By: Kendall Louis
It’s a true story. Four couples got to know one other while they were on a leadership exchange trip to China. One is a cardiologist in his 50’s. One is an engineer in his 40’s. Another is a youth pastor in his 30’s, and Jamey Ice is the musician of the bunch, now in his 20’s.
While in China, the group found a coffee shop they really loved. “So we all said – let’s open a coffee shop when we get home...kind of as a joke,” Jamey said. Well, that flippant remark became a reality when BREWED opened in late October. Since then, it has drawn quite a following.
They wanted to create an atmosphere where people would enjoy hanging out with friends. Judging by the crowds scattered throughout the interior, as well as packing the patio area, complete with two fire pits – a lot of people in town were just waiting for a place like this to open. In fact, more than 400 people swarmed the place on opening day. In the months that followed, an expansive menu was cut by half, with only the winners remaining, as the owners tried to gauge their patrons’ likes and dislikes.
BREWED serves breakfast and coffee specialties during their weekend Brunch service, and then dinner and draft beers in the evening. On the weekend Brunch menu (served from 10-2), you will find a nice array. Lemon Blueberry Waffles ($7.50) are served with a side of Nueske’s bacon. Not for the faint of heart, the Carnivore ($10) features two fried eggs, pork belly, house sausage, and bacon with garlic toast. You can even sample traditional Scotch Eggs ($8), consisting of two soft-boiled eggs wrapped in house-made sausage, then breaded and fried. Wash it all down with a well-brewed cappuccino or latte.
The space bears no resemblance to the dated office building that it once was. The well-thought-out scheme offers a multitude of cubby holes and seating options to explore. You feel invited to wander around and make yourself at home. The decor is filled with kitschy, flea-market finds and conversation pieces in every direction.
Right on trend, BREWED supports local farmers and ranchers, and sources seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with free-range poultry and beef which is both hormone and antibiotic free, in keeping with the growing farm-to-table movement. On one of our visits, we sampled the Super Food Salad ($10) filled with an assortment of spinach, sweet potatoes, edamame, goji berries and green onion. It was garnished with a sliced soft-boiled egg, dusted with flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, then tossed in an apple walnut vinaigrette. It was an ample portion, and we loved the variety.
The Best BLTB ($9) was served on grilled sourdough bread. The overwhelming scent of smoky Nueske’s bacon took the lead. The last “B” is for Buratta cheese, imparting its creamy, Mozzarella flavor. Nice slices of fresh tomato and butter lettuce finished off the presentation. And, on the side you have your choice of either Duck Fat Fries or Sweet Potato Duck Fat Fries. Either way you are getting your duck fat fix, you can’t go wrong.
The BREWED Burger ($10.50) would hold its own nicely when compared to many other overly priced models around town. For the burger connoisseur, it is one to try! The buttered and toasted bun contained a simple, freshly ground patty and tons of shredded aged white cheddar melting over the top. Delicious house-made pickles and more Duck Fat Fries complete the composition.
Two of us could not resist The BREWED Steak & Fries ($18), which also makes an appearance on the Brunch menu. The grilled flat iron steak is served with a spoon of Texas stout butter, sautéed spinach, and, yes, fries. It was a fine, locally-raised steak, tender and full of flavor, with crusty charcoal edges. The sweet stout butter kicked the whole dish up a notch.
The desserts are worth stopping in for on their own. Grandma Jeddy’s Pound Cake ($6.50) was light as air. And, the S’mores in a Jar ($7) was a three-layer dessert with cinnamon graham cracker crumbs as a base, a layer of dark chocolate pudding, and torched marshmallow fluff on top.
The pub atmosphere includes an extensive bottled beer menu and a changing, seasonal assortment on tap. You can also sample the newest craze, Kombucha by local purveyors Holy Kombucha, or take home a growler of your favorite brew. In my opinion, BREWED will be a hit for years to come, and I smell franchising in the not so distant future.
By: Kendall Louis