Saturday, September 25, 2010
Blackstar Co-op Review
I was very excited when I heard that Blackstar Co-op brewpub was actually open for business. When I first heard of Blackstar it was just a group of homebrewers and beer enthusiasts who wanted to share their love of beer with everyone. Since then they've actually built their own brewpub, and are preparing to brew their own beer for their official opening in mid to late October. For their soft opening until then they are serving a very nice selection of 20 craft brews from around the country, with a heavy emphasis on local breweries (Live Oak, (512), St. Arnold's).
I was sure the beer was going to be good, but I was curious about the food and service. Blackstar takes the English orderly queue style for ordering beer and food (think Draught House), but has a very modern open ambiance. The servers will not accept tips, and instead respond that they are paid a "fair and even wage". Personally I find this very refreshing... I'm not a big fan of the tip system, and I like not having to add 20% to my check at the end of the night. Despite this, the prices are very reasonable for both their food and beer.
Lindsay and I ordered Shrimp and Grits, Popcorn Tofu, and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Everything was amazing, especially the shrimp and grits. The grilled cheese came on some good sourdough bread, and with English chips (ie, fries) seasoned with plenty of garlic. Typically I'm willing to overlook some bar-food quality of good beer, but that's not necessary here. Needless to say, I'm sold.