*One of my best friends, Tipsy, goes to a bunch of places with me. She is notoriously picky, so when we find someplace she likes it’s really an event, and when she finds someplace she doesn’t like, she has a LOT of basis for comparison. Here is her first ever guest review!*
Tuesday nights have become a bit of a tradition with my friends and I. Every Tuesday evening, we gather after work and find somewhere fun to go to dinner, usually at a place we haven’t been to yet. This Tuesday was no different- we settled on Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse for our weekly date. After we were seated, we excitedly looked over the menu… there seemed to be lots of good options, and it took us a few minutes to decide between all the delicious sounding appetizers and entrees.
To start, we decided upon the Smoked Red Pepper Hummus, The Pulled Pork Risotto Fritters, and the Smoked Beer Cheese. The appetizers came out fairly quickly, and we hungrily dug in. It was soon decided that the beer cheese was excellent, and a stand-out from the other dishes. It was served with kettle chips, which were nothing special but the mix of Gouda cheese and Against the Grain’s own brew was so tasty no one seemed to mind.
The consensus on the fritters was they were just… okay. They got eaten, but were just a bit bland. The hummus was also somewhat of a disappointment. Hummus is among my very favorite foods, and I eat quite a lot of it. This hummus was not particularly smooth or creamy, and it had no real flavor of its own. There was a sprinkling of a spice blend over the top, and I had to ask our server for extra in order to make it a bit more palatable. Our other complaint with the hummus was the amount of pita wedges it was served with… There wasn’t nearly enough to finish the hummus with!
After we got through our appetizers we waited for the entrees to come, hoping that they would be a bit more exciting. We had ordered the Beer Can Chicken, the Hash, and the Berkshire Schnitzel. As we got our entrees and began to eat, we realized our hopes had not come true. Liz’s chicken came out quite burnt.
She had a difficult time chewing through the skin, and eventually just picked at the inside of the half chicken that was served to her. The green beans she chose as a side were more grey than green, and surely came from a can. The hash was decent, though Teacup declared, “This needs bacon!”. It remained mostly untouched.
One of the real disappointments of the night was Simon’s schnitzel. It was served with more of those bland house made kettle chips, and he quickly decided the sandwich wasn’t even worth eating. The house cured sour kraut that topped the sandwich was weak and very stingily dolloped on top of the schnitzel. As I looked around the table, my friends looked back at me, dissatisfaction evident on everyone’s face. We were all still hungry, but no one wanted to finish his or her plate.
Against the Grain certainly will not be a new favorite restaurant for my friends and I. Service was slow, and we had to ask several times for drink refills. The wait for our checks was long, and in that time we discussed amongst ourselves going somewhere else for a snack or dessert. Another glaring problem with this establishment is the prices. Everything is ridiculously overpriced. I had hoped to get a side salad with my meal, and was told it would be $7.00. That much for a side salad at a casual restaurant is simply absurd, and I decided I could go without (after tasting our dinner, I was glad I did!).
There’s only one word to sum up our night at Against the Grain- disappointing.