The day after we went to Bastone Brewery Omar actually agreed to go to Royal Oak again! Was it he is warming up to the food diversity there, or was it just because our friends Ray and Denise suggested it? It was funny, because Denise and I made tentative plans to meet at Mr. Paul’s Chophouse. A little tableside Ceasar Salad, Chateaubriand for two… yet somehow our men folk changed plans and we went to a beer hall style dinner.
Humph. Well going with the flow as I usually do, cause I am cool like that, we headed out to Ale Mary’s. I have never been here, but heard it was really good from people at work. We were surprised to find the restaurant was so small. The second half of Tom’s Oyster Bar, transformed into a German Style Beer hall with long community tables and a robust beer menu. I don’t really like sitting at picnic table style seating with, as Stealers Wheel so eloquently put, clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, but alas, go with the flow aye? Also I am getting kind of old for a long beer drinking session with no back to lean up against.
Our “dates” for the evening were running a bit late, and we were running very early, and hungry so we opted to order the duck poutine while waiting. The fries, cooked in duck fat, are layered with a thick hearty gravy, cheese curds and pieces of duck. Very tasty but so bad for you!
This blog post, I will first review the food, then the beer.
I ordered the cuban sandwich. It was tasty, with pulled pork, ham, spicy mustard and extra pickles. The bun though, as I have experienced in the past seemed less cuban-esc and more hot dog bun-esc. My sandwich cane with even more fries, which I shared but did not partake.
Omar ordered the, wait for it, Beer Cheese burger!! My honey is so predictable. The burger cooked medium, with applewood smoked bacon, final absolution beer cheese, sprink mix, picked red onion and roasted tomato on a brioche bun. His too, served with more fries. The burger was good, dripping with oozy cheese and very messy.
Ray ordered a deconstructed chicken pot pie, which consisted of free range chicken, roasted, atop a mound of mashed peas and potatoes, with a puff pastry cap and mirepoix (which for you foodie newbs is basically tiny chopped veggies). He said it was good.
Denise ordered roasted brussels sprouts for an appetizer for the table. Roasted and tossed with pine nuts and an orange brown butter sauce, they were delicious. She too ordered the beer cheese burger and enjoyed it.
So moving on to the best part of the evening, the beer. This first beer, I actually had a whole glass while waiting for our guests. The rest Omar and I shared a flight.
Saugatuck Neopolitan Milk Stout Nitro: Officially a blend of milk sugar, chocolate, vanilla beans, and strawberries. From their menu: “This decadent specialty stout has developed a cult following and just one sip will tell you why.” I will tell you why: This intricate beer somehow infused all the flavors of a classic Neapolitan in a single glass. Layers of chocolate and vanilla, with slight overtones of a gentle strawberry flavor. This really tasted like melted ice cream in a glass. 5.9% abv, I give this beer two big thumbs up!
Clown Shoes Clementine: A Witbier, 5.9% abv, Light-bodied and crisp, this is a terrific seasonal packed with plenty of zest! Hazy in appearance and healthily carbonated, it utilizes Blanche de Chambly yeast to energetically shape its wheat malt base. Light, with just hints of clementine oranges. A light and refreshing summer beer.
Goose Island Matilda: A Belgian Ale, 7.0 abv, this pale ale is fermented with the wild yeast Brettanomyces. Matilda pours a golden sunrise color with dried fruit and clove aromas, a spicy yeast flavor, and a satisfying dry finish.
Wolverine Barista Coffee Lager: 6.2% abv, A collaboration brew with Ann Arbor’s RoosRoast featuring locally roasted Colombian coffee. Wolverine Brewer Karl Hinbern, once in the coffee roasting business himself, spearheaded the coffee side of this beer, finally selecting a Colombian Excelso bean roasted at Roos. Pours a dark clear brown with an off white head and features huge coffee flavor and aroma. OMG Omar and I were in love love love with this beer. Tasted like iced coffee. The coffee flavor is this beer just slaps you across the face. Amazing and HIGHLY recommended.
Liberty Street Pooh Beer Honey Porter: I had to order this beer with such a cute name!A whopping 9.8% abv, you wouldn’t know by the light texture and smooth taste. This is a honey porter made with locally harvested honey, and plenty of it, to give this high alcohol beer a very sweet finish.
Ballist Point Peppermint Victory at Sea Imperial Porter: 10.0 abv, a festive take on Ballist Point’s popular Imperial Porter. They took their trademark robust porter brewed with Caffe Calabria coffee and vanilla and added a dose of refreshing peppermint. The trio of flavors play perfectly on your palate – the brew’s sweet roasting balances nicely with a cool, minty finish.
Founders Nitro Oatmeal Stout: 4.5% abv, brewed with generous amounts of flaked oats, chocolate malt, roasted barley and a healthy helping of Nugget hops, it is extra smooth and has a creamy mouthfeel. This beer was your typical Oatmeal Stout. Nothing amazing, but good nonetheless.
Overall, we will most definitely go back. Maybe not so much for the food, but for sure for the beer. Check it out while you are in Royal Oak!!