Editor’s note: Dining Dad will now be reviewing restaurants from a variety of locations in our area. If you have a suggestion to visit, please let the editor know at Elizabeth.Rich@patch.com. We’ve now included a rating system at the end of every review. Thanks for the input!
One recent weekend afternoon the fam and I decided to hit up Bethlehem Brew Works for a light bite. We shot for baby naptime, so we could see how the place stacked up to a sleeping infant/car seat scenario.
Bethlehem Brew Works is in the both fortunate and unfortunate corner of Broad and Main in downtown Bethlehem. Street parking is a limited option, and the parking behind the restaurant is metered and a little cramped to drive through with other cars. That said, we chose the lesser of two evils and parked in the back.
#1-The wheelchair lifts and aisles. To make your way to Brew Works from the back, there are a few sets of stairs to traverse. Luckily there are two wheelchair lifts, one from the parking lot to the covered walkway into the building, one to get down into the Brew Works. The aisles were large enough to maneuver the whole clan without interrupting traffic flow. Bonus!
#2Carseat slings-For those of us toting a sleeping infant, an option of a carseat sling is invaluable. They had ‘em in spades, along with the regular high chairs.
#3 Changing stations- For dads traveling with little ones, I was very happy with the changing station in the Men’s room. So was my wife.
So What Did We Eat?
Appetizers: Classic Chili, French Onion Soup, Caesar salad
The Classic Chili was absolutely delicious. I am always to fan of using beer (especially stout) with proteins. It creates a wonderful chili broth, not to mention a luscious dark color to the dish. There was definitely some spice to the chili that stays with you too. If you like chili you will love the Brew Works Classic Chili.
Ahhhhh, the French Onion Soup. Definitely dead on for the cheese-lover in your family. Multiple kinds of cheese melted in excess, draping to the plate below. But when spooning down the heart of the cup, up comes this delicious beefy broth. It was rich and smooth and had lovely slivers of onion. This soup was on the top of my list for any French Onion I have ever had. Though I only had a little, my wife wasn’t giving it up easily.
Unfortunately, the Caesar salad was a no-go, both overdressed and oddly sweet. I’m guessing that without the anchovies to balance the sweet/salt ratio, it just didn’t happen. We passed on the rest of the salad and held off for dinner.
Dinner: Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwich (special of the day)
I’d like to take a moment and eulogize the chicken that gave its life for the sandwich. The grilled chicken was a little pinker than I thought was healthy, but we forged ahead hoping that it was just us. Well, we forged ahead till the bottom piece of bread fell apart because of the oil slathered on the chicken as the pesto base. The pesto itself was too oily to enjoy, and the basil just didn’t have the flavor a summer version would have. I know it’s my fault for ordering an off-season item, but as the special of the day, I thought they knew something I didn’t. The Pepper Jack was just a last-ditch chance to add a flavor profile that wasn’t a good idea to begin with. And I think I got one sad, roasted red pepper stuck under a wedge of cheese. I’m thinking I’ll stick with chili from now on.
And of course, you can’t go to Brew works without having some of their (fermenting right next to us) beer. Except I did. What can I say? It was a slick drive home and I was on driving duty. But I’ve imbibed at Brew Works before, and I can say the selection is extensive and tasty.
Despite some of the refreshing options available like meatloaf and grilled chicken, my oldest decided, by a flip of the coin, on the Chicken Fingers and Fries. They were what you’d expect, breaded chicken and thin-cut fries. We tried to convince him (for the sake of research) to order to sub in garlic mashed potatoes or veggies, but he wasn’t budging. We also handed him a side house salad with the ever-popular bottled Ranch dressing. H2O and Lemonade (for the oldest) to drink. But there were many chances to vary your kids dining options, so maybe you’ll have more luck than I did.
TOTAL BILL: 28.05 + tip for 2 adults and 1 kid
Parking/ Perks: 4 out of 4 stars
Grown-up Food Review: 3 out of 4 stars (misfire on the chicken and salad, great alcohol selection and starters)
Kids Food Options: 3.5 out of 4 stars (good standard options with room to customize)
Total (based on the mathematical mean)
DAD MOSTLY DIGS IT!!