Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Restaurant Review: The Church Brew Works (Pittsburgh, PA)

Last night was my mother's "Thursday Night Ladies' Once a Month Monday Night Dinner" night (quite a mouthful, I know), so she was out for the evening. My dad needed to take his bike into Pittsburgh to get something adjusted and pick up some parts, so, rather than be stuck at home with the cats, I tagged along with my him and we had dinner at one of my favorite Pittsburgh restaurants: The Church Brew Works.

Built inside what was the St. John the Baptist church in Lawrenceville, The Church Brew Works is one of the most beautiful and unique restaurants at which I've ever eaten. The owners kept as much of the original structure and decor as possible, creating an interesting and different dining experience. Perhaps best known for their hand-crafted brews (if you go, get the sampler so you can try all of them), the restaurant also offers two dining areas: a casual, pub dining set up on one side and a regular dining set up on the other, and the menus for each are filled with tasty dining options. Always on both menus: traditional (potato and cheese) and "untraditional" pierogies, a Pittsburgh staple. The restaurant also offers wood-fired brick oven pizzas, various meat and vegetarian dishes, and some decadent desserts.

Though my dad and I are both currently doing the WeightWatchers Points Plus program, we each used some of the extra points we're given each week to splurge on our meals. We started with the "untraditional" pierogies—last night's selection featured chicken, tomato, and four cheeses, topped with a fresh basil pesto—and we each had a beer (I had the Pious Monk Dunkel, a dark lager regularly offered). While my dad was craving seafood and decided on the Shrimp Carbonara, I was enticed by the Crispy Vegetarian Polenta, a light dish that includes two generous helpings of herbed polenta, wild mushrooms (I'm not a fan, so I left those out), zucchini, blistered tomatoes, and a truffle-goat cheese sauce. With the edition of some grilled chicken and a side of bread with garlic butter, this dish was perfect! For dessert, we dove into the bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream. I've been to The Church Brew Works several times, and every meal I've gotten and every beer I've tried have been delicious and this combination of restaurant and church never ceases to amaze me. So, searching for God and great food, or maybe you're just in it for the beer?—then check out The Church Brew Works.

Sacreligious? Maybe. Unique atmostphere and delicious food and drinks? Definitely.

The Church Brew Works
3525 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

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