subject: Beer Run
take-out vehicle: *
* Okay, I admit it: I ate at Beer Run. Sue me. It was always my intent to get my food to go, but I saw a friend on Saturday while I was there watching the UVA game, and he was all, "Hey, so what are you up to?", and I was all, "I write a food blog!", and he was all, "No way! You should write about this place!", and I was all, "I'm coming back on Monday!," and he was all, "I'll be here then!", and I was all, "Awesome! Let's have dinner!"
So that's basically what happened. In my defense, I did ask the one of the owners if everything on the menu was available for take-out, and he said yes—except for the on-tap beer, unless it's in a growler.
My wife and I have been going to Beer Run pretty much since it opened in late 2007. Not only is it one of the better places for beer near us, but I think it's one of the better places for beer in the county. Sure, there are places with more taps, but I'll trade 58 kegs of Coors Light, Bud Light, Michelob Light, Miller Lite, and Whatever-The-Hell-Else Light that you're likely to find in those places for any of Beer Run's constantly rotating selection of craft beers, microbrews, and custom blends.** But enough on the beer.
Seated in my favorite spot at the bar, a Headless Horseman pint in hand (see **), I decided to order one of my favorite sandwiches: a Turkey Trot. Consisting of smoked turkey, havarti, cranberry-walnut tapenade, lettuce, and brown sugar and black pepper bacon, it's served on house-made bread. Though I'm quite fond of the bread, which is very much like a foccacia, I know some who aren't. I did learn that it's made fresh daily with whatever wheat beer is on tap—recently, more often than not, it's been Starr Hill's Love. I chose this sandwich specifically because I thought its flavors would play nicely with the spiced pumpkin, chocolate, and bourbon flavors of my beer, and I'm satisfied to say that I was so very right (except for the single leaf of lettuce which, contrasting color aside, was pretty much useless).
The potato salad that came with the sandwich was fine but rather ordinary. I think the addition of a little bacon, fresh herbs, and/or green onion would improve it quite a bit. I had the option of pasta salad or cole slaw instead; maybe next time I'll get one of those.
I got the pictured chips just because. I wasn't really hungry for them, but such is the nature of bars, I guess. It's tough to sit at one without snacking on something.
As I reread this, it does sound kinda like a puff piece, but I think that was pretty much inevitable. I can honestly say though that I've yet to have a bad meal there. Some of the dishes—which do change frequently—are more successful than others, but none that I've tried have been failures. I recall the Tennessee barbecue, in particular, being very good. Still, it's tough to be completely objective about a place you've visited so many times, and where—at least most of the time—somebody knows my name.
p.s.- We miss you, Marc.
** John's first tip of the day: Don't buy low-end garbage disposals. Had I bought a decent one last year when I replaced the one that came with my house, I wouldn't have had to get a new one this weekend. And, had I not blown $350 on one this weekend, I would now have a brand new growler full of The Headless Horseman—a custom Beer Run 50/50 blend of Southern Tier Pumking Imperial and Bluegrass Brewing's Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon-Barreled Stout.
John's second tip of the day: Go try The Headless Horseman. It's a combination of everything that's good about beer and everything that's good about autumn in a pint glass for $5.25. Seriously. And bring a second pair of pants.