When you have been a citizen of the interwebs as long as I have, you know that negativity reigns. You learn to ignore the negativity because it starts to seem like only the negative people are the ones working hard to get themselves heard. This is why I don’t put much stock in public ratings sites. But negative reviews by writers on reputable websites, while rare, carry more weight with me. So when a friend recently suggested I try Against the Grain Brewery because of their amazing food, I was surprised to read this review about a surprisingly bad experience there. I set out with the purpose of discovering this was just a fluke.
The first thing I tried was the smoked gouda beer cheese with kettle chips. It was really tasty but it could’ve been warmer-it had more of the consistency of a spread than a dip at the temperature it came out. The kettle chips were good and crunchy, but they tasted and looked like they came out of a fryer that badly needed an oil change.
I ordered a grilled romaine salad out of curiosity, which was perhaps not the best decision. The salad itself was good, if a little simple. The garlic bread that accompanied it was not so good. I’ve never met carbs I didn’t like, and I couldn’t even finish it. It tasted like someone had made the common mistake of cooking with EVOO, which has a low smoke point and burns easily.
My husband got the pulled pork sandwich, which was amazing. The smoky smell wafting into the street gave us high expectations that everything here would be amazing. The green beans accompanying his sandwich were mushy and bland, so maybe we should have stuck with smoked meats and beer, their two strong suits.
Overall, I’m not dismissing this place for good. They also have an interesting brunch on the weekends complete with a Bloody Mary bar, so that’s definitely going to be worth a second glance. If you do go to check it out, I suggest sticking with a burger or something from the smoker. I’ve also been told by my vegetarian friends they have great vegetarian options. We just clearly ordered the wrong things.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl
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