A Welcome Return
The old Brandywine Brewing Co. comes back as BBC Tavern, only to redefine upscale casual.
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Speaking of sweet, Doto’s kitchen regained its balance at dessert. An apple-cranberry crisp that truly delivered on crispiness—and delivered a bonus of warm ginger-caramel sauce—was ideal for a chilly night. The banana-chocolate bread pudding (a dessert primed for a comeback of its own) wasn’t as solid as I generally like bread pudding, but it oozed with a delicious chocolate sauce that reminded me of Nutella.
Service was generally fine, but there were a few small hiccups. One server had an odd habit of scurrying off before we could finish ordering. I hoped to try a few starter dishes, but she made like Usain Bolt after I mentioned just one. It wasn’t a disaster by any stretch, but it made us feel hurried, especially since the dinner rush was about to hit, making the opportunity to flip our table more apparent. On another night, two servers couldn’t decide whose table we occupied. Again, nothing catastrophic, but the incidents stood notice.
Variety and value are a few traits of BBC’s wine list, with most bottles landing between $20 and $30, with a few high-end, hard-to-find selections (like the highly sought Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon) fetching more. The beer list offered enough reasonably priced American microbrews to satisfy and maybe even impress the ever-growing army of beer snobs. Why dime out $3.50 on a pint of Coors Light when a buck-fifty more can get you the latest seasonal from Leinenkugel? A great bottle selection is heavy on fruit beers, from Lindemans Lambic Peche to Dogfish Head’s Raisin D’Etre to my new favorite, Sea Dog’s Blueberry Wheat. It also included selections from popular microbreweries Victory, Tröegs and Magic Hat.
During its 10 years in business, Brandywine Brewing Co. built feverish loyalty among not only its many customers, but its staff as well. Many employees have joined the ranks of BBC Tavern customers, who lined up at this fun pub all winter. “It’s like reuniting an old family,” Dietz says. Scale back to match the simple salty pleasure of, say, a hot soft pretzel, then watch this family reunion really get rolling.