Sunday, March 17, 2013
St. Paddy's Day - SingleCut Style
What a fun St. Paddy's Day it was today, as Dan, Jamil, Ball and I went over to SingleCut Beersmiths and tied more than one on. Having tasted their beers on a few occasions but never visiting the tap room, we all enjoyed the experience very much and unanimously agreed that we'll be back. Here are some highlights from the experience.
It's no secret that SingleCut is more than a ways away from everything, but that's why it made it a fun place to spend St. Paddy's Day, as it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded. I was happy to walk into a spacious, high-ceiling tap room with a pretty large bar and plenty of communal tables that were almost full. The best part for me was to see the diversity in the crowd - from really really young (as in babies) to older folks, everyone seemed to be enjoying the vibe.
Part of what made the atmosphere even more festive was the live bluegrass band that played the entire time. Not only were the Homesick Houndogs great, I liked the way SingleCut incorporated an elevated stage in the space that made it seem like you were watching a real concert. It worked really nicely, especially because it allowed them to maximize the actual tap room space for customers like us.
Food and Drink:
We came for the beer of course - purchasing a growler in the beginning and then refilling it several times throughout the night. But along with drinks, we couldn't refuse their yummy meat pies either, that I felt made our SingleCut experience complete.
Beer - We sampled three different beers that I haven't yet tried before, including the Eric More Cowbell Milkstout, the Billy 18-Watt IPA, and the Rudy Double Umlant Lagrrr! Out of those, the IPA was a complete winner, and my friends ended up taking some home in their keepsake growler. It had an almost floral smell (and taste), the perfect amount of hoppiness that went down real easy with the meat pies. The IPA was especially tasty with the King and I (Thai curry chicken) pie.
Meat pies - Dan, Jamil and I split two meat pies, including the just mentioned, King and I and the Over the Moon (steak and mushroom). The latter also came with a side of pickled veggies such as onions, peppers, cauliflower and the like, which we devoured. The meat pies were fantastic and I preferred the King and I, which was something totally different, as it included a medley of ethnic spices and curry that totally warmed our bones (it was quite chilly in the taproom). The steak and mushroom was great too but definitely more on the traditional side - I guess it was appropriate for the occasion though.
Cupcakes - While they don't have cupcakes on the menu, we were pleasantly surprised to find this little sweet gem, courtesy of Renee from Single Girl Cookies. For those of you not familiar with Single Girl, she does a great job of giving back to the community by baking for some of her favorite Astoria establishments.
The cupcake she made was inspired by the Eric More Cowbell Stout, with which it was actually made. It was absolutely delightful, the chocolatey interior perfectly moist and tinged with malty goodness from the stout. Sporting a minty green frosting, for St. Paddy's Day, it made for a great pairing with the rich chocolate - overall, an impressive treat and a much welcome surprise.
Service and Cost:
Although I'd love to praise the staff, we weren't overly impressed. I'm not sure if it was because it was a holiday and it was super busy, but more than on one occasion, they charged us more than they were supposed to for the beer (and we had to correct them). Once we got to the table, the service was pretty good, as the staff took our cleaned plates after we scarfed down those meat pies, but overall the service doesn't shine.
Costs are a bit expensive for the growlers at $10 per container and then another $7-$12 to fill it with beer. After you get through that first round, it's a bit more cost effective, and the quality of the beer and the food is so good that it's definitely worth it.
SingleCut Beersmiths - 19-33 37th Street, Astoria NY 11105
N/Q Train to Ditmars Blvd