The Beer Kitchen is a reincarnation of One80, a restaurant that was housed in the southeast corner of Westport and Pennsylvania for several years. The Beer Kitchen has the same owners, but they devised a new concept and revamped the decor. It now resembles more of a gastropub with a strong emphasis on, you guessed it… beer, but serving quality bar food.
The Beer Kitchen reminded me of a less frenetic BRGR. It’s smaller and not as loud, and it serves burgers and beer in an industrial setting. But it may have broader appeal, owing to the depth and breadth of its menu selections.
In addition to a vast array of burgers (made with a McGonigle’s blend), including the Classic, Tur-Duck-En, the Creole Chicken and the Smokestack, the menu includes flatbreads, salads, soups, sandwiches, Build Your Own Mac & Cheese, as well as several entrees and breakfast any time.
Happy Hour runs from 4:00-6:00 PM Monday-Saturday, and features some awesome food and drink specials. We had an excellent mushroom flatbread with brie, pesto and red onion jam for $4, homemade potato chips with a too mild gorgonzola fondue/sauce for $3 and a bottle of Boulevard Wheat for $3. Sliders, corn dip, black-eyed pea hummus and cheese fries round out the selections.
Though not on the HH menu, we also shared a veggie burger made with quinoa and mushroom, and topped with hummus, avocado, micro-greens & cucumber tzatziki relish. It reminded me of Blanc‘s lentil burger, which I have always loved. We of course had to try the hand-cut fries which, though too salty, were a worthy vehicle for the homemade ketchups–traditional, whiskey BBQ and chipotle.
The beer list (which appears in catalogue form as well as on a wall) is extensive and educational. Its tasting notes include the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV), and whether a particular beer is smoky, funky, tart and tangy or stiff and sweet, along with more typical adjectives. Tap beer is available in two sizes to allow diners/drinkers to sample a variety.
We were lucky to be there during a shift change. Our first server was unfriendly and not particularly accommodating. She took it upon herself to veto our requests/questions without checking with the kitchen, whereas our second server couldn’t have been more helpful and answered those same questions in the affirmative.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fare, and would suspect that the Beer Kitchen will have a longer life than its predecessor.