Brewhouse boasts a menu full of flavors

January 5, 2009

By David Hayes

Sometimes in life, all you want is a quick and tasty meal. Located within the heart of downtown Issaquah is the answer to those desires — the Issaquah Brewhouse.

Renowned for its Rogue line of microbrews poured from an astounding 36 taps, the Brewhouse also sports a hearty menu to satisfy myriad hunger pangs.

Don’t go to the Brewhouse for its ambiance or décor — it’s a pub, after all. But if eating with a boisterous lunchtime crowd talking over ’70s classic rock pumping from the speakers while seated in stiff, wooden booths or simple tables is your style, then the Brewhouse is the right place to be.

The kitchen may be small, but the menu boasts big flavors. Starting with an appetizer, healthy choices be damned, two co-workers and I ordered the Idaho buffalo chips. At just $5.95, the potato rounds were perfectly deep fried and spiced with a lingering heat that lights up the taste buds without burning them into submission.

I then tried a cup of Harry’s beer cheese soup, ever seeking a way to imbibe an alcoholic recipe while still on the clock. A creamy, cheddar cheese soup base is blended with the Brewhouse’s award winning Dead Guy Ale with onions, garlic and andouille sausage tossed in for an extra bold flavor. Memorable stuff for just $3.95.

Then, our entrées arrived.

Our editor, always one to take on bold boasts, plucked down $8.95 to try, as the menu touted, “the world’s greatest dog,” smothered in the Brewhouse’s signature Kobe beef chili. She confirmed the bold flavor of the chili, but was less than wowed by the fine, but far from world’s greatest, hot dog. Perhaps it was the hot spices from the chili that had her reaching for her iced tea to douse the conflagration in her mouth that distracted from the potential of the dog.

Our photographer, and token vegetarian, tried the black bean and quinoa salad. This zesty black bean cold salad was tossed together with corn, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and other secret spices placed atop avocado slices and a bed of quinoa, a Spanish couscous, if you will. The dish, for $8.95, had a rich blend of flavors that he scooped from his plate to the last, delicioso bite.

Finally, I had the chicken pita sandwich. Again, I migrated toward the entrée with an ingredient infused with beer, this time the chicken breast marinated in Kells Irish Lager. Unfortunately, with the other ingredients of feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and cucumber yogurt wrapped in a warm pita, the sandwich, while still good, tasted no different than a gyro with chicken. Guess I was looking for something a little different at $8.95.

Which means I should have stuck with the Brewhouse’s pièce de résistance — the half-pound, bacon cheese Kobe burger. Priced more for a dinner at $15.50, you in fact get what you pay for with this parade for your mouth. The Kobe beef is juicy and more flavorful than anyone else’s burger in town (trust me, I’ve tried them all), and is further enhanced with toppings of white cheddar or blue cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and a wasabe mayonnaise — heaven on a bun that’s well worth the hit to the pocketbook.

The Brewhouse’s menu is so varied and appetizing, you’ll be heading back again and again to try it all.

If you go

Issaquah Brewhouse

35 W. Sunset Way


11:30 a.m. – midnight Sunday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

$4.95 – $18 for appetizers, $3.95 – $10.95 for soups and salads, $8.95 – $10.95 for sandwiches, $7.75 – $15.50 for burgers, $10.95 – $17.90 for house specials

Reach Reporter David Hayes at 392-6434, ext. 237, or Comment on this story at

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

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