Last week we had a date night at the Bend Brewing Company. I was skeptical because the last time that I ate there (many years ago) it seemed greasy and uncompetitive in the vast world of pub food in Bend Oregon. Home to at least a dozen breweries, Bend is a hot spot for beer and beer-accompanying grub. Although I am not a huge beer fan like many Bendites, I do know a thing or two about beer by default, just by living and eating here. I have a few favorite breweries that we frequent, but Bend Brewing Company had kind of fallen off of my radar, until we ate there last Friday.
I wonder how long I have been missing out! The place was clean and airy; it was full of light bouncing off of the beautiful hard wood and natural décor, and lest not forget that the BBC has a view of the Deschutes River’s iconic Mirror Pond. The staff was helpful and humorous and easy to flag down. We grabbed a seat strait away (and on a Friday at happy-hour, that is practically impossible in Bend). It was the last seat available however, and a waitlist started right after us.
I am anxious to tell you about the food, but first a word on beer. I selected the Nitro Dry Irish Stout because I don’t care much for carbonation. Nitro beer, to my understanding, is not carbonated through the standard process, but is instead poured through a special faucet which gives it a smoothness. The Nitro is a good choice for me because it is less fizzy than standard beers. My first choice would be a cask style beer but the BBC does not serve cask. Cask means that except for the natural carbonation caused by fermentation, there is no secondary form of carbonizing the beer, which means even less fizz. Flat beer? Yes please! Nitro beer? A good second choice and the Nitro Dry Irish Stout was perfectly suiting for a Friday evening. Bradley had an IPA, which I am not a fan of at all. But he enjoyed it.
We purposely arrived before 6pm because that is when happy hour ends; and we wanted to hit because their deals are worth it. Their appetizers are half off, which meant for a really cheap meal. We intended to order only the BBC nachos for food, because we knew that the serving was large enough to fill us both up, which we did, but we (I) were also smitten by the onion rings so we asked for an order of them as well. The food was promptly delivered, both appetizers coming at the same time.
The nachos were huge and glorious! Bradley would probably consider himself a connoisseur of such things and they didn’t let him down. They were loaded with Pinnacle Porter black beans, melted cheddar, sour cream, green onion and O-Hanna salsa, which is locally made here in Bend. To be quite honest, the chips were the best part. I could have eaten them plain and been satisfied, they were the perfect balance of crispy texture, warm temperature and salt.
The onion rings (pardon the pun) rang my bell! I rarely indulge in such golden fried delights, but I just couldn’t help myself. And I am glad I went for it. At half price, the money wasn’t enough to detour me. They were plentiful, perfectly fried, with a soft sweet onion ring inside. They were served with a ranch dressing.
To finish off the evening, the BBC hosted a local bluegrass trio. They performed on a little stage on the side of bar. We nursed our beers so that we could take in a few tunes before leaving. It was a wonderful place for a date night; we will most certainly be back.
Bend Brewing Company
1019 NW Brooks Street Bend Oregon 97701
Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4pm-6pm featuring half priced appetizers