Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kilt Pub Review

I was very excited when a Pub was going to open within stumbling distance of my castle. The peace of an inviting local place where you can drop in for a pop of excellent British beer is right up my alley. There is a feel that I asssociate with a pub that I acquired in my travels to London that differentiates itself for a bar. Simply put, I think of a bar as almost kind of a sad, almost lonely place where I think of a pub as a warm, happy spot in a community. There is a lot of fun you can have at a bar, and I have, but that is entirely dependent on the company you keep. A good pub will bring you together with people resulting in a fun night.

Since it's opening at the start of February, I have visited the Kilt Pub on many different occasions with a variety of people. Each time, I have had a nice experience. The heart of any pub is the staff. The owner and the handful of bartenders I have interacted with have all been very friendly and attentitive. As with a traditional pub, you place your orders at the bar and the food and drink will be brought to your table, if it can't just be handed to you in a pint. The bar staff invites you to open a tab that can be settled quickly at the end of your stay.

The bar itself is a beautful wood bar. In a perfect world, it would be twice or three times are long as it is, but space limitations make that impossible. Adjacent to the bar is a half bar where orders can be made without having to reach over patrons sitting at the bar. It's a nice touch. I love the rich coloring of the bar. I wish there were more of these rich accents throughout the pub.

In its infancy, the Kilt Pub still lacks a little character inside. The pleather booths are still very fresh and new. The decorative mirrors are still sparkling clean. I am hoping that, in time, the place will feel more lived in. There are two very nice flat screen tellies on the wall, showing sport. I like the amount of soccer that as been on during my visits. The back room seems very much like a work in progress. I love the two nice dartboards on the wall. I don't quite get the pictures that are back there. The room feels very much like overflow parking. There is an echo and some kind of a paint smell for now. The back room needs a telly or a jukebox with some cool British bands or something to give it more life. But there would need to be something done about the echo.

On to the main event, the beer. The Kilt has a wide variety of beers on tap an even more in bottles. My fave and current BS Beer of 2011 is Greene King's Abbot Ale. It is a creamy amber ale that is poured very slowly out of the tap. It is not a full on English style pull tap, but they have done something to the taps to make the beer come out slow, resulting in a creamy, less carbonated taste. There is a selection of British beers but would love to see them bring in some Samuel Smith's or Fuller's. Their selection is a bit safe (Guinness, Bass, Newcastle, Harp) with only a couple of wild cards (Old Speckled Hen along with the aforementioned Abbot). They also have a few Belgian beers and other imports. About half of the taps are domestic beers. While there is a pulse of creativity with Racer X, I would love to see them replace a few of the standard Sacramento beer pulls with a few more from the British Isles.
You can get the beers by the pint, the imperial pint (20 oz. - god save the queen) and pitcher. I love the shape of an imperial pint as well as the bonus beer in each one. Glad they have those and for there slight additional cost, I pity the patron with a puny pint.

I wish I could say I have tried a better variety of the food for this review. I can tell you that the fish in the fish and chips is spectacular. As good as any I have ever had anywhere. Big piece of white fish, battered and fried to perfection. Served with lemon and a pretty tasty tartar sauce. The chips are standard steak fries and make for an excellent accompanyment. The excellence of that dish is why my variety is weak. I have witnessed the bangers and mash walk by me. It looked awesome. I have also watched someone it a burger. I like the big fluffy bun. I don't know if I have ever had a burger in a big fluffy bun that wasn't great.

Overall, I love the Kilt Pub. With any new business, it will go through growth and change. I hope that the improvements make the Kilt Pub an even better place to visit. As it sits now, I implore you all to go to the Kilt Pub and give it a shot, just leave some Abbot Ale for me.

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