Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cheese and Beer at Churchkey

I love restaurants with a little specialty focus, especially when that specialty is beer.  I have heard a lot of great things about Churchkey's beer menu, so I decided it was time to try it out (along with some food!).

Churchkey is the upstairs, scaled-down version of it's sister restaurant Birch and Barley.  It's more of a pub/bar scene with simple, low-key food.  The seating is first come, first serve at Churchkey so if you want to get a seat without waiting, I recommend you show up early as the place fills up quickly on a weekend.  The layout is open and spacious with low lighting, deep, rich red walls, and large butcher tables next to floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the street.  It definitely has a cool, hip vibe.  Wear your trendy hat, you'll need it.

The beer menu at Churchkey is a book.  Seriously, it's about 20 pages.  19 more than the food menu.  And the draft menu is 2 pages.  They even include on the beer menu what type of glass the beer is served in (e.g., tulip) and the temperature at which the beer is served.  It can be a little overwhelming.  So I focused on the draft menu.  After much deliberation, I selected DC Brau's The Rider.  It was hoppy with a little Belgian flavor, absolutely delicious.

To accompany our beer, we opted for a few appetizers from the menu -- the disco fries and the mac and cheese sticks.

Meat and cheese on fries... oh my!
The disco fries were hands-down, the best fry basket I've ever had... the cheese and sausage gravy topping could have gone terribly wrong (think goopy cheese whiz mess) and it didn't.  It rocked.  Or rather "discoed." It was just the right balance of saucy topping on the fries and was DELICIOUS!  

Mozzarella sticks, but with mac and cheese... interesting
The mac and cheese sticks were good as well, a light crispy outside with yummy mac and cheese on the inside.  The mac and cheese could have been a little more creamy on the inside (maybe add a layer of cheese on top of the mac inside the crispy shell?) but generally, it was darn tasty!

More cheese please!
Since I clearly had not met my cheese quota for the evening, I went for the grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.  The truffled grilled cheese sandwich was gooey and creamy with a smooth truffle flavor to accompany the cheese.  It was served with a side of tomato soup dip, which really didn't do anything for me.  It was a cool idea, but I think it should be a little more creamy and light for dipping the sandwich. It sorta just tasted like pureed tomatoes to me.  The hand-made potato chips were crispy but a little bland.  They could definitely benefit from some salt or malt flavoring.  It was a good dinner, but it could have been a little more flavorful.

Overall, the beer at Churchkey is fantastic - great seasonal selection and so many options to choose from.  The food was good as well but, you can tell Churchkey spends more time on their beer menu than their food menu (there's only so many hours in the day!).  I believe my man over at the Midnight Raver Blog (who joined us for dinner) summed it up best "This shit is goooooooo.....D, man!"  He's so articulate.... 

Churchkey on Urbanspoon   

1 comment: