Craig LaBan reviews Bainbridge Street Barrel House, the beer bar just a block off of South Street in Queen Village. LaBan urges readers to stick with “meals on a bun” and the beer.
[Chef Eric] Paraskevas isn’t afraid of wacky risks.
The risk is, they don’t always work. On occasion, they pay off. His “Porkenstein,” for example, is a towering tribute to pig on a bun, a house-ground pork-butt patty topped with clove-brined, apple-smoked ham, smoked pulled pork, then a slice of belly, tender from a braise and crisped on the griddle. It was a mouthful of flavorful textures that would been even better had it not been smothered in pink “special sauce.”
But the message was clear: The best bets here come on a bun. That pulled pork, on its own with a crunchy slaw, had enough smoky savor and spicy tang to catch my attention (although the rosemaried vinegar sauce needs to be toned down). The Barrel House burger is one of the more traditional efforts – but it’s also one of its best, a well-seasoned half-pound patty topped with melted Muenster and blades of bacon, whose IPA-infused mustard and spicy relish (cucumbers and habaneros) were in perfect harmony.
One Bell – Hit-or-Miss