101 Beer Kitchen
 Columbus, Ohio        Date of Visit  09/08/13         

On our way back from a serious eating adventure in Cincinnati (le Diner en Blanc, Tom n Chee, Sugar n Spice) we make a quick stop in Columbus to share a meal with a recent birthday girl, she’s kind of a big deal. She led us into the woods behind Sawmill Rd to 101 Beer Kitchen, whose sign reads Rustic Food and Great Beer. The interior has a gray industrial vibe and is decorated with vintage wooden fixtures like rows of mailboxes and big metal Ohio shaped cutouts.



Dark Horse's Scotty Karate

We were quickly led to a booth and took some time to peruse the menu, our server was infinitely patient and made a suggestion for a Dark Horse scotch ale, the Scotty Karate. It was a nice smoky brew with a light sweetness and notes of fruit and spice. It was a nice glass.

We finally decided on a couple of appetizers and started with the 101 deviled eggs and the jalapeno poppers. The egg yolks were blended with a mayo/mustard mix, dusted with paprika, stabbed with a little crispy prosciutto and served with fried capers. They’re not exactly rustic, maybe upscale rustic would be more precise but they were tasty and the ham and capers did accomplish something to elevate the half orbs. The poppers were really nice as well, big and relatively mild jalapenos were jammed with cream cheese and chorizo which ended up looking a little like pimento cheese as it oozed out. The nuggets are coated with panko crumbs and fried crunchy…all good. What really took them over the top is they are resting in a pool of apricot glaze. The sweetness of the glaze rounded out the pepper and cheese in a way that I would consider stealing in the future.

It Ain't Rustic

But It Is Tasty

The Poppers Were Also A Really Nice Combination

Especially The Sticky Sweet Brought By Apricot Glaze


For lunch we tried a tortilla crusted chicken sandwich, ale and cheddar soup and shrimp and grits. The sandwich wasn’t what we were hoping for. I tried a bite and there was something just not right, to me the guacamole had a too long in the fridge taste that chicken, cheese and chipotle ranch were never going to overcome. After a weekend of really excellent chow and a couple of tasty appetizers, were things headed downhill? Nope.

The ale and cheddar soup was thinner than I think any I had supped before but it was chock full of cheese and hoppy ale. It was served with a sourdough crostini and wonderfully crispy little chunks of pork as croutons. I really dig a good beer cheese soup and this one delivered on many levels without being so heavy you were sorry you ate some. Steph ordered a side of apple and blue cheese cole slaw which was a great combination. Mayo based dressing with sharp acids, peppery veg, sweet fruit and hunks of funky cheese...your entire palate gets some work in each bite.

Thin But Intense Cheddar Ale Soup

And Roundly Flavored Slaw

Disappointingly Foul Fowl

Didn't Expect Shrimp & Grits To Be Anywhere Near This Good ('cept shrimp)

I try not to order shrimp and grits North of the Mason Dixon line…it’s sort of like greens, they are just not going to measure up in any way, shape or form.  Well, I did it anyways and was rewarded with a fairly nice treat. Stone ground grits were topped with Andouille sausage chunks and served with large gulf shrimp. The shrimp were clearly overdone and tough but the grits were delicious, the Andouille had a little kick and the whole pile was bathed in a Cajun shrimp jus which touched every morsel with a warm spicy flood of ocean. It may not be technically authentic but it was darn good, except for the shrimp. Rustic is an undersell, lots of great beer options and some classic plates raised to another level. Worth a visit, don’t get the guac.




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