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Earth Bread & Brewery – Mt. Airy

I love it when other people tell me of new places to try. While at M and E’s bbq, A told me about a great meal she’d had in Mt. Airy to Earth Bread & Brewery. So we headed over there on a hot summer night. They make flatbread pizza here, and they also make their own beer. Pretty cool, right? It’s on a main strip in Mt. Airy, and it’s on two floors. It’s actually quite roomy. They have bars on both floors, and the wood fired stove is downstairs. It’s pretty cute.

They have a number of their own brews, and they carry additional beers on draft. I tried the glutenus minimus, which is a gluten free beer! Weird, huh? Yes, definitely weird. But I really liked it. It was light, slightly citrusy, and a little bit sour. They also have more normal wheat based beers too. So don’t you worry.

So let’s move onto the pizzas! J got a small White pizza. The small ones are a nice individual size. These are flatbread pizzas, so the crusts are thin. They’re made with king Arthur flour, and the dough is fermented long and cool for maximum flavor. Or at least that’s what their website says. The white pizza has roasted garlic oil, mozzarella, jack, and fontina cheeses, roasted onion, plum tomato, and basil. The mozzarella is also made in-house. It was a very nice, light pizza.

I went much more exotic and got the MolĂ© pizza. It had spicy mexican chili sauce, roasted corn, black beans, blackened chicken, jack, and fontina cheeses. There’s obviously a lot going on with this pizza, but I liked it. The beans and roasted corn were obviously very new to me, on a pizza, but for me, it totally worked. It was a like a burrito, on a pizza. Not a bad thing.

We goth enjoyed our food, and our beer. The service, however, ouch. I cannot say anything good about it. It started off poorly, right away. When we got there, it said to please wait for the hostess to be seated. So we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. It seriously seemed like forever. It turned out that the hostess was at the bar all along, the bar right behind the hostess stand, and just decided not to wait on us, until after 10 minutes of us standing in front of the hostess stand. She finally eventually decided to acknowledge us and took us upstairs and sat us. She gave us menus right away, shockingly enough, but then she didn’t bring us our waters until about another at least 5 minutes in. The server actually came over to us very quickly, but man, was she a sourpuss. She looked miserable, she sounded miserable, and was the least enthused person I’ve witnessed in a long time. Her level of disinterest in her job and her customers was through the freakin roof. Overall, we were both highly unimpressed with the service. I would even say that it sucked. Yeah, the service here sucked. It’s a shame, because the food and drinks were good!

Earth Bread + Brewery on Urbanspoon

Al Fresco At McMenamins Old St Francis School

Bend is home to another branch in the McMenamins dynasty. Their spot is called Old St. Francis School, because it actually used to be a catholic school. Now, it’s not only a pub and restaurant, but also a hotel and movie house. They truly run the gambit here. On a lovely evening, we dined outside. They have plenty of outdoor seating and have umbrellas so you don’t get scorched.

J went crazy and got a burger. It is a third-pound Country Natural Beef patty with fixins and a secret sauce on a regular bun. It’s a healthy sized burger. He also added a fried egg. It also comes with a side salad or fries. J was a big fan of this burger.

I went with the Smokehouse Pizza. I’m not regularly all that into pizza, but this is what I was drawn to that evening. It features slow-smoked pork, Hammerhead BBQ sauce (made with their own Hammerhead ale), and mozzarella and fontina cheeses. Oh my word, this was a lovely pizza. The crust was great too, not too thin, not too thick, with enough crunch from the wood fired stove. It was kind of like a pulled pork sandwich on a pizza, and I loved it. Service is just ok here, nothing to rave about. Something strange happened there during our dinner. At three separate tables, a glass of water was spilled. It was just bizarre. I mean it didn’t affect the meal at all, but it was worth mentioning, due to its randomness.
McMenamins Old St Francis School on Urbanspoon

10 Barrel Brewpub – Bend

It’s been about 5 years since I was last in Bend, and the city has certainly grown since then. It is still just as beautiful. There are tons of new places eat. One of these new spots is the perfect new 10 Barrel Brewpub. They’ve been brewing beer for about three years, but the brew pub has only been open since February. It’s an amazing spot. It is warm, comfortable, and inviting. There is a nice outdoor eating area. The bar has two giant garage door type windows that open behind it, and you can just walk up to the bar, from the outside, and order food. So it’s one bar, with both seating indoors and out. The bartender was nice, friendly, and quite the multi-tasker. They have standard pub grub, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. And of course, they have tons of their own beer. We only tried one and it was great.

J got the rib-eye chopped salad. Look how big and gorgeous this salad is! It is a giant heap of romaine, marinated rib-eye, red onion, tomato, cucumber, warm prosciutto, and avocado. It is typically served with a creamy gorgonzola dressing, but you can get whatever dressing you want. It’s a stupendous salad. I ate all the prosciutto out of it!

I got the 10 barrel mac & cheese. It was unbelievably great. It is large elbow pasta with a 4 cheese sauce, hunks of pancetta, and green onions, and is served in a hot cast iron skillet. You also get delicious, hot, buttery garlic toast. I love, love, loved it. Just like I love, love, loved this whole entire place. We really loved everything about this place, and would have happily gone back again and again. If you’re ever in Bend, please stop by! You will love it. It’s places like this that make me wish I lived in Bend!

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