Friday, Jan 20, 2017

Butcher & Brew, Alpharetta’s Newest Hot Spot


butcherbrew_pigsinblamket_450x287It is 6 o’clock on a Saturday evening and the sidewalks of down Alpharetta are bustling with middle-aged moms and dads tossing cornhole bags with one hand and a drink in the other. Some with small children in tow, but for most it’s date night. A few singles meander in small packs casually mixing in and out, adding to the relaxed vibe.

Have you ever seen the streets of Alpharetta so alive?

Did you ever imagine the day downtown Alpharetta would become a bona fide night-life destination? Well, that day is obviously here, thanks in large to business-friendly Mayor David Belle Isle and his colleagues at the City of Alpharetta.

This small stretch of South Main St. not long ago, was merely a pass-thru to get to where you were going. Today, this is where the locals meet, it’s where they eat, it’s where they drink, it’s where they play.

It’s just as it should be.

Who Started It?
While I am handing out good praise, how about a kudos to Smokejack BBQ, the pesky pioneer for many years that didn’t give up on Alpharetta. They watched as the once sleepy town around them woke up.

But the Mayor and the city had a vision and they sold it well.

Things really got brewing when Hop Alley Brew Pub opened its doors. South Main Kitchen wasn’t far behind, and Chris Sedgwick shocked everyone when he turned down a spot at Avalon for his latest concept, Made Kitchen & Cocktails, opening instead in the friendly confines of the Alpharetta square. Even Ceviche from Roswell couldn’t resist.

And now, the owners of South Main Kitchen are at it again with Butcher & Brew (3 S. Main St., Alpharetta, Tel: 678.585.3344) a chef-driven sports pub concept.

The space is industrial with several televisions, the front is wide open spilling the vibe — and its patrons — onto the sidewalk.

What About The Food?
The food is creative pub grub with all kinds of twists. And at times, it’s even fun — pork belly corn dog with cheese sauce. What’s not to like?

Pigs in a blanket (pic above) is Heywood’s famous spicy cheddarwurst sausage wrapped in pastry and served with spicy honey mustard.

Sandwiches are the mains and they can be affordable fun bites like the $12 Adrian, a garlicky roasted pork broccolini and cheddar sandwich all the way up to a wallet-cringing $18 shaved angus ribeye sandwich.

My favorite so far is The Land Lady, the chef’s take on a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. A tad spicy from the kimchee, but it’s the ginger mayo that elevates this one from good to great.

They also offer four protein bowls with a base price of $10 — pick your protein and add it to the base price.

My only lament to this point is service. The staff is friendly and helpful, but would somebody please train these people on the basics of working a table?

I Need A Drink?
As much as I like the food, I could argue that the bar and its bartenders are the strength of this gastropub. They offer a nice mixture of both local and other domestic craft beers, and the cocktails are extremely creative and well thought out.

I might become a regular.

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