November 8, 2014

The Crooked Fence Barrelhouse is on the "Short List"

The Crooked Fence Barrelhouse in Garden City is awesome
Longtime readers, AKA Mom & Dad, OK, who am I kidding?...Those of your who check in periodically or accidentally find their way on to this blog might have read that for years it seemed me & the Mrs. had something of a "restaurant curse". We've had really bad luck at places, as-in "given out own section and forgotten about when our server went home for the night" bad luck.

I can think of a time where we were given menus and, I shit you not, the server came back 45 minutes later. Or how about the time I had a pepperoni and olive calzone and found out that it was actually stuffed to the gills with green olives. I actually scooped out most of the olives from 1/2 of my calzone and the server was "that's too much for a calzone". Despite my request a manager never came buy and even a complaint to corporate got me an empty "sorry" email. Hell just two weeks ago we ate out at a place where my "blackened" chicken sandwich was not just cold, but half of it wasn't actually cooked, like only the front half was actually on the grill.....

Believe it or not I'm not a dickish restaurant customer, although I bet everyone who is a dick at restaurants says that. I know that the problem is usually never with the server and I make sure to tip well. When we find a good place we make sure to return on a regular basis (adding it to our "short list") and if the place sucks, we don't go back. I also don't have too many qualms about leaving a place before/during the meal that is terrible, but I don't screw over the server when I do so. One of my many mantras is:

If we don't like it we can always leave....

Now I've been a bit of a fan about the Crooked Fence Barrelhouse since our first visit a month or two after they opened. I'll be blunt & upfront that I don't like their beer, a fact my wife is probably sick of hearing. I'm not saying their beer is bad, in fact I'm told it is quite tasty, but they pretty much only brew ales. I'm a lager fan pure and simple, but lagers take more work & time to produce and since we grow hops in this part of the country it does make sense that local beers tend towards ales. As long as they don't try to push off an ale as an "Oktoberfest" beer, which should be my absolute favorite... a Märzen...I can overlook this defect of character.

Mini-tirade aside, the food is good, the service has been great, and it is close to home. I've tried a good portion of their menu and a few items are just "ok" I'd have to say it is a good menu because I don't expect everything to be to my liking. Their Ruben is the best I've ever had and a regular on my plate when eating there. The fries are good, but I prefer their salads, something I wouldn't have expected.

My wife hit a milestone birthday this week and when I asked her where she wanted to have a birthday dinner she chose the Barrelhouse. We did this last year and it was just her immediate family, but this year she asked for two of our friends to show up. That only makes a group of 8, but I thought I'd secretly open this up for more of our friends and try to make a low-key surprise birthday dinner. The Barrelhouse has two backrooms that can be reserved pretty much for free. They have a low minimum purchase requirement which should be easily met by a decent sized group....hell, I hit about 20% of the total just with the Mrs. and I. They have a special event menu, but had no problem letting our friends just order off the menu. This was a must for me because the Reuben wasn't on the special menu.

Pretty much the entirety of my "special request" was simply for us to have a simple meal together where we weren't jamming up the staff and nobody sang "Happy Birthday". The Barrelhouse was the perfect venue and our server was.....in my head I use a bunch of expletives to drive home how awesome she was. I wasn't expecting any problems, but I sure as hell wasn't expecting to have such a good time, which was easily facilitated by our server Ana.

Good times, good food, great service.....the Crooked Fence Barrelhouse is really worth a visit.

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