PhotoBlog: Church Brew Works

I can’t believe I’ve never eaten at Church Brew Works – until now. We met a couple friends for dinner on a Friday evening and it was packed.  With great conversation and company, I enjoyed the CBW Beer Sampler, cheeseburger pierogies and the meatloaf. The meal was quite filling – as most beer meals are – and I had a great time.

Church Brew Works Beer Sampler
Church Brew Works Beer Sampler of 8 beers
Pierogi of the Day: Cheeseburger
CBW Pierogi of the Day: Cheeseburger
Church Brew Works Buffalo Meatloaf
Church Brew Works Buffalo Meatloaf

Bocktown Beer and Grill for Restaurant Week

For my sixth meal of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, we met friends at Bocktown in Robinson.  It is located up on the hill in the same plaza as Target.  Bocktown may be one of the proudest members of the Pennsylvania Buy Fresh Buy Local program, as they proudly display the program information throughout the restaurant.  Plus, this week there was a strong presense of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week promotion going on.

For Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, Bocktown offered a three item tapas and beer pairing for $20.13.  Each tapas comes with a 4oz beer pairing.  For folks that like wine pairings, this would be a nice change from the norm.

Blackboard Artwork
Blackboard Artwork at Bocktown for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week
Spreading the word
Bocktown hung the simple restaurant week sign throughout the restaurant so folks knew that they were a proud participant

Though their special – called “Where Beer Meets Grill” – was enticing, one of the items was blue cheese covered in  chutney.  Since I’m not much for blue cheese, I opted to order off the regular menu.  I’ll certainly return for the beer-tapas pairings on a future visit.

Ordering off the regular menu, PghTasteBudA opted to share a Jalapeno Popper Dip with the table.  A coworker of his recently gave him a great recipe for this dip, so it was a great opportunity to see how the homemade version would stack up to a pub-style Bocktown version.  Bocktown did not disappoint.  The pretzel bites were perfect size — don’t you just hate when you get a dip and it comes with 4 huge slices of pita and you have to break it all up yourself?  Oh, and other than the homemade version has a crumbled topping, the dips were similar in nature.

Jalapeno Popper Dip
Jalapeno Popper Dip appetizer served with pretzel bites

The dip wasn’t really all that spicy, but it was reminiscent of eating a popper.  The pretzel was like the breading and the dip was a sour-creamy popper filling.  It went great with the beers too.

BackDraft Burger
BackDraft Burger, a hamburger with banana peppers and mozzarella cheese

For my entree, I decided to go with the BackDraft burger.  The burger came cooked to temp on a fresh bun with banana peppers and melted mozzarella cheese.  The burger was juicy and you could tell how fresh it was because the burger was not commercially shaped.  It gave it character and me the piece of mind of how fresh it was.  As the son of a dairy farmer, it was a nice change from the grocery store meat case.

The Live-a-Little
The Live-a-Little is a juicy 10 ounce thick-cut CAB served with Mash Tun Potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetables and a side of Untouchable Sauce for dipping

TasteBudA had the Live-A-Little, which is a 10oz steak.  Though I don’t remember his exact comments, other than that he liked Bocktown’s version of “medium,” there were no complaints coming from his direction.  I wish I would have asked him about the Untouchable Sauce, because with a name like that, it better be irresistable.

We’ll likely return in the summer to sit in the beer garden off the side of the restaurant.  The vibe and local beers served in an outside setting would be a great summer evening.

Bocktown Beer and Grill on UrbanspoonAnd I will be issuing a challenge to my food-challenge competitor, Matt, where we will faceoff in The Beer Belly Challenge.  “Take on our Mr. Potatohead timer, and receive a complimentary short sleeve tee (valued up to $20) when you finish a Beer Belly Fry with three toppings by yourself in under 30 minutes.”

Menu Tastings at Bocktown – Can you taste success?

Impressed by your own palette? Always choose the chef’s tasting at the restaurant? Like to live on the wild side?  or maybe even have a steel (city) gut?
Bocktown Beer and Grill is looking for you!  From June 11 through June 24, the chefs are going mad and getting wacky.  For the sake of the future of the Bocktown restaurant menu, they need your help deciding which options make the cut.  Items will likely change daily, so stop by more than once for the chance to try as many items as possible.  Based on the description of the event, there no telling what you might end up thinking.  You could leave with reactions from “what mad scientist thought of this?” to “that’s the best dang thing I’ve ever had!”  Regardless, public taste tests are always a fun time, so stop by either Bocktown location in Robinson or Monaca to try it out.

Message from Bocktown:

Our next two weeks will be filled with menu testing and surveys at both locations. Please come on by beginning Monday, June 11, to tell us what you and your taste buds want to see on our next menu. We will be featuring new wing sauces, unusual fry toppings, potential Dahn the Hatch items (entrees,) fresh, fun sandwiches and a few new Snacks N’at for you to analyze. If you want to rally for the reuben, campaign for the carnivore, or pimp the shrimp, we will need to see you!

The surveys will be at your table and will have room for additional feedback and comments. We look forward to this research and development project and value your most important input!