Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: 101 Beer Kitchen, Dublin Ohio

On Saturday, my wife and I visited the 101 Beer Kitchen restaurant in Dublin, Ohio. It's located in a strip mall near the intersection of Hard Road and Sawmill, in the same center as the Kroger Marketplace (on the Hard Road end of the strip).  If you enter the Kroger Marketplace entrance that exits to Hard Road, you'll find it straight ahead of you.

The 101 Beer Kitchen opened on October 1, 2012.  Its motto is "Rustic food & Craft Beer"… something it lives up to well.

The menu will change a little throughout the year, so the items you hear about in this review may or may not be on the menu should you choose to visit the restaurant yourself.

The menu includes a very nice, if not a little unusual, mix of dishes.  The appetizers include house made soft pretzels, deviled eggs, loaded tater tots, and butternut squash perogies.  (My wife loved the perogies.)

The also offer salads, pizzas, and a nice list of sandwiches, including a burger, pork schnitzel, grilled cheese on sourdough, and salmon burger.

Entrees include herb roasted chicken, shrimp and grits, red chili, green chili, grilled Scottish salmon steak, beer steamed mussels, and a house made macaroni and cheese.

Owner and executive chef Thaddeus Kittrell prides himself on the fact that all the dishes are freshly made to order.  This freshness definitely shows in the finished product brought to your table.  I had the shrimp and grits, which included some andouille sausage.  It took me no time at all to polish it off.  The shrimp were much larger than those served in most restaurants, and were cooked and seasoned to perfection.  The grits were likewise excellent and complemented the shrimp and sausage well.  It was, without question, one of the best meals I've had in a long time.  For dessert, I ordered their dark chocolate mousse, which is thick, smooth, rich, and not overly sweet (exactly what you'd want it to be).

As you might expect from a place with a name like "101 Beer Kitchen", there is a great selection of beer available as well.

They actually provide a "beer menu" in addition to the food menu. Part of that menu is pictured at the left.

During my visit, the available drafts included Sixpoint Crisp Pilsner, North Coast Brother Thelonius, Delirium Tremens, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, and Roebling Porter (among a total of at least 20).

The number of bottled beers was over 70, and included a number of familiar and

unfamiliar names.

There were even sixteen different Belgian style beers (only three of which I'd actually tried before, and I'm a huge fan of Belgian style beers.  That leaves at least a dozen reasons for me to go back.

I should also mention that the service we received during the visit was first-rate.  Food was brought out promptly, and was fresh and hot.  Beer arrived quickly, and was very nicely chilled.  Portion sizes are generous but not ridiculous.

While 101 Beer Kitchen isn't as inexpensive as a fast food chain, it's actually reasonably priced when you consider the quality of the food and the caliber of the service.  Appetizer prices range from $5.50 to $6.95.  Sandwich prices range from $8.95 to $11.95.  Entrees are priced between $9.95 and $15.95.  (Sorry for the blurry nature of the menu photos.  The iPad has trouble sometimes indoors, and it's not always easy to tell the photos are blurry until much later.)

This is very likely to become one of my go-to restaurants.  It's THAT good.  On my 1-5 scale for beers, this place is easily 4, and that's only because I've only been there once.  If future visits match up to this one, it'll quickly slide to a 5.

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