In the mood for a hearty meal, we decided to cross the bridge and roll into the District of Rock Island. Not being an obnoxious alcoholic who rents a party bus for every birthday, I had only been to the District once before, to see Everclear play. No one can fault me for that.
Although we weren't entirely sure of our final destination, I did have the Blue Cat in mind as a possible Greasy Joint. I parked in the first lot I found, and lo and behold, it was right across the street from Blue Cat. The air smelled of seafood, not appealing to me, but still 10x better than it would smell 4 hours later when vomit and smoke would float down the streets.
The restaurant and brewery opened in 1994, just 2 years after the District was conceived. They filled a vacant space in an older two story building on 18th street. There are two levels to the building, we were escorted upstairs to a small dining area with cozy booths. The atmosphere was dark, but not dingy. Candles adorned each table, providing a light glow around the room.
Our waiter served us right away and handed us menus that were surprisingly large and diverse. This isn't typical bar food. It's "fancified." The menu has salads, seafood, barbeque, dinners, sandwiches, burgers, and pasta. It also includes many of their handcrafted ales, some of which rotate throughout the year, or are seasonal only. I'm not going to pretend to know anything about beer, so here's a link to more info.
After much consideration and internal debate, I ordered a Hawaiian-style chicken breast sandwich with a side of beans and rice. Richie went for some 'que, and ordered the beef brisket with mashed potatoes. I couldn't resist adding an order of pub fries fused together with gooey cheese.
Our fries came out quickly, hot and smelling of decadent bacon, which was precariously chopped and sprinkled on top. So we overindulged on our appetizer, leaving little room for our entrees. No bother. Richie made room and I got a box to go.
Both our orders were slathered in barbecue, but mine was a teriyaki flavor, very light and sweet. It was a perfect complement to the grilled pineapple.
His brisket was engulfed in a viscous black sauce with a molasses flavor. The meat was slightly chewy, not quite as melt-in-your-mouth as one would receive from an actual barbeque joint.
The beans and rice had nice kick to them, both of us enjoyed the flavor. Richie's potatoes were a nice texture, but tasted overwhelmingly of butter. Though his plate was left without a crumb, Richie did proclaim that he should have ordered a burger. I was pleased with my picks, particularly the pub fries.
I think we will make a return trip in the future and try something new. Definitely an ideal option for alcohol afficianados looking for a classy place to dine and drink.