WTGW 8/9/19: Blue Heron Brewpub, Medina

Standard

Thank you social media for the never ending inspiration for WTGW picks. I had seen a friend post about this place – you know, the awesome Instagram or Facebook (or aren’t they really just the same thing anymore?) post, where they’re sitting out on the patio enjoying beer and flatbreads on a perfect evening. And so of course it looked cool.

And so equally of course, you know I mentally bookmarked this as a potential place to visit.

Or maybe I actually physically wrote it down on a real list of possibilities that I keep in my purse. Whatever. I’m a dork like that. But as I’ve explained before, this whole weekly pick thing is no joke. It’s cutthroat out here, kids.

Anyway.

Apparently the Blue Heron used to be the country club or private club or some sort of fancy, schmancy pairing to the houses in the area – houses which you have to pass trying to get to the place, as it’s situated at the very back of a whole neighborhood’s worth of streets, and you definitely get the sense that these folks do well for themselves.

Dive bar this is not.

Unfortunately it was another of the famous Ohio Wednesday nights, in which we have about a 50/50 chance of getting drenched white t-shirt contest style if we hit up a patio, so we opted to stay inside. But we admired the patio area from the window.

img_2394

And patted ourselves on the back when the five minute rain shower occurred mere minutes after we got settled into our (indoor) table. Perhaps we have learned something over all these years after all.

I mean, probably not. But sometimes I try to give us the benefit of the doubt.

So Blue Heron is a craft brewery … BUT … they haven’t exactly yet gotten the license to do make their own beer yet. I mean, they’re ready – you can see the room holding the tanks where that will happen eventually – but there’s the whole legality thing and all to contend with. Details.

In the meantime they have a full bar and other local craft beers on tap. And a full kitchen.

Because, obviously. Why else are we here?

WHAT WE ORDERED:

We love Wednesday night specials! Especially when they involve things we like to eat and drink, like beer flights for $5 and half off on wings (which equates to 7 wings for $6 … not the best bargain ever, but, hey, we aren’t super picky … well … OK, nevermind)

The server came over to greet us, and walked away with our drink order and the words “I’ll be right back with your complimentary bowl of pork rinds.”

Well there’s a sentence we don’t hear often. We were all like did she just say “pork rinds?”

Yes, she did. And they were delicious. Keep those coming please.

img_2396

Special shout out to our server, she was excellent. She passed our please-make-it-easy-on-us-and-tell-us-what-we-should-order-so-we-don’t-have-to-decide-for-ourselves inquisition with flying colors. When we asked her what was good she gave us several options – including the crab cake sandwich, wings (which she made a point to say that she would personally be ordering for dinner that night) and one of the flatbreads. But then she also took it a step further and told us what she didn’t like on the menu – most of which were due almost exclusively to her not liking olives, but still we appreciate the honesty.

She was also a good sales person. Cassi has barely asked her what she recommended when the words “crab cake sandwich” exited her mouth – which the server didn’t know was the main item in the menu that Cassi had been considering. Her affinity for it was enough to make Cassi’s decision easier than sweating on a 100% humidity day.

So that worked.

She also sold me on the steak tip hoagie after I asked her if it was any good. It wasn’t one of her “top faves” on the menu, but she was still able to give me a variety of reasons why my leaning toward ordering it was a good idea.

Meanwhile the guys took the wings suggestion to heart – well, and the Wednesday night special didn’t hurt either. Shane got an order of the garlic and an order of the Sweet Memphis dry rub, while Ted got garlic butter.

Oh, and Ted also got the sausage sandwich. Because if it can’t be burgers and wings, I guess just anything on a bun along with wings would be sufficient?

Noted.

Hey, you know how usually we have an issue with ordering food and it takes about the length of the movie Titanic to get to us? Yeah, complete opposite here. The food was impressively quick arriving at our table. Like I almost thought they had confused our order for another table’s … except that if one of the other five tables in this place had placed the exact same order as us then we really should be spending time getting to know them because we’re clearly food soulmates.

Also part of this opposite world scenario: for once it seemed like we had not enough food on the table. I mean, usually we have a hard time finding a place for all of the various plates and dishes without moving them to our laps, or are rushing to shove the last crumbs of an appetizer down our throats before the main course plates are set in front of us. But this time … well .. I actually thought to myself as I looked around “is this going to be enough food?”

Although one thing I can tell you we definitely had enough of was carbs. In the bread variety. And not bread in a basket, but bread that our sandwiches came on. Like the ratio of bread to the portion of the sandwich we really wanted to eat (and the reason for which we ordered it) was very, very lopsided.

Personally, I was not a fan of the pretzel bun that the steak hoagie came on. I thought it was too dry, and that honestly it just kind of tasted burnt. But the steak tips were excellent. So naturally I picked those off, along with the peppers, and just left the bread.

Cassi said similar – that her crab cake was good, but that there was just way too much bun. She wished there was more filler to the sandwich to make it a little bigger. Or at least so the meat covers the bread.

And at $16 that not-so-large crab cake was a little expensive for what you got. I mean, unless buns are now on the worldwide shortage listing.

We also both had asparagus – the vegetable of choice for the day – which we liked.

I mean, maybe not $16 liked … but you get the picture.

Shane said he wouldn’t get the wings again. He said he thought they had good flavor, but that they were very dry. There was a lengthy debate about whether or not they might be baked, and not fried – which would lend to that dryness more so than being dipped in oil.

Yes, I know, we discuss all the important topics on Wednesday nights.

But while the wings weren’t top of the list, both Shane and Ted said that they would like to come back and try a burger.

Shocking, I know.

THE VERDICT:

So we were definitely on pointe with our observation on the upscale neighborhood, as evidenced by our check this evening.

If you look at that and think it’s not so bad, keep in mind that the wings and the flights were both on special. Those $8.50 charges are the individual beers that Shane and I had after finishing off our flights.

It would be worth it if we got to keep the cool glass

And, I mean, I’m all for chef’s specialties and upscale meals – it’s to be expected as a pairing to the craft beer, plus we realize life is such that we can’t entirely survive off of $5 burgers and giant pizzas. But considering the amount of actual specialty food you get, the prices did seem a little steep.

Nothing a little adjustment couldn’t fix, but still.

The place has a good atmosphere, a good mix of the neighborhood locals frequenting (many of whom scootered over in their golf carts) and curious folks like us who heard good things and wanted to see what the hype was about.

The service was good – our server was very knowledgeable and fun, something that seems simple but shockingly we’ve hit a wall on that front more times than we like to admit.

I think we all agree that while this visit didn’t exactly knock our socks off, the place definitely had potential. We’d love to go back sometime when we know that Mother Nature isn’t being a giant tease and we could guarantee an evening on the patio without looking like drowned rats. Especially once that in-house beer production finally gets underway.

Just hopefully none of us develop a gluten allergy in the interim.

Picked by: Steph

Next pick: Ted

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s