Dieting is at an all time low. Working out, on the other hand, is going very well. I bought some new workout clothes from Athleta to replace some of my old sports bras, and that’s been a huge motivator. Showing off my new workout clothes. Do any of you guys feel the same way with new cute workout clothes? On the flip side, I realized that some of the sports bras I was wearing were the same ones I had worn during high school lacrosse. Dire shopping trip needed.
To continue on my original point of failing my diet, Andy and I struck another big to-do off our list and walked over to Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. for dinner and drinks the other night. It was a perfect night out, so we threw Starla into her harness and took her along for the ride. The pros: our dog gets out, has some socialization, gets a good second evening walk. The cons: The patio at Smylie Brothers, while large, fills up quickly and you can’t sit at the bar when you have a dog with you. Unfortunately, we had about a 30-40 minute wait before we were able to get seated.
Smylie Brother’s claims to fame are their BBQ, pizza, and beer. Their BBQ includes pulled pork and chicken, ribs, and brisket. They have a huge variety of wood-fired pizzas, too.
We arrived at around 7 and were seated around 7:30 or so. At this point, we were pretty hungry. Beers and apps were to be ordered immediately. Andy and I choose the IPA and the mussels to start. Even though we were tempted by the Poutine, we were trying to be “good” and make healthy choices….
Mussels were ho-hum. I like a lot of broth to dip my bread into, and this appetizer didn’t have enough broth. The mussels were said to be steamed in their Farmhouse Ale, with leeks, shallots, garlic and butter. However, it wasn’t a crowd pleaser. Maybe the Poutine would be more impressive for our next visit.
Surprisingly, neither of us had eyes bigger than our stomachs (like we usually do) and opted to share a pizza. We couldn’t pass up on a little barbecue, so we chose was the Smokehouse pizza which was topped with smoked brisket, pickled jalapenos, Monterey jack cheese, and a Texas mopping sauce. This baby had a kick! Extremely flavorful, the jalapeno was strong but not overpowering, and the sauce was extremely savory. We finished every last bite.
At this point, it was round two for drinks. To switch it up, Andy ordered the Strong Belgian Rye and I went for their award winning Purple Line. Purple Line is pretty head turning once you see it, not only because of the bright color but the size of this enormous 23 oz beer. The beer is a Bavarian wheat that is brewed with blueberry, blackberry, and hibiscus. It is sold as “tart, fruity, and super refreshing.” I’d agree with the tart and fruity, but I wouldn’t call this beer necessarily refreshing. It was a thick, unfiltered beer that took me a while to push through. I prefer my tart, fruity beers to have a bit of hoppy bitterness. If you’re a big fan of shandys, you’ll fall in love with this one-of-a-kind beer. Andy’s Belgian Rye packed more of a punch with a 10% ABV versus the Purple Line’s 5%. It had a strong caramel flavor and was very malty.
We finished off our meal with the Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake. I’d never had a butter cake before but Andy was telling me that the basic ingredient in a butter cake is (surprise) butter! It leaves out leavening agents like baking powder or soda. I really enjoyed the butter cake, but I would call it more of a blondie than a butter cake (of what I know of butter cakes). I really enjoyed the macerated cherries and apricots on the top. The caramel corn ice cream was house-made and complemented the cake.
Our biggest concern and frustration about the restaurant was the host staff. They were unable to quote us a wait time, they were seriously slow, and we had to point out the open table to the host staff (that was open for a good 10 minutes after bussing) for us to be seated. I understand that it’s a busy night and they did have a private party, too. However, we saw numerous examples of shotty hosting service during the time we were waiting for our table.
Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. 1615 Oak Avenue. Evanston, IL. 224-999-7320