I've never gotten as many you've-gotta-check-this-place-out recommendations as for 101 Beer Kitchen
I've never gotten as many you've-gotta-check-this-place-out recommendations as for 101 Beer Kitchen, a new gastropubby restaurant out on Sawmill Road in Dublin. I'm still not sure whether everyone is really that incredibly enamored with this place or if they just think I never drive out to Dublin. But regardless, I've gotten voice mails, emails, Facebook messages and Twitter mentions urging me to eat here, so last weekend, I finally did.
I suppose I should've anticipated long lines based on all that hype, but I was genuinely surprised to be met with a 45-minute wait at 7:45 p.m. (on the lateish side for dinner). I've heard rumors of two hours-plus. There's a nice bar area for hanging out while waiting for a table, but since I had my daughter with me (don't worry, I fed her before we left), we walked around the shopping center and ambled into Kroger during our wait.
I'm looking forward to going back and checking some of the fancier entrees, but on this particular Friday night, I was in the mood for beer and comfort food. So I ordered a Great Lakes Blackout Stout, housemade tater tots and a grilled cheese. And that particular night, it really hit the spot.
Here are the tots, super-dense potato balls loaded with cheddar cheese, "pork croutons" (a house specialty that's sort of like thick diced bacon) and sriracha cream sauce. I typically prefer my tots with a thicker, crunchier crust, but these were quite good (bonus points for being made in house!).
And here's the grilled cheese, on thin planks of toasted sourdough. Now, I'll admit to thinking it looked a little skimpy when it arrived at the table, but after I dug in I realized it was quite decadent--gooey gruyere melted with apple butter and caramelized onions. A little goes a long way here, especially after you've inhaled a plate of tots. On the side is a nice arugula salad and some yummy beet chips.
101 Beer Kitchen
7509 Sawmill Rd., Dublin