Thursday, January 12, 2017
Davis Edition: Barrels Brewhouse
So, I visited Blackwater Brewing Company a while ago when I wrote a piece on the brewery for the magazine. I met with Lincoln and fell in love with not only his beer, but also the inventive dishes he was churning out.
So, I was surprised when I learned of "Barrels Brewhouse" taking over the restaurant portion of the business. Barrels Brewhouse is a sister restaurant to "Bricks and Barrels" in Charleston, which I dined at during Restaurant Week last year and became a fan.
It's definitely a touch upscale with tall barrel tables, wood-paneled walls and TVs on every wall. The music was quite loud, and the place as empty - save for the handful of staff hanging out when I entered. Since I had my pick, I took up a larger table over by the window. I had a number of different servers bring menus, list what's on draft and question what I was taking photos of. I think because there were so many of them and only one customer, they had all their attention on me -- and toting a giant camera attracts attention.
The menu is quite different with lots of great options: truffle tots, pimento cheese fries, burgers, and some entrees like chicken, shrimp & grits, and bourbon & brown sugar flat iron steak. Some really nice options that are classics but with a modern twist.
Well. I ordered the pimento burger, which is a custom-blend burger topped with housemade pimento cheese and bacon. I also upgraded my side to truffle tots - white truffle oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic aioli.
Wow. I mean, wow. The burger was perfectly medium done. And the pimento cheese just oozed out overtop the burger, creating this cheesy, sweet, spicy layer of goodness. Crisps bacon on top for some salt and texture. Piled into a bun. It's pretty simple, but it's indulgent. Think of a thick, juicy burger and ask yourself, 'self, how could this be better?' Add southern favorite pimento cheese to it. That's how. I'd be lying if I said I didn't add a little ketchup, though, for some extra sauce. The tots were also quite good with the truffle oil, but some extra would've been even better. If you're gonna go all out, GO ALL OUT, amiright?
I'm curious to see if the local community turns out for the restaurant, because it has a more commercial appeal - flashy items, but tasty ones. I enjoyed my meal, and the staff was very friendly. I think a little time, and once word spreads that the food here is good, it won't look quite as empty.