November 10, 2013

Go to Strangelove's for Beer, Popcorn and Gumbo

A dinner at Strangelove's earlier this Fall came with hits and misses. Perhaps the location at 216 S. 11th St. (between Walnut and Locust)  is cursed, with The Boilermaker only lasting six months there and The Butcher & The Brewer barely a month after that. It's tough for any new bar/restaurant to thrive without some unique appeal, unless it's the first in its neighborhood. We'll see how Strangelove's holds up... it comes from the same owners as Memphis Taproom, Local 44 and Resurrection Ale House, so they know to create success. We'd go back, especially for a beer and light bite, but only if convenient to the rest of our whereabouts that day.

Off the "sips and nibbles" menu, the wings were solid and the $5 popcorn was a nice shareable treat for the table. I swear it only cost $3 a few weeks ago, but the online menu says $5. Either way, it's just as big and more flavorful than a small movie popcorn that would probably cost you $8. Maybe even too rich to finish, with chilis, cojita cheese and brown butter lathered throughout.

While the smokey french onion dip itself didn't taste much better than the Ruffles jar I get (often) at the grocery store, the house-made chips that accompany it were great. You can get the chips with a sandwich (advisable) but don't go out of your way for the dip.

If you aren't starving, order the gumbo off the appetizer menu as your dinner. It's a healthy but not stuffing portion of duck and sausage meat with rice, green onion and other veggies, and it offers just a little heat to balance out with your craft beer. Best thing we ate that night.

The burger was fine. Not much else to say so I guess you could call it safe but forgettable.

Strangelove's most appealing factor is its rotating craft beer menu. Our day featured the Anderson Valley Pumpkin Ale and Victory Uncle Teddy's Bitter on cask.

Biggest miss of the night was the Nutella whoopie pie. We took it 'to go' and ate it about 90 mins later at home, but it shouldn't matter since we assume it's made earlier in the day and served at room temp. Nutella is Nutella (a.k.a. perfection) but the cake was exceptionally dry. The online menu now includes pumpkin mousse whoopie pie, hopefully with more moisture.

Overall advice: Strangelove's is a fine place to stop in for a beer and a light bite, especially in the colder months since there isn't much natural light (though it's much brighter than the candlelit cave that was The Boilermaker).

Strangelove's burger

Strangelove's homemade french onion dip and chips

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