Evil Czech Brewery and Public House – Mishawaka
For once, for some odd reason, I didn’t look for a place to eat on a road trip. I knew we were going to take a trip to the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, but I never looked up any place to eat nearby. That’s nor like me.
As we were walking around the zoo, J asked what we were going to do for lunch. I said I didn’t know and I’d look up someplace nearby on Yelp. Then, she said those magic words, “Are there any breweries around here?”
I quickly typed “brewery” into Google and the first thing that came up was a brewery not too far away in nearby Mishawaka.
The brewery is Evil Czech Brewery on North Main Street just south of Edison Road. This location is actually one of two Evil Czech locations with the other being in Culver, IN a little over an hour to the south. This location in Mishawaka opened earlier this year.
The building is on a busy road and it really looks more industrial than a restaurant. I almost missed it because of the wharehouse look to it.
When we pulled in, we got a little discouraged. The parking lot looked pretty packed. We were all hot and tired so a wait was sort of out of the question.
The entrance to the brewery is on the side with the driveway. You enter in to a little gift shop selling Evil Czech merchandise. The hostess station is right there and she was taking care of another group as we opened the door.
While it looked packed from the outside, the dining areas are actually quite large. There was no wait which made us incredibly happy.
The hostess took us to the family dining room in the back of the space. The space up front is the bar area which is only open to those 21 and up. Since we had L, it wasn’t even offered. It’s kind of a neat space with a variety of different seating options and a really large bar with an incredibly large tap list.
On our way to our table, the waitress asked if we had been there on a Sunday before. Turns, out Sunday until 3:00 is their Hangover Brunch. They don’t server their actual menu at that time, but most of the items are available on the brunch menu and mini versions of the full dish.
Once the hostess left, we grabbed the drink menu. I quickly found a Black IPA brewed with Jalapeno’s called Dracula’s Bite as something I absolutely had to try. The beer is a deliciously hoppy Black IPA with that little hint of pepperiness coming from the Jalapenos. It’s a really different finish to a pretty good Black IPA
J was looking for something sweet, but was having a little bit of a tough time. They didn’t have any ciders or meads nor did they really have mixed drinks (made with spirits from Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks). She eventually decided on the Cosmo.
After getting settled with drinks, J made the first run at the buffet. They are a ton of choices on the buffet at any time, but the buffet is also constantly rotating. It’s kind of on the whim of the chef…whatever he wants to make, they make and throw up on little plates for the picking.
The first trip was for J and L. J came back with the Crunchy Broccoli Mac. The creamy mac & cheese is made with fresh Michigan cheese curds and a Cheeto crust. It came with a piece of steamed broccoli which L ate up right way. She wasn’t too interested in the pasta so I ended up finishing it and it was yummy.
For herself, J came back with a bite size slice of pizza and a slice of deep fried gouda. This may have been her favorite selection. The fried cheese was served on a small toasted piece of bread and topped with bacon.
Oh yeah, bacon. I should mention this because we went back for several plates of bacon. All three of us love bacon as it is, but Evil Czech uses Nueske’s Bacon and they cook it up nice and crispy.
Lastly, she came back with a small plate of Parmesan Truffle Fries. These delicious french fries are topped with rosemary and a pilsner truffle aioli.
Once everyone was settled, I made my way up to the buffet. The first thing I grabbed was the Cubano Torta. This delicious sandwich wedge is rotisserie roasted pork loin with shaved ham, Swiss cheese, a house made pickle, and “tro’s” which I’m guessing are onion straws. I pulled most of those off not being a huge fan onions, but the sandwich was delicious.
Next, I grabbed a plate with an egg laying on top of the fried gouda that J really liked. Turns out, I really liked it too.
The next time we went up for plates they had put out some little mini burgers. The first one I tried was a simple bleu cheese and bacon burger. It made me really want a full sized burger as that is what I was expecting to order before we knew about the brunch. Next up, I tried just a simple cheeseburger. Again, delicious. Toasted bread and a juicy burger patty. Delicious.
While J and L hit dessert next, I wanted more savory. I grabbed small taco that I believe is their Braised Brisket Taco. The meat was so tender and juicy. It’s put together on a flour tortilla which kind of a downer as I really love corn tortillas, but this was still incredibly tasty. It’s put together with cilantro, onion, and a salsa verde.
I’m sure I’m missing a few of the dishes we tried because we both way over ate. I passed on dessert, but the ladies both enjoyed some. I actually screwed up and grabbed L a Tiramisu thinking it was a chocolate cake. J figured it out when L started making faces while she was eating it. It didn’t stop her from eating it, she just made faces. J took it away and got her a strawberry shortcake instead which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Our bill was just under $50 and that really surprised us. This incredible buffet cost us only $16 a piece and they didn’t charge us at all for L. That surprised us both. We figured this was going to be a $20+ buffet…and that wouldn’t have made us too angry because it would have been worth it.
Evil Czech was an accidental find and damn was it a good one. Seeing as how we just came from the zoo, I wasn’t in a super beer drinking mood, so I didn’t try more than just the one, but the one I had was really good. The buffet was fantastic. It’s almost worth the drive from Kalamazoo. I was already excited about the food once I saw the menu, but the buffet gave us the option to try so many things….and all of it was great.