Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Evening in Woodlawn: Happy Hour at Breakside Brewery

As those who read this blog will know, I've been talking with people that needed talking with up in Alaska the last couple weeks. When the clipper touched down this afternoon at Stumptown Field, Dolly-girl rolled up in the roadster and picked me up. Saved calling a Radio Cab all the way out there. "Jack, I just cleaned up the kitchen and I have no intention of messing it up again. Let's put on the feedbag out and about tonite." It wasn't going to do no nevermind to disagree with her, so I told her I was on board. "Hows about the Breakside--it's that new brewpub over in Woodlawn that Kitty's been talking about. In fact, remember, when you were back in Bianchi-ville, she and me headed over there for some start-em-ups and a couple cold ones." Dolly-girl gave it the up and down and a couple hours later we were riding shank's mare to Dekum and Durham.

We strolled in and parked it at a tabletop on a keg. It's a pretty spot, alright. Part old and part new--big and open, a couple of levels and lots of wood. I liked it right off 'cause it's easy to keep an eye out for Trouble. Plus, I could keep my eye on Good Neighbor and Firehouse, a couple of local joints you've read about here before.

Missy stopped by pretty quick and asked us if we might be interested in pouring a little something down our gullets. We were. I had the Mad River Double--by far the best thing on their whadda-ya-drinking board--and Dolly-girl purred while she picked out the Victory pilsner. That one's back from where they set the brake on her pram--go figure, selling Pennsylvania beer in Beervana? We looked over the broadsheet to get the latest while we wet our whistles.

The inside of the joint is what Dolly-girl would call "tasteful and creative"--I guess I'd call it "nice." Lots of different options for parking your carcass, including some nice tables outside. Too bad there's parking places right there--the Lazy Family parked their SUV and rolled out onto a table--no actual steps required. And they were the type that drives who-knows-where with bikes and gear to exercise. Tip #1: Get the city to make the front of the joint a no parking zone.

Missy brought the whadda-ya-want and we checked it over. It was a solid pub food menu, like a double handful of other places on our side of the river. Waffle fries are what they are serving up to make themselves different. Missy stopped around. I looked up from the latest million gallon story from the Gulf and told her to pave a clucker on a bun with those fries she was pushing. Dolly-girl went for the Hamilton with no-clap-wax and the sweet potato waffles. "Got it--back in a flash."

Tip #2: Get some food that makes you different from places with lots of good beer.

She was, and the eats matched the menu--solid pub food. It's not going to send you swooning to write a restaurant review, but you'll be smiling the same as you'd be smiling if you'd gone to any of those other handful of places. EXCEPT that the beer choice was, in my opinion, and I know Beluga Slim would be singing the same song, off-key, flat, and not worth the walk. Seven out of ten taps were pretty average stuff. AND, if you are an IPA fan, this is not your place. The Mad River was good. The other choice was Bridgeport. I saw more hops in squares on the sidewalk on the way over than were in this brewpub. Tip #3, this is Stumptown. Get some beers. But, if you like fruit and herbs, this is your place.

It was happy hour, which saved us about 20% off the tab, so we walked out for less than a couple Jacksons with a smile on Missy's face. Dolly-girl slipped her arm through mine and purred, "Whadda-ya-think?" "I'd say ABC. A for the place, B for the food, C for the beer. But, as they used to say at the Orchard Street Tavern in Fredonia, 'It's the best food on Orchard Street.' I guess this is the best feedbag on Durham. Can't apply it to Dekum, Firehouse is there..."

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