Report Card: Barley’s Brewing Company

Barley's Brewing Company in downtown Columbus

Barley’s Brewing Company in downtown Columbus

Barley's Brewing on Urbanspoon

http://barleysbrewing.com/

Overall GrubGrade B

 

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade B:  When we first saw pictures of the outside of Barley’s Brewing Company we almost skipped trying it.  We have to admit that the outside of the joint looked a little seedy.  However, once we entered that front door, all of our fears were laid to rest.  While the inside is decorated in typical bar paraphernalia, it was very clean and not too crowded.  Barley’s is definitely a bar that moonlights as a restaurant.  The tables were nicely spaced, but the chairs were a little too small.  Noise level was tolerable at the beginning of our lunch, but it exponentially elevated once the hostess sat some hooligans next to us.  However, the overall vibe of Barley’s was nice.

High marks:  Clean, well-spaced tables

Low marks:   Suspicious exterior, small chairs, hooligans

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Service:  Grade B+:  We had a nice server named Fife for our lunch service.  There was minimal wait for food and drinks, and Fife provided us with a pleasant accurate service.  We give her some kudos for maintaining her composure while the hooligans at the adjacent table harassed her.  However, there was nothing really jaw-dropping about the service.  We did only have to ask for thing once, so that was definitely a positive.

High marks:   Accurate, quick service, only had to make requests once

Low marks:   Nothing jaw-dropping about service

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B:  Katina and I split the difference on this grade.  She favored giving Barley’s a C+ for the food and I voted for a B+.  As a result, we average out to a B.  We ordered chicken wings for our appetizer, hoping for a repeat of the pleasant surprise we had at Ri Ra.

Barley's chicken wings -- notice the prominent char

Barley’s chicken wings — notice the prominent char

However, while the chicken wings were okay and cooked with a nice char, they could have been a little crisper and the buffalo sauce could have had bigger testicles.  It was a little too mild and needed more of a vinegar kick.  Katina ordered the Irish Peach for her drink and thought it was smooth and easily drinkable even though it contained whiskey, which is not one of Katina’s favorite spirits.  I ordered the house brewed Scottish ale, which was very malty and smooth, and the Russian stout, which was dark, thick, and smooth with almost no harshness.

The house brewed Russian stout at Barley's

The house brewed Russian stout at Barley’s

For her entrée, Katina ordered the Lonestar burger and I selected the Ed’s burger, which was a bratwurst burger.  Katina’s burger was okay, but she ordered it prepared medium well and it came out medium to medium rare.  There was enough blood in it to turn her bun pink, which is a no-no.  This is why we get excited when someone gets a medium well burger or steak prepared correctly…it doesn’t happen that often.  The Ed’s burger was a delicious brat burger topped with pulled pork.  It was topped with spicy chipotle mayo, and it was so good I felt the need to take a nap afterwards.

The Lonestar Burger

The Lonestar Burger

The magnificent Ed's burger...those are deep fried pickles on top

The magnificent Ed’s burger…those are deep fried pickles on top

High marks:  Ed’s burger was fantastic, good mixed drinks and beer       

Low marks:   Lonestar burger not cooked correctly, chicken wings were ho-hum

Value:  Grade C:  What’s up with that “C” grade, you ask?  Well, we had lunch service for two and both ordered burgers, so the $52 price tag was a little steep in our book.  Add the inconsistent food quality, and there you have it…a “C.”  However, if you’re not eating on a budget, then you should give Barley’s Brewing Company a try…they might surprise you.

High marks:   None

Low marks:   Too pricey for lunch…especially for burgers lacking the “wow” factor

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