BARREL 135

Williamsport is saturated with bars serving the typical bar food. Burgers, cheesesteaks, wings and the list goes on and on. Tonight was a culinary wonder and delight at Barrel 135. There are many familiar items on the menu, yet all the ingredients may not seem so familiar. Brian is putting a refreshing twist on the food offerings here in the Port.

My wife and I decided to head out to dinner tonight and thankfully ended up at Barrel 135. I knew that they had some great beers on draft and bottles, although limited, still a very nice selection. They had just tapped a fresh keg of Slab Cabin from Otto’s (owned by the former brewer of the Bullfrog Brewery), my mind was made up, Slab Cabin for me. Our server, Christina gave us the low-down on specials for the evening, which sent my wife and I spinning in indecision. Everything sounded wonderful. But after some debate and hard thinking we settled on our dinner.
Lots of times we order an app and split an entree, tonight though, we wanted to try all we could. She ordered the Pork Chop with green apple risotto, tart apple gastrique and bitter greens with an apple cider reduction. I must say, the risotto was spot on, the pork chop was cooked to perfection and the reduction left me wanting to lick her plate. I had a quesadilla, yeah I know, your thinking a quesadilla, but this was nothing like any quesadilla I’ve ever had. This quesadilla was loaded with  apple smoked bacon, red onion, cheddar, tomato salsa and lemon aioli. So savory with a twist of tang with the lemon aioli.
As for the beer, as mentioned before I had the Slab Cabin IPA. A fantastic rendition of an IPA, loaded with fresh hop aroma and flavor, Charlie certainly did it again. In my opinion when pairing food, an IPA is the most adaptable of beer styles. Let me say, it may not have been the best choice for all the wonderful food we ate, but it paired well. The apple smoked bacon quesadilla was a perfect match for the beer. As for the pork chop dinner, the hops sliced through all the fatty flavors, including the thick mouth coating flavors of the risotto, leaving the palate cleansed. We finished our meal with a desert. I had passed at first, though my wife and I couldn’t help but wonder what was on the desert menu. We knew with entrees that unique and delicious, the deserts had to be the same. Christina went through the list, all of the offerings sounding equally delightful, but we settled on the pizza frita. This is deep fried pizza dough, fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream with a honey drizzle. Man! It was so light and fresh. Full of sweet succulent flavors. Slab Cabin was a great contrast to this delectable desert. The bitterness of the beer balanced out the sweetness of the desert. Also, the hops cut through the fried flavors of the pizza dough. It may not have been my first choice for beer selections, but it did just fine.
Overall, this was a fantastic first experience, which won’t be the last either. We plan to return very soon for another meal and of course more fresh beers. With their constant rotation on the taps, one must stop in often to try the great beers they bring in. Well done fella’s.
beer + food = Barleydine
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