A GOOD BREW
GREAT LOCAL BEER! GREAT LOCAL CROWD! a good ol' time.
This is as local as it gets... located in what is almost like a garage, the brewery is inside a miniature MINIATURE warehouse tucked away in a little corner of industrial Fullerton... you're bound to feel a bit skeptical and wary of the surroundings, especially with the tiny parking lot and middle-of-no-where feel, but this place is truly a gem... and to attest to it is also Bootlegger's very own surprising cult-like community following (with me now included o.O).
Bootleggers has about 15-20 different brews rotating on tap. You can purchase anything from a 1/2 pint to a full pint (served in cute Ball glass mason jars), or support the brewery and purchase a full 64 fl. oz Growler (jug) to take home. They also offer a sample flight of 5 beers of your choice (2 oz. each) for only $4.50, a complete steal! If you're like me and a fan of Belgian beers, you'll love the Golden Chaos; if you like stouts, the Black Phoenix is phenomenal; and as for the Knuckle Sandwich that's not always available, its probably one of the best beers I've ever had, and I don't normally even like IPA! If you ever catch it on tap, GET IT! Otherwise, as Yelp already recommends, the Golden Chaos and the Black Phoenix are all great bets!
Bootlegger's has garnered both locals and those from a far to build a great community of very diverse individuals. This is a great place to go and just relax and have fun. At any point in the night you can find yourself talking to your typical frat guy, and then you'll turn around and find yourself getting to know some 50-60 year old guy... yay! There isn't really any seating besides a few pop-up tables scattered here and there amongst their brewing tanks, so it is likely you will be standing most of the night - my friends and I found ourselves crowded around a tower of 2x4's playing giant Jenga and making new friends. This is a definite new favorite spot for us, and a great place to go to support your local community (:
I was worried that the church theme would really make the non-church going me uncomfortable, but the ambiance&decor is just the perfect amount of cool and fun - without being too over the top where it makes you feel uncomfortable or makes the place lame. The ordering/entry process is kinda strange for first-timers, but you get over it. It's very much your casual pub, similar to how you would describe McClarans from HIMYM. No(t too much) frills or fluff... just the perfect hang out spot for you and a group of friends.
So besides the ambiance, I LOVE THE "BIBLE"! This is one of the most extensive and bestly organized beer bibles I've come across. The beers are organized by origin, and then each beer lists not only the brewer, but the beer style (golden/pale ale, stout, IPA, etc.) and alcohol content.... which The Back Abbey fails to do.
A lot of people seem to compare this place to The Back Abbey (in Claremont)... for those of you who would like a comparison of the two, the Congregation is much larger, they've got a better beer selection (PURPLE HAZE!), and they've got a lot more TVs... perfect for hanging with your friends. I suppose I should describe The Back Abbey as more classy and intimate for those interested, but for those looking for a low-key place to just relax and to kick back a few GOOD beers, the Congregation is a definite 5-star winner that you wouldn't expect this far east.
But some fair warning, the food is probably JUST okay. I had their special Rib Eye Burger with spicy peppers and melted mozerella and a side of Belgian fries with Sriracha Ketchup (yum). The burger was surprisingly small - which isn't neccessarily bad; its Umami Burger size (for those familiar with yummy yummy Umami Burger) a.k.a. about the size of your fist - but for something small, it unfortunately didn't pack any flavorous punch (The Back Abbey burger beats the Congregation by a smidget here). The fries we're good, but not out of this world. I would say the food here is best for probably just soaking up the copious amounts of beer available to you. My friend had the breakfast pizza though, and that looked bomb!
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
You wouldn't expect to find such a great gastropub in the middle of Alhambra, but here it is! HUGE selection of beer, happy hour available Mon-Fri from 3-7pm, and tons of TVs. We unfortunately missed happy hour just by a few minutes (damn you parking!), and were the only Cal alums there watching our BEARS be plummeted by the Trojans in a sea of USC fans, but we had a great time regardless!
Having seen the reviews, and then seeing what seemed like a bible of all their beers, I knew I had to have some beer... so I went with the Clay Flight which consisted of 4.5 oz tastings of 4 of their beers: Wet Hop Schooner, Gnomegang, Jackalope, and Grateful Dog. It was a slew of different types of beers and great for anyone just starting out on their journey through beer-ology. There's also an IPA flight available for you more hardcore drinkers... but overall, loved the beers! Definitely would recommend this place to any beer aficionados! Definitely would recommend this place to any of my friends!
Besides the extensive drinks menu... the food. I wasn't expecting much, though I was hoping, and yay! I blown away by my burger&fries. It blew 25 degrees out of the water. Umami? Its definitely more bang for your buck, but debatable. Father's Office? Still gotta try. But this was delicious! It might have been all the alcohol in me, but I wanted to order a second one! I had the MENAGE O PORK from their special menu. That's right, menage o pork... a pork and chorizo patty topped with a baconaise sauce, plus pepper jack, arugula, and more... it was amaaaaazing. I don't normally like bacon, or too much pork for that matter, but this was deliciousness dropping down from heaven. The bun was a nice soft but toasty bun, the type of bun I dream about. The combination of the arugula, cheese, and baconaise was just the perfect combinations of sweet and salty, gooey and creamy, YUM. The patty wasn't all that special, kinda dry.. but it was pork. Really though, that baconaise... I would love to have that on everything! It sealed the deal. I am drooling thinking about it now. It was goooood. The fries were also pretty good. They could have been a little fatter, but that defeats the purpose of calling them shoestring fries... so I love em as is, specially with the aioli!
Overall I'd give the burger/food 4 or 4.5 stars... but 38 degrees really does deliver the total package, so 5 it is! Great food, great beer, and great service (loved Alex)! Parking can be tough but if you're patient you'll find something in the free parking lots along 1st, or on the street. Ultimately, I'm in love (since this place is also much more convenient than all the other downtown burger joints), and can't wait to find an excuse to come back and try all their other food and drinks!
Haven Burger w/ Truffle Fries - 3.5 stars
The much talked about burger from Haven was a solid burger. It was juicy and well built. I loved the contrast from the pickled onions... but it did fall a bit short of what I would truthfully give 4-stars; there wasn't enough pickled onions and all the flavors we're somewhat monotonous... the Back Abbey Burger in Claremont is bounds better! My friend did say he really enjoyed his lamb burger, so maybe I'll give that a try next time. Truffle fries (extra $2) were unfortunately over salty and I couldn't finish them... poor luck?
I'll bump them up to 4 stars though because of their extra friendly service this time around. First time I came here, the service was extra shotty... upon my second visit, service was top-notch even though they had a pretty packed house for a Tuesday night. Our water cups we're never empty even though they provided us with the water carafe at our table, and nor was our beer glass empty until our bottle was actually empty... They checked up on us often and never did we feel ignored.
Based off my two different visits, I suppose people we're right to say service is hit-or-miss, and I suppose their food also depending on the night? But regardless, the sheer awesomeness of the food and beer selection here will have me coming back...
The bar sits in the center of their dining room, sort of dividing the space into two... on either side is a large flat screen TV - perfect for appeasing the BF. There are (I think) 36 beers on tap - all available also to sample and/or make into your own beer flight. They've got lots of bottled beers also, as well as plenty of wines. They have a list of prohibition cocktails also available in order to help quench your thirst. Overall, they've got drinks down...
I was feeling adventurous so I gave the" Earl Grey Mar-Tea-ni" a try. Tea in a cocktail? sounds weird... but not bad. It went down smooth and gave me a nice buzz before heading out to a dinner elsewhere. If I didn't have that dinner to go to, I would have delved into their food offerings too... I hear their Haven Burger is quite the treat... at least at their original Orange location anyway... til next time!
On my quest to find the best burger in LA, I was happy to find that this very out east Back Abbey burger does in fact stand up well against its many DTLA competitors, and is much closer and more convenient (for me) too!
I headed to The Back Abbey on a Saturday night with fellow Cal Bears to watch The Big Game. To our demise, there was a good 20 minute wait in the cold (despite it being seat yourself, a line had formed). And to our larger demise, once seated we found there were only 2 TVs and they were the size of your old school computer moniters... useless. But thankfully, we we're also here for the food.
The beer selection here isn't that big, but it is nice and manageable. I ended up with a nice goblet of Derilium Tremens, mmmhm. They also had a selection of wines... my friend had a glass of LAMADRID RESERVA Malbec that was lovely.
The Back Abbey Burger ($13) - w/ Aged Gouda, mustard aioli, caramelized onion, Niman Ranch bacon, & micro greens served on a Brioche bun.
Despite a very large and bready Brioche bun, the burger was great, with a nice creamy feel/texture and nice subdued flavors. The burger was cooked a bit more medium rare than medium, the gouda wasn't as melted as I would of liked, and the bacon was close to burnt... but somehow, all together the burger had this melt in your mouth and decadent quality that made it wonderful. Its not as flavor packed as Umami or 38 Degrees, but still very much delicious... I can only imagine how amazing the burger would of been if made perfectly... oh so divine. The burger came with a side salad that helped to lighten up the buttery-ness.
Pommes Frites ($5/$8) - Fresh Kennebec potatoes fried once in duck fat and once in soybean oil, then served with horseradish chive sauce, roumelade and ketchup.
These we're okay, the duck fat was not very prominent, but overall, they're good for munching on... the roumelade was particularly nice.
Overall a great burger experience that I wouldn't mind having again. If you're a burger fan and ever this east/inland, give this place a try! Parking is easy and free, and there's also a great outside patio/lounge like area outside for when the weathers nice.
YUM! Line was out the door with a 15-20 minute wait, but it was well worth it! I can't wait to come back!
I came with some friends (some of whom we're German and who did in fact applaud these sausages) and was able to try the Duck&Bacon with Jalapeno Peppers as well as the Rattlesnake&Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers. Both were outstanding! Worth the $7.50?... debatable. But good none the less. I have to agree with many Yelpers that the the buns are lacking here, but I suppose anything better would overshadow the sausage.
We also split some Belgian fries, which we added the White Truffle Oil Glaze to (yum!). The fries we'rent the best I've had, but they were good... albeit a bit overcooked. We had them with the Chipotle Aioli and the Curry Ketchup, both delicious! I'd recommend the Chipotle Aioli if you're only getting one.
The beer selection is nice and extensive, and not too overly priced - had a great large glass of German Franziskaner! yum. You can skip the line and head straight to the bar for alcohol if you don't want food... or split the group and be efficient ordering.
There are tables in the back, through the corridor beside the front cashier/ordering station. There is also a small outdoor patio area accessible through the door at the end of the corridor. They have a decent late-night crowd, so seats can be hard to come by... if you're in a group, work together to get food, drinks, and a table.
Hmmm... I've heard A LOT about Father's Office - "#1 Burger in LA", etc.
Maybe I had it hyped up in my head, but I'd give this burger just an A-OK.
Would I have it again? Yes.
Do I look forward to having this burger again? Sure.
But is it the best burger I've ever had? No.
The burger is prepared medium-rare, with gruyere and maytag bleu cheeses, carmelized onions, and arugula, in between a large french roll... no more, no less, and absolutely no substitutions. I wasn't a huge fan of the french roll - huge and bready, it wasn't warm or toasted... it just served as a serving vessel for everything. I was worried about the bleu cheese, but the gruyere/maytag combo was suprisingly nice. The patty was juicy enough and there was tons of arugula to provide a nice bitterness and cut to the other elements of the burger, but the carmelized onions were probably the only actually mouth-watering part to this burger. Overall a great all-around burger, and thats probably all any burger fan or bar patron could possible ask for... but to be dubbed the best burger in LA - what I would acknowledge as an extremely distinguished (culinary/food) title - I think this is a bit of a stretch... But then again, if you were to pick one burger to have everyday for the rest of your life... this is probably the one burger you could never get sick of? I'll come back with lowered expectations and give it another go, but thats my take...
Did also have a go at their brussel sprouts, their fries, and rice crispie bon bons. The brussel sprouts were a nice change in pace, but still just a solid A-OK; 3stars. The fries however, I could probably rave about forever! Perfectly cooked despite being so thin, and just bursting in flavor/seasoning. They also came served with a delicious garlic aioli that only enhanced the fries flavors, but they were still good with or without the aoili - which says a lot! We could of probably ate these fries all night and be happy. The housemade rice crispie bon bons were also a surprisingly good hit; 4stars - and something I would happily order again.
Pretty much a solid show by the Father's Office, but with a bit of over-hyping in the case of the burger. I could give it 4 stars, but with the difficulty of dining here with the first-come first-serve seat-yourself wait/crowd, and an only okay, not extraordinary - imo, burger... 3-stars for now.
P.S. 21+ only, so be sure not to forget those IDs!
Met up a few friends here after work for their Happy Hour - $2 off pints, $1 off wine, $1-$3 off appetizers&flatbreads... 5 to 7pm daily, and all day Sunday. We we're lucky that there was also a special Maui Beer event that night (until closing!), so we we're able to get flights for just $6, as well as take home pint glasses! The location is suprisingly small, like a bottle room... yet also suprisingly loud! Theres 2 TVs located at the bar, and seat yourself service. The beer selection here falls short of 38 Degrees', but is much easier to navigate.
Between the 5 of us we shared:
- Chicken Lollipops
- Mini Bottle Room Burgers
- Pulled Pork Sliders
- Spanish Chorizo Flatbread
- Truffle&Mushroom Flatbread
- Chipotle Cheddar Jack Mac
- Sweet Potato Fries x2
- and many flights&pints of Maui Beer.
LOVED the chicken lollipops! The chicken was moist and fall-off-the-bone tender with a yummy yummy sriracha-honey glaze, and overall my favorite of the night. The happy hour burgers and sliders come with 2 per order (aka $2 a slider), and we're not quite disappointing. The flatbreads were great! Both full of flavor and great in quality/price. The Jack Mac was forgetable and the sweet potato fries go on my list of some of the best sweet potato fries!
Overall solid place for happy hour and drinks, but the food is still relatively pricey... so not quite worth the extended effort if you're from out of town/not already in the area. Although I gotta give The Bottle Room some love for their location... located in what is like "downtown Whitter", theres tons of bars as well as cute shops nearby! and parking is quite easy! However parking in the structure will cost you $2 and everything here closes at midnight.
Came with a huge group of friends and had a blast! Kasey's is a relatively small bar with limited seating, but it gets the job done. Although they didn't know a lot of the drinks we requested (AMF, Tokyo Tea, etc.... which are all really mainstream drinks, but maybe not in Chicago), they we're nice and willing to look it up and make it for us. The drinks we're made well too -- not too strong that it was hard to take down, but strong enough that it was a good night.
They also have a huge beer selection if you're looking for a nice calm(er) night! Got to try some dragon's milk, and it was good!
PLUS: the bathrooms were pretty clean, although small.
gooood Good GOOD.
Its not the same as super fresh ingredients Cheeseboard pizza, but with all the selection of pizzas and great topping choices I'm a for sure fan -- theres not a bad pizza, they don't skimp on toppings, everything tastes great, and love the crust.
went with a party of 7 and we tried all their different pizza styles.
pan fried only comes in small, but its good. and the crust is unique and makes you feel like you're prepping for a heart attack.
new york style is okay, super filling. got the bbq chicken and was pretty good for the bbq chicken lover.
thin crust is yummm.. got the sweet pepper pesto and the meat lovers. sweet pepper pesto is "love". just make sure it eat it hot. meat lovers is super meaty. but beware the pizza does get soggy, as the crust is so thin. but don't regret it one bit.
so my TIPS on ordering.. 1. thin crust 2. pan fried 3. new york.. and then go crazy with whatever toppings! and show them your Berkeley SID and you'll get 10% off!
YUM YUM YUM! one of the best pizzas I've had in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Pizzaioli is owned by an Alice Water's Chez Pannise veteran and is one of Alice Water's favorite dining locations. It has a much fancier sit-down feel than your normal pizzeria, but the pizza (comparable to better than Cheeseboard) also lives up to the atmosphere: candle lit, fancy wines, great attentive waiters!
Came in for a party of 8, with birthday in tow. We were nearly 30mins late but our table was still there ready for us when we arrived. (fyi, they book parties for ~2 hr time slots). Our waiter was extremely nice and helpful. He took our cake to the back and helped us through the menu.
For a party of 8, we order 5 pizzas and enjoyed it with a nice bottle of muscat.
1. gypsy&cayanne pepper, housemade sausage&herb was tasty.
2. monterey bay squid with cherry tomatoes and aioli was a favorite amongst the party.
3. wild nettles and poricino requires an aquired taste but was definitely my favorite of the night.
4. new potato, leeks, fontina, green olives, & rosemary was definitely my 2nd favorite and a favorite among the crowd.
5. rapini & housemade sausage was tasty.
The pizzas were all thin crust, little sauce/lots of topping. YUM.
Once dessert time rolled around, our waiter found candles for us without notice. And he gladly split our check among all out credit cards. Service was right on dot! P.S. there is a $2/slice cake cutting fee but oh wells.
Definitely looking forward to coming back!
Best place for all your alcohol/party needs!
Total Wine & More was not lying when they said they had the best selection of wine and spirits, and at the lowest prices anywhere... this place totally beats out BevMo. Prices here are comparable to Costco prices (at least when I looked at their San Antonio wine selection aka Stella Rosa). They carry a huge variety of stuff and at the best prices I've ever laid eyes on. They have free weekly wine tastings as well as plenty of special vendors coming in every weekend featuring cool new stuff. Jack Daniels was even in doing special free engravings with the purchase of one of their bottles of Gentleman's Jack - Xmas gift, check!
The staff here seems very helpful and sweet, and seriously... the selection just blows my mind. They have a build your own 6-pack of beer option here that's just amazing, especially for people like me who just want to try it all but don't want to invest in a whole 6-pack of what could potentially blow. Total Wine & More is now my one stop shop when it comes to any alcohol-gifting purchase, yay!
Review solely for Chino's Friday Beer Tastings with Michael.
I impulsely dropped in last Friday for the Holiday Beer tasting they we're having before Xmas hit. Not sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly crowd that Michael has generated - regular friendly locals who are all very inviting and all love beer. I have to admit I'm kinda still a noob when it comes to appreciating good hops, but I'm learning quick with the likes of these regulars.
A full round of tastings (and more) will cost you a measely dollar - similar to Total Wine & More. Only difference here was that you pay your dollar at the cash register after you finish your tasting... so you technically can get away without paying anything, but that would just be asking for it (aka bad karma).
Overall, great service and a great community feel here at the Chino Hills BevMo! I probably wouldn't buy any of my wine&spirits here, or at any BevMo for that matter, since you can easily find better prices elsewhere (i.e. Costco and Total Wine & More)... but I'll be back for their beer/wine tastings (:
2nd time here.
Meridian wins me over with their style. Meridian is an upscale sports bar with large flat screen TVs hanging from every corner/wall and one super-large reverse projected screen on the back wall. They have a variety of tasty beers on tap that change every so often and the waitresses are all very nice (and cute - so says boyfriend). This is a place I don't mind going to when the boyfriend wants to hit up a sports bar and just watch sport center all day. The seats are comfortable, everything is nice and classy, and clean.
The food is ehh, but pretty darn good for a bar. They use high quality ingredients and everything is very fresh.. but they're no foodies. We came back this time with a Groupon ($15 for $30) and ordered the seafood platter, Parmesan fries, steak frites and crawfish p`boy. Had to pay an extra $20. The Parmesan fries came out to be very gooood. Seafood platter had hope, but came short... the batter was just bleh. Steak was very good, IF only it wasn't drowned in the mushroom gravy that completely destroyed the natural YUM taste of the steak. They were also out of the duck fat fries, which was disappointing. P`boy was very tasty (after being re-heated at home). We couldn't finish it but I have to say it tasted better afterwards with a SOFT toasty bun... Meridian serves it on a hard dry bun thats impossible to bite into..
Pretty much I'd only come here for the TV and beer and occasional snacks/appetizers (during happy hour?). The food isn't really worth it. But its a sports bar none the less.
Thalassa is definitely the hidden gem.. or it was for me. I used to always walk by this place and see the multitudes of pool tables through their dark windows and think, "this place seems sketchy and lame." But I finally came around after hearing some good reviews about this place from a few friends, and boy was I blown away.
First, things you should know..
1) This is a 21+ joint, so sorry friends who couldn't make the cut.
2) Cards require a $10 minimum purchase.
3) They can keep tabs open for you...but that's up to your discretion whether you would like to have that option.
4) Birthday boys/girls get one free drink of choice!
So besides those ground points.. you should also know:
The drinks are a bit overpriced and they don't really taste like they should... maybe it was our bartender, but she was cute?
But ultimately, Thalassa is a great hang out spot with plenty of comfy large booths and pool tables and drinks. There's also waitresses walking around making sure you're doing okay and clearing out your table which was nice. I noticed almost everyone working was a girl.. so this might be a good spot for you guys, but I will definitely be stopping back here. And for those of you concerned, Thalassa is definitely for THE COLLEGE CROWD; this place is not meant for the old(er) and more sophisticated... not that you're not welcomed.
P.S. clean bathroom :)
50/50 = 50% bacon + 50% beef pattie = moist and delicious.
pair with the right combination of ingredients and you'll have the most memorable burger eating experience ever. note that the list of toppings does NOT include mushrooms, not that i like em that much anyway but i thought it was interesting..
the burgers here are definitely hefty and surely satisfying! great burger joint for the area and wonderful hangout spot for a group of good friends. plenty of beers and TV's to sit back and enjoy.
vampire dip is YUMMY and the sweet potato fries came paired with a pumpkin dipping sauce which was very interesting but also very tasty.
definitely will be back once I've worked off the monstrous burger calories from my last visit.
Upon a recent visit to Berkeley, I dropped into Sliver after hearing a bunch of fanfare/controversy about it being just like Cheeseboard... Verdict?
(+) Happy Hour
(+) Bar w/ Local Beers on Tap and Locally Sourced Cocktails
(+) Spicy Cilantro Pesto sauce
(+) TVs and lots of open seating
( - ) ... I can't think of any
This place may be even better! The guys at Sliver came from Cheeseboard and so Sliver pizza and its locally selected vegetarian toppings was very Cheeseboard comparable. The overall menu/toppings never match Cheeseboard per se from what I can see from their menu, but they do get very similar... which isn't really a negative in my book... So though Cheeseboard will always be the OG, I'll gladly take my Sliver with the spicy cilantro pesto sauce, plus some beer and/or cocktails to top it off.
This is a great venue with a spacious indoor area (w/ multiple high-tops and an extended bar) and an outdoor patio. Their windows are glass/garage doors that also add to the open-able space perfect for nice sunny/warm days. They have a couple food trucks parked out front during all times of the day and many great restaurants nearby.
They have 10-15 beers on tap which makes their build-your-own-flights with $1 samples a great way to sample their offerings. I shared a sampling of all their beers with a friend as we enjoyed their outdoor patio and many boardgames - or not so many boardgames given they were all torn up and/or missing pieces. The beers they had on tap that day were all interesting (pickle, raisin, pumpkin, dates, etc), but none that I found I would have enjoyed a tall glass of.
All-in-all, I wouldn't mind coming back for the space, but not so sure about for the offerings.
Listes mises à jour récemment par Lana N.
always and forever, no questions asked.