Thursday, July 6, 2017

Collision Bend Brewing Co.

I've had a long three weeks of work, including two trips out of town and three weekends in a row of working. Mr. H was being extra thoughtful and planned a date night out last Saturday to check out the newly opened Collision Bend Brewing Company in The Flats.
We had a reservation, and when we arrived the list was 15 parties ahead of us to be seated on the outdoor patio on the river. Of course, because it's stunning out there! We decided to go ahead and sit inside, but our table was along the floor-to-ceiling windows, so you almost felt like you were outside.

We both wanted to order a flight to check out their beers. I ordered the Iron Wind Pilsner, Old River Kolsch, a wheat beer not listed on their website, and the Samsel Stout. The stout was the only one I didn't care for. For my personal taste, it was too hoppy. The others were all easy-sipping beers, but they weren't memorable. One that I would absolutely order again is the High Rent Lemon Girl that Mr. H had.
We also ordered four small plates to share. One issue right away was that the first two plates of food arrived before our beers did. Within just a couple of minutes of being seated and placing our order. The flights quickly followed, but then immediately so did the second round of small plates. Suddenly, we had a tiny table full of food and hadn't even really gotten into tasting our beers yet. The timing was awful, and I did bring it up to our server. The message feels like "We don't care about your experience, and we're just trying to turn this table as quickly as possible." I'm not trying to settle in for the night and take up a table forever, but we were in and out in under 40 minutes and felt very rushed. Not pleasurable at all. Issues are always worth bringing up with your server or management at any restaurant, but particularly at a newly opened one. They can't improve or address specific issues if you don't bring it to their attention.

So, let's talk about the food. Thanks to social media, I've seen a lot of people raving about the Giant Molten Meatball stuffed with cheese and served with marinara sauce ($8).
It was certainly a solid dish and we enjoyed it just fine, but it did sound better than it actually was. As did the Asian Style Arancini Siciliana ($6) with fried risotto balls flavored with pickled ginger, Asian aromatics and served with wasabi mayo. Probably my favorite of the four, but still not quite hitting the mark for me.
We also shared the Moroccan Lamb Ribs ($14). They were fried and served with cucumber-yogurt sauce and pickled vegetable. The rub was flavorful, but the meat was hard to get off the bone and the sauce was a bit too runny to really stick to the meat.
I've also seen a lot of positive chatter about the Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($8) with Vietnamese caramel sauce, queso fresco cheese and shishito peppers.
These actually probably would have been good, had they been cooked through. They were under cooked, so still pretty hard and bitter. We left most of them behind.

Absolutely some of these issues are opening kinks to work out. The food selections and quality were still much better than anything most breweries are offering, but I think my expectations are higher when it's coming from the Zack Bruell Restaurant Group. The location, vibe, and views are fantastic, so I do hope it continues to improve as they get more time under their belt. I'd love to head back for a pizza and beer out on the patio.

If you've been, what are your thoughts?

Collision Bend Brewing Co.
1250 Old River Road
Cleveland, OH 44113