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