Phantom Gourmet: Brewer’s Coalition In Newtonville
NEWTONVILLE – It’s where beer meets batter, fish meets chips, and brew lovers meet to drink, dine, and unwind.
There are all sorts of coalitions being formed at Brewer’s Coalition in Newtonville. This new-to-the-neighborhood nook has a casual atmosphere with high ceilings, big windows and a huge wooden bar at the center of it all. With an ever changing lineup of beers and a collection of bottles bordering the entire space, you can tell owner Bill Honeycutt and his team are dedicated to their draughts.
“We have 50 craft beers: 20 on tap, 30 in bottles and cans. We have our beers lined up all around the perimeter the restaurant, up high, and a bunch of cans on the walls. A number of our menu items have beer in the recipes. We’re pretty serious about beer.”
So, the Fish & Chips are covered in a Sam Adams based batter and the Black and Tan Onion Rings are coated in Guinness Stout.
“It gives it a much different taste, a much richer taste, especially a darker beer – really gives it a real kick,” Honeycutt described.
Fresh cod gets a bath in beer batter before it’s deep fried and delivered as a twist on the classic Reuben sandwich.
“People love Rubens. I do, corned beef Rubens. But a different version of that is our Cod Reuben,” said Honeycutt. “It’s made with a beer battered cod, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese. It has a great taste to it.”
Brewers Coalition offers a menu full of craveable combinations, with appetizers for under $10 and entrees in the teens. There’s a fried-egg topped burger that’s made even better by the addictive side of hand cut sweet potato fries. Crispy on the outside, and soft in the center, the sweets are so popular that they decided to use them to encrust a haddock dish as well.
“Sweet potato fries we’ve been selling for years in other restaurants and it’s a very popular item,” Honeycutt said. “We just wanted to try to take that to a different level with more of an entrée dish. The fish is encrusted in sweet potato crumbs with a balsamic glaze on top. The fish is very moist on the inside because of the crust around it. It’s definitely our most popular dish.”
To form the perfect coalition of flavors for the chicken wings, the sweetness of honey and the smokiness of chipotle peppers definitely do the trick.
“It’s definitely a different taste than a regular buffalo wing,” said Honeycutt. “It starts with the honey. It has a good taste initially and then as you eat the wing it has a very different after taste or end to it.”
But if you prefer your wings with some starch, just order up the ultra-creamy and perfectly spicy Buffalo Mac & Cheese, topped with toasted breadcrumbs.
“It’s a good size portion. It’s the thing that our staff sells the most and they have pride in selling it because it is so good.”
Other popular dishes include the Seafood Stew, chock full of fresh mussels, clams, shrimp, and calamari. The Chicken Under a Brick is incredibly moist and comes with creamy mashed potatoes. For something on the lighter side, Brewer’s Coalition offers a variety of salads like one with arugula and goat cheese and another topped with shrimp and a crab cake. No matter what you get for your main course, you have to save some room for the decadent Banana Bread Pudding for dessert. It’s served warm and topped with ice cream.
“It’s banana bread pudding with chocolate chips. It has a brandy caramel sauce on top, comes warm with the big scoop of vanilla ice cream,” explained Honeycutt.
There are all sorts of factors working together here to create the perfect harmony, but the combination of great food and fun service is a coalition that the staff prides itself on most.
“Our service is top notch. We called our service ‘aggressively friendly,’ and that means we go out of our way to take care of our guests.”
You can find Brewer’s Coalition at 344 Walnut Street in Newtonville, or online at johnbrewerstavern.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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