What’s better than a refreshing ice cold beer or mixed drink and finger-foods enjoyed at your favorite pub?
Actually, the word pub is short for “public house,” which refers to British influenced establishments whose specialty is the serving of alcohol, mostly beer, since many pubs are owned by breweries. As place known for beer and socializing, it’s no wonder pubs have become so popular and have spread from Europe to around the globe. Lately, a recent trend that Synergy has spotted is the increasing presence of gastropubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Florida and New York. Gastropubs are becoming the latest rage and on our latest four state eating mission, we got to check out some rather amazing places like Wurstküche Pub and Father’s Office in Los Angeles, World of Beers in Florida, The Grange and Public in Chicago– these guys are all about creating an experience around craft beer and pub food.
What is a Gastropub? Is it Just a Fancy Bar?
Not quite. So then, what exactly is a gastropub and what’s the difference between that and a “regular” pub? The term gastropub was coined in 1991 and is the combination of the words, pub and gastronomy, to emphasize the food aspect of this kind of establishment. Simply put, a gastropub focuses on not only good beer, but quality food – think of it as a “restaurant in a pub.”
What Food will go Best with Beer?
So, what really goes good with beer? At Wurstküche, it’s all about grilled sausages paired with any of their 24 imported beers on tap. Located in an unadorned, red-bricked building in the historic arts district in Downtown L.A., this German/Belgian gastropub is nothing but ordinary. Wurstküche extends its menu to include a variety of sausages to cater to every taste. This includes the classic bratwurst, vegetarian Mexican chipotle to exotic flavors like apricot ginger. We love how eclectic their menu and clientele are – aside from sausages and beer, Wurstküche also serves a variety of non-alcoholic gourmet sodas, sides and desserts. We certainly enjoyed our time here. At the Grange the menu is more eclectic and Public is all about pork. World of Beer and The Tap take a different approach and serve only food that is delivered by an outside restaurant which makes for a unique business model.
The Gastropub in the Wild: a Few of the Best Beer and Food Spots
Don’t be surprised to find more gastropubs popping up in various cities across the US and the globe. These pubs service as a great mixture between those who not only love beer but are looking for casual gourmet. While declaring the best gastropub in the US is a nearly impossible feat, we can mention a couple standouts to go check out. In addition to those mentioned above, the list of must see establishments is a long and growing with new gastropubs opening up all the time. If you’re in Portland, you need to go to the Sunshine Tavern, where they serve up specialty pizzas (with hen egg, sage, and Parmesan!) along with craft cocktails. In New Orleans, the best spot – many would argue – is Sylvain. Their signature dishes feature crispy pork belly, Louisiana popcorn rice, and buttermilk-fried chicken.