Friday, August 8, 2008

The Brew House At East Lake

I had dinner at The Brew House at EastLake a couple of weeks ago. It is located in a design center, which means it's sandwiched between several furniture stores. I read some reviews that complained about the location, but I liked it. It gave the restaurant a large open feel due to the high ceilings.

It was a huge restaurant with a large bar and open kitchen. The food was decent - I had its salmon dish - and the kid's mac and cheese was excellent. I don't think I'd order the wings again. While edible, they were dry and not too spicy.

I had the Palomar Pale Ale (below right) and Star of India IPA (below left). Both beers, while not outstanding, were good.

The Brew House is an old school brewpub. It has the standard line-up of beers and a large brewpub menu. The beers are what you'd expect - blond ale, wheat, amber ale, pale ale, india pale ale and stout - at an old school brewpub. The owner (or manager) stopped by our table to speak with my friend who was returning to the restaurant and wearing a The Brew House tee-shirt. He was lamenting about business and looking forward to football season.

The Brew House needs to go bold. It should shed its safe stable of beers and kick it up a notch. Brew some belgians, a double IPA and an imperial stout. Some good, local guest taps would be good, too. It had a Karl Strauss Saison on draft, which is a start, but there are too many good local brewers to ignore. The craft beer scene has changed dramatically over the past decade, and an uninspired line-up of beers is no longer sufficient, even if brewed locally, to bring in people looking for good beer. A few aggressive, well made beers could drive traffic to the South Bay and make it stand out from the new Oggi's that is slated to open nearby.

The owner mentioned menu revisions were under consideration. It should cut its menu down. It is too cumbersome with too many disparate choices. While my meal was good there are too many menu items for all items for all to taste good.

One final point. The Brew House does not serve sixteen ounce pints. It lists the beers as a pint (for $5) but I would almost guarantee the beer comes in a fourteen ounce glass. This is a pet peeve of mine. If the menu says "pint," serve a pint. I expect to get shorted at a non-beer restaurant, but not at a brewpub.

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