After living in Bethlehem for nearly two years, I finally made my way over to Bethlehem Brew Works for the very first time. I have heard countless stories of fun nights spent at this North Side hot-spot and it seemed like the perfect venue to kick off my new series of restaurant reviews.
Upon arrival, I was immediately charmed by the atmosphere. The outdoor seating section is adorable and absolutely perfect for summer nights. Inside, things only got better; the brewery-style décor is refreshing and unique, and gives the restaurant an undeniably cool vibe. Nearly every table has a great view either out onto Main St. or inwards at beer themed decorations, but unfortunately I was shuffled to the back corner table, which I must admit had a lovely view of the kitchen. Of course I would have preferred a more scenic spot, but when a restaurant is truly busy, as Brew Works was, I just consider myself lucky to avoid a wait.
The drink menu is loyal to the establishment, as the only beer options are Brew Works originals. Initially, I took this measure as a little extreme but after ordering a Valley Golden, an American Light Ale, my hesitations were washed away. The extensive menu offered seemingly endless choices of drinks and fare- I have no doubt that there is something for everyone.
For starters, I took advantage of the Witty Wednesday special: half a pound of peel-and-eat shrimp with a side of very tasty cocktail sauce. As for my main course, I chose to go all-out in community spirit by ordering the Bethlehem Pasta; bowties, chicken and vegetables in a Cajun Alfredo sauce. The cream sauce was not lacking that true Cajun kick, and while the dish lies outside of what I would typically order, I was actually quite impressed. To be completely honest, I rarely order pasta dishes outside of Italian restaurants, but this leap of faith did not disappoint.
Luckily, my feast didn’t end there. My boyfriend ordered the Diamond Plate Hanger Steak and Brew City beer battered fries, and let’s just say I ate more than a healthy sample. The meat was tender, juicy, and seasoned to perfection, and the smoked tomato sauce topping complemented the flavors perfectly.
All in all, it’s a great place to chow down and drink up. Prices are reasonable and serving sizes are on the generous side. Special events such as Steel Pipes karaoke and Tickle Me Tryouts, (open mic amateur comedy nights), makes Bethlehem Brew Works much more than a great spot to dine. The restaurant exudes a proud and authentic history of Bethlehem steel while remaining extremely contemporary, making its status within the community well-deserved. It’s nice to see a thriving establishment that is in touch with its roots and capable of bringing people together over the pure delight of great food and fresh beer.