Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Mad Beach Brew

A craft brewing company on Mad Beach? Count me in!

In the mood for brews and food, our friends Sweet Polly and her mighty Underdog invited the Belle of Gulf Boulevard and me to join them at the Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company, 12945 Village Boulevard on, where else, Madeira Beach.

The brewery has indoor and outdoor seating. Our party decided to eschew the December heat and sit inside the 6000 square foot tap room at a four-top on wheels. Lenie was our delightful server bringing menus and hooking us up with some tasty bubbly brews.

We tried several quaffs from the 1000 square foot brewery including Dolphin Drool, Levique Lager, and Life's a Beach. The brews ranged from India Pale Ale, to a less hoppy American Pale Ale, to a Orange Blossom Honey Wheat Ale.

I had looked at the Mad Beach food menu on-line and knew that I must have the Tots Poutine. Our friends from the frozen North might turn up their noses at this Mad Beach creation, but I was in poutine heaven.

Those tots of taters were awash in a stout gravy with melted cheese curds adorned with fried sage. This is not the way it's done in Montreal, but here on Mad Beach this dish was a winner for me.

While waiting for our sandwich, burgers, and Square Grouper to arrive, we watched games being played. There are a number of gaming options to keep kids and adults alike happy -- pool, corn hole, and that orange thing.

Before you could say, "One in the corn hole!", our food arrived. Two in our party ordered burgers -- the Mad Beach Burger with Swiss and bacon, and the Mad Beach Burger with cheddar and a side of onion rings.

The burgers were plump, but not as juicy as expected on the medium rare burger. I didn't try a bite, but I'm thinking the beef might have been too lean. As for the onion rings, my bride said they were good, but a little dry. Surprisingly, she said she'd prefer them to be a little greasier.

The Square Grouper was available as a seared, blackened or fried grouper fillet with sautéed vegetables and coconut rice. I had a bite and the grouper was fresh, flaky, and cooked to perfection. The coconut rice was too dry for me, but I'm not really an aficionado of coconut in any disguise.

A Southern Sweet Potato Casserole was shared by the table accompanied with several moans of delight. These sweet potatoes were roasted with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and the I Yam What I Yam Ale, then topped with pecan praline and toasted marshmallows.

For my sandwich du jour, I decided on the BBQ Pulled Pork marinated in a blend of handcrafted ale, then roasted and tossed in a mango-rum-scotch bonnet pepper sauce. The pork was piled in an 8 inch pretzel roll with sharp cheddar, and slaw.

This was an excellent version of a pulled pork sandwich. It was juicy and loaded with flavor. The roll was soft on the inside with a not overly crusty exterior. There was just the right amount of heat, but I did not detect the distinctive Scotch Bonnet flavor.

At that point, I was happy just to finish my Levique Lager, but the table was seduced by Lenie's description of the Peanut Butter Cup Bread Pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and dollops of whipped cream.

My bride said the pairing of peanut butter and chocolate created an awesome climax to a very pleasant afternoon culinary delight.

All food and beverages came to a reasonable $135.89 for our party of four. We added a deserved 20%+ gratuity for Lenie's attentive service.

I never did find out what that big orange thing did. Maybe next time.

Mad Beach Craft Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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