After a long hiatus of not eating out, and looking at a long run in the future, I’ve happened to eat at both the Greenhouse Tavern and Fat Head Brewery within the past 8 days. I’m happy to say that between the two places I spent less than $100, including drinks, which is very impressive and important these days. Generally I liked all the food I ate. I had chicken wings at both places. This isn’t because I’m a chicken wing fanatic, but is why my bill came in so low. Both places did wings differently, and very good. The Greenhouse wing that had no skin, where very crispy, borderline dry, with no sauce, but they where amazingly tender and the meat fell off the bone in a mind blowing fashion. I have to find out how they do that. I’m not a fan of really crisp wings, which these were, but they were very enjoyable. The FHB has two wings on their menu, fried and smoke house. We got the smokehouse with honey chipotle sauce. The wings tasted great, served whole which I liked, and there was a very full meaty smoked flavor. The sauce was pleasantly hot, but overpowered the finesse of the smoking.
Beer, Beer, and more Beer!!! Greenhouse had a nice list of artisanal beers, a limited number on tap though. FHB had some 50 beers on tap. Matt Cole is the brew master there, formerly of Rocky River Brew Co. I was not a fan of RRBC beers. They all tasted the same, and /or overly flavored. This is very much not the case at FHB. We tasted 4 different house made brews and all were very different, flavorful and filling.
The green factor was mostly absent at the Greenhouse. I was hoping the server would pontificate the environmental responsibility of the ceiling tiles or something to draw my attention to the amount of time and money spent on making the restaurant a responsible one. Instead we found half filled labeless wine bottle on our table. After a quick inquiry, a unanimous discussion was made to push what was described as ‘table water’ to the side. I’m not drinking water from a bottle that’s been sitting on the table before I sat down. We were advised of a $5 split plate charge on a pasta dish that we all agreed was rather excessive. Give the explanation that it’s an ‘inconvenience’ to the kitchen did not soften the blow given my personal flexibility with splitting plates or sharing ect…
To charge for bread or not, that is the question. Unfortunately most dinners would agree that a good dinner starts with and overflowing glass of water that is always full, and an endless basket of bread with either butter or oil, whichever the restaurateur want to give me for free. For the environment we stopped pouring water endlessly, but bread? When I see how much goes into making bread, or how much money is spent on bread, it’s very understandable to charge for bread, but what if bread comes with an appetizer and you ask for more (3 people sharing 5 apps). To go against the grind is always hard, and this is something that has creeped up on us recently. In the kitchen I’ll tell you charge them for bread….and extra for the butter….but when I’m at the table I’m thinking, “everywhere else gives me a little piece of bread, what the hell?”
I’d go back to both, without question.