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Monday, April 26, 2010

Brickhouse Cafe Has Inside Source for Sustainable Beef, Salmon

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge Meat for the burgers comes from the owner's family-owned ranch in eastern Washington. - DIANA M./YELP
  • Diana M./Yelp
  • Meat for the burgers comes from the owner's family-owned ranch in eastern Washington.
The fact we barely remember most of our meal at Brickhouse Café & Saloon doesn't mean it was bad at all. We arrived at the delightfully un-SOMA SOMA pub fairly late on a Wednesday night, having spent the previous four hours at a wine-tasting party bathing empty stomachs in syrupy Merlots. Without question, we recall a funny sort of loft upstairs, plus-size pinecones littering the countertops, and a long menu that undulated before us like a desert apparition.

The evidence slowly stacks up. A crumpled receipt reports that we downed a few $2 pints of Pabst. A scribbled note we pulled from our jacket pocket two days later reveals that the hissing slabs of Anchor Steam-battered fish ($14) we ate swam across a golden bed of "very average" fries, nuzzling against a cup of "somewhat less average" cole slaw. We're pretty confident that the fish trumped the famed "big ass" burger ($10) we also ordered, largely on account of the hefty ciabatta roll into which the latter was tucked. We prefer it when a bun melts into a burger, fusing with cheese and condiments, when it's just firm and functional enough to keep a sloppy sandwich from falling to pieces entirely. This huge puffy specimen made for an overly bread-centric assemblage. How do we know? "Burger = Bread", our last note exclaimed idiotically. Minor and faintly recollected, broadly interpreted gripes aside, we cannot doubt that we had a nice, bleary feed. For our part, we pray that we tipped well, kept our conversation volume respectfully low, and spilled neither food nor drink in excess.

We do however clearly remember a few fascinating facts expounded upon in the menu's many pages.

click to enlarge TORO E./YELP
Many restaurants source hormone-free meat and sustainably caught fish from reputable providers. Unlike Brickhouse, few do so themselves. No, there's not a grassy field out back and a few Angus bulls milling about, slurping up any unfinished pitchers. Owner Fred Reeves' family farm in eastern Washington raises all the beef for the restaurant. What's more, each year, Reeves himself makes a pilgrimage to Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he catches gobs of sockeye salmon. The bounty shows up on the menu in the shape of house-smoked salmon ravioli and salad, at least one of which we'll be sure to order next time we come through -- bright-eyed and sober, no doubt.

Brickhouse Café & Saloon 426 Brannan (at Ritch), 369-0222

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