The Saloon reopened about a month ago with a performance by Black 47. They plan to have national acts twice a month, with local live music every Friday and Saturday, plus open mic night on Tuesdays. A Sunday Brunch with live jazz is also in the works. While music is still a big part of things, Chef John Brennan hopes the Saloon also becomes known for the food. After our meal, I don't think that will be a problem.
Blending a bit more of an urban touch to the classic decor, The Georgetown Saloon now features 30 craft beers on tap with lots of local brews in the mix, batch cocktails and comfort food galore, from creamy, melty, cheesy mac 'n cheese tots and biscuits and gravy to chicken and waffles, crab cakes and sliders to upgraded versions of TV dinners.
My jaw dropped when I saw the chalkboard wall full of beer choices - imperials, stouts, IPAs, and more. Plus lots of local breweries like Sheeban, Hooker, and Black Hog were representin'. And, not to take themselves too seriously, you can just order a 40oz.. Yes, you can get a Colt 45.
Beyond beer, are the batch cocktails aka "Flasktails." Making them in a batch allows for consistency in flavor and potency no matter who is behind the bar that night. Each serving is brought to the table in an individual glass flask with tape label. We tried the Surley Tumble featuring bourbon, maraschino liquor, lemon juice and cherry bitters, as well as My Darling Sugaree with silver tequila, pomegranate liquor, rose water, lime juice and chocolate bitters. I really enjoyed the mix of cherry flavors with the sweet, smokey bourbon in the Surley Tumble.
We sampled nearly the entire menu and truly nothing disappointed. Brennan is a self-taught chef who knows how to blend flavors and get creative. The menu is broken down into Start With This, Greens, Minis, TV Dinners, Side Piece and Finish With This. Everything is made from scratch with fresh, high-quality ingredients. On the menu it notes where certain dishes can be adapted upon request to be vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan.
Brennan said that he is starting to source more ingredients locally. At the time of our visit, he was using local apples, butternut squash, honey, and maple syrup. Once things are up and running, he said he plans to expand local sourcing efforts. That's always music to my ears.
Now, on to some of the highlights from the evening. To see all the eats check out the album on our Facebook page.
We Started With...
...nearly everything in the category. Loved it all. Well, I didn't eat the Whipped 'Shrooms but Renato gave a thumbs up.
A few of our favorites were the Roasted Poppers. Jalapenos were sliced in half lengthwise filled with whipped cheese and chive cream then wrapped in bacon and roasted. The peppers are warm but still crisp and the spice level was pretty mild, but they had lots of flavor. I love that they weren't heavy like traditional deep-fried jalapeno poppers.
Made with smoked cheddar, the Mac 'N Cheese Tots were light, crisp and oh so cheesy. Personally, I didn't even need to dip them into the buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.
And I have to mention the Nachos. These are not your usual bar nachos. Here, Kettle chips are smothered in pico de gallo, smoked cheddar, avocado, and chive cream. And, as an added bonus you can add chili or seasonal veg and 'shrooms. Go with the chili.
I couldn't resist the Chicken + Waffles which features blueberry jam, basil, peppercorn maple syrup, bourbon butter, cheddar, and bacon. It may not be traditional, but it was darn good. I actually loved the sweet twist of the blueberry jam.
In addition to traditional sliders, they also have a Crab Cake slider. They didn't skimp on the crab meat and the Cajun remoulade was a tangy accompaniment.
I adore this presentation. In the classic divided plates you get your entree, seasonal greens, the "side of the day" and a petite dessert.
The Mac + Cheese TV Dinner was made with corkscrew pasta, smoked cheddar and bread crumbs. It was so creamy. More like dreamy.
The dessert with the Bird + The Bees was a Rice Krispies treat. I won't lie to you; I ate it. It is a childhood favorite. Oh, yeah, the actual meal was good too. The fried chicken was tender and juicy.
The fries, both the hand cut potato as well as the hand cut sweet potato fries, were spot on. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.
I have to say though that the Onion Frizzles were especially good. They are the perfect side for those rare, juicy beef sliders.
Unfortunately, we had to leave before getting to sample dessert. They all looked amazing. Based on everything else we sampled that night, no doubt they are just as delicious
I definitely recommend hitting up the new Georgetown Saloon. It's some seriously top-notch bar food with great drinks and of course, live music.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The meal was free of charge. The opinions contained herein are my own and reflect my experience. Your own may differ.
The Georgetown Saloon
8 Main Street, Redding
Mon - Thurs: 11:30am - 1am
Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 2am
Sun: 11:30am - 1am
Photos by Renato Ghio