Kirk and Cathy get another day off - well at least a day off from posting here. Today Ed (from Yuma) is writing about a good place to slake a thirst in this desert community.
Being a very occasional blogger here at mmm-yoso, I sometimes feel plagued with bad timing. On two occasions, for example, I almost had a post about Mandarin Palace ready to go when the restaurant changed its menu or format, so none saw the light of day. Sometimes, I post about great places like Maria's Cocina, Mariscos El Navegante, or the crêpes truck that soon go out of business. While I was accumulating pictures of dishes at Grand China and then writing a post about them, Asian Star started up, took away most of the Chinese restaurant business in the area, and caused Grand China to close (It is now Yuma Palace). A while back I posted about Brewers, impressed with the six or eight taps of craft beer available there. About the time the Brewers post was up and running, the Pint House opened on Main Street and the beer scene in Yuma was transformed.
If you are counting, there are 52 taps of mostly craft beers, ales, and ciders. The list changes often, so if you see a beer that you've always wanted to try, you should probably order it because it may not be on the next list. Here's a Hoppy Bitch IPA:
This range of brews is truly amazing for Yuma, and the Pint House seems to be doing good business and keeping their beers fresh.
The space is much like a sports bar, but patrons get to listen to music instead of blaring television sports commentary. In other words, it's easy to ignore the game/games and focus on the beverages and the food.
Accompanied by a garlic aioli, these are a great beer snack – very crunchy, slightly salty, and not greasy at all. Of course, there is a lot more deep-fried crust than mollusk in each bite, so not my all-time favorite calamari, but still an addictive nibble.
The clams have always been fresh and not overcooked. The sauce is a little salty for my tastes, but it accents and balances the natural sweetness of the clams. It also makes a nice dipping sauce for the bread. (If you're looking for this on the menu, it is a "Pint House Signature" dish.)
While the lettuce was perfectly fresh and cheese was okay, there wasn't much else going on in the salad and that raspberry dressing was nothing special. Truth be told, however, this picture is from several months ago, so it is possible that the side salad has morphed into something more interesting.
The hand formed rich Angus patty is topped with melted Swiss cheese and generous layers of well grilled mushrooms. Very tasty.
Overall, I find the burgers and sandwiches to be the strongest parts of the menu. They all come with french fries or side salad, but you can upgrade to sweet potato fries or onion rings for a dollar extra. Here is a blackened chicken sandwich($9.99) with a side of onion rings (+$1):
Though the chicken breast slice was a little dry, the sliced tomatoes and avocados made this a good sandwich.
The onion rings, on the other hand, suffered from the same problem as the calamari – too much crunchy breading and not enough main ingredient. Each of those onion rings has one thin slice of onion only. Of course, the onion rings are great beer food; everybody loves hot, crunchy, and slightly salty snacks with beer.
Coupled with a garlic aioli on the top half of the baguette and mustard on the bottom half, the sandwich as a whole presents a very complex flavor profile – touches of smoky richness with contrastive tang and crunch. Really excellent.
The french fries, on the other hand, are pretty mediocre and generally soft, even though we ordered them extra crispy. Oh well.
Recently, the restaurant has added an extra page to the menu including items ranging from deep-fried bacon wrapped jalapenos to a caprese salad. Tina was instantly attracted to the blackened chicken salad wrap ($9.50):
This kind of chicken salad is the sort without mayonnaise. Served with a spicy salsa, it was basically a chicken Caesar salad wrapped in a flour tortilla. Tina liked it.
The first time I had them, I thought they were incredible. The deep-fried oysters had been perfectly prepared so that their moist ocean funky flavor contrasted with the crunchy crusty batter. Even though the taco got pretty messy quickly, the flavors were amazing. Unfortunately on another occasion, the oysters were not as pristine, pushing that funkiness a little beyond pleasant.
The chili was mildly spiced hamburger with onions and tomatoes, the whole dog topped with cheese and chopped onions. Maybe not the best chili I've ever had on hotdog, but the beefy sausage itself was excellent. And needless to say, excellent beer food.
The Pint House is a treasure. It makes me want to drink more beer – and clearly not just me. While the food items are somewhat hit and miss, a Yuma establishment with 52 taps, most pouring craft beers and ales, is a testament to the beer revolution that has been going on in this country for over 30 years. Sometimes my timing isn’t good, but The Pint House clearly has time on its side.
The Pint House, 265 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364, 928-782-0499, open daily 11 AM - 2 AM