My birthday was this past Saturday. When asked by my family where I wanted to have lunch that day, the obvious choice for me was the Moerlein Lager House. Since opening late last month I knew it was only a matter of time before I would stop in for a visit. Though I’m not a fan of most of the Christian Moerlein brand of beers, I do appreciate the efforts that Greg Hardman has put in to bring Moerlein and other Cincinnati heritage beers back home. This brewery is another step toward that goal.
Prior to our visit on Saturday I had seen many pictures of the newly built restaurant, and I must say that no amount of pictures can convey how neat the building truly is. I love the amount of glass that was used in the construction. It allows a ton of natural light in, while providing diners with wonderful views outside. The large wood beams and contrasting black metal work really well together, and there is also a large amount of granite inside too.
In addition to eight or so Christian Moerlein draft selections, there is a great selection of guest beers also on tap, not to mention the lengthy bottle list from around the world. It may not have the best selection in the city, but I’m glad that they didn’t limit it to only Moerlein products. The food menu is also fairly lengthy as well, even during lunch. Eventually I settled on the smoked stack BBQ sandwich ($11) – pulled pork, smoked sausage, chipotle BBQ sauce and fried onions on brioche roll.
The pulled pork itself was good, though not excellent. The real treat of the sandwich is the spicy smoked sausage that is mixed in with the pork. The fried onions didn’t add much to the sandwich other than an occasional crunch. I opted for coleslaw on the side and not the sweet potato chips. The slaw was okay, but fairly bland for my tastes. I did steal some sweet potato chips from my mom and liked those better. Though I think I would like them even more if they were thicker cut.
I also stole a couple of bites of my mom’s beer can chicken melt sandwich ($11) – pulled rotisserie chicken, applewood bacon, caramelized onion, roasted tomato and cheddar with honey mustard on French roll. This sandwich was awesome! I would definitely order it again. My wife had the applewood chicken salad ($14), which I also sampled. This combines grilled chicken over spring greens tossed in cranberry poppyseed dressing with bacon, egg, cranberries, spiced pecans and bleu cheese. The portion was huge and again pretty tasty.
I’m excited to see how the menu progresses over time, and hope that the beer list continues to grow. I know that I will be back to sample more of the fine food and drinks. Below are some additional photos from my mom, with a few more on her flickr page.