I don't know what it is-- maybe all the rain-- but something's been pushing me towards middle-of-the-road experiences lately. I've been burning myself out a bit with an article I'm working on, so that might be it. Anyway I needed a beer, so we went the other night to the Malt River Brewing company in the Latham Circle Mall. The restaurant was eerily quiet for a Saturday night, but that might be because they were about to close for two days of renovations, and we did go on the late side (around 8:30 or so).
They have excellent beers on tap, but I always order a stout, because it's always good. They have fine appetizer selections and bar food like Thai Peanut Wings that have won a Metroland award, and the sweet potato fries, which we got and that come with spicy dipping sauce. I have to stick with Bomber's Burritos as the place for best sweet potato fries in this area, but Malt River's are quite good. Other times I've been there I've gotten their black bean nachos for my main course, and it is just what you'd expect from a huge plate of nachos piled with beans and cheese: it's good but not great, and it loses its appeal when it starts getting cold and congealed.
You can also select from a couple of soups (onion soup, Texas red chili) and salads (they do have a caesar you can get with either chicken or grilled tuna, which is nice to know for dieters). Entrees are heavy on the meat and chicken, with strip steak, Cuban Pork Tenderloin, and Buffalo Meat Loaf. For vegetarians there is a pasta primavera or a tomato sauce and pasta. I got the Caribbean salmon, which came with an orange fruit salsa (really not very spicy, just more like some chopped fruit on the side); it was decent but not anything to distinguish itself. They also have a tuna-steak sandwich that I've gotten before. I've never been tempted by their desserts.
They have pizzas, too, although from the looks of it not that many people order pizzas there. Perhaps it's more of a bar food thing. My dining partner got the Red Barn Burger, which comes mixed with red onion and sun-dried tomato; he wasn't too impressed, since his came less well-done than he likes.
As my dining partner said to sum it up, it's the kind of place you go if there's a group of you all trying to meet somewhere convenient, but it's really not anything to get too excited about. Unless you're up for some beer-- and meat.