Monday, March 15, 2010

The Hop House

Last Saturday was a rainy, damp, chilly, gray day. A day filled with errands, unfortunately, as getting repeatedly rained on is not much fun! I'm not sure if the high-light of Saturday for SP was meeting with the florist and finally ordering wedding flowers or if it was the trip to WalMart!! So when it came time for dinner, I suggested some places where he could relax with a tasty beer. We sat in the car for a while and debated between Bocktown, The Hop House, and McGuire's Fireside Inn. After looking at some menus on Droid (how dorky of us - researching dinner places on his cell phone) we decided on The Hop House: Wood Fired Food & Ale. It's on Noblestown road in Green Tree (there's also a location in Ross Township).

Recently, I Run I Sweat blogged about her trip to The Hop House and it's on the 'To Try' List for Spicy & Blue so it was on our radar as a place pretty close to home to try.

We arrived a bit before 6 pm and were seated right away. Our first impression: it's more a bar and less a restaurant then we expected. Lots of TV's showing basketball games. A large, horseshoe shaped bar. Very friendly staff.

We quickly ordered iced teas. We hadn't had a chance to browse the beer list, plus I don't really like beer, and SP always orders iced tea, even if he's having beer or wine. The iced tea is disappointing - definitely not fresh brewed. Definitely from a mix. Bleah.

The gross iced tea prompted me to order a beer. I don't think I have ever ordered a beer. Wine, mixed drinks, yes. Beer, no. No matter the quality of the beer, it always makes me feel like I am back in college at a fraternity party. For some reason, instead of switching to soda or water, I had the urge to try a beer. I told SP to choose a beer for me.

There are 30+ beers on tap! He ordered an East End Snow Melt for himself and an East End Big Hop IPA for me. His is a dark beer. Mine is light and has a frog in its logo. I like frogs.It was OK. Obviously better than the crap we drank in college but nonetheless it's beer and I am just not a huge fan of beer. SP helped me drink my frog beer.

To start, we shared a gigantic plate of onion straws with a delicious honey-mustard dipping sauce.They were quite tasty. Really can't go wrong with breaded and fried goodies. We ate the entire plate of onion straws.For dinner, I ordered a 12" pizza with red sauce and spinach, roasted red pepper, and mushrooms. We both enjoyed the pizza. It was a thinner crust. Delicious.SP ordered the Secret Club: sourdough flatbread filled with smoked turkey, ham, smoked gouda, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a sun-dried tomato spread. This also was delicious. The flatbread was so good and the sun-dried tomato spread plus smoked gouda elevated this above a regular club sandwich. It comes with two sides. SP chose the mixed veggies and sweet potato hash. The sweet potato chunks tasted like they had a bit of brown sugar on them - pretty tasty but nothing extra special.

I read some reviews online about how smokey The Hop House is. It wasn't too smokey when we arrived but when we left around 7-7:30 pm it was starting to fill up with people and smoke. I guess they are exempt from the non-smoking laws - ? If you really dislike smoke, go early or wait until warmer weather when you can sit outside on the patio.

It also can get a little loud, like when the jukebox plays or if there is an especially boistrous patron.

We would go to The Hop House again. We really liked our food - much better than we expected for bar food. We would not order iced tea again. And we'll probably wait until we can sit outside since neither of us likes being in smoke. When we got home, I immediately took off my clothes and tossed them in the hamper. I wish I would have washed my hair right away, but I just didn't have the energy! I was tired from errands and full of beer, onion straws, and tasty pizza/club sandwich.

5 comments:

  1. This makes me so excited to go to Hop House! (And thanks for the shout out.) As for the smoking, they must do less than 10 percent of their sales in food. (I believe that's the rule in Allegheny Co.) I HATE that exception to the ban. (It's how there's still smoking in most of the South Side.) And it does mean that I will be hitting up the Hop House before the true bar crowd shows up. Smoking -- bleah!

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  2. The atmosphere is really smokey, I agree.

    Their food is so good that I can't imagine they do less than 10% of their sales in food. Who knows!?

    The pizza looks good. I want to go back when the big fire pit is lit!

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  3. Oh I've never been there! Thanks for the review! I've never been to Bocktown either. hmm. I used to go to the Sharp Edge ALL the time but not so much anymore. Have you ever been there?

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  4. We've been to Sharp Edge a few times (Crafton and Peters Township). I like them a lot. One early tenant map we saw for Settler's Ridge showed a Sharp Edge in it, but we haven't heard or seen anything about that since. I really, REALLY hope that comes to pass -- I'd be much happier with that than Cadillac Ranch or Stonepeppers...

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  5. I like the Peters Twp Sharp Edge better than Crafton - yummy pizza!

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