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Brewpub serious about kitchen expansion

September 9, 2012 12:11:05 AM PDT
Is a brisket tortellini noteworthy? Even if the pasta is handmade, the sauce vibrant and the garlic chips on top as crispy as the meat is tender? Or what about a wild salmon filet, plated with a charred wedge of polenta, wilted spinach and a tart salad of radish and jalapeno?

If we were in a Chicago cafe, these dishes would seem notable, not remarkable. But consider this level of food is being served in the 3 Floyds Brewpub, in an industrial park in Munster, Indiana and the entire approach seems to suddenly warrant attention.

"They make world famous beer, we wanted to make world famous food," said Pat Niebling, the Chef at 3 Floyds.

Consider their "boards," in this case, the meaty one, featuring Chinese sausage, pine ham and "hop" ham, all of which are cured and aged in-house, back in a cooler where some of the beer is stored.

"What we're doing basically is taking all the moisture out of the pig itself. So that way, when we wrap it in hops, all of that flavor goes inside of the meat," Niebling said.

Like all boards, they're served with classic accompaniments, such as mustards, pickled smoked grapes and bread. Mac and cheese features pasta shells and a number of rich cheeses, while the soup - in this case, broccoli cheddar - is a far cry from the versions you've had in the usual places.

"By getting cheddar cheese powder, we mix it with creme fraiche with fresh broccoli and a veggie stock," he said.

A few pieces of fried broccoli add a subtle note of crunch to the otherwise creamy bowl. There are also massive burgers here, usually stuffed with short rib, and of course, every item on the menu goes extraordinarily well with any one of the dozens of beers either on tap or in bottles. But the newly-expanded kitchen is now reason enough to pay the brewery a visit.

"Instead of people just coming here for a few pints, we try to make it about the food also," said Niebling.

So this little industrial park on the State Line may not be on everyone's itinerary. But for serious beer, and now food lovers, it's definitely a must-stop.

One of the advantages of going to the brewery directly, is you can purchase beer that is typically not sold in any stores.

3 Floyds Brewpub
9570 Indiana Pkwy, Munster, IN
(219) 922-3565
http://www.3floyds.com/


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