Saturday, October 31, 2009

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Brookfield CT

Five Guys has ruined me for other 'fast food' burgers. The burgers there are tasty and fresh, a handful of happiness. I use the term fast food carefully since everything is made fresh, so it does take a few minutes. The short wait is worth it though.

The Five Guys in Brookfield is on Federal Road, just up from the Stew Leonard's so we decided to go eat first, then do some grocery shopping. We changed our mind when the Five Guys lot was full so we shopped first and tried it again. This time there were a couple of spots available, but there was quite the crowd inside. It isn't as big as the one in Poughkeepsie since it is an old diner that's been converted, causing an odd interior. The food, however, was every bit as good though.

This time we decided to try the regular Five Guys fries instead of the cajun fries. They were good, but bland compared to the spicy ones. I had two little cheeseburgers with pickles and Teresa had a little burger with onions. Plenty of good food for a little over eighteen bucks with a soda.

I may start planning trips revolving around Five Guys locations, at least until they put one in Newburgh. If you haven't tried Five Guys yet, shut down the computer and take a drive. You can find their locations on the company website.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, West Chester PA.

West Chester Pennsylvania is a neat little place. A college town with interesting stores and lots of places to eat. My favorite is the Iron Hill Brewery on 3 West Gay Street. We were there about a year ago and I remembered it as being really good, so when we were discussing dinner options and Iron Hill came up, I voiced my opinion. So Teresa and I, Nicole and Brian, and our friends Annette and Rob headed off for dinner.

Now I rate a restaurant on food quality, food quantity, service, price, and ambiance. Not necessarily in that order. In this case I'd rate the service as top-notch. We called ahead and put our name on the list, a good idea for any popular place, and only had to wait five minutes after we got there. They seated us in a booth. Problem was that my daughter is eight months pregnant, and a couple of us are in the extra large category. My wife asked for a table, and the manager got us one right away. The waitress also turned off the fan above us at our request. Orders were taken promptly and the food, and beer arrived fast and hot, Not the beer, that was nice and cold. I'm sorry I forgot our waitresses' name because she was awesome.

About the food, it's good and reasonably priced. Normally I'd get the burger, but I'd already eaten two that day, so I opted for the fish and chips. I picked up a taste for them when I was in England and I've found fish and chips to be better here. Iron Hill makes a good fish and chips, please note the picture above. Rob had the chicken pot pie, baked in a bowl with only a top crust. He liked it. Annette had the salmon burger, looked great and she said it tasted great too. Brian had a burger and Teresa had something off the special list and Nicole had a wrap. Everyone was quite full, and happy.

And the beer. I had the Ryesing, and American rye IPA with a slight hoppy taste and a hint of citrus flavor. Nice and refreshing. So much so that we left with a growler. Brian had the Heater Room, a brown ale with a smokey taste. They make some good beers here and there is something about a fresh beer with no preservatives in it. It just tastes cleaner.

And since we're hitting all of the criteria here, Iron Hill has a nice ambiance. Lots of wood, fairly bright, and you can even look into the food prep area, at least from where we were sitting. I like a restaurant that puts it all out there. Nothing to hid.

You really have to try this place sometime. They have a few other locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. For more information check out their website.