Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Opening night at Worthy Brewing
Braving the crowds and the east side, I checked out the first night at Worthy Brewing, the new brewery/brewpub in Bend. We knew it would be a bit of a cluster, but willing to accept that fact, the wife and I went anyway.
Anyway, here are my takeaways from night 1:
--Worthy will be printing money. It will pretty much become the top spot to go out on the east side immediately, unless they screw something up. There's no comparable place to go without crossing 3rd Street. It's a great space and location. The beer and food are good (see more below). And the outside patio will be packed when it's warm. We overheard someone connected to the pub say that they were planning on showing movies outside in the summer.
--Great building. Outside of the remodeled Deschutes, this is probably the coolest looking brewpub in town. And it might even surpass that. It's open and inviting, has a great bar, a community feel. We start chatting with our table neighbors during dinner. Anyway, long story short, they clearly put a lot of money and effort into the building. And it shows. (Photo credit, Worthy's Facebook page.)
--Good beer. We tried all five of the beers that Worthy currently has on tap (we're guessing they are planning on more, as their sampler has six slots.) The stout was the big winner in the family...my wife, who would probably never drink a whole glass of stout but nevertheless at least samples every one I get, said it's the best she ever tasted. High praise indeed. They also have an IPA, an imperial IPA and a pale that were all fine, if not mind-blowing. I was also a fan of the Go Time Xtra Pale Ale, which is definitely different than just about anything you can get anywhere else in town.
--Reserving judgment on food/service: I wouldn't make any long-term judgments about a restaurant on its first night of operation. The front of the house did a good job keeping the masses in order and trying to get everyone seated as quickly as possible. Although I had to laugh at people walking in at 5:30 and grumbling about a two-hour wait -- what did you expect, exactly, at the first night of a brewpub in Bend? The service was definitely a little spotty, but once again, this is new staff at a new place. And we were happily sipping our beers while we waited. We had a burger, the reuben and some fries on the side. The serving of fries seemed pretty small for six dollars. The burger was good but served rare, sted mid-rare -- once again, not going to judge consistency issues on night one, and we like our burgers on the pink side anyway. The reuben had good flavor, but there was a lot of bread for the amount of meat on the sandwich. Anyway, the meal wasn't a debacle, it was tasty and it all got eaten. I'll be interested to see where they are at in a month, though.
Long story short, I'd expect waits at the dinner hour for a while, judging by last night's crowd, and probably at lunch, too. But you should definitely make the pilgrimmage, when you get the chance.