Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All Hail Hales Ales!

So we went shopping in Silverdale the other day...a periodic adventure to the "bigger city" to get the things we can't find here in town. Our plan was to hit TJ Maxx and Ross (love those deals), JCPenneys to pick up our family photos (Christmas gifts!), and Toys R Us to do our Santa shopping for the kiddo. Then, it was off to the mall to hit Barnes and Noble and World Market...and...Hales Ales Brew Pub (a local Seattle company). What a novel idea...a brew pub in a mall. I can't imagine that it isn't increasing business for the retailers.

It's a huge restaurant. When we got there at 5:30, it was fairly empty, but by the time we left, it was packed - a line of customers waiting to get in.

The review? It was good. The food was good (D. had the pot pie and I had a Reuben). The beer was, of course, good, too. I tested the Super Goose and the Aftermath Imperial IPA, finally settling on the the Super Goose because the Aftermath was a bit sweet for my taste. D. tried the Wee Heavy Winter Ale and the Cream Special Bitter, enjoying both.

The menu is a pretty traditional pub menu...lots of comfort foods and items that go well with beer (duh). A few highlights: Sweet Corn Cakes, Smoked Salmon Chowder, Rockfish and Chips, Troll Porter Meatloaf, Bangers and Mash, Alehouse Brisket Stroganoff, Smoked Brisket. Of course there are pizzas and sandwiches and burgers and stand-by appetizers like nachos and wings. Portions and prices were acceptable. The most expensive thing on the menu is the Top Sirloin Steak (10 oz. is $19.25). But most dinners range between $8 and $15.

The ale selection is nice...something for everyone - pale ales, IPAs, ambers, porters, seasonals, cream ales, and barleywine. You can get 5 oz. samples, 10 oz., 14 oz., 16 oz., and 20 oz. mugs.

What did I like best? Hales commitment as written on the menu. Here's a taste, in my own words. They use fresh, whole unprocessed ingredients, locally grown produce, dairy and fair-trade sustainable products when available and devise their menu to follow the season, so that ingredients can be bought from in-state and close to home. They have no deep fryers. Their jojo potatoes are baked, their fried chicken is pan-fried, and their fish and chips is grilled. It finishes with: "Mike and Kathleen's philosophy is simply to support your local community, make and serve the best product possible at a fair price and think about and participate in the world we all live in." Then they list the company's they purchase ingredients from: Liberty Bay Bakery, Essential Baking Company, Charlies Produce, Boar's Head Meat, Corfini Gourmet, Painted Hills Natural Beef, Grounds for Change Coffee, Cascioppo Brothers Meats, Darigold Dairy Products.

So, overall...they get my seal of approval. I'd definitely go back.

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