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Reviews on PubCrawler from robert buckman
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September 23, 2014 @ 09:43 AM EDT
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Reviews By
robert buckman

Beer Reviews
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34
Beer Reviews from robert buckman
   

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Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good
Good Great Good Good

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Good Awesome! Great

Establishment: Court Avenue Brewing Company, Des Moines, IA

This was my first time here. The nice bartender gave me tastes of several brews before I decided on he 21st Amendment Ale, a hoppy ale named for the Prohibition repeal amendment. It's 6.7% ABV and served in a 10-ounce glass. The brown was English style and too light for me, the stout was a little heavy, so I blended them and as Goldilocks would say it was just right. My pizza was standard, but my friend's cod and vegetables were better that average for a brewpub. Nice atmosphere in a 19th century building downtown, although the music was a little loud in the bar area.

(08/06/2012)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Establishment: Charlie's Steak, Ribs and Ale, Branson, MO

I went there withn gbreat expectations, only to discover Charlie's was destroyed by a tornado on March 1 and has not been rebuilt or reopened elsewhere. They should have notified Pubcrawler.

(08/03/2012)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: District ChopHouse and Brewery, Washington, DC

I've read about this place for years and my son highly recommended it, so when I arrived in DC with six students for a convention we walked seven blocks from the hotel to the DC&B. None of the seven of us was disappointed. One student ordered a pizza thinking it was the size of an appetizer and it was so huge she shared it with me. It had succulent steak. I was too full to order anything of my own; their gratis cornbread was also a factor in satiating my appetite. One student had the honey chicken sandwich and pronounced it awesome. Three women ordered salads, which were man-sized. Two of us had the nut brown ale, one had the Oktoberfest, one had an amber, one had the pale ale and one had the light lager (wimp!), and everyone was pleased. The lager and nut brown were the only ones to which happy hour applied ($2.50). I mixed an amber and the oatmeal stout for my second; pricey at $5.75, but most satisfying. The atmosphere also impressed us out-of-towners, but what really impressed me is the lack of ear-splitting music common to so many brewpubs, which squelches conversation. I bought a souvenir pint glass and I'll return the next time I'm here.

(10/04/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Awesome! N/A Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Bull and Bush Pub and Brewery, Denver, CO

I happened to arrive at B&B at happy hour on a Friday in July, my first visit there. I was reminded of what Yogi Berra once said: "Nobody ever goes there; it's too crowded." It was! However, even having to stand up, I enjoyed the beer. I began with a brown ale, which really impressed me; brown ale is my traditional favorite, I've had them all over the country, and I can recommend B&B's for flavor and smoothness. To my surprise and delight, I learned that the beer was FREE that day between 6 and 7 because of B&B's 36th anniversary. For my second brew, I tried their Belgian amber, which was served in an 8-ouince glass because of the higher alcohol content; nice taste, almost as hoppy as an IPA. I limit myself to three beers, so they let me sample the hefeweissen and the Man beer (pale ale) before making my final selection. I went back to the brown ale, I liked it so much better than the others, although they were quite good. My granddaughter put her stamp of approval on the root beer. Didn't eat because there was no place to sit, but the menu looked inviting. Maybe the next trip. I bought a pint glass; judging from the logo of a little boy and girl peeking inside their diapers, the name of the place is derived from the male and female pubic regions. Whatever; the beer is great.

(08/04/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Great Good

Establishment: Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver, CO

I visited Denver for two nights in July 2007 and was drawn to Wynkoop's because of the "awesome" rating. I think that is a bit of a stretch. I had a wheat ale and the ESB, both OK after a long drive but somewhat lacking in flavor and body. My granddaughter was even disappointed in the root beer. However, I ordered the rainbow trout and was delighted--huge portion of fish, tasty sides. I found the beer at Bull and Bush the following night superior. Sorry. I learned at B&B that Wynkoop's is owned by the mayor of Denver. Never mix politics with religion or beermaking.

(08/04/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So N/A So So So So

Establishment: Rosie's Brewpub, Leadville, CO

I'm both a history buff and a brewpub aficionado, so I enjoyed my stay in Leadville and highly recommend it for others with similar interests. I was delighted to discover a brewpub here. I sampled various brews and settled on slomething they called an Irish ale, which was pretty much a brown ale. Not bed, but not exceptional either. They had an amber that was 11%, but I just had a taste; if I hadn't had to drtive to Denver I probably would have had one; not bad. The menu is starndard brewpub fare, like shepherd's pie, burgers and fish 'n' chips, and is not very imaginative; I ate elsewhere so I could have rainbow trout. Bought a pint glass, which boasts that Rosie's is the higfhest brewery in North America at 10,251 feet; probably so.

(08/04/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Good Good

Establishment: Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery, Santa Fe, NM

I visited the Second St. location in 2005 and liked the carne adobada so much that I ordered it again this year at the Cerrillos location and was not disappointed. It's chunks of pork cooked in adobo sauce, very spicy and very filling. I started with the wheat ale, then I think I had a brown, finally the American pale ale. All were enjoyable if not superb. The food is definitely better than most brewpub fare. When in Santa Fe, it's the place to go. Nice souvenir glasses, too.

(08/04/2007)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Awesome! Great Great

Establishment: Padre Island Brewing Company, South Padre Island, TX

Regarding the last review, I just drove from Padre island to Austin; it's 350 miles, not 500. The credibility of the rest of his review is suspect, too. It was my third visit there, on May 21-22, and I took my daughter (23). The selection is always limited, which is why I didn't rate it higher, but I alternated happily between the Tidal Wave Wheat, a hefeweizen that was unfiltered as it should have been and quite refreshing, and the pale ale, which I also savored. The bartender, Scott, let me sample the Speckled Trout Stout, which was still too smoky for my taste. My daughter had two of the blonde ales and enjoyed them, as it is closest to the bottled macro she is still accustomed to (I TRIED to raise her right). Food: Yes, things close early on Padre Island, and it was almost 9 p.m., so we ate there, and I'm glad we did. We split a dozen oysters on the half shell, which were excellent. I was so impressed with the pizza last visit I ordered it again: I chose quail, feta cheese, mushrooms, spinach and jalapenos--excellent! My daughter got the stuffed chicken breast and loved it; I tried it, and I concur. Scott was friendly and informative. I don't understand what happened with the guy from Knoxville, but I'm never disappointed here, except that they should open their rooftop patio so folks can enjoy the sunset and smoke cigars if they want to. I was also disappointed they didn't have any of the "red amber" (oxymoron?) that I liked so much on my previous visits. I bought souvenir glasses.

(05/28/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Great Great Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Big Buck Brewery and Steakhouse, Grapevine, TX

I've reviewed Big Buck before, and just wanted to corroborate what the last reviewer said about the Scotch ale. I was there over the Easter weekend and went three times. The last time, I bought a growler of the Scotch ale to take home because I was so impressed. It may be gone by the time this is posted, replaced with another seasonal. If it's the hefeweizen, it's always been great.

(05/28/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Lousy Lousy So So

Establishment: Max Lager's American Grill and Brewery, Atlanta, GA

I hate writing negative reviews, but seldom have I seen a greater deterioration of food quality or service. I last came here in December 2003 and was so impressed by the beer and the ribs that when I returned last week for a convention I brought my 13 students with me on Feb. 16. I ordered a mix of the red and stout, which layered beautifully and was quite good. I also tried the pale ale and found it enjoyable, if not exceptional. I sampled the barleywine, which was tasty, but I didn't have a whole pint. But I ordered the ribs again, as did one of my students because of my bragging about them. When they finally arrived, they were cold, and I don't mean room temperature, I mean still refrigerated. Before, they'd been hot off the grill and very meaty. They took them back to heat them, whether on the wood fire or the microwave, I don't know. When they brought them back, I tried again, and there was virtually no meat on them; it was 90 percent bone. For $19.99, they should have some meat, I said. My student was also disappointed, but didn't complain; he just had them box them up and he said he'd finish them at the hotel, which had a microwave. I felt humiliated after my boasting. So, they brought me a spinach and goat cheese pizza, a vegetarian finish for what I thought was going to be a carnivorous meal. It was OK, but the crust was too doughy. I left disillusioned, but two days later I went back with a few students just for a beer, which had been good. I got the black and tan again, but instead of charging me $4.05, the waitress charged $5.40. I asked why. At first she said the B&T is extra. I said they charged me $4.05 two nights earlier. Then she changed her story and said the barleywine costs more. I said it wasn't barleywine, it was red and stout. When I said that this was my second disagreeable experience there in two days, the other bartebnder said, "Well, isn't that just awful?" Then he angrily told me the beer was free. I told him I wasn't asking for a free beer, just not to be overcharged. I left $4.05 on the bar and will never go back. I went from there to the Rock Bottom in Buckhead, where the beer, prices, food and service were all vastly superior.

(02/22/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Establishment: Humperdink's Restaurant and Brewery, Addison, TX

Well, you can remove the "and Brewery" from the name. I went there on Jan. 6, 2006, looking forward to one of their brews. I was surprised that the place was so dead at happy hour on a Friday. I discovered why when I asked the waitress what their current seasonal was. "Oh, we don't brew our own beer any more." I saw that they had a limited and routine selection of macros on tap. In other words, it's just another sports bar now. We left and went to the BJs in Plano, which was packed, and the micros were wonderful. Don't waste your time at this Humperdinks. I don't know if the others have also stopped brewing. You'd think the mabnagement would notice that people no longer flock in there and figure out why.

(01/11/2006)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Awesome! Good Great

Establishment: Zea Rotisserie and Brewery, Metairie, LA

I recently ate at Zea's in Lafayette and what they told me was that the Metairie Zea had moved to Kenner and that they were not brewing at the new location. Beats me how the St. Louis guy ate there and had a beer six weeks after Katrina.

(12/29/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Lousy So So N/A So So Lousy

Establishment: Ellis Island Casino and Brewery, Las Vegas, NV

I concur completely with the previous reviewer. I was in Vegas in October for a convention and I always seek out new brewpubs. The beer at Ellis Island was swill, which was not even worth $1 a pint; I couldn't even finish my last one. The place is a casino, so beer is a secondary feature. Even so. . . I went to Monte Carlo and was quite impressed by the beer.

(12/29/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Lousy Good Good

Establishment: Moon River Brewing Company, Savannah, GA

I make a pilgrimmage to MR every time I visit my son in Savannah, the first visit being in 2001. I was there July 1 and 3, 2005. I had been disappointed previously that they had discontinued what I had regarded as their best beer, the hefeweizen, but it is back! I tried the pale ale (OK) and the porter, which is what I had been drinking in lieu of the hefeweizen. It's OK, but just a bit too much coffee. I tried a sip of the fest bier, and it wasn't for me, but that's my taste; my son enjoyed his. I got my girlfriend the Wacky Wit, which is flavored with curacao, and she enjoyed it, but then women like fruity beers. I took a sip, and remained content with the hefeweizen. When I returned two nights later, I had two. The place is known for its quaint atmosphere and for a haunted upstairs, which is fine, and it has a couple of pool tables (they need to move the damn cigarette machine from behind one of them so people have room to shoot!). But do NOT go to MR for the food! One time we got the spinach and artichoke appetizer and you could taste the lining of the can they had obviously just opened to make it--no exaggeration. My son got chicken fingers and fries this time, and they were standard. For the dinner prices they charge, drink your beer and then go have dinner at one of the great restaurants on River Street. One wonderful thing about Savannah; you can take a beer for the road in a plastic cup. Happy hour at MR is 4-7, when beer is $3 instead of $4. It's worth $3; I can't honestly say it's worth $4. I read a review that says it's under new management and is supposed to improve. Keep the hefeweizen permanently again, and get a decent chef.

(07/07/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A Good So So Awesome! Great

Establishment: Six Pence Pub, Savannah, GA

Good selection of foreign and domestic craft beers and ales, but when in Georgia, try the Sweetwater. Alas, the only one on tap was the pale ale, which was enjoyable. My favorite Sweetwater, the Georgia Brown Ale, is available in bottles. I recommend they add another tap. Best thing about the place is the authentic pub atmosphere and the service. We were mildly hungry, so my son and I got the burger. Respectable, nothing exceptional. My girlfriend got the corn and shrimp soup, what we would call a bisque in Louisiana, which was flavorful but had only one shrimp in it. I'll try something different when I'm hungrier.

(07/07/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Good Great

Establishment: Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery, Santa Fe, NM

We did the tourist thing in Santa Fe over Memorial Day 2005, and we had beer at Second St. before having dinner at Blue Corn. The beer was respectable at both places, but the New Mexican fare at Blue Corn was what took me there. As I recall, I had a wheat ale and a porter; enjoyable, not spectacular. I highly recommend the carne adobada, tender chunks of pork roast slowly baked in adobo sauce. Excellent. We sat on the balcony overlooking the historic district; nice touch. I was a little disappointed that there were no blue corn dishes, or black beans, on the menu. Nice souvenir pint glasses, friendly staff.

(06/09/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Awesome! Great Great

Establishment: Beaver Street Brewery and Whistle Stop Cafe, Flagstaff, AZ

We spent the night in Flagstaff en route to Grand Canyon, and I tracked this place down through the Southwest Brewing News. I knew it was exceptional from the time I entered; great atmosphere. Obviously others concur, for it was packed on a Monday evening (Memorial Day). I tried their IPA and, I think, a Belgian ale that was 7.9% and gave quite a buzz. Both were excellent. My girlfriend's father, who lives in F'staff and is a drinker of bottled lager, tried the red ale and liked it. The Mediterranean pizza, loaded with portabello mushrooms, spinach and feta cheese, may just have been the best brewpub pizza I've ever had. The pizzas are baked in a wood oven, and all the food is prepared in public view, which means they have nothing to hide and take pride in their product. My girlfriend's son tried one of their burgers and was delighted with it; he's not easy to please, either. I wish I could have gotten to the Flagstaff Brewing Co. just across the tracks; maybe next time. Great experience; don't miss it.

(06/09/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Establishment: Copper Tank Brewing Company, Austin, TX

Amen. I'm only surprised they lasted as long as they did, charging a cover for the honor of buying their beer. Screw that.

(06/09/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Establishment: Blue Star Brewing Company, San Antonio, TX

This is a rebuttal to what apparently was general manager Michael King's Feb. 20, 2005, "clarification" of my review of Dec. 15, 2004 (I haven't had time to browse Pubcrawler lately). I didn't invent those conversations with the bartenders, who said that happy hour prices didn't apply to seasonal specials or black and tans. If he is saying that isn't true, then he has either come to his senses and changed the rule or his bartenders were trying to pad customers' bills to boost their own tips without his knowledge. If so, it was counterproductive, because it only pissed me off. I'm less concerned about the bicycle rental thing; it does look peculiar, but if it works for them and helps keep them brewing, I can handle it.

(05/09/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Establishment: Padre Island Brewing Company, South Padre Island, TX

Correction: In my review, I inadvertently used the acronym SPBC. It should be PIBC. Sorry about that.

(01/11/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great So So Awesome! Great N/A

Establishment: Padre Island Brewing Company, South Padre Island, TX

It has been two years since I discovered SPBC in January 2003, and I was ecstatic over the discovery, but that was before I began writing reviews for Pubcrawler. My girlfriend and I returned to South Padre Jan. 6-7, and dined and drank at SPBC both nights we were there. The beer selection was limited to its usual blonde and stout, plus a lager, a heffeweissen and a "red amber," which was more of a red ale than an amber. My girlfriend started with the blonde, then moved up to the lager, which she proclaimed superior. I started with the heffeweissen, but found it lacking the expected taste. It's color was unusually dark. We both agreed the red amber was the best of the five. I ordered one glass of stout so we could make black and tans when our red ambers were half gone, but it had no head and tasted flat. Shortly afterward, I noticed another patron had a stout that was far foamier. The bartender poured mine out and poured another, which somehow had more body. It was respectable, with a hint of coffee. The B&Ts were enjoyable, but in the end we agreed the red amber was the best choice, and that's what we focused on the second night. It is about 5.2%, compared with 4.8% for the lager. The first night, we read that their pizza had been recognized by Texas Monthly magazine, so we decided to see if it lived up to the hype. It did! SPBC is the only brewpub I've been to with quail on the menu, and quail is one of the pizza toppings. The price was about $11 for a 14-inch, one-topping pizza, with $2 for each additional topping. We ordered quail, onions, spinach and mushrooms, and we had three slices left over. Until then, the best brewpub pizzas I has eaten were at Five Points Grill in Birmingham and Cannon Brewing Co. in Columbus, Ga.; this had them beat. We had begun with an awesome spinach salad, big enough for two. The second night, we took advantage of a local coupon for a fried fish dinner for two for $10.95. They brought out a plate filed high with pollock filets, which were wonderful. Important for me, their cole slaw was not too sweet. I asked for malt vinegar to neutralize what sweetness there was. It also came with charro beans and fries. Two years ago we were impressed with their oyster po-boys. I rarely give brewpub food an "awesome" rating lest it become cheapened, but SPBC's food earns that rating. Even non-beer-drinkers will enjoy the fare there. Pints are $3.25, and $1 off between 2 and 5 p.m., a peculiar happy hour. There was a minor dispute when we were charged full price for our first three beers, which were ordered during happy hour; she said she didn't start the tab until after 5. However, she quickly made the correction. The first night, we received superb service--and conversation--from a bartender named Mario. SPBC sells souvenir pint glasses. My only disappointment was that it permits cigarette smoking but not cigar smoking. We were disappointed by the unseasonably cold weather while we were on South Padre, but SPBC more than compensated for our disappointment. It's one more reason to make South Padre a tourist destination.

(01/11/2005)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good So So Good Good Good

Establishment: Two Rows Restaurant and Brewery, Dallas, TX

In the interest of fairness, the previous review should have been for the Two Rows on Dallas North Tollway. I now realize that there are two of them on Greenville Ave. The one I had been to twice previously was just south of Northwest Highway, and I don't know if that is this one or the other one. The atmosphere there was MUCH more pleasant and much classier than the one on the Tollway. It's hard to believe they belong to the same chain. It's been almost two years now, but I remember the one on Greenville had tasty Southwestern dishes and acceptable beer, except they had always just run out of the porter both times.

(12/26/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So So So So So So So

Establishment: Two Rows Restaurant and Brewery, Addison, TX

Because I love brewpubs, I'm reluctant to write bad reviews, so this should be taken by Two Rows as constructive criticism. I've been going to Two Rows for about four years when I get to Dallas, first at the one on Greenville Avenue, which has an agreeable atmosphere and decent beer and food, except they were always "out" of porter when I went. Then I began going to the one on the North Tollway, which is closer to my son's house. The selection is always limited, and I always opted for the Route 66 amber because they had no browns or porters when I went. The worst thing about the place is the noise in the bar, which makes conversation all but impossible. It's a sports bar, and the volume is far too high, so we learned to sit in the restaurant so we could talk. Unfortunately, then it takes forever to get your beer, so we would go to the bar to get our beer over the counter, then carry it into the restaurant. My last trip was Dec. 22, the night before my other son's wedding. They had a red ale as a seasonal, and I tried it instead of the amber; it wasn't bad. My daughter ordered an amber from the waiter, and after about 10 minutes a glass of red ale arrived. I took it back to the bar to exchange it for the amber so as not to wait another 10 minutes, and lo and behold the amber was the same color! The bartender insisted they were different. I took my daughter's beer back to her and we tried each other's red and amber. If there was any difference, it was undetectable to us or to my son. I've had the amber there many times, and it's, well, amber, not red. This was coppery. Once a restaurant tried to pass off a catfish filet to me as rainbow trout. My reaction was the same. Don't try to con me, I like both and I know what both are supposed to taste like. Then one son and my daughter ordered tortilla soup. When it finally arrived, it was, again, not tortilla soup at all. It can best be described as watered down nacho cheese. It was so dreadful, they sent it back and got tomato basil, which was to their liking. They also ordered the ahi tuna, which my daughter said was "awesome." My favorite dish at Two Rows is the blue corn chimayo. I also had a porter this trip, finally, and I must say it was flat. There was very little head and scant maltiness. They have $1 pint nights on Wednesdays; these were not worth $1. We had a much more agreeable experience the following night right after the wedding reception, which fortuitously was just half a block from BJ's, just down the tollway from Two Rows on Belt Line Road (see separate review). My advice to Two Rows is to put some life into your porter, to stop pawning off red and amber ales as different when they obviously are not, and to either change the name to nacho cheese soup or find someone who knows how to make real tortilla soup. I might expect a subterfuge like that in New York, where patrons don't know any better, but not in Texas! Another criticism: Two Rows is one of the growing number of brewpubs that permits cigarette smoking at the bar but not cigar smoking. Ludicrous! They say people complain about cigar smoke. Well, I don't like cigarette smoke, so ban it, too, so I won't be unhappy!

(12/26/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good So So Good

Establishment: BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, Addison, TX

I've made two visits to this BJs now, the most recent on Dec. 23 after my son's wedding reception just half a block away. The first time, last January, I went with my other son, and was agreeably pleased with the Southwestern fare and the beer selection and quality. Alas, I prefer genuine brewpubs that craft their beers on-site. BJ's contracts for its crafted beers, but they are quite good. On Dec. It's also a sports bar, but it is not deafening like the Two Rows up the Tollway we went to the night before (see separate review). Seven of us sat together and enjoyed a nice conversation without having to yell over the volume of the game being shown. Happy hour there is 9-11 p.m., which was after we left. I ordered a pitcher of red ale for the others, and a brown ale for myself, then made myself a black and tan with the red when my brown was half gone. Delicious! We had just been to a reception, so we didn't have any food other than chips and salsa. I did see some delicious-looking, and ample, pasta dishes at other tables that I may have to try next time, because I will go back there if I'm in the area instead of to Two Rows, although Big Buck in Grapevine still has both of them beat.

(12/26/2004)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So So So So So So So

Establishment: Two Rows Restaurant and Brewery, Dallas, TX

Because I love brewpubs, I'm reluctant to write bad reviews, so this should be taken by Two Rows as constructive criticism. I've been going to Two Rows for about four years when I get to Dallas, first at the one on Greenville Avenue, which has an agreeable atmosphere and decent beer and food, except they were always "out" of porter when I went. Then I began going to the one on the North Tollway, which is closer to my son's house. The selection is always limited, and I always opted for the Route 66 amber because they had no browns or porters when I went. The worst thing about the place is the noise in the bar, which makes conversation all but impossible. It's a sports bar, and the volume is far too high, so we learned to sit in the restaurant so we could talk. Unfortunately, then it takes forever to get your beer, so we would go to the bar to get our beer over the counter, then carry it into the restaurant. My last trip was Dec. 22, the night before my other son's wedding. They had a red ale as a seasonal, and I tried it instead of the amber; it wasn't bad. My daughter ordered an amber from the waiter, and after about 10 minutes a glass of red ale arrived. I took it back to the bar to exchange it for the amber so as not to wait another 10 minutes, and lo and behold the amber was the same color! The bartender insisted they were different. I took my daughter's beer back to her and we tried each other's red and amber. If there was any difference, it was undetectable to us or to my son. I've had the amber there many times, and it's, well, amber, not red. This was coppery. Once a restaurant tried to pass off a catfish filet to me as rainbow trout. My reaction was the same. Don't try to con me, I like both and I know what both are supposed to taste like. Then one son and my daughter ordered tortilla soup. When it finally arrived, it was, again, not tortilla soup at all. It can best be described as watered down nacho cheese. It was so dreadful, they sent it back and got tomato basil, which was to their liking. They also ordered the ahi tuna, which my daughter said was "awesome." My favorite dish at Two Rows is the blue corn chimayo. I also had a porter this trip, finally, and I must say it was flat. There was very little head and scant maltiness. They have $1 pint nights on Wednesdays; these were not worth $1. We had a much more agreeable experience the following night right after the wedding reception, which fortuitously was just half a block from BJ's, just down the tollway from Two Rows on Belt Line Road (see separate review). My advice to Two Rows is to put some life into your porter, to stop pawning off red and amber ales as different when they obviously are not, and to either change the name to nacho cheese soup or find someone who knows how to make real tortilla soup. I might expect a subterfuge like that in New York, where patrons don't know any better, but not in Texas! Another criticism: Two Rows is one of the growing number of brewpubs that permits cigarette smoking at the bar but not cigar smoking. Ludicrous! They say people complain about cigar smoke. Well, I don't like cigarette smoke, so ban it, too, so I won't be unhappy!

(12/26/2004)


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