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Pub Gets Regulars to Grow Its Food

Pub Gets Regulars to Grow Its Food

Landlords trade plots for percentage of produce

The British might be lapping us in the farm-to-table race, as a Cornish pub has gotten its regulars to grow its food.

The Queens Arms in West Cornwall used to be "just a boozer," according to co-owner Chris Brazier. In the six and a half years he and his wife have owned it, the pub has become a much fancier place with "real ales," positive TripAdvisor reviews, and a menu of local and seasonal produce, much of which was acquired by trading farm land to locals in exchange for food.

According to the Telegraph, the Braziers decided to turn the adjacent land into farmable plots about four years ago.

"We thought it was a good idea so we got a local lad to plough it and dig it over, and we put an ad in the village for anyone who wanted a plot," Brazier said.

Fifteen locals pay just £1 ($1.60) a year for their plots. In return, they give 10 percent of the fruit and vegetables they grow to the pub. The local farmers even supply flowers for the pub’s tables, and The Queens Arms even gets to make requests.

"The allotment holders ask us what we would like and we tell them," Brazier said. "Last year we were keen to get different colors of beetroot. It makes a lovely dish roasted with Chantenay carrots and honey with fennel seeds."

The Braziers have put The Queens Arms up for sale, though, so there’s no word on how much longer the arrangement will be going on.

Brazier commented that his replacement would have to be "prepared to muck in with the locals and have a bit of a laugh — they’d have to be hands on."

England’s favourite foods

Long gone are the days when England’s favourite foods were the likes of black pudding and spotted dick. These days the average English menu is far more cosmopolitan, reflecting the diverse range of cuisines enjoyed nationally. So this St. George&rsquos Day, April 23, toast England&rsquos heritage with one of these well-loved dishes.

1. Fish and chips

Increased competition means it’s not the standout fave it once was but good old fish and chips remains a popular choice. While you probably won’t get your cod and chips wrapped in an old copy of The Sun these days, a takeaway from the chippy is still an enjoyable, nostalgic treat for many.

2. Pizza

High streets chock-full of pizza restaurants and takeaways, plus supermarket brands aplenty, leave us in no doubt that the English love their margheritas and the like. Options cater for all tastes, from thin and crispy through to deep pan with crusts bursting full of garlic and cheese (probably not an authentically Italian creation, that one).

3. Chinese stir-fry

A recent study by the Food Network U.K. found that one in five Brits now feast on stir-fry at least once a week, enjoying its ease of preparation almost as much as its taste.

4. Chicken tikka masala

This meal of roasted chicken chunks in a spicy sauce has long topped lists of Britain’s most popular restaurant dishes, to the extent that it’s sometimes referred to as Britain’s national dish.

5. Spaghetti bolognese

Though of Italian extraction, spag bol has been adopted as an English staple. Purists say the version so beloved by the English is a very different dish to the one originally created in Bologna, however.

6.Thai green curry

It gets its green colour from its chilli content, making for a hot and spicy dish usually made with beef, pork, chicken or fish and served with either rice, rice noodles or roti.

7. Roast dinner

The traditional British Sunday lunch dish of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, roast potatoes, veg and more gravy may not be the family staple it once was, but many English folk still love a good roast and the carvery remains a popular option down the pub.

8. Bangers and mash

Another old school classic, English folk love a hearty plate of sausages and mashed potato as much now as they ever did. Onion gravy, baked beans or mushy peas can set this off a treat.

9. Sweet and sour chicken

Deep-fried pieces of chicken served with sweet and sour sauce? Sounds like exactly the kind of Chinese food the English can’t get enough of! Not surprisingly, it’s believed that this dish originated in the West, with Chinese restaurants adapting their traditional dishes to suit the palates of their new audience.

10. Shepherd’s pie

This old British national dish is a hearty minced lamb and vegetable dish topped with mashed potato. Most popular during the winter months and served with peas, it’s not to be confused with Cottage pie, which is a similar dish made from beef.

20 Iconic Foods From the '50s and '60s That Will Give You Serious Nostalgia

Like fashion, food falls in and out of style. Back when kids of the '50s and '60s were growing up, family dinners meant these dishes were front and center at every family get-together, holiday meal, or cocktail party your parents threw. Many of these recipes evolved from the appeal of new "convenience" foods ranging from canned soups to boxed cake mixes. Whether you hated them (or you still secretly crave them!), here&rsquos the iconic fare kids from the '50s and '60s remember.

No special occasion was complete without something served in a gelatin mold. According to the Jell-O Gallery, the lime flavor was introduced in 1930. It became the basis for many molds in the '50s and '60s, showcasing a cook&rsquos creativity. These might include cottage cheese, crushed pineapple, oranges, nuts, celery, and/or sour cream, or even vinegar, grated cucumber, and onion, topped with shrimp. Um, we don&rsquot want seconds.

According to the BBC, one of the earliest mentions of dipping food into melted cheese dates to a recipe from the late 17th century. The dish was featured at the Switzerland exhibit at the 1964 New York World&rsquos Fair, and its fame soon spread to dinner parties everywhere. If your parents threw a party during the late '60s, cheese fondue was on the menu! Fondue is still a fun way to host, so dig around in your parents&rsquo or grandparents&rsquo houses to see if they kept their fondue pots.

Maybe you remember your parents serving this super-hip dish at 1960s cocktail parties. Many different versions exist, but they usually contain beef or pork with a rich gravy, cream sauce, or a side of lingonberry jam. Guess what? You still can purchase Swedish meatballs at IKEA and other specialty food stores. Or make them yourself from this recipe off Sweden&rsquos official website.

GET THE RECIPE: Skilled Meatballs

Much-maligned because it doesn&rsquot take much skill (other than using a can opener), this dish was a staple of the 1950s and 1960s dinner table. It contains canned tuna, canned mushroom soup, and various seasonings that ranged from curry powder to grated American cheese. The 1962 standard Favorite Recipes of American Home Economics Teachers: Meats lists page after page of this casserole including versions with potato chips, whole slices of stale bread, or cashews.

This sunny cake with its slices of pineapple dotted with cherries has been around a long, long time. In fact, a pineapple upside down cake won the first Dole recipe contest in 1926. By the 1950s and 1960s, the cake was at the peak of its popularity perhaps because of the ease of using boxed cake mixes, which were increasingly available in the post WWII years, says Bon Appetit. It&rsquos not as famous as it once was, but this cake still deserves a place on the table.

According to the History Channel, this meringue-topped ice cream-covered cake dates back to the creativity of a chef at Delmonico&rsquos in New York City in the 1860s (supposedly, the chef borrowed the recipe from the French but named it after the recent Alaska purchase by the U.S.). The meringue was torched table side or in the oven. In the era of elaborate at-home entertaining, this dessert became a way for hostesses to present a truly show-stopping finish.

This dish contained chunks of chicken and veggies in a cream sauce (often canned cream of mushroom soup, naturally!) served over biscuits, rice or pilaf. It was first served in the early 20th century, but it reached its heyday in the '50s and '60s. The New York Public Library&rsquos menu archive shows it was on the menu at many of the city&rsquos most elegant restaurants &mdash as well as on the famed ship, Queen Elizabeth! It&rsquos since nearly disappeared, though it&rsquos still possible to buy a canned or freeze-dried version.

What kid from the '50s or '60s doesn&rsquot remember this &ldquosalad&rdquo that includes oranges and coconut, and sometimes maraschino cherries, bananas, pineapple, and/or marshmallows? Gelatin and whipped toppings were often added, too. Ambrosia&rsquos origins are hazy (though it&rsquos mentioned in this 19th century cookbook) and the versions are endless, but it&rsquos a dish still beloved in the South and many other parts of the country.

Everybody&rsquos mom had a different recipe, but chances are, it was on your table at least once a week. According to Bon Appetit, meatloaf became a staple during the Great Depression when meat was pricey. But growing up in the '50s and '60s, it was a simple, cheap way to feed the family, then have leftovers for sandwiches the next day. Whether you like yours slathered with ketchup or not, meatloaf retains its status as an American classic, even if you haven&rsquot made it in years.

Tiki culture and luau-themed parties were big in the '60s, partly due to the popularity of restaurants like Trader Vic&rsquos, the Hawaiian Room in New York City, and Hawaii&rsquos admission to U.S. statehood in 1959. Many different small bites with a Polynesian feel were served on what was called a &ldquopupu platter,&rdquo including this popular appetizer consisting of chicken liver and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon.

This recipe, which won the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-off, was an instant hit across the country. And why wouldn&rsquot it be? The cake develops a fudge-y center as it bakes, somewhat reminiscent of today&rsquos chocolate lava cakes. The recipe used a Bundt pan, popularized by the Nordic Ware company &mdash and sales of this pan went through the roof after the cake won the contest, according to Food & Wine.

What do you do with 260 extra tons of leftover turkey? Flash-freeze it and stick it in tiny aluminum trays. According to Smithsonian Magazine, when the Swanson company had an overage of turkey after Thanksgiving in 1953, they came up with the idea to package it as part of a re-heatable meal. Coupled with the country&rsquos new fascination with television, these dinners &mdash aka &ldquoTV dinners&rdquo &mdash quickly became a hit for busy families (though siblings everywhere bickered over who was getting the Salisbury steak).

Who would have guessed that tossing together a bunch of cereal, nuts, and seasoning would create such a snacking sensation? The first recipe of this type of party mix was printed on boxes of Chex in 1952, and legend has it that it became popular during holidays after a cereal executive&rsquos wife served it at a function. Regardless of its back story, kids from the '50s and '60s grew up making it and scarfing down batches. Thankfully, it&rsquos one of those retro foods that&rsquos not forgotten with new versions popping up every year.

Beef Stroganoff was a classic French recipe with its earliest reference to an 1891 food article, according to food historian Sylvia Lovegren in Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads. By the 1950s, it was found in almost every cookbook that included a section on &ldquogourmet&rdquo cookery. The recipes varied greatly, some using mushrooms, some adding tomato paste, some using canned cream soup. Hamburger sometimes stood in for the beef filet, and the whole concoction was served over buttered noodles or rice.

This dish, included in many early 20th century cookbooks, was popular for ladies&rsquo luncheons, says Lovegren&rsquos Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads. Like all things gelatinous in the '50s and '60s, this typically was presented in an elaborately-shaped mold. Canned soup or tomato juice was the base with onions, celery and Tabasco for some kick. It&rsquos now nearly forgotten (most of us are sighing with relief).

Fruit cocktail was created to use up tiny pieces of fruit chunks left over from processing, but it quickly became a mealtime convenience and staple for families. Sometime in the mid-50s, it was added to a basic cake recipe, according to Anne Byrn&rsquos American Cake. The result was an easy-peasy cake that home cooks could toss together in a few minutes with ingredients always in the pantry. Because it&rsquos moist and fast to bake from scratch, it&rsquos worth another look.

According to Lovegren&rsquos Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, when a recipe for this clam dip first appeared on Kraft Music Hall TV show in the early '50s, New York City sold out of canned clams within 24 hours! The popularity of this snack food soared through the '60s. Though you don&rsquot see it around these days, it&rsquos a classic that will remind you of when you hung out with your family playing card games together on a Saturday night.

Reasons And Recipes To Have More Miso

When people think of miso, they mostly think of miso soup - but it is so much more. It has an incredible microbial makeup and is a nutritional powerhouse. Miso is so simple to make and use in recipes that I've found myself making and consuming it almost every day.

Miso is a salty paste made from fermented beans (usually soybeans) but it can be made with chickpeas or other beans. You add salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus Oryzae) to the beans and as it ferments for months (or even years!) the enzymes in the koji work together with the microorganisms in the environment to break down the structure of the beans and grains into amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars.

Miso and Blood Pressure

Miso is salty tasting, but don't worry about the salt raising your blood pressure because with the incredible help of microbes it seems it lowers blood pressure rather than raising it. Miso is reported to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity. The angiotensin system has a strong impact on blood pressure, including salt-sensitive hypertension. Miso is found, to be able to decrease blood pressure and sympathetic activity through the inhibition of ACE activity. [1]

Miso soup has been eaten in Japan and China for many centuries and has been attracting the attention of many because of its health and anti-aging benefits. It’s also quite delicious. When you aren’t feeling well, a bowl of miso soup can be especially soothing to the gut. You simply make a broth, add some veggies, add the miso paste, stir, and you have soup. Check out my recipe below. Because miso is fermented, it’s filled with beneficial, live probiotic cultures. Miso is great for strengthening the immune system and helping to combat viral infections.

Miso Lasts Forever in Your Fridge

Miso gets better with age and won't turn rancid or spoil. I keep mine in the refrigerator and it seems to get better tasting the longer I have it. Some miso can even be over ten years old! The microbes in the miso preserve it and keep out pathogens. And when you eat it, it will help preserve you too! The oldest miso found is at the Ohio Miso Company 1979-1980 and they say it is still quite good and has an earthy flavor similar to a bouillon cube.

When was the last time you saw potato seeds for sale? Probably never (though it is possible). Most potatoes are produced by vegetative propagation, which means a new plant grows from a fragment of an old plant (farmers replant potato pieces and new potatoes grow from those pieces).

This doesn’t mean you can use any old grocery store potato, though. Often, those potatoes have been treated with growth inhibitors to keep them fresh for longer. Organic potatoes may not work either, as any diseases from the previous year will carry over into this year.

Your best bet for a successful potato crop is using certified seed potatoes, which means they’ve been declared disease-free by a government authority. You can get seed potatoes at your local gardening center.

Once you have your seeds potatoes, you can cut them into smaller pieces—just make sure each piece has at least one 𠇎ye,” or bud.

Do this a couple days before you plant. Letting the cut pieces sit for a while can help them seal, which can prevent rotting and disease.

Potatoes grow best in rows in a garden, but you can also grow them in containers (like these). Pick an area that gets at least six hours of full sunlight every day.

From 'weird' to 'smelly': the non-alcoholic beer taste test

Australian sales of zero and very low alcohol beer have doubled in the past year – but are the brews enough to satisfy Guardian staffers’ thirsts?

Guardian staff taste test non-alcoholic beer. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian

Guardian staff taste test non-alcoholic beer. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian

Last modified on Sat 20 Feb 2021 01.47 GMT

Australians voted Get on the beers to number 12 of the Triple J Hottest 100, but if the figures are anything to go by, those beers don’t need to be alcoholic.

Non-alcoholic beer sales have more than doubled in the past year at liquor chains like Dan Murphy’s and BWS, according to the AFR . Research group IWSR Drinks Market Analysis showed increasing consumption of no-alcohol and low-alcohol beer in most countries, with Australia’s volume forecast to grow about 16% by 2024, as part of what the group identified as “moderation and wellness trends”.

Ben Holdstock, head brewer of non-alcoholic beer Heaps Normal, says often “you forget why you’re drinking in the first place, it just becomes a bit of a habit. It’s good to be a bit more mindful.”

Heaps Normal say it gets lots of feedback from pregnant women who love the product. Holdstock says its brew “isn’t specifically tailored towards people who don’t drink, it’s definitely tailored towards people who do … if you’re having a night out, you’re doing rounds with your mates, you can definitely throw one of these in a round.”

Late last year, the National Health and Medical Research Council altered its advice, telling adults to drop their alcohol consumption from 14 to 10 standard drinks a week. The promise of non-alcoholic beer is that it offers people a drink that has the same optics as beer without the side effects. It allows you to cut back without feeling as though you’re missing out.

The process of brewing non-alcoholic beer is actually the same as regular beer. Sometimes removing or lowering the alcohol content is an extra step at the end of the brewing process, through techniques like exposing the beer to heat, or using reverse osmosis.

However, Holdstock found these processes often stripped the flavour, so at Heaps Normal he opted to brew with a non-traditional yeast that did not create as much alcohol in the fermentation process, which he likens to brewing kombucha.

Much like kombucha, even zero alcohol beers may still have a trace of alcohol in them – products are considered non-alcoholic when they have an ABV of less than 0.5%.

As non-alcoholic beer sales increase, so too has the offering, with craft brewers, specialty brands and big name brands all pouring into the category. We asked BWS and specialty craft retailer Killjoy Drinks for its best selling non-alcoholic beers, and enlisted five tasters for a blind test of their offerings.

We asked the tasters to rate the drinks on taste, smell, aftertaste and a slightly esoteric “cracking” scale. Then we tabulated the results to give each a score out of 100.

The ‘cracking’ scale – tasters were asked to assume ‘the boys’ are gender-neutral. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian

Two tasters described themselves as regular beer drinkers, another two said they chose to drink beer on social occasions like going to the pub with friends. One taster was not a beer drinker. Of those who drank beer, one preferred craft beer, two were happy with whatever was going, and one taster gravitated to macro-brews.

Fiddlehead Recipes

The School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine and Cooperative Extension staff have tested these fiddlehead recipes below. The most successful of these recipes in terms of flavor, keeping quality, and safety are included in this fact sheet.

Plain Pickled Fiddleheads

Cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
teaspoon each of black pepper, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and celery seed
(salt is also optional)

Clean and wash fiddleheads thoroughly using the process above. Pour enough vinegar over the fiddleheads to cover then strain the vinegar off into a pan and measure the volume. Add 1 cup sugar for every gallon of measured vinegar. Add a large pinch of each of the spices and celery seed. Boil this syrup for 7-8 minutes, then immediately pour the hot liquid over the fiddleheads that are packed into clean pint jars. Remove air bubbles, adjust the liquid to 1/2-inch headspace and wipe the jar rim. Apply two-piece dome lids and adjust lids to fingertip tight. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, ensuring a rolling boil for the full 15 minutes and at least 1-inch of water is covering all jars in the water bath.

Makes approximately 6 pints if using 3 pounds of raw, cleaned and trimmed fiddleheads.

Sweet Pickled Fiddleheads

1 quart cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
5 cups sugar
2 teaspoons canning & pickling salt

Clean and wash fiddleheads thoroughly using the process above. Mix vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil and immediately pour over fiddleheads that are packed into clean pint jars. Remove air bubbles, adjust the liquid to 1/2-inch headspace and wipe the jar rim. Apply two-piece dome lids and adjust lids to fingertip tight. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, ensuring a rolling boil for the full 15 minutes and at least 1-inch of water is covering all jars in the water bath.

Makes approximately 6 pints if using 3 pounds of raw, cleaned and trimmed fiddleheads.

Quick Sour Pickled Fiddleheads

3 pounds raw, cleaned and trimmed fiddleheads
1/2-gallon cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 cups water
1/2 cup pickling & canning salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mustard seed

Clean and wash fiddleheads thoroughly using the process above. Mix brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour immediately over fiddleheads that are packed into clean, pint jars. Remove air bubbles, adjust the liquid to 1/2-inch headspace and wipe the jar rim. Apply two-piece dome lids and adjust lids to fingertip tight. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, ensuring a rolling boil for the full 15 minutes and at least 1-inch of water is covering all jars in the water bath.

Makes approximately 6 pints.

Garlic Dill Pickled Fiddleheads

3 pounds raw, cleaned and trimmed fiddleheads
8 cups cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
1/2 cup canning & pickling salt
1 tsp dill seed per jar
1 garlic clove, peeled per jar
1 tsp of red pepper flakes per jar (optional)

Clean and wash fiddleheads thoroughly using the process above. Add dill, garlic and optional red pepper to clean, pint canning jars. Pack fiddleheads into jars. Mix vinegar and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and immediately pour over fiddleheads. Remove air bubbles, adjust the liquid to 1/2-inch headspace and wipe the jar rim. Apply two-piece dome lids and adjust lids to fingertip tight. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, ensuring a rolling boil for the full 15 minutes and at least 1-inch of water is covering all jars in the water bath.

Makes approximately 7 pints.

Bread and Butter Pickled Fiddleheads

4 pounds raw, cleaned and trimmed fiddleheads
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pickling & canning salt
Cold water
Ice cubes
5 cups sugar
5 cups cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons celery seeds
1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds

Clean and wash fiddleheads using the process above. In a clean 8-quart enamel, stainless steel or glass container, stir fiddleheads, onions, salt and enough cold water to cover fiddleheads until the salt dissolves and stir in ice to cover fiddleheads. Cover the container and let stand in a cool place for 2 hours or less. Drain fiddleheads, rinse with cold running water, and then drain thoroughly. Measure sugar, vinegar, turmeric, celery seeds and mustard seeds into a 8-quart heavy saucepan. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Add fiddleheads and onions to the saucepan and then heat to a boil. Spoon hot fiddleheads into clean jars and immediately ladle syrup over fiddleheads. Remove air bubbles, adjust the liquid to 1/2-inch headspace and wipe the jar rim. Apply two-piece dome lids and adjust lids to fingertip tight. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, ensuring a rolling boil for the full 15 minutes and at least 1-inch of water is covering all jars in the water bath.

Makes approximately 6 pints.

23 Homemade Dog Food Recipes Your Pup Will Absolutely Love

It seems like we’re always hearing horror stories about the horrible byproducts that go into commercial dog foods &mdash not to mention the constant recalls companies seem to always be issuing. More and more, DIY pet food is starting to feel like the right way to go.

These homemade dog food recipes will give your pup the nutrition they need, without all that added stuff they don’t. Plus, your dog will totally think they are eating human food &mdash which will make them feel beyond special.

1. Turkey and fresh veggies

There’s nothing to this recipe but turkey, fresh vegetables and rice. It’s super-simple and much cheaper than that store-bought stuff.

2. Chicken, sweet potatoes and kale

A big batch of this easy recipe will last your dog for weeks.

3. Vegan dog food

4. Chicken and spinach

Freeze this dog food in individual servings for easy thawing and feeding.

5. Diabetic dog food

Having a dog with special dietary needs is a challenge, but a good arsenal of recipes helps a ton.

6. Organic dog food

You go organic for the rest of your family. Doesn’t your dog deserve it, too?

7. Natural dog food

If you have a dog with allergies, this might be your best bet.

8. Slow cooker dog food

Image: Damn Delicious

Throw this in your slow cooker in the morning and have a week’s worth of dog food by dinner time.

9. Double-meat slow cooker delight

Your dog won’t be able to get enough of this dog food made with both chicken and turkey, and you’ll love how easy it is to throw together.

10. Frugal dog food

Even homemade dog food can be costly. This version keeps the budget low.

11. Healing mash

If your dog has tummy issues, serve it up some of this ASAP.

12. Bone broth

Bone broth is a great addition to a meal for healthy dogs, and it’s an easy-to-handle meal replacement for one that’s a bit under the weather.

13. Puppy power smoothies

You’re not the only one who enjoys a smoothie every now and then. Make one for your pup, too.

14. Peanut butter and coconut biscuits

We all know dogs love peanut butter, but have you thought about mixing it with coconut?

15. Gimme Kisses cookies

Dogs love cookies, too. Make these so it’ll stop begging for yours.

16. Bacon biscuits

Well, this one’s pretty much a no-brainer.

17. Homemade greenies

Image: Good Dogs & Co

This recipe proves that healthy snacking options exist, even for your pooch.

18. No-bake dog treats

You don’t even have to turn your oven on to make your pup these treats.

19. Sweet potato chews

Have you ever looked at what those chews your dog loves are actually made of? Gross! These chews are just made of sweet potatoes, so you won’t gag when you dole them out.

20. Two-ingredient treats

Just two ingredients make these treats that are both dog- and people-friendly.

21. Doggie ice cream

Don’t leave your dog out at ice cream time. Make your pooch its own.

22. Pupcakes

Cupcakes make everyone’s day better, so make a batch for your pup, pronto.

23. Puppy birthday cake

Don’t let its birthday go by unnoticed. Make your dog its own cake &mdash and then make a human cake so you can celebrate with your pooch.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Image: Liz Smith/SheKnows

Gourmet Pub Grub: The 40 Best Bars in America for Food Lovers

Leave those basic burgers and no-frills fries behind at these watering holes where you can slake your thirst without sacrificing your appetite.

Related To:

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Photo By: SCOTT SUCHMAN ©Photo by Scott Suchman

©Sylvia Stutz Photography

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Photo By: Francesco Tonelli ©2014 Francesco Tonelli - All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Patrick Michael Chin

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Photo By: David Salazar ©David Salazar Photography

Haute Watering Holes

Getting to sip top tipples doesn’t preclude having a gastronomic experience — at least not at the country’s top 40 bars for food lovers. These bars, pubs, lounges and speakeasies could have phoned it in when it came to the food menu, but instead they sought top talents to produce dishes that go far beyond cheese and charcuterie or a gourmet burger. Think sardines a la plancha, eye-catching okonomiyaki and seafood towers overflowing with the ocean’s bounty. These watering holes are known first and foremost for their drinks, but maybe they shouldn’t be.

Photo of Matador Bar’s avocado pizza courtesy of The Miami Beach EDITION

The Alembic Bar (San Francisco)

Known for its flattering lighting and its throwback cocktails that come with stories, this Haight Street watering hole deserves more love for what&rsquos flying out of the kitchen. While the menu changes with the chef&rsquos whims, there are two dishes that would incite a riot if they were removed from the repertoire: jerk-spiced duck hearts served with pickled pineapple and thyme salt, and bone marrow smeared with caper gremolata and garlic confit. Other highlights include house ricotta, Berkshire pork fritters and a Meyer lemon parfait for dessert. A backyard garden supplies the bartenders and cooks with the herbs they need to turn out inspired drinks and plates.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Dalton

Leyenda (New York City)

Most flock to Leyenda Brooklyn Cocteleria to sip a drink from renowned cocktail maven Ivy Mix. The Latin American-inspired Brooklyn bar turns out drinks like the Say Anything, with jalapeno-infused tequila, cachaca, Aperol, watermelon, lime, mint and salt. It tastes like vacation. So does the food. Chef Sue Torres&rsquo churrasco skirt steak is memorable long after the check is settled. So, too, are her panuchos &mdash fried tortillas topped with coconut-habanero shrimp, refried beans and avocado. Mix jokes that she "accidentally opened a restaurant," but the kitchen and bar are equal parts awesome.

Photo courtesy of Hanna Lee

Drink (Boston)

Drink&rsquos cocktail game changed Fort Point when it won Tales of the Cocktail World&rsquos Best Cocktail Bar award in 2013. Maybe it even changed Boston. The cocktails, like the food, rely on farms for the freshest ingredients, and the bar team and kitchen staff work together seamlessly. While it&rsquos impossible to make a stop at Drink without dipping thick-cut fries into malt vinegar aioli, in-the-know visitors save room for steak tartare, savory doughnut holes, the foie gras frankfurter and the ice cream sandwich of the day. Every visit feels like you received a coveted invitation to a cocktail party.

Photo courtesy of Wayne Chinnock

Vanguard Bar (Milwaukee)

Opening a food-lover&rsquos bar doesn&rsquot mean you need polished utensils and cloth napkins. Vanguard Bar, which makes its name on a list of more than 100 brown spirits, is also a sausage emporium. The top-selling sausage is the duck BLT, which comes wearing shredded lettuce, hollandaise aioli and bacon, but the bar is also home to the original Milwaukee-style bratwurst topped with cheese curds, cheddar cheese and Cheez Whiz. The 26 sausages in total tempt patrons with exotic combinations like octopus chorizo and, for vegetarians, Soy Meets World. Each link comes with a recommended beer pairing.

Photo courtesy of Vanguard Bar

Pub Royale (Chicago)

The first thing patrons check when they enter Pub Royale is the draft list at the back of the India-inspired pub. That&rsquos where a board displays a swath of low-bitterness beers and ciders because they pair best with the spicy Indian food coming out of the kitchen. Cocktails, too &mdash like an Iced Royale Chai, with whiskey, coconut, chai, cinnamon and black pepper &mdash can tame the heat. One of the most-popular dishes, Gobi Manchurian, is the ideal bar snack, with crispy cauliflower, sweet and spicy Manchurian sauce, sesame and cashews. Other favorites include the buttered paneer, India hot chicken, mussels and naan, and salt cod samosas.

Photo courtesy of Martha Williams

Trou Normand (San Francisco)

San Francisco&rsquos Trou Normand is known equally for meticulously crafted cocktails and in-house charcuterie. The drinks let French brandies and spirits take the lead, most notably Armagnac and Calvados. Trou Normand, after all, refers to the French tradition of taking a small drink between courses to cleanse the palate. The owners feel the rich, fatty flavors of cured meats stand up well to distilled spirits, hence the 40 different types of charcuterie on offer, from the familiar mortadella, bresaola and 'nduja to exotic salame like rabbit with preserved orange, cumin and cara cara. Order charcuterie by the board for the best value, and also consider the roast pork off the dinner menu.

Photo courtesy of Colin Price

Nightcap (Austin)

The cocktails are fun to order at Nightcap because of their clever names like Tequila Mockingbird and Jalapeno Business, but the real magic lies in the fact that you can order a next-level dessert with your drinks. Take the doughnut and foie gras, for example: a ricotta beignet, lemon, pickled blueberry, foie buttercream and granola. Nightcap has plenty to entice you on the savory side, too. The roasted chicken breast with potato dauphine, black garlic, maitake mushroom and truffle jus has already emerged a winner at the still-new spot.

Photo courtesy of Kristyn Miller Photo

Cure (New Orleans)

NOLA is smitten with Cure&rsquos happy hour, which stretches seven days a week and includes 12 classic cocktails priced at $6 each. The bar&rsquos generosity during peak hours isn&rsquot the only ride worth buying tickets for on Freret Street: The seasonal cocktails are fiercely original, and the small plates are so fresh they don&rsquot feel like bar food. Chef Jason Klutts says he can&rsquot get enough of his own steak tartare, but patrons are also smitten with the pimento cheese and the crunchy, oven-fried chicken served with arugula salad.

Photo courtesy of Cure

Eat the Rich (Washington, D.C.)

Ice-cold Virginia oysters are the yin to hot hushpuppies&rsquo yang at Eat the Rich. The punk-rock bar from James Beard nominee Derek Brown is so unpretentious that the cocktails come in pitchers, oyster cages serve as chandeliers, and bartenders seem to instantly know your name. They serve Rappahannock River Oysters &mdash some of the region&rsquos best bivalves &mdash plus a slate of seafood dishes like trout hash, a fried fluke sandwich, prawn mac and cheese, and "redneck laundry," or caviar served with Route 11 potato chips. Wash it all down with the Buck Hunter, a pitcher of bourbon, house ginger syrup, lemon, soda and angostura bitters.

Photo courtesy of Scott Suchman

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen (Denver)

Euclid Hall borrowed drinking foods from around the world to complement its lengthy, idiosyncratic beer list (divided by types of math to indicate drinking difficulty level). That&rsquos why you&rsquoll find pad Thai pig ears served alongside Bavarian schnitzel and Canadian poutine. Where the kitchen really shines, though, is sausages. From short-rib kielbasa to boudin noir, there&rsquos something for every sip. What you&rsquoll notice is that chefs and bartenders share one counter during service &mdash a sign that the food and drink operations are as linked as their sausage.

Photo courtesy of Chad Chisholm

Armoury D.E. (Dallas)

Armoury D.E. graciously keeps its kitchen firing until 2 a.m., which means haute Hungarian late-night eats for the crowd in Deep Ellum, an artsy neighborhood in East Dallas. Gulyas, a Hungarian goulash soup, goes great with the extensive set of double-distilled fruit brandies and strong house cocktails. There are some popular picks that don&rsquot carry a Hungarian accent, like the short-rib burger made even better by pecan-smoked bacon and the charred pulpo featuring octopus that simmers in white wine and Spanish spices before seeing the grill.

Photo courtesy of Armoury D.E.

Standby (Detroit)

The kitchen and the bar play like old friends at Standby. That&rsquos why the barbecue sauce is spiked with mezcal, olives are marinated in gin, and carrots get a boost from brandy. The cocktail newcomer found on the Belt has a substantial food menu with hearty entrees that lean a little Renaissance Festival, such as milk-braised lamb, Moroccan steak and lacquered turkey leg. If you&rsquore just grazing, there&rsquos horchata and shrimp cakes, duck-fat-fried almonds and an American take on the classic Japanese street food takoyaki that folds in hot sauce, feta and fennel pollen.

Photo courtesy of Sal Rodriguez

Interurban (Portland, Ore.)

North Portland&rsquos Interurban humbly describes itself as a neighborhood drinking den, but its enviable whiskey list and command of craft cocktail recipes add up to more, especially considering that the kitchen cranks out memorable snacks for $16 or less. The boar burger satisfies on a carnal level, with Los Roast Hatch chiles, fried onions, queso botanero, pickled jalapenos and aioli. Jonny Henry does all his curing and sausage-making in-house, which doesn&rsquot go unnoticed on the Publican&rsquos Board, boasting rabbit rillettes, venison-cherry terrine and more. There&rsquos also a corn dog, for those who fondly recall going to a state fair.

Photo courtesy of Interurban

Matador Bar (Miami)

The menu at Matador Bar is in the hands of recent Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford, who also serves as the executive chef de cuisine at Matador Room next door. To further the pedigree, this one-two punch of bar and restaurant is a creation of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, so you know the bar bites will go way beyond average. Instead, plates pop with Floridian appeal. The raw shaved Florida red snapper comes with a zesty green-chile dressing and crunchy rice, and the peekytoe crab and corn fritter is golden-brown enough to go with a cold beer. If you&rsquore looking for a dish worthy of snapping a pic, there&rsquos the avocado pizza, whose namesake vegetable fans out like a rose.

Photo courtesy of The Miami Beach EDITION

Bar Goto (New York City)

Bar Goto channels Tokyo with the vibes of both an izakaya and a Japanese-style whiskey bar. You know the drinks sing, since they come from Pegu Club alum Kenta Goto, but nothing is lost in translation when it comes to the food, either. The okonomiyaki &mdash a savory pancake that comes in four flavors &mdash is a work of art, and the miso wings bring waves of umami. It helps that Goto&rsquos mother had an okonomiyaki shop in Chiba, Japan, where he chopped the cabbage and made the dough when he was growing up. For an outside-the-box pairing, try gobo fries made out of burdock root with a plum Sazerac.

Photo courtesy of Paul Wagtouicz

Holeman and Finch Public House (Atlanta)

The Holeman and Finch burger is as beloved in Atlanta as the Braves, and it pops up on national best burger lists on the regular. But there&rsquos much more to Linton Hopkins&rsquo menu: The chef is committed to using the whole animal, with dishes like Buffalo chicken skins, veal brains with black butter and toast, and clay-pot onions with kale and lamb testicles acting as proof. Even the cocktails feel chef-driven. The Chrysanthemum goes down smooth, with housemade chamomile liqueur, bittersweet vermouth, blanc vermouth, absinthe and thyme.

Photo courtesy of Bart Sasso

Portland Hunt + Alpine Club (Portland, Maine)

Portland was a city best known for beer until the Portland Hunt + Alpine opened in 2013 with cocktails that drew national attention. Riffs on classic cocktails &mdash plus some originals &mdash continue to attract imbibers, as does the Scandinavian comfort food worthy of an evening at The Beard House. Try the Norseman cocktail &mdash an aquavit old fashioned that's been fat-washed with brown butter and garnished with apple slices &mdash alongside the bar&rsquos signature Smorgasbord, which overflows with meat, fish, local cheese, steamed clams and breads. Other must-try items from the small but mighty kitchen include gravlax sandwiches, popcorn spiked with green-chile powder and a butterscotch budino with whipped creme fraiche.

Photo courtesy of Meredith Perdue

The NoMad Bar (New York City)

This Super Bowl of hotel bars has all the finesse and flavor of its sister restaurant, the acclaimed NoMad, but the bar setting enables guests to kick back a bit. Cocktails may have been the intended main draw, but the food gets equal buzz. Bring a small team to take down the chicken pot pie made NoMad-worthy with black truffle and foie gras (using the restaurant&rsquos renowned chicken), or try the burger that yields return visits because of its Pat LaFreida patty that incorporates dry-aged beef, bone marrow and suet (delectable fat). There are also three types of tartare, a refreshing lobster roll and even a hot dog wrapped in bacon with black truffle and celery.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Michael Chin

Latitude 29 (New Orleans)

The godfather of tiki drinks, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, is behind Latitude 29, so bendy straws and other Instagram-worthy garnishes are the lei of the land. Asian eats have always been the natural pairing for fresh and fruity tiki drinks, but this French Quarter bar serves food inspired by the islands of Hawaii instead of Cantonese flavors more typical of mid-century tiki bars. The best example is a take on loco moco featuring a hamburger patty, coconut rice and savory mushroom gravy. Other stunners include cross-cut pork ribs, a mahi mahi banh mi sandwich and a reimagined take on bacon-wrapped rumaki. Latitude 29 cuts no corners in the kitchen: Almost all bread is baked in-house, and microgreens are sourced from a nearby farm in Tremé.

Photo courtesy of Latitude 29

Libertine (Indianapolis)

Libertine takes the humble deviled eggs and elevates them into something for foodies. Order them and marvel when three varieties arrive: classic smoked trout with Kentucky spoonfish caviar and beet pickled with horseradish. That&rsquos just a nibble of Libertine&rsquos bar bites, designed to complement a sophisticated slate of cocktails named for personalities such as Andy Warhol and David Bowie. One cocktail comes in a teacup, forming a juxtaposition with the far less dainty food, including chicken wings that are cooked sous vide in bacon fat for four hours before they hit the fryer. There&rsquos also a cornmeal waffle with fried chicken livers and barbecued mushrooms, for those with an appetite.

Photo courtesy of Libertine

The Partisan (Washington, D.C.)

The drink menus are dizzying at The Partisan. It&rsquos hard to know where to begin: with a daring wine program that showcases Lambrusco and other eccentric sips a beer menu full of sours or a spirits selection that&rsquos hard to rival. Pick your poison, then grab a sushi-menu-like checklist to order housemade charcuterie that&rsquos serious about using the whole animal. There are absinthe-lime pork rillettes, Thai basil bresaola and a pickled half smoke, to name a few choices. Follow the meat board up with a seared pork trotter with bacon kraut, bacon-wrapped partridge or a gaucho-style lamb shoulder sure to satisfy caveman cravings.

Photo courtesy of Marissa Bialecki

Canon Whiskey & Bitters Emporium (Seattle)

Bring your spectacles if you plan to peruse Canon&rsquos award-winning, 160-page list of spirits, dubbed the Captain&rsquos List. Chances are that if you&rsquove heard of a spirit, the bar has it available. But there are more attractions at Canon beyond the library of spirits and 40 well-crafted cocktails. The food menu, which changes every two months with the seasons, is full of whimsical selections like the angostura-bourbon nuts and the signature bone-marrow luge that can be a vehicle for sherry, mezcal or whiskey. Other options include the pork belly bun with apple slaw and the pork loin with carrot romesco.

Photo courtesy of Canon

Band of Bohemia (Chicago)

With much of the ownership&rsquos lineage hailing from famed, Michelin-starred Chicago icon Alinea, expectations are high at Band of Bohemia. The culinary brewhouse is renowned for slightly bonkers brews like guava-pink peppercorn and cocoa nib-fig-bay rum black ale. The food menu complements the draft list by recommending small plates to pair with each quirky pour. A spunky banana curry with roasted cauliflower, goat-milk caramel, peanuts and eggplant goes with the lime-leaf-lemongrass-jasmine beer, for example. Meat lovers will be especially satisfied with grilled steaks from humane purveyor Jefferson Township.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Rubio

Employees Only (New York City)

Try to find a bucket list of Big Apple bars that doesn&rsquot include Employees Only. The West Village titan shares responsibility for birthing the craft cocktail movement that&rsquos cresting today, but by no means should you go there for drinks only. The carefully sourced menu was designed with cocktail pairings in mind, such as the Provencal, a take on a gin martini using herbes-de-Provence-infused vermouth it begs for a dozen fresh East Coast oysters. Want something cooked? Try bone marrow poppers, bacon-wrapped New Zealand lamb chops or elk loin with Yukon potatoes, oyster mushrooms, Tuscan kale and charred onion.

Photo courtesy of Emilie Baltz

American Sardine Bar (Philadelphia)

Most swim to American Sardine Bar for the small but well-curated craft beer list that touches on almost every style of suds. But the name of the bar is a clue that there&rsquos some food as well, namely sardines prepared four ways: sauteed, grilled, a la plancha or fried. (If you count sardines on a sandwich, the number rounds up to five.) The small but flavorful fish go great with a cold saison. Additional dishes include the spaghetti sandwich and the occasional "Pittsburgh cheesesteak" that pays homage to the Steel City&rsquos beloved Primanti Bros.

Photo courtesy of American Sardine Bar

Butcher and the Rye (Pittsburgh)

Yes, there are wacky murals, antler light fixtures and taxidermy, but this bar that nods at lodge culture is big-city refined when it comes to food and libations. Known for cocktails, an 800-bottle whiskey list and an attractive beer selection, this Cultural District saloon is also the first Pittsburgh bar to be nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for outstanding bar program since the category was created. Richard DeShantz&rsquos food menu is designed to pair with whiskey, including dishes like Dirty Pasta, with ground duck, strozzapreti, sage, brandy and Pecorino Romano. The Sunday Gravy, with tomatoes, ricotta and lamb neck, is just as savory.

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Florentine

Lion’s Share (San Diego)

In a craft-beer-soaked city fueled by fish tacos, it&rsquos a nice change of pace to visit a bar that serves broody cocktails with game meat, like the bar&rsquos beloved antelope sliders. They&rsquore adorned with red-onion marmalade, smoked Gouda cheese and grain-mustard aioli, and make a great first act. Another popular dish that goes great with the cocktails at Lion&rsquos Share is the rabbit hand pie held together by a duck fat pie crust. Chef Mark Bolton recommends trying a rye-based cocktail called De la Louisianne to pair with his elk loin steak served with caramelized Brussels sprouts, Honeycrisp apples, smoked onion puree, grits and a Cabernet reduction.

Photo courtesy of Lion&rsquos Share

Julep (Houston)

Julep serves everything you&rsquod want at your dream Derby Day party: pimento cheese, johnnycakes, oysters, hushpuppies and drinks that define the South. Alba Huerta stirs a mean mint julep, Sazerac and Ramos gin fizz, for example. Those with deep pockets and discerning palates can even order a Pappy Van Winkle bourbon tasting. When it comes to food, the seafood tower is the top pick, arriving with lobster, crab, oysters, scallops, shrimp and fino sherry to sip on. Smoked-fish deviled eggs make a nice start to a meal in the gray-and-white-hued cocktail bar.

Photo courtesy of Julep

The Rabbit Hole (Minneapolis)

This husband-and-wife-owned bar &mdash modeled after a Korean pojangmacha &mdash has a sense of humor. Just look at Kat and Thomas Kim&rsquos best-selling Harold & Kumar Poutine, with house-cut fries, pork curry gravy, kimchi, caramelized onion, Parmesan, cheddar, soft-poached egg and chipotle aioli. That monster dish, plus the Rice Rice Baby (kimchi-fried rice with bacon and pickled jalapenos), preps stomachs for the bar&rsquos inventive, stiff drinks. The honey pig saam, double-fried chicken wings and go go noodles are also worth the calories.

Photo courtesy of Julia Merle-Smith

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour (Phoenix)

No stranger to "best bars" lists, Bitter & Twisted boasts a serious setting (its 1920s-era Luhrs City Center address) and has an even more serious cocktail program. More than a few minutes are required to flip through the drink menu. The food, on the other hand, can only be described as fun. They&rsquore in on the ramen burger craze, for starters: Crispy ramen noodles form the bun. Traditionalists can try the dumpling burger, whose pork and beef patty is made even better by the addition of dumpling sauce. Be sure to start every meal with Hurricane Popcorn blitzed with Asian spices, then end with booze-infused "high spirited" cupcakes.

Photo courtesy of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Tørst (New York City)

The spunky beer list at Tørst is biblical in size, with rare finds that practically emit a bat signal for beer geeks to come hither. Though suds are the main attraction at the sister bar to the Michelin-starred restaurant Luksus, Chef Daniel Burns&rsquo bar snacks span a fine take on Welsh rarebit, kedgeree (smoked whitefish, curry and soft-boiled egg) and a duck confit sandwich with spicy cabbage and pickled cucumber. It&rsquos imperative that guests order a dish that comes with the bar&rsquos housemade, traditional Danish rye bread, such as the charcuterie plate. Those who visit on Sundays will get a traditional United Kingdom-inspired Sunday roast.

Photo courtesy of Signe Birck

The Rum Line, Open Seasonally (Miami)

The Rum Line stocks 165 varieties of its namesake sugarcane spirit, which skilled bartenders stir into punches, daiquiris, jungle birds and even Inca Kola. To match the tropical vibe, the South Beach bar&rsquos kitchen prepares beachy bites like oyster ceviche, salmon tacos and jerked chicken lollipops. It&rsquos not uncommon to see groups sharing both a volcano bowl cocktail and a raw-bar seafood tower during an afternoon that easily stretches into evening because you&rsquore on island time at The Rum Line.

Photo courtesy of The Rum Line

Black Market Liquor Bar (Los Angeles)

If a speakeasy and a gastropub swirled their DNA together, the offspring would be Black Market Liquor Bar. The Studio City spot&rsquos list of high-proof "fancy drinks" includes the notorious "Fade to Black" with 103-proof bourbon, Clément Sirop de Canne and walnut bitters. That much liquor requires a cushion of comfort food like barbecued short rib, ricotta gnudi, oxtail tagliatelle and spicy Korean chicken wings. Before you call it a night, cash in on the deep-fried Fluffernutter that screams after-school snack.

Photo courtesy of Black Market Liquor Bar

The Townsend (Austin)

Despite its cavernous setting inside the historic Townsend-Thompson Building, this Austin cocktail authority is laid-back. As proof, two of their signature dishes are a no-muss burger and a clever North African-spiced take on hot chicken served with semolina flatbread and red sauce. Both are from from Chef Justin Huffman, whose resume includes local greats like Uchi and Contigo. The cocktail menu is long enough that you could try a different drink every day for two weeks straight, but come for the food, too.

Photo courtesy of Ruben Morales

Taste (St. Louis)

The bar team at Taste knows all the tricks trending today. They&rsquore barrel-aging, stirring in sherry, incorporating vegetables and herbs, and reaching for the spice drawer. The shareable small and large plates that make up the food menu are seasonal and slightly simpler. The best-seller, after all, is the bacon-fat-fried cornbread, an indulgence that goes with any cocktail on the menu. The pork burger and brick chicken are equally popular with regulars. They also serve mussels in a fragrant coconut-milk bath, jagerwurst with all the trimmings typical of Germany, and churros accompanied by velvety almond panna cotta.

Photo courtesy of Tuan Lee

The Gin Joint (Charleston, S.C.)

Pick your potent potable at Charleston&rsquos jewel box of a cocktail bar and then don&rsquot pass Go without collecting the house popcorn, which smacks of pad Thai. It&rsquos one of several housemade salty snacks that act like an accelerant for bitter elixirs like the Tweed Ring, with amaro, Fernet, Aperol, grapefruit liqueur, lime and bitters. Another is beef jerky so good that Edmund&rsquos Oast now uses the recipe. More-substantial eats from MariElena Raya include clams and chorizo served with grilled ciabatta for dipping, and pork buns piquant with hoisin sauce. Find that second stomach for dessert, because the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar is an experience, thanks to the inclusion of popping candy.

Photo courtesy of The Gin Joint

ABV (San Francisco)

With a name that stands for alcohol by volume &mdash the measurement of how boozy a drink is &mdash cocktails are the clear emphasis at this Mission District bar. Trendy spirits like Japanese whiskey and mezcal lure the masses, but most patrons also come hungry. The kitchen stuffs olives with Hudson Valley foie gras mousse, for starters. That isn&rsquot to say that there are frills: All of ABV&rsquos food is meant to be eaten with your hands, including their best-selling beef tongue Reuben, Mapo sloppy joe and falafel lamb dog.

Photo courtesy of ABV

Lobo Fell’s Point (Baltimore)

Hang out in Lobo for a few hours and you&rsquoll start to understand why Baltimore&rsquos nickname is Charm City. The drinks incorporate iconic local ingredients, most notably so the Spring Shandy with cult classic Natty Boh beer, fresh-squeezed grapefruit and cantaloupe. While most patrons visit for the original and classic cocktails, the food encourages customers to make a meal out of small plates. There&rsquos a cheeky cheeseburger tartare that tops rare filet with micro celery, shaved cheddar, pickled tomatoes and sesame seeds, for example. There&rsquos also the smoked pork loin sandwich, which lures those in the know with Binkert&rsquos smoked pork loin, provolone, roasted garlic spread and broccoli rabe. A full charcuterie program and raw bar are also available.

Photo courtesy of Lobo Fell&rsquos Point

Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar (Boston)

Boston&rsquos brown-liquor aficionados make their way to Citizen for 220 whiskeys, including rare finds like a dozen proprietary single-cask bottles created just for the bar. Oyster options rotate daily, but the kitchen also embraces pork in a big way. Guests can order a whole-roasted pig dinner that feeds 10 or more people. "You learn a lot about the guests who choose to eat the eyeballs," says the bar&rsquos owner, David DuBois. If that&rsquos too primal, another top pick is the house-smoked linguica with cheddar grits, rainbow chard and bacon jam.

Band of Bohemia | Chicago

I’ve saved the country’s only Michelin-starred brewery for last. Band of Bohemia has earned a Michelin star for several years running, an elusive honor like no other in the restaurant world. Chef Ian Davis has multiple Michelin-starred eateries on his résumé, and brings a diverse array of influences to Band of Bohemia.

Davis isn’t the only elite chef in the house though, as owner and brewer Michael Carroll is a former chef as well. Carroll uses culinary ingredients to create beers that are complex sensory explorations, such the Jasmine Rice lager or the Bruja wheat ale with orange zest, chicory, roasted beets and rye.

Once Carroll begins brewing a new beer, he gives Davis his tasting notes, and the executive chef has until that beer is ready a few weeks or months later to create dishes that will work with it.

From small plates like carrot lasagna and milk braised suckling pig to entrées like duck mafaldine and lamb saddle, Band of Bohemia is raising the bar for what brewpub grub can be.