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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pub Bricco

Place: Pub Bricco
Location: 1841 Merriman Road, Akron, OH 44313 Google Maps

Quick Blurb:

My first visit to Pub Bricco was for lunch before the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a mixed experience – friendly staff, pub atmosphere and a decent beer selection. The food, while trying to be moderately upscale, didn’t impress me much.

Taking home in the old Grotto restaurant building, Pub Bricco does give you a good pub atmosphere.

As you enter, the horseshoe shaped bar greets you with a variety of draft beers. There are both high top and typical dining tables. The tables are wooden and some seats are simply stools – which I thought was very neat and complimented the look and feel of the place. It does look like it could feel a little cramped if all tables were full, but seeing as it was lunch time, we had plenty of room.

TVs are scattered throughout, but unfortunately from where we were sitting, we had a hard time seeing them. I had to either turn around completely and ignore my company or lean back and squint.

We were greeted when we entered and seated promptly. The gentleman stuttered in deciding whether to hand us the beer list. It was obvious enough for another person sitting with me to notice. This is something that bothers me in restaurants. Who are you to decide whether I want to look at the beer menu or not. It’s exactly like some “Italian” restaurants where they prep the tables with wine glasses and as soon as you sit down, they take them away. I once asked the guy “oh, did you run out of wine?”. Took him a while, but he got it in the end.

Ok, moving along…our waitress was friendly and smiled often. She was also patient with us as we tossed around the idea of ordering a beer and which kind, etc. Throughout the rest of the lunch, she continued to be friendly, checking in when needed, but not attached to the table.

There was four of us for lunch and we ordered two plates to snack on while waiting for the mains.

- House made chips with peppercorn ranch

- Chorizo beer cheese fries topped with tomatoes, scallions and a side of sour cream

The house made chips were very good. Cooked well and with a peppercorn dipping sauce made them an instant hit – especially with a Great Lakes Christmas Ale pairing.

The beer cheese fries left a little to be desired. The cheese was reminiscent of nacho cheese from a sports stadium except it was lighter in colour and just as light in taste. The cheese made the fries soggy and eating with a fork was necessary. The fries weren’t cooked as well as the chips. Some were barely browned and combined with the sogginess, created mush. The whole plate was overpowered by the taste of the chorizo, which was nothing more than tiny pieces scattered here and there. Finally, the sour cream was a dull choice of dip – not much flavor and mushy fries don’t do so well trying to dip into sour cream. The peppercorn ranch sauce was a preferred choice, as was ketchup which had to be asked for afterwards and came in a little dish. This is a pub, where’s the squeeze bottle?


8oz Beef patty with buffalo sauce, provolone and peppercorn ranch on a Kaiser

The sandwich section of the menu allows you to choose an 8oz beef patty, two 4oz beef sliders, or chicken/turkey/veggie burger. Then you choose one of a multitude of sauces. This instantly reminded me of a Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares episode where he went into an Indian restaurant where they allowed you to have any meat with any sauce. The result was a mediocre restaurant with the kitchen always busy making different combinations. I feel the same could happen here.

Four guys, four sandwiches (all 8oz Beef patties), 40 minutes for them to be cooked and brought to the table – and we were one of maybe five tables seated. The waitress asked how I would like my burger to be cooked and I said medium-rare. I did indeed receive a medium-rare burger, however, it may as well have been the two 4oz sliders as they cut it right in half to make sure they cooked it correctly. I’ll give them some credit, they tried to hide this fact by putting on a large layer of cheese on top. In 40 minutes, I’m sure they could have looked up how long it takes to cook an 8oz burger to medium-rare and used a stopwatch.

The meat was very good – great quality and cooked well. I unfortunately didn’t taste much of the buffalo sauce as the peppercorn ranch was a little too overpowering.

Unfortunately, as I was driving home for the holiday a couple hours later, I kept having indigestion and had to take a couple Rolaids to calm it down; doesn’t give me much desire to eat another burger. Unfortunately, that’s all they have besides salads and soups.


Great Lakes Christmas Ale – Draft

We never did get to see the beer menu – maybe it’s only shown for a select few, but by the quick glance at the bar, there seemed to be plenty of choices.


I really enjoyed walking into the place and looking at the d├ęcor. However, after the cheese fries and the butchering of an 8oz patty, my stomach told me that it wasn’t happy. I think this could be a fun place to go to for a game – if you get a good spot with view of a TV – and order some drinks and house chips. I could go back just for that and probably will. I’d like to give it another shot. I like pubs and I like food – if this place could pull it off, I’d be a big fan. But at the moment, there is some room for improvement.

Pub Bricco on Urbanspoon


  1. The cheese on the cheese fries isnt cheese sauce. It says directly on the menu that it is Briccos signature beer cheese soup. It isnt supposed to look like cheese,and is deffinetly not nacho cheese. Those fries are our favorite when we go to the pub!
    Did you ask for a beer list? I'm sure someone would have given you one.
    Also, the pub is seat yourself so surely you could have sat near a television. not everyone likes to watch tv while they eat.
    I love how you critics love to complain. The pub is a casual burger joint! Youre supposed to have indigestion when you leave! lol.
    Its awesome! try it again and write another review! you went right after open!
    We go there at least once a week.

  2. Anonymous -

    Your points are valid - and I'll be sure to give it a go again. I don't "complain", but rather give my point of view of the place and I wasn't impressed. We were greeted and seated when we went at lunch time and never got the impression it was a seat-yourself.

    I still don't think the fries are that great, unless they've changed it up. They weren't cooked and just a soggy mess. I could have indeed asked for a beer list, but since we knew we wanted a Christmas Ale, we ordered those. I was pointing out the fact that the guy literally stuttered in handing it out and then just walked away in the end. Hand it out man! Give us our beer!

    As for a casual burger joint - the Winking Lizard ranks above this place in my mind - don't you agree? If not, I"d like to hear why. I never leave there with indigestion and I have eaten quite a bit of the menu (their beer tour really sucks you into going a lot!).

    Again, I'll revisit Pub Bricco, and try to go in with a positive attitude and write a follow up.

    Thanks for your comments!!

  3. I live near this place and have given it a try for both dinner and lunch. I must say, this review is very accurate of my experiences.

    The cheese fries were definitely a pile of mush. I will not order them again. After reading this review, we decided to give the chips a try the next visit. They were excellent and will order them again if I go back for another visit.

    To anonymous poster on Jan 4th: I (and everyone else coming in) was greeted and seated at lunch time as well. This must be how they operate during lunch time. Seeing how you go there "at least once a week", you should be aware of this. You are correct about self-seating at dinner though. This is a disaster waiting to happen. If I am waiting for some time and someone, who just walks in the door, gets a table just based on their timing of walking by someone getting up, I will never return to this place.

    Great review CJ. Thanks!

  4. Looks like the first person to have posted a comment deleted it??

    The original Anonymous that I responded to on Jan 29 complained about my critique of Pub Bricco. He had some valid points and am surprised why he would delete what he said.

    As an update, I still have yet to go back to Pub Bricco.

  5. Welcome to the reality of putting your opinions up on the Internet. I've been accused of many of the same shortcomings as you were, although I didn't get to read the Jan 29 post that was removed. People can get fiercely protective of a place that they like and rather than doing the work of writing their own blog expressing their own opinions, they simply rag on those with whom they disagree. And isn't it funny how 9 times out of 10, these types of comments are always left by "Anonymous"?

    Nice review, by the way. I've been meaning to make it down to the Valley to try out Pub Bricco.

  6. Pub Bricco has made vast improvements since it's opening. They menu has been updated to include new seasonal salad selections, wraps and new apps.
    Surely you should give it another try.