Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Review: Northampton Brewery Bar and Grille

Right in the heart of downtown Northampton, Mass, the Northampton Brewery Bar and Grille at 11 Brewster Ct. is one of the best places to go when you're looking for classic American cuisine with a twist. It is the oldest brewpub in the northeast that's still in operation and it prides itself on serving up some of the most outstanding food to go along with one (or many!) of their home-brewed fine ales and lagers.

The setup of the restaurant includes an outdoor, rooftop beer garden as well as a sunroom. It's made up almost entirely of windows, and where there isn't glass, the walls are made of beautiful wooden plank framing. Although often times there is a wait to be seated, the customers are encouraged to walk right up to the bar and grab a drink while waiting for a table. Once you grab a seat, feel free to ask your server for a game (like dominoes, checkers, or cards just to name a few) to play while you wait. At night, the Brewery's dim-lit interior, coupled with the warm glow of the two giant fireplaces, is a great place to get cozy with a significant other at a small table for two. But don't worry, because once the food is served, the night will only get better.

The Brewery is known for having a wide selection of menu items, all at reasonable prices, which include things like freshly made soups, sandwiches and Black Angus burgers on locally-baked breads, and entrees that range from plates of slow-roasted pork prepared with their own beer, to a heaping bowl of chicken and tiger shrimp jambalaya complete with smoked andouille sausage, vegetables, and long-grain white rice.

They also have a chef's page, which changes seasonally and includes items like roasted vegetable quesadillas in the early fall and an akara and hummus wrap in the winter which includes Nigerian bean cakes in a spinach tortilla with roasted red pepper hummus, mesclun greens, carrots, tomatoes, and red onion. Still, among all of these delicious options, the Brewery is famous for one thing on its menu, other than the beer and that's the chili. Unlike the normal ground beef and bean chili that is often found at other restaurants, they slow-cook generous chunks of stew beef with a variety of spices, plump red beans, and their very own amber beer. Serve it up with some tri-colored tortilla chips and you could very well turn your starter into a meal.

As for dessert, you can choose from one of many classic items such as homemade apple pie, "baked with love just like your grandma used to make," seasonal cheesecakes, or their specialty, the Black Cat Chocolate Stout Cake, made with their very own Black Cat Stout. No matter what you order, the servers are friendly, always ready with drink refills on hand, and willing to answer any questions you might have. The Northampton Brewery is a great place to go if you want great food, great beer, and great food that's prepared using their great beer all together in an eclectic and warm environment.

*All of the Northampton Brewery's menus are available at their website listed above.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray!! Finally someone to take all the guess work out of "wondering" if this place or that place is worth patronizing. I will certainly try the places mentioned here! You have a knack for writing reviews and I can't wait to see what's next! Western Massachusetts could use our own Phantom Gourmet and I think we've found her! Keep up the good work!