Located right off I-75 is Granite City Food & Brewery. This brewery has come a long way, from when Granite City first opened its doors in Minnesota in 1999, to now operating 30 restaurants in 13 different states. See how they ranked:
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites
Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites
Quality/Taste: 2.5 out of 5 bites
Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites
Presentation/Style: 3 out of 5 bites
Granite City had this neat little brew menu that creatively described each beer. My companion went with the Northern Light Lager: Light, clean cut, and refreshing. While we were waiting for our order, the manager heard it was our first time visiting and welcome us and offered soup samples.
Northern Light cheddar and ale soup: Creamy cheddar cheese soup simmered with our Northern Light lager. Our favorite, it was smooth and cheesy, with a light nutty ale touch. This was not overpowering as some beer soups tend to be.
Cream of potato and bacon soup: Creamy potato soup with bacon and cheddar cheese. Pretty spot-on for a creamy potato soup.
Maple pepper bacon and tomato pizza: Maple pepper bacon, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses with their signature garlic aioli. This was a nice change from your typical pizza sauced pie. The garlic aioli was subtle, yet present. The maple pepper bacon was decadent and delicious! I substituted the tomato for sliced red pepper and it was a good choice. There’s something about warm tomato that I don’t care for. The crust was chewy, yet crispy.
Cajun pasta: Chicken, andouille sausage, red and green peppers, and onions simmered in a creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sauce with a hint of bourbon. This dish started off really good and flavorful. After a few bites, Josh noticed a nice sized pool of grease in the bottom of the bowl. We assumed it was from the sausage, but it was too much to stomach. Our server was really cool and offered another option. This was unfortunate because the dish was really good and the creamy cheese sauce was awesome and spicy from the Cajun spice.
Adult mac and cheese: Alfredo sauce with pepper jack and cheddar cheeses simmered with their Brother Benedict’s Bock then poured over penne pasta, chicken, red pepper, bacon, and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, this dish was a bust as well. Presentation was good, but it lacked flavor. Also, I think the kitchen was in a hurry to get this back out to our table, because the Alfredo sauce was thin, runny, and didn’t stick to the pasta. There wasn’t much chicken either and we had a hard time telling the difference between chicken and breadcrumbs because the pieces were so small.
Service and the beer were good, but we didn’t have good luck with the food. I do like how the manager came over to address the dishes and our server did a great job handling the issue. The overall atmosphere was really nice, with an upscale brewery feel and a unique menu that is constantly featuring fresh, new items.
A version of this review was originally published on The Bite Tonight.