The weather is so infrequent in the Midwest during these transitional seasonal periods. In late February, my family found a mild Sunday afternoon to go for a walk and have dinner. We have a pass to the Blank Park Zoo so we decided to load our son into a stroller and take him through the zoo. There is something wild about starting at a pair of lions who are walking through snow covered ground. The zoo was a delight and we decided to stop somewhere for a drink and a meal. We decided on Exile Brewing Company. They have a nice kitchen, and though their tap selection isn't as numerous as other local breweries, each of their styles is perfectly crafted.
The weather, lions, and beer. What you'd expect from a baked bean blog. Onward.
I ordered a delicious Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich and had it sided with their Tico Time baked beans. Using their beer in a side dish is a delightful combining of both their brewery and kitchen. I paired this meal with a Fernando's Revenge, which is their barrel aged version of their nut brown ale. Wonderful. These beans were delivered in a small ceramic dish, which is very common place. I would have loved it to be a larger dish, as these were pretty great beans. From what I could tell, this was a single bean dish. Though, those beans were cooked to a great consistency. These well cooked beans were served up in a thick sauce that would have allowed you to eat them with a fork. The sauce had a mild sweetness that was balanced well with a tempered heat in the dish. To create some diversity in each bite, the kitchen has included bell peppers, onion, and bacon in this dish. Each of the vegetables are cooked down well enough that you notice their presence but aren't labored with the crunch of an undercooked vegetable.
Ratings (On a scale of 1-5)
Total Score: 11
For what it's worth,
Taking your child to the zoo: 5