The Hilltop Has Aye’s

Jen and I decided to try Parker’s Hilltop Brewery in Clarkston on Saturday night. We had heard many good things about it and the reviews were always stellar. We were not sure how the visit was going to be because when we called to make a reservation they said that they were not taking any reservations. Jen asked the person on the phone why can’t we reserve a table, the website says you take reservations? The person told Jen that yes, they do take reservations, but not tonight because they expect the restaurant to be busy. Huh? Anyway, we were not going to be deterred by this dumb answer.

When Jen and I arrived, we were impressed by its spaciousness and rustic appeal. Some of the walls are ordained with pictures of Michigan music icons like Bob Seger, Diana Ross and Alice Cooper, etc. We sat down at the bar and were met by a very affable young man named Sean.  He brought us our waters while we looked at their beer list. Jen and I could not decide so we each ordered a flight of beers. Our flights were the same except for one choice. We both agreed that the Pirates Porter and Sleeping Monkey were great choices. Jen had a Mr. Hockey Irish Red which was also quite tasty. We both determined that the Ry-no Head Belgian Ale was just okay and the FNG American Stout with its extra hoppiness was not to our liking. Look, we try and we want to like IPA’s but we just don’t their just too bitter and lack the robust roasted maltiness of porters and stouts. Overall, the beer is good but unfortunately it is limited and half the choices are IPA’s.

We were hungry so we decided to split prime rib and a prosciutto and arugula pizza. The prime rib dinner came with mashed potatoes and broccoli but Jen and I upgraded to different sides. We opted for mac and cheese and fries. The fries were just okay nothing special and even though Jen really liked the mac and cheese it didn’t blow me away. But that’s not unusual for me, I am someone who can take or leave mac and cheese. Now the prime rib was cooked perfectly at medium rare and bursting with meaty goodness. Please people do not go beyond medium rare when you order good cuts of meat if you want it well done just eat Salisbury steak.

The pizza was phenomenal, salty, garlicky and beyond savory. Wow what a good choice. As we sat at the bar, we watched group after group of people come. Like I said, the place is big but does fill up fast. My advice, if you like good beer and good food, go to Parker’s Hilltop. But go early and save us two seats at the end of the bar cuz we are going back.