on the side of the street to get up to the top floor. There isn’t someone there asking for a password through the bars, but it still feels like you are part of a secret group that just happen to know about it.
Turn right out of the elevator and the bustle will come into view – it isn’t so secret! Don’t let the noise scare you – if you get a seat in the booths or by the balcony, the volume lowers and you can hold a conversation. It you are there with children, I would recommend going earlier in the evening. Dinner time for most kids is early anyway, but when we were leaving at 7, a party began to happen in their side room and a recently engaged couple was celebrating and it was getting much louder.
When they seat you with children, they will hand your kids coloring sheets and colored pencils which they loved! They have both booster seats and high chairs. Note – there are no baby changing stations in the restaurant so be prepared to do it in your lap or have your tot stand for a diaper change.
One of our favorite things to do is find places with local food and brews. Luke’s has their own wine label. Our server told us that the grapes are local and it is bottled at the winery and brought to the restaurant. There are also may local breweries represented on the drinks menu including San Diego’s Karl Strauss and Mission Brewery, Carlsbad’s Pizza Port and Escondido’s Stone Brewing.
The menu offers gluten-free and vegan options. And it is all organic! We opted for the tempura artichokes and the stuffed mushroom – seriously amazing. You can’t even tell it is missing meat. Seriously. My active duty spouse wanted more, it was that good.
The kid’s meals are huge and well-priced. Usually I groan about buying kids meals for the kids and try to get them to split an adult meal, but the portions were a little shy of adult sized with kid’s meal prices. Taking home leftovers for the lunch the next day – score!
This restaurant does offer a 10% off military discount. Kelly, the restaurant manager, shared that they provide this due to her personal link to the military through her family.
They offer Happy House Monday – Friday 3:30 – 6:30 with dollar off specials off beer, wine by the glass, specialty drinks and well drinks. For those in the Temecula/Fallbrook area – this would be a great afternoon/early evening date if you can make it!
As we were leaving, we noticed this sign for their Mother’s Day brunch – yum!
This is a place I would go back to. In researching for this blog post, I found out this is a family run place. A husband and wife and brother team make up the backbone of Luke’s. The name is very personal as well. Luke’s is named after the son of the husband and wife team, Chris and Kelly Cusak, who passed away in 2008. Knowing that this restaurant is their way to provide a place of gathering in their hometown of Temecula, makes it even more special – and definitely a place to check out as a military family making it a living like a local experience.
Add this restaurant to your eating out bucket list. While we have gone already, we will definitely be going again! Even from the north side of Camp Pendleton, it is worth the trip!