A BIG THANK YOU to all my guest posters last week - not only am I grateful you filled in for me, but you “did me proud” – I so enjoyed reading your posts, and I’m in the process of catching up!
One reason I love coming back to Northeast Ohio from the South via Columbus is that we usually try to stop at Barley’s, which is what we did on our way back home from Mammoth Cave/KY this past Sunday. To be more precise, at “Ale House No. 1” near the Short North. We discovered Barley’s a few years ago on another trip, and we’ve been coming back ever since.
Barley’s is a micro-brewery, with typically anywhere from ten different styles upwards on tap. Every Friday is “Firkin Friday”, and while I personally am no fan, my “other half” is. As my hubby is also a home brewer, I have become accustomed to not only different styles of beer, but I’ve also become more critical of whether or not “they’ve hit the style” and intricacies of every type of beer that I don’t want to bore you with. For example, we’ve been to places where they literally used one type of hops for every kind of beer on their menu, and let’s just say Cascade so doesn’t cut it if you have your heart set on a true pils.
In Barley’s words, “because life’s too short to drink boring beer” – amen to that, brother. They proved it to us again with the Belgian dubbel (“Le Monstre”) we had with our meal. Can I just say, “prost”?!
The food at Barley’s is really good, too. I’d call it “American fare with a twist”. This time we started with an order of wings, and even though I am in general no big fan of chicken prepared in this way, I have to say theirs are to die for. They came charbroiled with two types of dips, and had I not had a burger on order, I would have kept eating.
Both our son and I ordered the “Bob Barley Burger”, medium rare with a side of fries. He pretty much inhaled his, and I managed to eat about 2/3. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that my bun fell apart, likely due to the sauce(s) on it. Not sure how that could have been prevented, but in the end I had several fragments in my hand.
My husband ordered the portabella sandwich with a side of beans and rice (he’s SO responsible!), and literally inhaled it as well. So far, nothing we’ve eaten there was a disappointment!
The only criticism I would have is not food related, but related to their visual/online presence. For a restaurant and brewery that’s been around this long, I would have expected a more impressive website (OK, so you’re telling me how to get to you…). I would have also expected a better formatted menu – theirs is confusing, formatted like somebody winged it on Microsoft Publisher. Last but not least, I cannot understand why they haven’t invested in professionally taken photographs. Their food is SOOO GOOD, but from the photographs on the menu etc. you wouldn’t be able to tell that. The pictures are poorly taken, appear jagged on the menu, and are incorporated in a way that I find awkward.
I don’t have a problem with conserving resources, but I will never understand why a business would cut costs in THIS area…
Aside from that, though – if you’re ever in the area, check them out, especially if you love micro-brewed beer. You won’t be disappointed!