Against The Grain – Smokehouse and Brewery

“Give me the closest thing you’ve got to Bud Light”. No, this wasn’t a quote from me, not by a long shot. We were sitting at our table in the somewhat-newly opened Against The Grain brewery and smokehouse a few weeks ago perusing the beer selection when we heard an entire table of four ask for “the closest thing [they've] got to Bud Light.”. Nick and I just shook our heads.

I have nothing against Bud Light, but if you’re headed to a place that prides themselves on their micro-brew beers, you might want to man up and try something new.

And try you should if you’re headed to Against The Grain because no only are their beers yummy, they’re also very approachable. Both Nick and I found that their smoke beer was a mild version of a typical smoke beer…their Belgian was a mild version of a typical Belgian…so on, and so forth. Folks that aren’t very daring beer drinkers might enjoy the opportunity to try new things without fear of ordering something un-drinkable, and folks that are daring beer drinkers might enjoy the diversity offered, though probably won’t be blown away by any one particular beer.

The food, I felt, followed the same path as the beer. It was varied yet approachable, and everything on the menu was beer friendly.

Price-points were pretty much right ON-point for us. Most beers (if not all) were around $4 per glass.

We visited on two occasions and tried a little bit of everything.

The Fried Chicken Liver Salad ($9) was fantastic. The crisp and potent chicken livers married wonderfully with sweet smoked corn, buttery bib lettuce and a creamy sauce. I had it as an entree one night and left wonderfully satisfied.

The Duck Breast ($17) was cooked perfectly and the hubby, who typically is quite the critic when it comes to price, agreed that it was in fact worth what he paid. Though nothing out of the ordinary, the dish let the duck breast shine and left the hubby a happy customer.

The Smoked Trout Hash ($14) was very good, not to mention interesting. Sweet potatoes and smoked trout are a marriage made in heaven. Who knew? I would order this one again.

The Po Boy ($10) was ok. The Crawfish was fried well and was yummy, but the sandwich itself was a little flat. The house made chips, however, were fantastic.

The Pulled Pork sandwich ($9) and the Angus Burger ($11) followed the same path as the Po Boy. Both were good, just not amazing.

On our first trip we started with some yummy corn-nut type snacks. My issue with them….the size. They served these delightful little corn nuts in a doll sized ramekin. They have since removed them from the appetizer menu and I can’t recall the price, but I promise it wasn’t worth it. I am glad, however, to see that they fixed the problem, since the beer cheese appetizer and onion rings were a generous size for the price.

I wish, oh I wish, that my vegan brother had joined us for one of the meals. Alas, he could not make it. I actually chose Against The Grain as a dinner destination on one of our trips because I expected my brother to join us and was oh so excited about the large array of vegan choices. Vegan wings and red pepper hummus. Tempeh pork sandwiches and Falafel Gyros. This place is a dream come true for a mixed group of meat eaters and veggie munchers.

The service was top notch every visit. The servers were very beer-knowledgeable. One particular server even dealt with my father’s barrage of sassy remarks like a true pro…and that, my friends, is no easy feat.

I love a good brew pub and Against The Grain didn’t disappoint. The prices were extremely reasonable, the food was good and the beer selections were a pleasant surprise. Though nothing was particularly groundbreaking, everything was heartwarming, south soothing and thirst quenching. And sometimes, that’s just what the doctor ordered.

Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse on Urbanspoon


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