I ended up at the Brewhouse for all three meals I enjoyed at the park this weekend.
Visiting it at all this weekend was not my initial intention, typically I would have waited a bit for it to be less busy and for the kitchen staff to get up to speed. But it was so cold, I really just wanted to sit inside for awhile somewhere on Friday evening.
I didn’t have super high expectations for the food or service due to prior experience at Reds (food was usually middle of the road, and service was often painfully slow), because it was opening weekend with their new menu, and because they were being pretty slammed with customers.
The line for ordering /felt/ like it was going slow, but the employees working the registers actually were doing so pretty smoothly for it being so early in the season.
It was when the food started coming out that things started being truly impressive. Other members of our party, who went through the line just before me, had their food delivered within moments of my sitting down. Mine followed a very short time later. In the past, when Reds was using this same ordering and serving process, I would have expected at least 15 minutes longer wait for the food and possibly up to a half hour on some occasions.
The food itself also exceeded my expectations. Usually when I went to Reds I was one of the few in my party who actually ate the chips. They were ok, but I wouldn’t say I usually enjoyed them, exactly. The tater tots at the new Brewhouse are a very welcome change, and because of the speed of food delivery, they were fresh, crispy, and tasty.
The first meal, I got the BBLT (a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato that earns the extra B from the quantity and quality of the bacon). I absolutely love bacon! I could probably give up all other meat fairly easily (I’ve always naturally tended more towards vegetarianism) but bacon is my true love. This was piled with many strips of around 1/4 inch thick sliced bacon, cooked to perfection (which is unusual for places to get right, bacon is often over- or under-done). The bread was thick sliced and had a lot of flavor, and the lettuce was a flavorful mixture of types that didn’t include boring iceberg. The tomatoes /looked/ like they would be really good, if I liked eating raw tomatoes, but unfortunately I don’t.
After such a good experience Friday (and since the appeal of sitting inside to eat was still strong due to the cold), we ended up eating at the Brewhouse twice more on Saturday.
For lunch I had the Big Dog. It is a large, split and grilled, smoked sausage, on a nice thick flavorful bun. They put on beer cheese and beer mustard (I didn’t taste the mustard much, but the cheese was very good), and a good amount of sauerkraut. I personally like sauerkraut quite a bit, and can eat the more vinegary varieties with enthusiasm even though a lot of people find them off-putting, but this wasn’t like that. It was sweet, mild, and added a lot to the flavor of the dog without being punch-you-in-the-face kraut-y.
For dinner, I got the Three Pigs, which are three pulled pork sliders with BBQ sauce. I don’t have as much to say about them because honestly, the park has been doing a very good job at pulled pork in various locations for awhile now, and these were pretty much the same as I’ve come to expect. As with lunch, the tater tots were fantastic.
There were only two small suggestions that I would give, I can’t even call them complaints. The pickles that came with nearly every plate are bread-and-butter/sweet pickles rather than the expected dill, and most of the people at my tables (including me) would have preferred dill.
Also, in the past, people were able to substitute a different side from the chips that came with everything at Reds, for a small upcharge. There are several new sides at the Brewhouse that sound interesting, but the only way to try them (at least so far) is to pay full price to get an extra side in addition to tots. The entrees are so big and filling, most people are not going to be able to eat all of that, so are probably less likely to want to pay full price for a second side.