Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Church Brew Works

 After a day of hitting the museums in Oakland, my friends and I headed down to The Church Brew Works for some dinner and refreshments.

Beer Sampler
 It goes without saying that the Church has some of the best beer in Pittsburgh and my dining experiences in the past here have been quite good. So lets see how the food would be on this pleasant Saturday Afternoon.

Cup of 7 Onion Soup $4.50

The 7 Onion Soup was outstanding. Laced with the Church's own Pious Monk Dunkle beer, the soup had great onion and beef flavor. Its topped with homemade croutons and melted provolone cheese which adds a nice dimension of gooey tasty cheesiness. You cant go wrong with this soup as a starter on a cold Winters day.

Shinkasa Cheese Steak $11.75
    The Shinkasa Cheese Steak was your typical generic cheese steak sandwich. They use high quality Morgan Ranch Kobe beef on this, but the subtle flavors of that are washed out by the preponderance of peppers and onions. The sandwich could have used a little more steak on it in my opinion, especially at an $11.75 price point. The accompanying french fries were limp and soggy, looking like they had been sitting out for quite some time.

Cinco Fromaggio Pizza $9.25
 The Cinco Fromaggio Pizza is cooked in the Church's wood fired oven and is topped with Mozzarella, provolone, jack, feta and Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, basil and pine nuts. My dining companion also had chicken placed on it for an additional cost. The flavor of the pizza was very good, having a nice tang from all the different cheeses. However the crust was underdone in the middle and bottom while the outside was slightly burnt. Seems like the cooking surface of the oven was not at an adequate temperature to thoroughly cook the pizza on the bottom. 

Buffalo and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf
 Having had this dish before I was looking forward to trying it again. But things were not the same. First off the meatloaf itself came to the table lukewarm at best. The potatoes were not cooked all the way through. Also the first time I had this dish you could see the bits and chunks of wild mushrooms throughout the entire meatloaf, but now the mushrooms were indistinguishable from the buffalo meat itself. But worse of all was the fact that the meatloaf had almost zero flavor, with only the tomato demi-glace that covered the meatloaf imparting any flavor. All in all a big disappointment for what was once an outstanding dish.

  So a mixed bag at the Church Brew Works.  While the beer was as usual top notch, the food seems to have slipped a little since the last time I had visited. But I will be back if for anything to have one of their  freshly made Celestial Gold beers.

  RATING: 6/10

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