101 Beer Kitchen is one of the latest concepts launched carrying the gastropub banner. The focus is on craft beer and comfort food made from local ingredients.
The cavernous space hidden in a modern Dublin strip mall used to be a Hoggy's. The space is open and well appointed.
Diners can take a growler home of one of the 20 drafts. The brews are tasty, but might benefit from adding one or two more local handles. There is also an army of bottles. The sample prices encourage trying a variety of brews.
The menu has vegetarian starters, salads, sandwiches and entrees. The pizzas looked excellent. Most of the appetizers are a pretty natural pair with a cold brew. Pretzels and fried cheese, obviously, greatly augment the hedonistic properties of fermented beverages.
The fried cheese curds were lightly breaded with a hint of cornmeal. They were addictive. The soft pretzels, served with a beer cheese dip, had a pronounced caraway note. While they were well made, they pale in comparison to the pretzels from Matt the Miller's, which has two locations close to 101 Beer Kitchen.
The vegan burger patty was made with black beans, sweet potato and onions, topped with a vegan jalepeño cream, spinach and tomato and served on a whole grain bun.The beet chips were light and added a sweet, crispy contrast to the burger.
The salted caramel pot de creme is a perfectly balanced yin and yang of sweet and salty. The salt crystals also added a delightful crunch to the dish.
Happy hour specials combined with appetizers make 101 Beer Kitchen an attractive draw. Service was even paced and friendly. The growler filled with water at each table is a cool way to keep water glasses full while reminding you of beer.