I’ve always ordered my favorite French peasant appetizer. This was a novelty in the ‘90s and is now ubiquitous. Creamy, warm rounds of goat cheese float in marinara and you sop the concoction up with toasty French bread — $6 for simple, rich comfort. Or get the scratch-made classic Bavarian bar pretzels with horseradish mustard for only $4. It’s a warm, big, thick, doughy treat covered in rock salt just like the kind you got at the roller skating rink as a child. You remember? You scarfed the pretzel down before KC and the Sunshine Band came on. Brick Store also has this insane pimento cheese made with artisanal cheese on crostini.
I’m mentioning all the vegetarian dishes, but the pub offers plenty for meat eaters. Brick Store does a good volume so their Fish and Chips isn’t fishy tasting like some pubs. It’s a crispy Cod filet that’s elevated when you drench it in house-made tartar sauce and spike it with malt vinegar.
Traditional English pubs always have a curry dish and Brick Store has a Southern twist with “sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, cilantro, traditional Indian spices, and basmati rice.” It’s a rich bowl of comfort that will induce a Zen-like state for only $6.50. I’m not a beer connoisseur, although I do enjoy an ice-cold New Castle and feel butch drinking it. But Brick Store is known for its stellar beer selection, which includes everything from local craft brews to Belgian high gravity beers.
A new player on the high-end pub block is Leon’s Full Service, also in Decatur. They serve thick crisp bacon in a high ball glass with a side of scratch-made peanut butter. The devil and Elvis made me do it. So bad yet so good. This is a true elevation of pub food.
I dined here and didn’t even drink. You can order fresh frites with a variety of dipping sauces like goat cheese fondue or masaman curry. There’s no frozen product here. They slice the potatoes, soak them in a salt brine and fry them up. There are so many fierce things on this menu you should check it out.
Of course, there are plenty of yummy gay pubs, including Joe’s on Juniper, Roxx, Blake’s, Woofs, Cowtippers and Burkthart’s, just to name a few. All serve decent food and very cheap strong drinks. Joe’s has the best wings but Burkhart’s also has a great grilled steak dinner and sides. The kitchen staffs at these bars know gays are picky and they aim to please.
Top photo: Decatur’s Brick Store Pub serves delicious food and a wide selection of craft beers. The scene, like all of Decatur, is very gay inclusive. (via Facebook)