I am sure some people will ask the same question that is always asked when a new brewery opens. “Do we really need any more breweries?” Well I don’t see how that is possible. Can you have too much happiness or too many smiles? I don’t think so.
Happy Brewing opened in one of the defunct Double 8 grocery stores. It opened about 2-3 months ago with typical brewery hours. No lunch just evenings and noon opening on weekends. My first trip there was on a Sunday to sample some beer. I really enjoyed the beers I tried. They have a nice ale and a great cream ale but the show stopper was their Happy Hopper. Be advised though it has a ABV approaching 11 so it is best consumed in small quantities. Their cream ale is less than 5 ABV so it is more like a session beer. A brew you can drink while mowing your lawn. I think the owner Gabe has plans on canning it in the future. As of the past week they took the bold step to open for lunch.
Their menu is small and concise and it is all done in a kitchen without an exhaust hood. For those who don’t know all commercial kitchens require an exhaust hood when the cooking process produces fumes or smoke. Further more you will also need a fire suppression system. All of this runs into a bunch of dollars. Dollars they did not want to spend at this time. So now they have an impinger conveyer belt oven, a Panini press and a soup warmer. I think they pulled it off well.
On my first trip there I had their Italian sausage. It was a solid sandwich. The sausage had a slight spiciness to it but what carried the dish was the red sauce. It was very good. I ordered it with chips and pickle but in the future I will probably just opt for the sandwich alone. Beer carbs are superior to chip carbs.
On my return trip I ordered a pizza. They buy all the pizza product from Delco a Hoosier firm founded in 1957 that sells all things Italian related. That includes the raw dough they use for the pizza and the Calzone.
I thought it was a nice pie. The crust had a slight chew and again that marinara sauce has great flavor and richness.
I have only tried 2 items on their menu but I plan on trying more. This joint is very close to home so I can see myself there weekly. I had a very good conversation with Gabe on my first lunch trip. He has some great plans for his place. Patio seating and even a rooftop beer garden and in time he would like to have a “proper” kitchen. I am always excited for new places to eat. Especially one so close.
I really like old school bars and taverns. I like the dark and quiet ambience. Except when you try to take a picture with a smart phone, well at least with my smart phone. Unless I have really good light my pictures are not too good. But I guess it is better than Pat and I making drawings.
Pat promoted this joint because of their pizza. A good pie is always a good reason to visit. So Pat ordered a salad and large slice.
I wanted soup and a large slice. The SOD was Gumbo. This had to be left over from Fat Tuesday so I ordered a bowl. Gumbo is one of several dishes better as a left over.
The Gumbo was pretty good. A nice broth with a good dose of cayenne and all the usual suspects in side. Chicken,shrimp and the Trinity. I prefer my roux to be darker and my sauce to have more leg to it. But it hit the spot on this 17 degree day. I wanted a sausage and pepperoni slice.
The pie was outstanding. I don’t know if you can see it or not but the cheese was nicely browned, as a good pie demands. I thought everything was spot on. The sauce, the large pepperoni slices, the crumbly sausage and the huge amount of cheese. The crust had a really nice tooth and stood up well to its big load. This was their standard crust. They also have a thin and a pan. The pan is similar to what some folks would call a deep dish. They offer a 10 inch pan,which is what I am having when I go back.
Being a fully functional bar they have beer and liquor specials,so that is worthy of consideration. It is a huge place and an attractive place and the service is excellent.
The above pictures are of the bar area. The partial wall and its booths are all part of the bar seating. Our server Cindy was handling the area. Booth customers as well as bar patrons. Plus she had to deal with several carry out orders. I think she did one heck of a job. Thank you Cindy and thanks kitchen dudes for our pizza.