Mussel Mania indeed
Belgian Beer and Mussel Mania at the Schlafly Tap Room this past weekend, an epic beer and mussel festivus. A festivus, I might add, which had dire consequences the following morning. Totally worth it though.
The Tap Room, where all things Schlafly began, is my favorite over the Bottleworks in Maplewood. I have no beef with the Bottleworks, but I prefer the atmosphere, menu, and beer selection at the Tap Room. Bottleworks is a little more industrial in decoration style, the menu offers juiced up American bar favorites (ex. bison nachos and spare ribs), and while there are occasionally small batch beers available, most of the beers there are those in large, year-round production. Nothing wrong with that.
However, the century old, dark, brick and wood building that houses the Tap Room downtown speaks much more to my traditionalist soul. As does the array of seasonal/single batch beers, not to mention their bottle conditioned offerings. The Tap Room menu leans towards more classic brewpub fare (fish’n'fries, steak pie, plate of swine). Including — drum roll — mussels, a requisite dish in my opinion for brewpubs/gastropubs. How I love and miss you Granville Moores (a must go if in D.C.).
The Tap Room always has four mussel preparations on its on menu. So perhaps that explains why there wasn’t the same stampede at Mussel Mania as at the Stout and Oyster Festival a couple months earlier. The oppressive heat may have also been a factor given that steaming hot mussels aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when combating a 100+ heat index. My friend E.C. and I were not deterred. Nay nay. We had a hunger – one could even say mania – for mussels that was only sated after 3lbs of the little creatures. Oh, and that also includes the fries that come with each order just bathing in the mussel sauce. Highly recommend the chili verde and classic white wine shallot butter preparations — oh, and the Tap Room in general.
And since this is a rare occasion that I do actually have pictures (E.C. being a much more competent photographer was able to give me some tips and motivation), feast your eyes.