Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Eagle Food and Beer Hall

Everything one would expect as the string 
of restaurant pearls continue on OTR Vine Street

The Namesake Wall Graphic
      There has been a lot of buzz around The Eagle Food and Beer Hall since it opened in December 2013.  If a conversation comes up about food and restaurants, The Eagle is mentioned with more than just a passing comment.  I had been waiting to go and wanted to experience it with a larger
group than just the two of us, so we decided to ask Kris, Karn and Helen if they would like to join us for Sunday lunch.  That would give us the opportunity to sample more things.

1/4 White Chicken with Spicy Hot Honey
       We arrived when it opened, which allowed us to be seated without a wait despite the line outside.  The menu was simple with portions geared toward picking a main plate for oneself and sharing the snacks and side dishes.  Fried Chicken was
Pork Sandwich
the star (its peppery coating made it worth that status billing to most), but the Pork Sandwich was a hit among our group.  Portions are large, and that's especially true for the sandwiches.  The Fried Chicken version was topped with cole slaw (also

Fried Chicken Sandwich
available as a side dish) and garnished with a pickle (also available as a snack).  Eric felt the spicy kick of the chicken came after-the-fact.  

Chopped Salad and Kale Salad (Background)
       We shared a small size portion of the Kale and Chopped Salads, but found the chopped offering to be more satisfying.  None of us felt it needed the roasted chicken, as the other ingredients of sweet and savory seemed perfect with the white balsamic vinaigrette.  The bourbon soaked golden raisins in the kale salad were definitely overpowered by the cider vinaigrette.  As for sides, we chose Succotash, Mac & Cheese and Spoonbread.
Succotash and Spoonbread
The succotash was an adventurous combination of great northern beans, corn, green beans, bacon, and bell pepper in a slightly spicy sauce.
Mac & Cheese

For me, the mac & cheese was the least successful, although others liked it. I thought it had all the right fixin's, but it had more of a sauce on top than a casserole and that made it cool off way too fast on the table.  Spoonbread should be their signature item after the chicken.  Thick, creamy and filled with corn, it supplied everything it needed to in its little iron skillet.

      We haven't mentioned the other half of the menu, which is an extended list of beers (over 100), wines and signature mixed drinks.  There's something for everyone, even early bird teetotalers like us who enjoyed their special Root Beer brew.  There were no desserts, which is the regular practice with this restaurant group, but there was Holtman's and Graeters adjacent.

P.O. Boxes with Original Walls
      The interior borrowed trends—unpolished wooden ceiling and walls, sleek, central bar, exposed brick—from other recently opened restaurants, but used the building's original intention as a U.S. Post Office wisely with the eagle motifs throughout and P.O. boxes still intact as wall art.  Service was friendly, knowledgable and well coordinated.  It's well on its way to a long run on Vine Street.

NOTE TO THE EAGLE:  While checking the menus posted on Urbansppon, I noticed that there have been at least two price readjustments on your menu in the less than 4 months you've been open.  I counted 18 out of 26 items and some of them were a 50% increase!  While I know meat prices have been on the rise, most of these were non-meat items.  Come on!  You're experts in the restaurant business, so get it right the first time and stick with it… and don't try to fool the public!  The last time we saw this happen with a cool new restaurant was Wunderbar, and it eventually turned us off to returning on a regular basis.

The Eagle Food and Beer Hall on Urbanspoon

It's an eagle…it's a plane…no—it's a bird!

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