The Columbus Brewing Company is known best for their India Pale Ale, Summer Teeth and Winter Warmer. But the restaurant side of the company is known best for its upscale bar menu that features burgers, burritos, pizzas and entrees designed to compliment their locally brewed beers.
Tucked away on a quiet street in The Brewery District, CBC is a neighborhood restaurant that has seen this neighborhood through good times and bad. Their open, friendly atmosphere and enclosed patio continues to draw customers to seek them out. Upon learning that the restaurant recently launched their winter menu, I decided it would be a good time to pay a new visit.
The Asparagus Fries ($7.95) appetizer is a bundle of breaded and fried asparagus served with a side of spicy sriracha ranch dipping sauce. The breading is light though slightly greasy, and the asparagus are cooked to a medium tenderness. The sauce compliments them well, and provides just enough heat to balance out the creamy ranch. This appetizer won’t blow you away, but makes for something a bit different to split with a date.
The Columbus Pale Ale BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($9.25) includes a bundle of slow-roasted pulled pork, a slice of pepper jack cheese, a mix of red onions and scallions and topped with a house-made key lime barbecue sauce. The pulled pork is tender, juicy and flavorful, as should be expected. The sauce is simultaneously tangy and sweet, with a hint of acidity from the lime. The sandwich bun quickly gave way to the sauce of the sandwich, so quick eating is required to keep it from turning soggy. A side of crispy french fries rounds out the meal for a solid, hearty lunch or dinner option for under $10.
The Pecan Crusted Chicken ($15.95) is an entree that I believe has been on the menu at CBC for quite awhile (or at least some variant of it has been on the menu). A flattened chicken breast is breaded with a pecan-laced crust (that isn’t really that heavy on the pecans) and served atop a scoop of herb mashed potatoes with a side of skillet sweet corn. While each of these items were average when tasted individually, with an extra nod to the well prepared chicken, the real treat is tasting all three combined. Together they amount to a home-cooked meal of comfort food worthy of stuffing yourself with in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The dish also comes with a house-made Pale Ale honey mustard sauce that works well poured over all three items in this entree, further cementing their pair to be consumed in jumbled bites.
I decided to also try out one of the wood-fired pizzas at CBC, going with the Santa Fe ($12.50). This one is topped with a black bean hummus spread, pico de gallo salsa, roasted sweet corn, a chipotle chili sauce, cilantro aioli and a mix of cheddar and provolone cheeses. Combined, these ingredients make for a southwestern flavored pie not too far removed from your traditional “taco pizza” options available at many pizza parlors. The base of black bean paste felt a little flat to me, but all of the other toppings worked well enough to make this an enjoyable pizza. The heat level was also a bit uneven with bites ranging from extra mild to extra hot.
Overall, I enjoyed each of the items that I tried out at CBC. There’s nothing too inventive on the culinary front, but I think most customers are expecting good comforting meals that pair well with local beer, and the Columbus Brewing Company delivers on that promise.
The Columbus Brewing Company is located at 525 Short Street in the Brewery District. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday from 11am to 11pm, Saturday from 5pm to 11pm and closed Sunday. More information can be found online at www.columbusbrewingco.com.