If I wanted water, I would have asked for water.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Review - Broadway Grill and Brewery

A couple of weeks ago, my eagle-eyed spouse pointed out that there was a new resident at the corner of NE 18th and Broadway--the Broadway Grill and Brewery.* Its provenance was obscure, but the "brewery" in the title was enough to lure us in. Turns out it is actually an Eastside branch of The Old Market Pub and Brewery, which has resided in Multnomah Village for a dozen or more years.

There will apparently be an on-site brewery at Broadway sometime, but for now the beer comes from Old Market. The menu is also much the same. However, given that the Willamette essentially divides two cities, for many in the neighborhood, it is a new experience. (I visited the Old Market once, back when I wrote about beer for the Willamette Week, in the late '90s.)

The space is quite comfortable--and had already attracted a pretty good crowd when we visited a little over a week ago. The front of the pub curls around a groovy bar, and there are open spaces in the back festooned with large, flat-screen TVs (tuned to a Bears game when I was there). They both suit the sports fan but remain comfortably out of the way for non-fans. At the end of the review, I'll copy in a minute of footage I shot at the pub so you can get a sense of the space.

Food
While I'll appreciate further reports (and learn more on further visits), the food seems like good, if somewhat predictable, fare. I had a honey mustard chicken sandwich that was perfectly cooked, moist, and tender. Sally had pizza, which turned out to be thick crust--not to my personal taste. However, it is hand made and seemed like it might have been made with beer and is pretty tasty, particularly loaded, as it was, with tasty veggies.

Beer
The pub offers a sampler plate with nine 4-ounce glasses of beer for $9--a great value. I won't go for it every time, but I might do it every now and again, as the seasonals rotate through. On the whole, it was an impressive selection. Except for a diacetyl note in a couple of the beers that I think was intentional, none had any off-flavors. Only a couple were so-so, and three were worth going out of your way for. Definitely an above-average range.

Below are my notes.

  • Pilsner. Bavarian style. Crisp, fresh. Could use a hop or two more, but quite nice. (Good)
  • Wild Red. The brewery's flagship, but not, I suspect destined to be the fave on Broadway. A diacetyl (butterscotch) note that is fairly nice. However, the hops are a bit soapy and the crystal malts impart too much tannin. (Average)
  • Golden. Hops are wonderfully spicy and floral and turn this throwaway style into something special. Rich without bitterness; great session. (Excellent)
  • ESB. A lot in common with the red--diacetyl and tannins, but a little less so. Slightly maltier, slightly sweeter, but again with the soap. (Average)
  • Porter. A nice change-up. It has an almost sour quality that recalls Guinness. Made with wheat. Quite distinctive. (Excellent)
  • Pale. Traditional West Coast pale. Citrus bittering, sweet malt. Pretty agressive and akin to--though not quite as complex as--BridgePort IPA. (Good)
  • British IPA. The brewery's most popular beer. Hopping is a little spicier than in usual NW versions--English hops? (Good)
  • IPA. Also not the usual NW hopping, again spicy. Great aroma--dry hopped? (Good)
  • Stout (nitro). Dense, creamy, and chocolaty, finished with a pronounced smoky and slightly roasty note. A touch of coffee. (Excellent)

The Broadway area has always been a little light on the brewpubs--just a McMenamins a few blocks down--so I think this will become a regular watering hole for locals. Please use the comments to let me know what you thought of the place.


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*I'll get contact info soon.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you said Broadway is light on brewpubs you totally overlooked The Rose and Thistle Restaurant and Pub at 2314 NE Broadway http://www.nwbrewpage.com/orpubs/RoseThistle.html

Anonymous said...

The Rose and Thistle is not a brewpub--they don't make their own beer. And, while they have a nice outdoor patio, I personally was totally underwhelmed by their beer selection.

If the new Broadway place is a brewpub, what's with all the mass-market beer signage in the windows? It looks like a typical sports bar from the street.

Anonymous said...

The Rose and Thistle is not a brewpub--they don't make their own beer. And, while they have a nice outdoor patio, I personally was totally underwhelmed by their beer selection.

If the new Broadway place is a brewpub, what's with all the mass-market beer signage in the windows? It looks like a typical sports bar from the street.

Jeff Alworth said...

Broadway Grill is an outpost of a brewpub, where the beers are brewed, which makes it legit to me. I think they may begin brewing there, as well, based on an allusion the waitress made, but I'm a little unclear about that.

jefffrane said...

Broadway light on brewpubs. . . did something happen to BJ's?

I haven't been there in awhile, but it certainly qualified as a brewpub and at one time arguably had the best brewster in town (and other than Teri F) the best brewster in the PNW.

Jeff Alworth said...

"Did something happen to BJ's?"

No, just my mind. And it's only going to get worse...

(Dan Pederson is the brewer, and he's a gem.)

Anonymous said...

I live in the Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood and was surprised by the closing of Epicure, but very psyched when we saw that a brewpub was going to take it's place, as we felt that was something we could use on the B-way strip.

Unfortunately, we found the new Broadway Grill and Brewery light on atmosphere *and* light on good food... seemed like everything on the menu had 3 different kinds of cheese. The beer was ok but not necessarily enough to overcome the other elements.

So we'll visit occassionally to see how things go, but we've been underwhelmed, and a bit bummed.

Anonymous said...

Old Market was never a great brewery which is half the reason I haven't been there in >10 years, the other half being distance: I live near Concordia Ale House. And CAH is reason enough not to go to Old Market. BJs is still alive but it's on Weidler & 9th (I think), a block off Broadway. If I'm at 18th, I'd as soon go to Laurelwood (providing it's not the Children's Hour, usually >1700, or Moon and 6d. Or for non-smoking, County Cork, ~13th & Fremont, isn't that distant. Come to think of it, just turn north off Broadway onto 33rd and you're not far from Concordia!

Anonymous said...

There's a reason regulars call the Rose and Thistle, The RAT. . .

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