Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017
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Restaurant Reviews

PEACH WEEKENDER | BILL OF FARE

Granite City adds upscale feel to everyman menu

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    Crispy Shrimp taco trio with corn and black bean salsa at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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    Chicken Limone with mashed potatoes, asparagus, and lemon buerre blanc sauce at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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    Selections from Granite City Food & Brewery’s Sunday brunch, clockwise from top: build your own omelet, cantaloupe, build your own waffle, sausage and bacon, and reggianno hashbrown potatoes.

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    Cajun Pasta with andouille sausage, chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers, penne pasta, and a creamy Cajun sauce at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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    Mango habanero BBQ boneless wings at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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    Meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, petite green beans, BBQ demi-glace, grilled Italian bread, and crispy onion strings at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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    The Batch 1000 BBQ pork nachos withBatch 1000 Double IPA-braised pulled pork, Sriracha queso, Colby-Jack cheese, corn and black bean salsa, cilantro, guacamole, and Santa Fe cream sauce at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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    Biscuits and gravy, reggianno hashbrown potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage from the Granite City Food & Brewery Sunday brunch.

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Chicken Limone with mashed potatoes, asparagus, and lemon buerre blanc sauce at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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Granite City Food & Brewery just feels posh: From the niceties of the granite-lined columns in the dining areas and the comfortable dark leather booths offset by light-colored wooden tables, to its location in the upscale Shops at Fallen Timbers mall in Maumee, one of only two spots in Ohio for this national chain.

Lest Granite City Food & Brewery's air of fancy fool you, most of its patrons we observed in two recent visits sported anything from comfortable business attire to jeans and a nice sweatshirt.

In fact, the only thing dressed up at this restaurant and brew pub was the food; an everyman menu of nachos, wings, burgers, sandwiches, as well as steaks, pastas, and salads turned decadent by sumptuous twists to the standards.

The Batch 1000 BBQ pork nachos ($10.95) — pulled pork braised in Granite City's Batch 1000 Double IPA, Sriracha queso, Colby-Jack cheese, corn and black bean salsa, cilantro, guacamole, and Santa Fe cream sauce, and served atop homemade chips — were in a different league than what comes out of most restaurant kitchens. They were also just as messy-fun to eat and even more delicious.

The hand-breaded boneless wings ($9.95), which rounded out our table's dinner appetizers, were coated with a sweet mango habanero barbecue sauce with a delayed spicy kick; one well-traveled member of our party commented the wings were among the best he has had.

The entrees were just as dynamic, mostly.

Granite City Food & Brewery

★★★★

Address: 2300 Village Drive W., Ste. 130 at Shops at Fallen Timbers mall in Maumee

Phone: 419-878-9050

Category: Casual

Menu: Lunch-dinner/Sunday brunch

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Drinks served up to an hour later each night.

Wheelchair access: Yes

Average price: $-$$

Credit cards: AE, MC, V, D

Website: gcfb.com

The outstanding chicken limone ($14.95) featured crispy hand-breaded chicken breasts paired with a light and creamy lemon beurre blanc sauce, flavorful mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked asparagus — neither too tender nor too crisp; the crispy shrimp taco trio ($14.95), was almost decadent with its heavily spiced, Asian-glazed shrimp atop generous helpings of pico de gallo, cilantro, Santa Fe cream sauce, and lettuce served in warm tortillas, as well as a small but delicious side serving of corn and black bean salsa.

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Cajun Pasta with andouille sausage, chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers, penne pasta, and a creamy Cajun sauce at Granite City Food & Brewery.

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Equally good was the Cajun pasta andouille ($14.95), a not-so-spicy creamy Cajun sauce coating penne pasta, sausage, chicken, tomatoes, onions, and peppers with the addition of plump jumbo shrimp (an extra $6.95), with a crunchy piece of Parmesan Italian bread to mop up the bowl.

The sole letdown of the night was the dull-tasting “signature” meatloaf ($16.95), that lacked identity even with its barbecue demi-glace; the flavors of the mountain of mashed potatoes and crispy onion strings that crowned the meatloaf and accompanying petite green beans elevated the entree to slightly above average.

Our waiter on this crowded evening was attentive, with the exception of a brief lull in service. One nitpick was the lukewarm temperature of some of the food, perhaps owing to a busy kitchen.

For our second visit, we opted for Granite City Food & Brewery's serve-yourself, all-you-can-eat brunch, a Sundays-only feature from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (The lunch menu is also available beginning at 11 a.m.)

Our waiter did little to explain the particulars of the brunch, so we followed the crowd and watched diners progress through several tables of hot trays with breakfast and lunch options, from average scrambled eggs and crispy bacon to fluffy biscuits with thick, peppery-gravy, and hand-carved prime rib so tender and juicy a spoon could slice it.

The brunch also featured fresh fruit, a waffle and omelette station, with a variety of options cooked up in front of you, and breakfast danish.

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Selections from Granite City Food & Brewery’s Sunday brunch, clockwise from top: build your own omelet, cantaloupe, build your own waffle, sausage and bacon, and reggianno hashbrown potatoes.

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Given the price of brunch — $16.95 for adults (it’s $6.95 for children ages 6-12 and free for anyone younger) — our recommendation is to skip the scrambled eggs in favor of a made-to-order delicious omelette, and some of the area's best prime rib.

What should not be skipped or overlooked in the brunch buffet line is the amazing made-from-scratch cheesy chicken tortilla soup, which really is good for the soul and taste buds.

Also served at Granite City Food & Brewery are several craft beers brewed onsite.

For those hungry for an upscale casual meal and original beers to wash it down, Granite City Food & Brewery will not disappoint.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com.

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