Ever since we met Steve and Jeremy, owners of the Eagle Rock Brewery and father/son duo, we’ve eagerly wanted to tour their neighborhood beer headquarters. On their official opening night we got our wish. The proprietors kindly and humbly invited us into their “home” to see where this local brew is born. So after a rough week of three jobs, countless meetings and many weekday nights infused with delirious blogging, we made our way to the Eagle Rock Brewery.
As soon as we walked in we were greeted by name by the staff. We grabbed a pint of their latest, Manifesto, the second of three brews born there. The week before we tried, Solidarity, ERB’s darkest and boldest. The space is exactly how I prefer my spaces, simple and clean. No clutter, no noise. The brewery is an open space with a bar, communal tables, throw pillows and best of all, a glass garage door that facilitates an open view of the brew premises. You can order your beer, sit down and get a full view of how and where your brew is produced.
Shortly after polishing off our first pint, Jeremy came up to us and offered to begin the technical tour of the brewery. I was so excited. We’ve been a fan of these guys’ business for a year now and, well, I’m a beer snob so taking a tour of the place where this locally produced gem is born gave me goosebumps.
Some cool facts on the ERB are:
- Takes two weeks to produce any one of their three brews.
- The three are: Manifesto, Solidarity and Revolution.
- In any two week period 3,200 pints of beer can be born at ERB
- Father is a first and son is a second generation beer maker
- They are going to begin bottling soon
- And lastly, just to show you they REALLY care. Lin, Jeremy’s sister-in-law, designs all the beer labels and merchandise
After our tour we got to talking to Steve and he told us many stories. The place, the people, and the ambiance were all so warm. The pretentiousness that you get with many craftsmen were nonexistent. It was humble and kind in every way. It’s amazing how much the folks at ERB did themselves. From the beer, to the paint on the walls, to the propaganda-looking beer labels. All of it was in-house. You could taste the pride. It felt good to just be there – drinking one of 3,200 pints. Congrats, ERB!
During the tour I was asking a ton of questions and fascinated by the process. Carina, on the other hand, was quietly listening until Steve showed us some dog prints in the cement. It seems they mysteriously appeared. There is no dog that they know of and so they have to imagine that a dog snuck in late at night when the cement was setting. Carina was captivated as if this was a great ghost story or mystery she had to solve. She demanded I take this photo, so here it is.
After my one beer I was done, exhausted, and needing to go home. My need for for sleep was monstrous but Carina and H.C. decided to continue the night and they headed to Larkin’s, which calls itself “a contemporary soul food joint”. I am now going to pass this post on to Carina. —>
I had never been to Larkin’s before, but when H.C. said he liked it I was immediately sold. Upon arrival I noticed a CASH ONLY sign. H.C. and I both did a wallet check and I clocked in with a $20 bill and he had $25. We sat down nervous about having to stay within a set budget but then we spotted a lifesaver, an ATM machine, and we knew we had no limits. You get a lovely cold black eyed pea salad when seated. The menu was large and thoughtful, both of us went back and forth several times with what we wanted. I decided on the meatloaf and chose mashed potatoes and pasta salad as my sides. H.C. initially ordered the catfish and switched to chicken and dumplings when I was in the bathroom. The meatloaf had a great kick to it but it was really dense and much drier than what I wanted. The pasta salad didn’t do much for me either but the garlic mashed potatoes were great and I am not a big mashed potato fan. H.C. loved his chicken and dumplings, which were a special that night.
If you follow H.C. aka LAOCFoodie on Twitter then you know that he has a therapeutic ritual everyday, eating a piece of chocolate. Knowing this about the guy, I was certain that dessert would be ordered. My sweet tooth normally falls in the fruity realm so I suggested we get the berry cobbler. It was excellent. I was not thrilled with my ordering choices but this place has an extensive menu and I fully intend to delve deeper into it again. The dishes I liked, I really liked. The funny moment came at the end with the bill where there was some confusion since H.C. switched his order. It took two tries to resolve but no harm, no foul. I was in New Orleans for the first time in February and just fell in love with the people, food, and city. This place was a fresh and unique taste on that and the building itself reminded me of all the restaurants in Portland where you feel as though you were dining in someone’s house. I guess that’s the best way to describe Larkin’s; it’s cozy and feels like home. There was another uncouth moment where a waiter ran up to our table and blew out what was left of a completely melted down candle. Larkin, the chef in the back, smelled smoke and was trying to figure out where it was coming from. Yup, it was our table and we didn’t even notice.
H.C. and I didn’t drink at dinner because we were on a cash budget, which we stayed $7 under with tax and tip. Not bad. Anyway, afterward we thought we deserved a drink that could be paid for with a card. I recommended my neighborhood favorite, The Chalet, which has since become The Black Boar. It is basically the same owners and bartenders but they have a new name, slightly different decor, a fooseball table and darts, and they added more alcohol. Not bad improvements. We had a lovely drink and I remembered that Josie and I were both there for a drink last NYE. We always say that we LOVE Highland Park and we do but Eagle Rock also has a ton of great things to offer. Just remember to party like an Eagle Rock(Star)!