Monday, May 12, 2008

Oaken Barrel Brewing Company

Yes, we're Schmoozer Card members. This is FLO's most frequent haunt. Not only is it tasty, homey and reliable, they offer a wide menu with something for just about everyone. We have been going there almost weekly for years now and it is a rare occasion if the meal is not up to snuff. And in case you haven't noticed, the FLO digs a good brew. Might we recommend the Alabaster, or whatever seasonal the brew master has bubbling up!

While Ozzy may have mixed feelings about the chicken fingers, we relentlessly order them for him anyway. He is happy to munch on the fries or their wonderful brown bread rolls while Libby and Fred steal the best chicken strips in town. Not a fan of fare usually found in every chain restaurant ever built, there's something in the breading and preparation that leaves them moist and delicious on the inside while crispy and flavorful on the outside. While we have our suspicions that they are not made in-house, they sure are doing something right.

Ozzy does, however know a good fry when he sees one. In this case, of the beer-battered variety. Served either with malt vinegar or Red Gold, they are even better dipped in the house ranch dressing.

Since we've sampled almost the entire menu, we have only once been disappointed. I'm sorry guys, but you really should leave the Jambalaya to Yats! Otherwise, our favorites would have to include the Ranch Chicken salad (those darned strips again!!), the reuben (made unique with the addition of roasted red peppers), the black bean soup (hold the onion, please!), the Mediterranean pasta made with a heavy hand full of garlic, and the fish & chips.

While the menu doesn't speak to a classically trained chef, the product is always spot on and the specials are inventive and praiseworthy. I do believe the chef may (GASP) be sampling the brew, as it always pairs well.

To learn more, go to http://www.oakenbarrel.com/ or just show up and grab a growler to go! For those not familiar with their line-up, FLO might suggest a beer sampler.

http://www.oakenbarrel.com/


Wrap-up
Price-$-$$, depending on your beer quantity
Atmosphere-**, dark and travel-worn. But familiar and unimposing.
Service-***, Immediate seating and a knowledgeable, experienced wait staff never leaves you wanting.

Overall
Fred - B+, Go for the beer, stay for... the beer. Oh yeah, and the food's good too!
Libby - B+, although not the best food I've ever tasted, they definitely live up to a good brew accompanied by good pub grub. Solid.
Ozzy -C+, perhaps he's a little bored of the place, but he does know it and seems happy to go.

Oaken Barrel Brewing on Urbanspoon

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