Birch Street Grill – Putting on a Smile at this Gastropub

by Franklin on August 8, 2012

Hmmm. What can I say about Birch Street Grill? Hmm… After much thought and starting at the computer screen, I had nothing. Their happy hour was nice. It lasted late, almost until 8 PM, but it was nearly empty. The music was nice and the TVs were flat, large, and abundant, but still, nobody was watching. What gives? This is not a happy hour. I was even sad to find out that my restaurant.com gift certificate won’t work with their happy house menu. Well for me, I wanted to try their happy hour menu because it looked half way decent. Caught in a predicament, it was better the just go with their happy hour menu as is. Enough with this mess, I was ready to eat.

My favorite was the deviled eggs. It came out looking too pretty to eat. One was topped with shrimp, the other salmon lox, and another with bacon. Each had a sprinkle of cracked pepper and a garnish of fish roe. The taste of the deviled eggs was wonderful and had a smooth yolk mixed in inside. Though not as good as the ones from Blue Cow Kitchen in Los Angeles, they were still good for a happy hour menu.

The fritto misto was a bit soggy for my liking, and the bottom was basically all lettuce. Though the taste was there, the lack of crunch and crisp was a disappointment. The best part about fried calimari is the crunch on the outside and the perfectly cooked squid on the inside. Theirs lacked both and the filler of the lettuce was the cherry on top.

The sliders were better than I thought. The pulled pork inside was tender and not dry, and the sauce was actually really good. The slaw had a nice crunch, and the bread was soft. All of the flavors worked well together. The pork wasn’t dry or tasteless. Though the taste wasn’t quite like the real BBQ you find at a BBQ joint, the sauce saved this dish.

I wanted to try the crab cakes in hopes of finding something amazing. Unfortunately, I would have been better off not ordering this item. The crab cakes were more bread than crab meat. This in turn made the outside layer crustless and the inside a bit soggy. The aioli sauce on top was tasty, but the star of the dish was nowhere to be seen.

Birch Street Grill was a nice hang out spot, but the lack of customers is a sure sign of something missing. The service was acceptable and at times surprising. My biggest gripe wasn’t the restaurant or the service, it was the food. Obviously, if the food isn’t good, the people won’t come. It’s located in Downtown Brea, the restaurant is bound to have customers. The reason for a lack of customers is obvious. I think a jazzed up menu and a nice refresh would do this spot nicely. Until then, Birch Street Grill is in the shadows.

Birch Street Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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