I’m no stranger to Brewery Vivant’s beer….I love them. All of them….but I’ve never actually been to The Pub. I mean, I have…to pick up beer, but never to eat. Working in Grand Rapids…and pretty close to the brewery…you’d think I have by now, but I’ve always wanted to save it for some time that I could eat in and enjoy a beer…it’s been five years now and that still hasn’t happened, so I gave up and decided to order carry-out….when I stopped to pick up a special release beer.
Brewery Vivant is in an awesome historic building in the East Hills neighborhood. The public part of the building…the pub, is in what was originally built as a chapel for a funeral home. They were able to save the original wood beams and the light fixtures and they kept the feel going in the rest of the space with amazing solid wood tables that lead up to a huge bar.
Unfortunately, I’ve never actually eaten in this area….as much as I want to and now that I’ve finally made that first visit…and still didn’t get to drink any beer…maybe I won’t be so hesitant to do so in the future.
I was making a quick stop at the brewery on this day to pick up one of their limited special releases. Love Shadow went on sale at noon when the pub opened and by the time I got there at 2:00, there didn’t look to be much left. I had already called in my order, so I grabbed a four pack of the beer and headed to the hostess station to pick up my food.
The menu at Vivant goes towards the upscale side of pub food. They have a burger on the menu in addition to several delicious looking sandwiches that I passed over to get to said burger. After adding on bacon and bleu cheese, the price of the burger came out to just under $17 and that included pomme frites for a side. The price of the four pack of beer must have been $26 (I didn’t look at the receipt before tossing it) because the total came out to just a little over $43. I paid with my credit card then headed off to work to eat my burger before starting the work day.
I know the chef’s at Brewery Vivant aren’t really big fans of doing take out (they told me so on Twitter) because they have less control over the temperature at which the food is eaten. Let me tell you something though…it didn’t matter. The food was just as delicious as their beer.
I started with the burger first. It was packed in a small tinfoil box with a paper lid and it was deconstructed. The meat was separated from the bun, the bacon, and the lettuce and tomato so nothing was soggy before I was able to bite in to it. I put everything together and took a bite. The juices flowed from this burger down my hand. The 8 oz patty is a blend of beef and bacon and it was cooked to just a hair under medium with a strong pink center and a deliciousness that can’t be described. The bleu cheese accented the seasoning of the beef in a way that it actually made a little bit spicy. The sandwich also comes with a bacon-onion marmalade that I chose to leave off. I don’t like onions and I didn’t want to chance that it would be to onion-y…and I’m glad I did because the meat of this burger is the real star. Very juicy. Very tender. Very tasty.
After polishing off the burger, I opened another small tinfoil that contained the frites. I just chose the basic pomme frites over the fancier truffle or garlic and parsley. Not sure why. I love truffle fries. The pomme frites are delicious on their own. They’re made in the style of traditional Belgian frites and hand cut in house. They have that delicious golden brown exterior with the soft, chewy interior. They make fries just the way I like them.
I have always been a huge fan of Brewery Vivant. Their beers are outstanding and the food is just as good. I’ve always looked for a way to actually sit down and enjoy a meal and a couple of beers in their pub, but I don’t always have time for that when I’m at work. The burger and fries I had for lunch were off the charts good. I’m already looking forward to bragging about this place to my co-workers in the hopes someone will want to stop with me for dinner one night.