Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Essex St. Pub - Bringing the Kitchen back to Life

The kitchen currently offers 14 traditional pub styled dishes. We tried five of the options, washing everything down with pints of local Rusty Chain and Irish Guinness.

We tried the grilled three cheese with tomato, made with cheddar, pepper jack, and Land o' Lakes American on Texas toast.

Mackies Grand Champion JD Chili is slow simmered and served with pepper jack cheese.   A mild, well flavored,  hearty red bean, beef, and tomato based chili, it was served with butter and toast.

The Evil Rufus key bomb is a sliced hot Mineo & Sapio Italian sausage link with peppers and onions in a spicy marinara with melted mozzarella cheese  and tucked in a warm Lugi hoagie roll. This was outstanding, a flash of flavor, scent, and color.       
The smoked bourbon surfer barbeque chicken wings were rubbed then smoked then dry fried and then coated with house made bourbon surfer barbeque sauce. The meat was falling off the bone, with the right blend of wet and sticky and not too much sauce. They were very, very good!

The wings came with a small salad with a bit of basil lemon oil. It was refreshing, like a palate cleanser.

Lastly, a P.L.T. This is a grilled pastrami, lettuce, tomato, with chipotle mayo on an XL Lugi's sliced and toasted sandwich. The pastrami is made in house. Seasoned and smoked, it's rich flavor makes the most moist and delicious sandwich I've had in a long time.

We came in just as the kitchen was starting up, catching Bob and Mitch off guard with our extra large order. When they asked how many in the party and heard only two, Bob peeked out the half door with his brows peaked in surprise. Barbara handled the bar and served baskets of hot food and cold beer with a sassy smile and quick wit. Mitch was prepping the juicy roast beef while we were there. Bob, the pub's head chef, was originally a soux chef from Mothers and jumped at the opportunity to run this new kitchen. He was prepping the dishes and smoking the chicken wings.

Bob had chili bubbling, burgers smoking, and pastrami grilling when I came in the kitchen to visit and catch them in action. The in house smoker uses hickory chips, no artificial liquid flavor here! All of the produce is locally sourced, as are the breads, which come from Luigi's Bakery.

When I spoke with owner Macky, he talked about how much work went into bringing the pub, from basement to attic, back to life.

With a great deal of pride shining on his face, he shared his vision of creating an indoor garden on the third floor to grow herbs and lettuces and more to be added to the dishes and how each step and the amazing feedback from the community has just reinforced how right it was in deciding to bring back the kitchen. 

I love this pub. It's close to home, serves a good drink at a fair price, and now with the kitchen up and running, a fine plate of food at an equally fair price. It has me looking for an excuse to visit more frequently. 

Essex St. Pub on Urbanspoon

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