When you live on the eastside of Bend, a brew pub opening within walking distance is cause for celebration. Add awesome food to the mix and, well, can I hear a hallelujah?
Our Saturday early lunch started on the outdoor patio with three dogs parked under the table and two stellar beverages—10 Barrel’s light cider that’s reminiscent of sparkling wine and a margarita with mezcal (yes, 10 Barrel is serving cocktails again) and jalapeño. Not a bad way to launch the weekend. Little did we know how much better our day was about to get.
Despite an uninspired description, we decided to order the Spicy Shrimp appetizer along with some fried pickles since my friends hadn’t ever tried the latter. Even though the tasty fried pickles were crunchy salt bombs and I like salt, I’m still not convinced that I need to eat fried pickles ever again. On the other hand, I’m already figuring out when I can go back for the shrimp. The perfectly tender and barely translucent prawns coated in a fragrant ginger, black bean and lemon grass sauce atop a sweet chili rice cake were simply divine. If you like seafood and Asian flavors, you owe it to yourself to go to 10 Barrel East Side just for this one dish.
Of course, while you’re there you probably need to order a burger as well. “That was the best burger I’ve ever had,” a man announced to me as he was leaving the pub a few weeks ago. After tasting the Pubhouse Burger, I understand his enthusiasm. The custom blend of chuck and Wagyu beef make for a fat and juicy patty, that’s actually cooked pretty darn rare if that’s how you order it. Add in some Applewood-smoked bacon, tiny onion rings fried to a crisp, cheddar cheese and A-1 sauce and you’ve got a party on a bun.
Since the special burger of the day featured grilled peaches, we asked if we could try those and promptly started dreaming of how we could muddle the slightly charred and scrumptious fruit in a rum or whiskey cocktail—in addition to ordering a side each and every visit should the grilled peaches wind up on the regular menu. (Hint, hint!)
We enjoyed everything else we tried, including the Fish & Chips (super fresh-tasting pacific cod in a light, crunchy Sasquatch ale batter) as well as the red and yellow beet and fennel salad with arugula, goat cheese, candied hazelnuts tossed in a mustardy sherry vinaigrette. The pizza toppings on the Bangkok Pie special were spot on. In fact, the zesty sriracha lime base topped with chicken, pepper jack, pepperoni, mama lil’s peppers, cilantro and fried onions reminded me of The Rocky sandwich I had a couple of months ago, which is as large as it is delicious. My friends found the medium-thick crust to be a little doughy, but I appreciated the wood-fired taste.
Beyond full, we still found room to try the peach cobbler special. Served in a cast iron pan, baked peaches were topped with a cake that tasted like a cross between buttery shortbread and a cinnamon-accented biscuit along with a scoop Tillamook vanilla bean ice cream. The dessert was a hands-down winner, just like the rest of our meal.
10 Barrel Brewing Company – East Side
62950 NE 18th St., Bend
General Manager: Tabor Bradley
Hours: 11am-11pm Sunday-Thursday, 11am-midnight, Friday-Saturday