Thanks to a recent viewing party for Hodge Podge that brought restaurant owners and fellow food trucks together to cheer on the home team, we found ourselves at the recently opened Market Garden Brewery for our inaugural visit.
It’s a brewery so I suspect you’d like to hear about the star of the most recent Ohio City opening. I won’t even attempt to try and muster some thoughts together as a hop head I am not. I’ll leave that job to my friend Kyle at Cleveland Hops. Though I did enjoy a Shoreway Cooler (and by enjoy I mean I could have guzzled four more if my kids weren’t with me). A delightful concoction of old school American Lager, housemade honey gin, lemon juice, lillet blanc and simple syrup. Fantastic.
What an impressive and surprisingly large space for the once poultry store. The decor and overall atmosphere was quite nice with plenty of warm, dark woods. The layout is conducive for the masses with a giant patio complete with killer views of the West Side Market, street seating, two large bars and several dining areas. Apparently there’s also rooftop plans in the works, too.
Another plus – bring on the minis because MGB is kid friendly! And if you are anti children eating out, never fear. Thanks to the high noise level, those little voices are easily muffled. We had our two girls with us and staff was quite accommodating. While there isn’t a kids’ menu, there are several items that would make the pickiest of diners happy (and if all else fails, opt for the delicious soft pretzel). The brewery has high chairs, too.
As for the food, the menu is courtesy of the talented chef Mike Nowak of Bar Cento, which is no surprise since MGB is owned by Sam McNulty.
If your impression of breweries is less than desirable when it comes to the food (perhaps that’s based on their neighbor – amazing beer, not so much for the grub), then you’re in for a surprise. Granted we have only been once and sampled just a few items, but we were quickly smitten. And the feedback I’ve heard from others confirms my thinking.
During our visit, we had the smoked pork tacos served on flour tortillas with salsa verde and queso plus the fried chicken sandwich with braised collard greens, bacon, gravy and tomato as well as the pretzel paired with mustard and garlic cheese. The sandwich was messy but quite tasty and hard to put down. The tacos, served in sets of three, were also quite enjoyable and could have only been a better dish if permitted to mix things up and combine a few of the taco offerings into one order (there are four different options).
The Market District has really come a long way since I was a kid. There’s lots of exciting activity and well-deserved recognition for the area. Of course there’s the historic Market which is hands-down the star and main attraction that’s now surrounded by a growing list of stores and restaurants, including one of my longtime favorites, Flying Fig and the soon-to-open Crop. This brewery seems to have found its place in one of Cleveland’s great neighborhoods.