Review: Brewski

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Brewski is a North American ‘comfort food’ restaurant just at the back of St. Peter’s square, and it certainly lives up to its moniker. After our meal, we walked away groaningly full and fairly close to entering a food-induced coma on the Magic Bus. Brewksi is one of those restaurants where you can’t help but gaze around the room with covetous eyes at the cheese platter sailing past, or the burritos. Expect unapologetically comedogenic food, like the deep fried chicken and blue cheese burger, perfect for a cold Manchester night. It’s definitely worth a visit, even if you should choose your dishes carefully.

The house wine we tried was outstanding: a supple, velvety red at a fairly reasonable price. Another friend enjoyed one of the large array of gins, which was delicious. Although I have to agree with her one complaint. Why does everywhere now garnish gin with so much rosemary that it makes it difficult to actually drink?

For food I ordered the classic burger, while my friends ordered the classic mac and cheese, the vegetarian poutine, and the Texan burger. The mains were frustratingly uneven. The mac and cheese was a delight, with a gorgeously coloured and silkily creamy sauce. It almost felt a shame to eat it – you could daub it onto your walls and Farrow and Ball would be jealous. The burgers weren’t bad, but they weren’t outstanding. Although, in fairness to Brewski, Almost Famous has ruined me in that respect. A bad note: the chips that came with the burger were incredibly bland. Would it hurt to season them?

The poutine, a Québécois Canadian dish comprising of chips, gravy and cheese curds, was underwhelming. I generally believe that people who go to a restaurant and fail to try their regional specialities should be ashamed of themselves, but it really isn’t worth it with poutine, at least at Brewski. I’ve had better variants on cheese, chips and gravy at Krunchy Fried Chicken. I’ll reserve full judgement as it might well be better in Canada. However, if you don’t go to Brewski for any other reason, you should pop in just for their applewood smoked hot cheese dip, which is a thing of dreams. It arrives in its very own mini frying pan, a bubbling little vat of cheese perfect for dipping chips, burgers- it is so wonderfully indulgent you could eat it with a spoon.

Brewski also scores well on desserts. I’ve had New York cheesecake from several famous locations in New York itself, and Brewski’s version, surprisingly, tops them all. It’s firm without being claggy, creamy without being overwhelming. My friend had the Oreo brownie. Though I tend to be wary of Oreo desserts because they can end up quite dry, this was just right. It had a close biscuit texture which kept that chocolatey and yet slightly bitter redolence. Let’s hope Brewski smooths out its flaws, because then it could be a truly great restaurant.

3/5

Tags: brewski, burgers, canada, poutine, quebec

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