Bethlehem, PA in the Lehigh Valley is an adorable little town only about an hour’s drive away from Philadelphia and outlying suburbs. Matt and I drove out last weekend because Tao was performing at the Zoellner Arts Center. We stopped at the Bethlehem Brew Works for dinner before the show. On a Sunday, it was one of the few places open for dinner.
The interior was surprisingly cozy even after they matched their Steelgaarden theme with metal decor.
We ordered an old standard, the spinach artichoke dip (we substituted pita wedges for $1.95), for an appetizer. Unlike every other spinach artichoke dip we’ve ever had, the spinach was in larger chunks, which I enjoyed. What I didn’t enjoy was the watery texture of the dip. It was definitely not cheesy enough for our taste. The flavor was just OK.
Matt ordered the Bessemer’s Bratwurst served with Bavarian style red cabbage and warm German potato salad. His thoughts: bratwurst was fine. Cabbage was fine. Potato salad was excellent and he wished he had been served twice as much potato salad and half as much cabbage.
I ordered the “Grand Ole Lady” 1/2 lb. Burger with Cajun spices, Pepper Jack Cheese, and dill tarragon aioli. The fries definitely outshone the burger here. They were exactly how I think fries should be. Thin, but not too thin. Hot and fried crispy with a slightly soft center. The flavor so good that you don’t really need any ketchup. The burger was great, but not worth $10. I tasted the cajun spices. I tasted the pepper jack cheese. But I could not taste, or find, the aioli. It was missing. Oh well, I still ate it.
I really love going to brew pubs to eat. I love the atmosphere. The menu always has a lot of comforting pub standards with a few twists thrown in. The beers are unique. I’d definitely make another trip back to Bethlehem if I had a reason, and I’d try the Brew Works again.