For months, Matthew and I have been eyeing construction of a new restaurant in downtown Willoughby. The building is beautiful and spacious, with an outdoor second-floor patio. The word was it was a new brewery and they were already brewing ahead of opening. We were curious, to say the least.
Last Thursday, BRIM Kitchen + Brewery opened their doors. We went for dinner on Wednesday, so we managed to sneak in during opening week! First, we were not the only ones excited about BRIM. The place was absolutely packed by the time we left (pro tip: they take online reservations).
We started with a sampler of the BRIM beers. Right now, BRIM features four of their own brews, as well as a nice selection of mostly local craft beers on draft and in bottles.
BRIM’s brews are the Stop 43 Stout, the Primus Pallidus Pale, the Fuzzy Peach Ale, and the Thai’d 2 the Tracks. Considering that the Fuzzy Peach and Thai’d are both Belgian-style ales, I was already confident in liking two of the beers.
I found the Fuzzy Peach to be fruity, but not overwhelmingly sweet. And the Thai’d, with it’s unique addition of Thai lemongrass, was interesting and refreshing. Matthew and I also both enjoyed the stout. And while pale ales are not our thing, the Primus is not a palate wrecker by any stretch. The beers are all relatively low ABV and easy-drinking.
Now onto the food. We started by sharing the Ahi Tuna Poke Nachos. Huge chunks of tuna, tasty avocado mash, and light crispy wonton chips made this one of the better tuna nacho dishes I’ve tried.
We also want to try the Chips & Dip on our next visit, as well as the humongous hot pretzel (I’m not sharing).
For our entrees, Matthew got the BRIM Burger with bacon and egg and I chose the Braised Mushroom Philly. We seriously had a hard time deciding…there were lots of tasty options on the menu!
Matthew upgraded to the truffle fries and I upgraded to the poutine. Pro tip: get the poutine. The gravy is packed with beef flavor and is the perfect winter comfort food!
Matthew really enjoyed his burger! The philly had excellent flavor, with mushrooms, onions, and peppers sauteed to perfection. Pro tip: there’s no meat on the philly. If you read quickly or let your mind fill in imaginary gaps, you’ll think there should be. This may have happened to me. But honestly, and this from a meat-a-tarian, you don’t miss the meat. Promise.
We took Jeffrey with us and he devoured his kids cheeseburger and fries. BRIM not only has a kids menu, but also an under-1 menu with housemade organic fruit and vegetable purees. I love this idea! Not only is a great way to save parents having to bring their own baby food, but it also immediately lets you know that the whole family is welcome at BRIM.
Which leads me to how nice and welcoming everyone was at BRIM. Any first-week hiccups were far overshadowed by the staff’s dedication to making sure you had a great meal and, more importantly, a great time.
BRIM is a lovely addition to downtown Willoughby. BRIM is just as concerned about an easy, but still trendy menu, as it is about serving good beer. That combination, plus the friendly and welcoming vibe, spells success in my book! Cheers!