Friday, March 13, 2009

Black Dog Smoke and Ale House

Last night, Paddy and I were getting ready to go on our adventure, and then Paddy started bitching "I'm hungry" and "my stomach is rumbling" and even more "I'm hungry". So we had to stop somewhere to feed him before heading to the Pig (as they don't have food, and a candy bar just wouldn't shut him up).

So, we stopped at the new Black Dog Smoke and Ale House, on Broadway (formerly Todd and Johns). The outside looks the same, it's hard to change bricks. The inside is VERY different. It's well lit, and bright; Paddy said he'd never seen the place so bright. Just from the lighting, it's a different place. The dart boards in the front are missing, but that's not a problem, it provides for more tables. With the better lighting, the place seems... cleaner; but it probably is. There is 1 cooler with specialty beers, in addition to the under the bar coolers that have the usual fare of light American lagers. There are also several taps, however they are not in the middle of the bar, but at the far end, toward the kitchen area. I don't remember there being anything too remarkable on tap.

I went with a Fullers London Porter (can). I had to ask for a glass, which I thought kind of odd, as this is definitely not a drink from the can beer. I ordered the porter, as I couldn't remember the last time I had it. Paddy had a draft of Alpha King. I was rather impressed with their selection. Not that there was a Crane Alley or Blind Pig variety, but that the beers that were there seemed to be selected specifically to go with the food. There were several stouts, which will compliment the darker meats. There were pales and IPAs that will cut the spices in the sauces. In my opinion, the beer that they have that will go best with their foods, would be the O'Fallon Smoked Porter. I don't know of a beer that would go better with smoked meat than that smoked beer (although some of the O'Fallon aged smoked porters might be a better beer). It didn't look like that beer was drank to much, as the column of them in the cooler was longer than the other columns. I'd think this to be an issue with familiarity of the beers by the staff. If a patron asked what beer would be best with the food, I'm not sure if the bartenders would be able to answer that question.

Paddy and I both ordered the beef brisket platter. I had mine with beans and the coleslaw. Paddy had it with the sweet potato fries and potato salad. The beef was very good, and was a huge portion. It may have been a tad on the dry side (for my taste) but it was still good. Black Dog has two sauces, their main is a vinegar based, but they also have a sweeter sauce. They give you the sauce on the side (at least for the platter) so you can add as much or as little as you'd like. Paddy got both sauces, whereas I just had the house (vinegar). Both were really good. Paddy wasn't too impressed with his potato salad, and didn't care too much for the sweet potato fries. My beans were good, but maybe a bit too smokey. They had an odd taste, which seemed to be from the smoke. It was as though they had liquid smoke added, but I'm sure they didn't. They had been smoked so long that it seemed like fake smoke (if that makes any sense). Now, don't get me wrong, they were good, but not necessarily my favorite beans ever.

I'm not able/qualified to compare this place to other BBQ places on the merits of their food. But I can say that if you want to get good BBQ with some appropriate (and good) beer, this is probably the best place in town for that. It wasn't too expensive, my beer and food came to about $15. Which isn't terrible. So about $30 for both Paddy and I, which I guess wouldn't be a horrible cost for an evening.

We didn't make it to the Pig for their Bells night, but we did make beer school, and then the Tossers were awesome. Oh, the beans made me burp all night, and it wasn't beans that I was burping, but smoke, which was a rather odd feeling.

1 comment:

impymalting said...

I'm tripping out that you had London Porter in a can! I've never seen that. I've only had it on cask. It is a really yummy beer. I'm betting it would taste lovely with some kind of sweet BBQ thing. Too bad you can't get anything like that in London that I know of!