September 17, 2008

Cafe Brio

Tonight I hit the restaurant I meant to be the first place covered on this here blog. I'll admit Cafe Brio holds a special place in my heart since it was the 'first date' restaurant for my wife and I. We probably, on average, eat there once or twice a month. I try to vary my beer choice but never my food. My friends, Cafe Brio has the best damn pocket chicken chimichangas I have ever been blessed as consume. Alter the refried pintos with black beans and you have a tasty slice of heaven.

My beer rating for Cafe Brio: Excellente!

However I must caveat the excellent. Their beer menu has dropped off a few more exclusive brews and they are down to five or so non-mass marketed beers. If you were a fan of Abita Breweries out of New Orleans, those are now gone.

They have your basic American lagers and tip the hat to imports by stocking Newcastle, Pacifico, Dos Equis (both types) and Negra Modelo. All basic beers that allow for some variety and perhaps parity with the cuisine.

However their excellent rating came from the following five brews:

Rogue Dead Guy (Maibock)
Rogue American Amber
Flying Dog Tire Bite (Koelsch)
Lost Coast Brewery Indica (India Pale Ale)
Xingu (a Black Beer from Cervejaria Independente, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil)

These five beers give any beer lover a range from dark to light and hops to malt.While Rogue and Flying Dog products are becoming more plentiful, Xingu is pretty rare in restaurants or bars and I haven't ever seen Lost Coast Brewery's Indica in any bar, restaurant or store including Friar Tuck. Apparently the Tire Bite and Indica are new enough additions that they aren't yet on the beer list. So if you are keen to try either one, ask for them by name. Just remember to request a glass since beer is best when poured into a glass with a fine head.

Swirl, Sniff, Drink. Cafe Brio is excellent for your taste buds.

Cafe Brio: Excellent


BlogFreeSpringfield said...

They seem to have really cut back their selection. They used to carry Anchor Steam and several other craft beers.

I love the food at Cafe Brio, although it's not really a good place to take kids so I don't find myself there often.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Congratulations on the Illinois Times coverage. I just saw it over my lunch break.

Gish said...

Thanks for the kind words. To be honest, the attention scares the hell out of me. I thought I had picked a quiet little niche where I could impress my friends.

I agree with your assessment of Cafe Brio but they have managed to still host a range of beers that put them above many others. It'll be sad to see them cut any more beers and I'd seriously have to re-assess them.

John said...


Love what you're doing here. It's about time Springfield got a beer blog. Keep up the good work.

My wife and I always like the taste of food at Cafe Brio, but it almost always makes us sick afterward. I can't remember a time when we ate there that we didn't feel a bit squeamish in the aftermath. We finally just had to decide not to go there any more. Too bad, too, because I think they have a tasty and original menu.