Category Archives: Restaurant Review

BBQ Joint Follow Up: PM BBQ

When you have solid BBQ, a return trip is in order. PM BBQ boasted championship chicken, but I got the brisket last time. I want that chicken.

1/2 chicken and all the fixin's

1/2 chicken and all the fixin’s

What great chicken! Half a bird, well smoked. The skin was barely crispy and peeled back easily, revealing uber-moist and succulent meat. It was well-flavored and the smoke came through wonderfully. My dad got the same thing and we didn’t put a drop of BBQ sauce on it. It was that good.

I’ve smoked chicken before with success. It usually turns out really good and everyone likes it, but mine is not this good. The white meat and the dark were evenly moist and tender, and that includes the wings. Every time I cook a chicken on the Weber, the wings get dry. I really don’t know how they did such a great job – this chicken shows great skill.

I was told by someone in the know that I made the mistake last time of not getting the sweet corn spoonbread side. It was good, but a little dense. The beans were much better. The slaw was a basic light cream slaw – nothing amazing but not bad. It pairs well with chicken.

We also split the small order (that’s a small? does the large come in a bucket?!) of fried pickle chips. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s a batter I’ve definitely had before. They were a good treat to split.

The chicken is worth a return trip, as is the brisket. PM BBQ is a solid BBQ Joint option.

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BBQ Joint Review: PM BBQ

A kid’s birthday party in Chesterfield left me with a couple hours to kill. On the way, I noticed  BBQ restaurant: PM BBQ. Instead of watching my child and others bounce around and eat pizza, I decided to give this place a shot. It’s not he’ll be unsupervised, so I can have some fun, too.

At the corner of Edison & Long in the Gumbo Flats flood plain, the crisp new facade of PM BBQ greets you.

So new and clean... is this place legit?

So new and clean… is this place legit?

Even though the place shows no sign of smoke or grime, they have some hardware to boost credibility.

When your ribbons number such that they cover all the colors of the rainbow, you might be doing it right

When your ribbons number such that they cover all the colors of the rainbow, you might be doing it right

Let’s talk briefly about prejudice. One of my preconceptions of high-end BBQ restaurants includes old buildings, usually either (1) extremely old & original location, or (2) very old building that’s been reclaimed. Examples of the former are Fiorella’s Jack Stack in Martin City, MO, Rendezvous in Memphis, or Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City. Examples of the latter include (previously-reviewedHendrick’s in St. Charles, MO or Pappy’s in St. Louis, MO. Each building has character and charm, and none is in a shiny new building.

Well, as history has shown, not all prejudices hold true. PM BBQ is in a nice new building, and it turns out their BBQ is pretty damn good.

Having never been there before, I sought counsel from the kid at the counter. He advised that brisket sandwich is one of the best things on the menu for first time customers. Additionally, I went with beans as a side, since that’s a decent measure of BBQ prowess, and fries because I was in the mood for some french fries.

Brisket lunch platter

Brisket lunch platter

That’s an impressive portion of meat, which is a good thing because I’m hungry and I love brisket.

Before I came to PM BBQ, I phoned a friend who works in Chesterfield for some input. He didn’t answer, but called me back after lunch. The report was that PM BBQ is the best restaurant in the Valley by far, and brisket is the way to go. I have to agree with his assessment.

Behold the care taken in preparing this cow

Behold the care taken in preparing this cow

The brisket is thin sliced, certainly thinner than I can cut mine without a rotary meat slicer. As you can see from the photo, there’s a nice dark pink smoke line and plenty of peppery spices on it. Extremely tender, very very moist. I’m a little bit blown away by this brisket, and I don’t say that lightly. This is an impressive portion of meat, from the quantity to the quality.

It’s clear to me that significant skill went into this brisket, and as an amateur constantly seeking to better my own brisket, I can really appreciate that effort and skill.

I do have one negative comment, though, and it relates to the bun. I got a dry (not stale) yellow bun that overpowers the meat and makes my bites dry, so that you need to add sauce. Adding sauce then masks the flavor and texture of the brisket, so why go to a really good BBQ place in the first place? No bread needed, so you should just discard it if you get the brisket sandwich, or take it home and feed the birds.

Speaking of sauces, there are four on the table.

4x sauce

4x sauce

Carolina, Golden Mustard, Spicy and Sweet. I’ll review each in turn from right to left.

Carolina – Nice and vinegary, as you would expect from a Carolina sauce. Unlike many sauces that call them selves Carolina, this one is legit. Commercial “Carolina” sauces are more regionally-inspired than the genuine article. It’s very thin and nicely spicy, without a hint of tomato. I’m a huge fan, and the yellow bun absorbed it well.

Golden Mustard – Ah, the step brother of Carolina sauce! There are truly two kinds of Carolina sauce, one being the vinegary eastern North Carolina discussed above, and the South Carolina mustard. This is the latter, and it’s powerful. I don’t have much experience with this type of BBQ accompaniment, but PM’s has a distinct flavor that shows inspiration from or relation to the Asian mustard you get in little packets with your General Tso’s chicken. I liked the consistent texture and solid heat profile, but this was not my favorite. That’s more of a testament to the strength of the others and my virginity to this kind of sauce than an indictment on the PM BBQ Golden Mustard sauce. Perhaps a resident of the Palmetto State would be beside himself with pleasure at this sauce.

Spicy – Good, but not spicy. I was waiting for spicy… Perhaps this town has a bastardized BBQ sauce palate because of all the watered down flavorless goop that passes for pork steak sauce. If you drink nothing but Bud Light all the time, then a Schlafly tastes like a malty porter. If you only put skim milk on your raisin bran, then whole tastes like heavy whipping cream. And if you only dunk your meat in a slurry of Maull’s and beer, then normal sauce with a modicum of zest is “spicy”. I know spicy, and this isn’t it. (And, yes, I did swirl the bottle a few times to arouse any sediment and get a consistent sauce pour.)

Sweet – We have a winnah! Excellent sauce, great spice flavors without a very sugary pop. Perfect sauce to put on the brisket, and I used it to clean up my french fries. Wonderful sauce.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t tout the beans, which were wonderful. I counted three kinds of beans, and a few nice big chunks of pork with some short ribbons of onion. The beans came out very hot and had a nice twinge of spice, coupled nicely with a very subtle sweetness. The tenderness was spot on, and I enjoyed the thickness of the sauce. I took a bite to sample, then destroyed half of my serving before getting to the brisket.

The french fries were french fries. Thicker than shoestring, they came out piping hot. What can I say… I was just in the mood for some fries. I’m told after the fact that I should have gotten the Sweet Corn Spoonbread. Live and learn. I did find that my fries were oversalted, but it’s hard to complain when the rest of the meal rocked as it did.

With my meal, I knocked back some iced tea. They do have bottled beer in the soda cooler, but it was barely noon…

PM BBQ turned out to be an amazing restaurant with intense credibility based on the strength of the brisket. I’m definitely returning, and not just when I find myself way the hell out in west Chesterfield.


It only took 40 minutes to eat. That gave me tons of time to kill after lunch. I got in my car and looked at the storefront before me. Whaddaya know! The Chesterfield International Tap House is next door to PM BBQ. I think I know how to kill some time.

How many beers do they have on tap? A few…

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

I was thirsty and not in the mood to think, so I ordered a known favorite: Charleville Half Wit Wheat.

Charleville Half-Wit

Charleville Half-Wit

That beer was so good, I went with the bartender’s suggestion of Charleville Nitro ESB.

Charleville Nitro ESB

Charleville Nitro ESB

All this beer eventually sent me to the restroom, where I saw this on the stall partition:

Everything comes full circle

Everything comes full circle

A fitting end to my Chesterfield adventure, among the hundreds of beer and restaurant stickers that plastered the walls. I’ll be back to iTap soon, if not this location then another.

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BBQ Joint Review: Hendrick’s BBQ

Since my law firm CFO ledger says that my father had some legal fees due, I figured he could settle up his account with a lunch out – his treat. We put on our Friday BBQ best…

The Simpsons Dapper

The Simpsons Dapper

… and crossed the river into St. Charles to visit Hendrick’s BBQ.

Apparently it’s owned by the same people who run Cathedral Square Brewery. Try their Belgian-Style Abbey Ale. If they BBQ like they brew, then we’re in for a treat.

We were tipped off about this place by a recent column written by Evan Benn for the STL Post-Dispatch online, one that listed five local BBQ joints worth a visit. That’s basically a checklist for me.

According to the article, I needed to get the (1) brisket, (2) cheesy grits, and (3) peppery slaw. Yeah, no problem.

As we walked up from the parking lot to the door, we saw an A-frame sign that let us know about the “soup of the day”.

Looks like my kind of restaurant... from the damn curb!

Looks like my kind of restaurant… from the damn curb!

Oh, yes… looks like we’ve come to the right place.

Busiest Friday lunch ever? 20+ minute wait for tables? Would we like to have a beer at the bar? No problem!

Back in the day, when I was a small child and money was tight, we went as a family to Po Folks country restaurant on Manchester near Hanley in south central St. Louis County. It’s not there anymore, but you could get your kid a chicken leg basket dinner for $1 and it included a soft drink in a mason jar (mine was always orange soda). This takes me back:

Unconventionally-served beer

Unconventionally-served beer

Pop ordered some kind of rye IPA and liked it just fine. I was in the mood for something lighter and asked for a wheat ale. The bartender, who was semi-distracted with familiarizing himself with the ever-growing wall of whiskey (er… soup?) behind the bar handed me a Civil Life German Wheat. Holy cow that’s a good beer.

As we sipped our beers and waited for a seat, we admired the decor. Everything here seems very deliberate, thoughtful… almost intentionally shabbily chic junkyard. Here’s a mason jar light fixture:

This is nothing. You should see the mussel basket lights.

This is nothing. You should see the mussel basket lights.

The bar tap handles look a little dangerous… possibly designed by Tim Burton.

You have to wonder if their Workers' Compensation liability carrier has seen this.

You have to wonder if their Workers’ Compensation liability carrier has seen this.

Yes, those are butcher knives, cleavers, etc. as bar handles. No drinking while working!

While we drank our beers and refills, amazing blues music poured over the speakers. What an enviable atmosphere.

Finally, after two beers apiece and 30 minutes, we were escorted to seats. The waiter (helpfully) reminded us that this was their busiest day ever, likely related to the aforementioned article. Food was running at a 40! minute delay. We ordered quickly.

Appetizers: Fried green tomatoes, Onion rings, & Pork Cracklin’ (whatever that is… hell, it’s $2). Oh, and refill these Civil Live beers, please.

2/3 of our apps

2/3 of our apps

I’ve never had fried green tomatoes. Without knowing what they are, in the picture above it looks like fried polenta. They were firm and flavorful. The main impression from this dish is that I should begin to experiment with making these on my own. The onion rings were solid, and I swear they used a chicken fried steak batter. The sauce was a nice complement.

Now… Pork Cracklin’

ww... www.....what?

ww… www…..what?

Fried cubes of pork belly. If there’s a simple-yet-genius pork-related innovation I’ve seen since starting this blog, the Pork Cracklin’ is that. As I chowed, my father (literally) regaled me with a story about his open heart surgery.

On to lunch… let’s see… what’s the first thing on the lunch menu:

Meat & 3. Simple, subtle.

Meat & 3. Simple, subtle.

Sounds great. Brisket, cheesy grits, slaw, and baked beans. Dad had that but sub collard greens for baked beans. Can we get a refill?

Thanks. Shadows creeping in. How .long have we been here?

Thanks. Shadows creeping in. How .long have we been here?

Our entrees eventually arrived, on metal trays that were just a colored paraffin layer short of high school biology.

Will this be worth all the fuss?

Will this be worth all the fuss?

Bonus: Ramekin of hot blueberry cobbler. Not a Bonus: Four slices of brisket? Yes, it’s a lunch portion, and yes I am full of appetizers and beer, but I expected more meat. Regardless, here’s my impressions.

Baked beans: Sweet, absolutely perfect balance of sugar and onion (not easy to do), with superb bean tenderness. Great bacon flavors. Just about the best classic baked beans I’ve ever had. Bravo.

Collard greens (one bite stolen from my dad after he oohed and aahed them): Shit, I love collard greens and didn’t know it. Amazing bacon flavor, great bite to the greens. Like a less tart spinach that got blasted in pork flavors.

Blueberry cobbler: Nice touch to the plate, not too sweet. The blueberries have a nice bite, but aren’t tart. Somewhat mealy cobbler topping, but it mixed well with the compote/filling. It was a perfect amount and accent to the plate.

Slaw: Peppery as advertised, and I got major hints of something… onion salt? Dad swore up and down that chopped green onion was in there, but I didn’t see any. The sauce was thin, and I really enjoyed the slaw. Thanks for not having a heavy hand with the celery seed.

Cheesy grits: My first impression was that they were a little too cheesy, but I still ate the whole thing. In the end, it was quite delicious. The beans are the side dish star without question, though.

My zeal for brisket brought me here. How was it?

Brisket, king of BBQ beef

Brisket, king of BBQ beef

You immediately notice the very nice and distinguished smoke ring, deep in color and surrounding each slice’s edge. The meat has a very light sear on the outside, and a part of the fat cap was left on the meat during smoking. I usually serve my brisket carved with no further seasoning, leaving that to the diner. Hendrick’s added some coarse cracked pepper-based seasoning.

Smoke line

A blurry smoke line close-up. Thanks, iPhone

Really an impressive smoke line. Even, colorful. I wonder what wood they use.

From a moisture standpoint, this was exquisitely moist and tender. Not overly tender, as I have done in the past, but pretty much perfect. I haven’t been able to get this level of tenderness and moisture into my brisket yet, but I’m working on it. This is one of the best I’ve ever had. Absolutely no sauce was needed, though we did try a little STL and Hot.

But… the one thing that bothered me about the brisket was the very powerful coarse black pepper sprinkling that they put on the finished meat. I really wanted to taste the smoke, but it was overpowered by the pepper. I got great beef flavors, but not smoke, and that’s a damn shame because you can see from looking at the meat that incredible amounts of time and care went into getting it that color, consistency, texture, etc.

So we finished our meals, and the waiter asked about dessert. None for me… until my father quite aggressively peer-pressured me into pie.

Yes, apple pie a la mode

Yes, apple pie a la mode

Yes, it was delicious. No, I didn’t get anything done the rest of the day.

So we spent about 2.5 hours and a bunch of tax-deductable money on BBQ, beer, and pie. Not a horrible way to spend your Friday. Would I go back? Hell yes, in a second. Maybe next time I get the pulled pork. Affordable, delicious, worth the wait, great beer selection… how could you not return here?

Brewery Restaurant Follow Up: Granite City Brewery

Back in May 2012, Granite City Brewery, with it’s pedestrian beers and mediocre-at-best Cuban sandwich, earned low marks in my inaugural Brewery Restaurant Review.

A return trip wasn’t really in the works, but a work group wanted to take some out-of-town (really, out-of-US) guys to get some beer and food. Guess what they chose? Here is my GCB Epilogue:

Back in the land of disappointment, the waitress told me that GC’s special beer was Oktoberfest. Since it could only be better than their stock beers, I ordered one up.

Will you disappoint me, like your brothers before you?

I am both shocked and thrilled to report that their Oktoberfest is a really good beer! Wow!

Rich, malty flavor with all the color and aroma you expect from an Oktoberfest. But they didn’t get cute and make it too heavy or add goofy seasonal flavorings. Straightforward, drinkable, enjoyable.

My only complaint is that they served it too damned cold in a frosty glass. This isn’t a beer meant to be hyper-cold. A regular off-the-shelf pint glass would work much better.

Could they get a simple sandwich right also?

And would wonders never cease? I ordered a turkey burger and waffle fries. If you mess up a Cuban, you would think you could at least get a turkey burger done correctly. Amazingly, it was juicy and flavorful and large. The waffle fries were a good call, too.

Granite City Brewery has, at least in this instance, redeemed itself. Good work.

Brewery Restaurant Review: Kirkwood Station Brewing Company

Last Friday night, after some 30th birthday (not mine) revelry, a group of us went down to the Kirkwood Station Brewing Company in… (wait for it) Kirkwood.

Do have a beer flight? Damned straight. Let’s line ’em up.

Now that’s a flight of beers

Uh, these are 13 massive 4-5 ounce beers. The volume of beer blows away the portions in my earlier beer flights. They run the gamut from light to dark, with seasonals in between. I’m excited, even though I’ve already had dinner and a few drinks.

Here is the beer list, and I’ll review them in order:

That’s a lot of beers

Sugar Creek Lager – Meh… low carbonation for a light beer, mild and not very flavorful. Too watery for me.

Blackberry Wheat – Good blackberry flavors, but kind of flat. Fruitier than I typically care for in my berry beers. I’ll take a Framboise Lambic over this any day.

Belgian Witte – True Belgian beer flavors! Slightly bitter aftertaste lingers, but it’s a decent beer.

English Pale Ale – A nice English-style ale, with a strong hop aftertaste. The aroma and color are very appealing.

Altbier – Best beer so far. Nice fruity and spicy flavors and aromas, light and crisp with a good body. Smooth, enjoyable aftertaste. I want more of this one.

Brown Ale – Decent brown ale with strong (strong!) grain flavors, good color and aroma, clean taste. Nicely effervescent for a brown ale.

Pumpkin – Seriously major pumpkin pie aromas. Good mild effervescence and a nice appealing combination of color and aroma. I drink a lot of pumpkin beers, but this one is probably the closest thing I have ever drank (beer-wise) to a pumpkin pie.

Burst Hop Blonde – Very fruity aroma, very hoppy palate. This is a really good beer, certainly worth getting again as a stand alone pint.

Oatmeal Stout – Not good… not good at all. This beer tastes like horrifically charred BBQ. I don’t know what happened here. This may be, and I really hesitate to say this… the single worst beer I’ve ever had in my life. Some other people at the table took sips and I should have photographed their “Eww, Gross” faces.

IPA – A good choice to wash that nightmare Oatmeal Stout off of my palate. Super bitter, with a good hop aroma. Very heavy-handed on the hops. My taste buds are all messed up now, though, from that last beer.

Ryely Hoppy – In my notes for this beer, I wrote (at about 1:00 am after many beers) “SUPER HOPPY!”, blowing away the other hopped beers. I can’t pick up on any fruit or other flavors.

In summation, there were some stars (Burst Hop Blonde, Pumpkin, and Altbier), some less-than-stars (Ryely Hoppy, Sugar Creek Lager, and Blackberry Wheat), and a completely unmerciful abomination (Oatmeal Stout).

I didn’t get any food, since I had already eaten, it was midnight, and I was bloated from thirteen 4.5 oz beers and the drinks I had before getting to Kirkwood Station.

A solid brewery that has some good beers. I’ll be back for sure. Focus on kicking ass on the good beers, and improving the others. Scrap that bad one… I dare not speak its name again. Back to the ol’ drawing board on that one.


Brewery Restaurant Review: Trailhead Brewing Co

In the second installment of my Brewery Restaurant Reviews, I went with my father for lunch last week to the Trailhead Brewing Co in historic downtown old St. Charles, MO.

Let’s take a look at the ol’ beer menu:

Variety! (damn camera glare)

So much to choose from… well, what’s the Brewer’s Selection Seasonal Beer?

Oktoberfest in September?! Amazing!

Well, dammit I love Oktoberfest beer. So hard to choose. How about a sampler? Sure, twist my dad’s arm.

Six pretty little beers all in a row

This can only turn out better than our last beer flight during a working lunch.

Let me run down the list and give my general thoughts (left to right) as my lunch cooks:

Oktoberfest – Cloudy, hoppy, smooth. A very nice beer, but much milder than many other popular Oktoberfests (Schlafly, Samuel Adams, etc.). One of my favorite styles of beers, so I might be biased, but this did not disappoint.

Trailblazer Blond Ale – Tart, a little sweet. Not my favorite, but a middle of the road beer for Trailhead. Very drinkable, but lighter than my typical beer purchases.

Riverboat Raspberry – A little too sweet, but good berry flavor. It takes a few sips to really get into this beer.

Red Amber Ale – Mine was a little bit flat at first taste, but there was a strong solid flavor. I consider this a great red ale, though I don’t get them that often. I had a few in the past and didn’t really care for red ales amongst other styles, so I shied away. Now that I see how complex and drinkable they can be, perhaps I need to reconsider. That’s something to say about a beer – yours made me want to buy more of that beer style. Impressive effort. If I was buying a growler, it would be this one.

Missouri Brown – Malty, a good brown ale. Quite smooth. Nice beer, but not among their best.

Old Courthouse Stout – Super smooth but effervescent for a stout! Great roasted flavor, rich and creamy. Well played, Trailhead!

For lunch, I ordered the avocado bacon turkey burger. If I am going to cut out 400 calories switching from beef to turkey, then I can add some bacon, six little beers, and a bunch of fries on the side, right?


The sandwich was good, though they put on so much avocado that it overpowered the turkey patty flavors. The fries were bigger than shoestring or typical fries though smaller than steak fries. Good effort and a solid sandwich. Too bad they didn’t have a Cuban on the menu, though.

Dad offered some feedback on his beer preferences by making a handy little bar graph out of his beer flight place mat:

Dad’s beer rankings

As you can see, he is way down on the Stout and Blond Ale, but smitten by the Red Amber Ale.

I countered with my own ranks, using his (soon to be patented) system:

My beer ranks

I agree that the Red Ale is superb, probably their best beer. I am not normally a red ale guy, but Trailhead’s is phenomenal.

Their stout is solid. I think it has the right body, flavors, consistency, effervescence of a proper stout.

The raspberry didn’t do it do me, but that’s only because Schlafly spoiled me with their raspberry beer. Nothing has been comparable.

I’m not much of a brown ale guy… Trailhead’s is good for a brown ale, but their other beers outshine.

I have to say that these are six solid beers, with some real stars among them. The food is good, having never been disappointed. They make a nice BBQ chicken pizza and respectable fish & chips for the Lent crowd. Return visits and repeat beer flights are in order (and I can’t say the same for Granite City Brewery).

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Brewery Restaurant Review: Granite City Brewery

Why not spend a hot St. Louis late-May Wednesday lunch with my father, especially when he likes food and beer about as much as I do?

Simpson BBQ, circa 1978ish

Not sure if including that photo will annoy him or make him laugh. Whatever.

Today we ventured into Creve Coeur, Missouri (French for broken heart, but which we all pronounce Creeve Core) to visit our local Granite City Brewery for lunch and a sampler of craft beers.

First order of business is to peruse the menu. Whoops, they have a Cuban sandwich. Obviously that’s what I order. Pops ordered a large Greek salad (healthy) and a heaping ton of onion rings (not so healthy).

It looked pretty good, though there’s more bread than stuff between the bread.

The sandwich that may force me to change one of my Life Rules

They used turkey instead of ham, and the bread was a very soft white ciabatta with too much flour on it instead of a crispier panini, sourdough, or rye bread. Decent amount of pickles, cheese, and yellow mustard. Significantly more pork was needed. It was good, but not great. In hindsight, I should have paid the buck fifty and stepped up to the waffle fries instead of the shoestring fries.

For the first time I can recall, a Cuban sandwich left me underwhelmed. Hopefully the beer is much better.

Eight little beers

I’m sure as heck not sharing eight little beers with my dad, so we each got our own. As he drank his, he told me that he considered just heading home and finishing the day drinking that we started. Sorry, but I have to get back to the office.

Here’s my quick hits on these beers:

Northern Lights Lager – Light is right. Not much to this beer, either in terms of color, flavor, etc. It needed to be colder or the restaurant needed to be much hotter for me to want a second on this one.

Brother Benedict’s Bock – Mine was kind of flat, even for a bock. Super strong toasted malt flavor, but left quite a bit to be desired. Not something I would buy again.

Two Pull – Basically a half and half of the aforementioned Lager and Bock. All it did was water down the Bock.

Broad Axe Stout – One note stout. Milky, but not too flavorful. Nothing complex going on, like you see with other more popular stouts.  What’s going on with these beers? Augh. Has to get better.

Specialty Beer #1: Some kind of berry fruity wheat beer. Meh. Schlafly’s Raspberry Hefeweizen blows it out of the water.

Specialty Beer #2: A Belgian ale. I hesitate to say this, because it’s a horrible critique of a craft beer, but this was… kind of reminiscent of tongue-tingling medicine. Completely unattractive and I regretted taking my second swig to confirm the unpalatable nature of the first drink.

Finally, I saved what I anticipated to be the best for last. Briefly, though, let me tell you this: I planned to go to this place and lay down good money to buy a growler of beer and put it in the office fridge and then work the rest of the day with full knowledge that fresh craft beer waited for me in the communal kitchen. This has been a frustrating event to say the least.

Higher view of the beers

Wag’s Wheat – Cloudy, but really flat. I was hoping for a little effervescence here! I picked up on the citrus flavor, but it is super faint. I could sit down and drink this cold on a hot day, but it’s not much to speak of by itself in an air conditioned restaurant. I don’t like putting lemon in beer, but this beer needed a lemon. Easily the best of the lot so far, but it’s been a mediocre lot.

Duke of Wellington IPA – Please, please, please don’t let me down IPA, I implored my little two-to-three ounce serving of beer! [sips beer] Doggone it. Well, it tastes like a super-basic IPA. Minimal bitterness, minimal fruitiness, negligible flowery or fruity aromas. It comes off as a building foundation upon which a robust, complex IPA could be built, but the laborers just went on strike and I have to live in a framed-out house of a beer. Frustration!

Here are the two things you need to know about our visit to Granite City Brewery: (1) I bought no to-go beer even though I fully intended to do so before showing up, and (2) not only did my father allow the waitress to bus multiple glasses half full of non-consumed beer, but he also got no to-go beers, even though I was the one buying lunch!

Maybe it was an off day across the board for this place. I went a few months ago with some friends and their flatbread pizzas were great. I had one beer and don’t remember disliking it. Either way, I don’t expect to be laying hard cash there anytime soon, and that’s a damned shame. I bought some Shift on the way home.

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