After ordering our pints -- Wheat for the lady, a hearty Alt-bier for the lad. (no, not Ozzy. He wanted water? Go figure!) -- Libby decided we needed to try the cheese dip special...Chorizo, ancho chiles & cheese. While the dip was very very tasty, it was served with stale chips. ugh. This appetizer is a perfect microcosm of the meal. Parts bordering on the inspired, others not meeting McDonalds' quality control.
Having had a huge lunch, Libby considered simply having the appetizer, but decided on a light dinner as well. She ordered Lori's Favorite -- a pita filled with basil hummus, lettuce, tomato & swiss cheese. While we are both huge hummus fans, this was a flop. A stale pita (is this a trend?) and entirely too much hummus. It was a case where less would be more. The flavor was intense, yet the product itself dry and unsatisfying. But even after removing 1/3 of the hummus, it was just not working for us.
Fred ordered Barry's Favorite -- honey smoked turkey, apple smoked bacon, tomato, lettuce & brie on sourdough. While Libby found the sandwich to be only mediocre, Fred was very happy with the bite from the brie. It was that little difference that put it above your average club.
Ozzy's meal continued the hit & miss performance. He requested the grilled cheese with pub chips. As with so many other establishments, somehow the grilled cheese is never grilled enough. What is so hard about putting cheese between two pieces of bread and then melting it? Oh well, we're beginning to expect no better. Ozzy, a big fan of Dad's grilled cheese at home, didn't even touch it. BUT. . . the pub chips!! Niiiice! Double-fried and perfect. No fancy spices, just discs of brown crispiness that dipped well in both ketchup and leftover queso. Certainly worth the subsitution over the standard Mike Sells.
One brief note on the beer. Although Libby's Wheat had not a hint of head or carbonation it still demanded a second pint with no complaints. The flavor was there, even at the end of the keg. Fred's Alt-bier left him wanting to sit and stay for 2-6 more.
Price-$$ - $$$, A well balanced menu not filled with just the typical burgers & pizzas
Atmosphere-***, Indoor crowded English pub or outdoor peoplewatching. The sum of all broadripple's eccentricities.
Service-**, Nothing special good or bad.
Fred - B, I'll give it a one time pass on stale chips. But our pen will FLY if we encounter it again.
Libby - B-, Overall this would be a higher mark, if not for the culinary execution issues. For such a well-established Broadripple icon, it felt like quality was being sacrificed in the name of inherited superiority. Even with it's flatness, the beer (and excellent cheese dip) has saved this rating.
Ozzy - B, Ozzy digs outdoor seating. To his detriment, he had just awoken from his nap and was a little on the cranky side. But they provided a decent selection and it's refreshing to see a child-friendly brewpub. The Monon being across the street certainly didn't hurt.