Saturday, January 21, 2012

Organic Brewery a Bust

The blog has been quiet the past few weeks because there has been not much to talk about. Last weekend we spent fishing in the Keys and subsequently eating our catch. The weekend before we decided to take a break and not do much but go to "My Big Fat Greek Restaurant" a good, not great Greek place, then not much else.

Last night we ventured down to Hollywood Beach to check out the new Organic Brewery. I have heard mixed reviews about this place personally, as well as from Yelp but I thought I would try it out. Parking on Hollywood Beach in season is always a bear, unless you want to pay $7.00 for all day parking, which we did, but it was convenient so it made it okay. For those who don't know about this place, it is just north of the old Oceanwalk at 290 N. Broadwalk, right on the beach. Walking up to this place it looks really great, old world Bavarian decor, a large picture window filled with stainless steel tanks where they make their beer on site. It was cool and windy but we opted to sit outside, Carole, myself, and our friend Scott from down the street. While we were expecting to hear some Oom-Pah band or accordion music what we got was old school Reggae blasting from the outdoor speakers.

First thing you should know when you go there is that the menu is an idea of what they might have to serve. Don't get your heart set on one thing because you will probably be disappointed. The menu is quite limited to sausages and schnitzel, and even though they do have a $9.00 guacamole app, we did not take our chances and try it. 2 out of the 5 beers they offer on the menu were unavailable, one of the two soups was sold out, along with other things we tried to order. The beers come in 3 sizes: 10oz, 16oz, and a whopping 34oz. We tried a 10oz Pilzner, a 10oz Wheat Beer, and a 16oz Stout. All were fresh and clean tasting yet lacked any real flavor or distinctiveness.

While we waited for our food, one of the things that would be really nice would be something to munch on. Quick education for those who want to start a restaurant or bar, the peanuts, snack mix and other salty goodies that are out to eat are not there just to satisfy ones hunger for a meal, they are there because they are salty, and salty foods make you thirsty and make you drink more. A basket of stale, room temperature bread did come out for Carole's meal, but no butter and nothing for the rest of us. This is a German restaurant, it would not be hard to put out some good, hot, German bakery bread and heavily salted butter, or even better some fresh soft pretzels with spicy mustard (by the way they didn't even have pretzels on the menu). This would complement the beer and probably had me order a second, or even third.

The food, when it arrived, was not impressive at all. Carole did enjoy her goulash even though it was a huge bowl with only a small ladle of soup in it. My assorted sausage dinner was lousy. The sausages were homemade using real casing but they all tasted exactly the same, were overcooked and had more spice then meat. They came with a cabbage side dish that I was looking forward to, but had little to no taste and was soggy. Finally, Scott ordered the smoked game hen. He said the flavor was good, but it had obviously been reheated and only the outside was warm while the inside was still stone cold. He too was under-impressed by the cabbage side dish. We didn't stick around for dessert, the Reggae was getting louder and I really wanted another beer, just not one of theirs, so we decided to get the check and run. $60 for the 3 of us, tip included. I'm glad I caught that because our server almost got an additional $12 out of us, for not much work, and not much service.

After a discussion at the next bar we put wagers on how long it will last, the general consensus is if it can make it through tourist season, congratulations, but in 6 months time if you want some high end brewing gear get ready for the auction, because they won't last. I do appreciate that someone has taken a chance and done something different on Hollywood beach. It is not a dive bar, a pizza joint, or ice cream stand, but if they don't try harder they will fall victim to everyone else who has tried something on the beach and failed miserably. The concept is great, and I hope they prove me wrong.

Organic Brewery on Urbanspoon

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