MARION - There's nothing better than some tasty comfort food to warm your inside, with a cold one to wash it down. At Brew Fish in Marion you can get both.
Owners Todd and Erin Zell wanted to give their customers a space to feel at home, so they decked out the dining room with cozy booths, vintage décor, and a big wooden bar serving 20 beers on tap. You can order by the pint or as a flight.
When it came to the menu, they wanted to blend all of that brew they have at the bar into the food, and that's just what Chef Jason Besse does best.
"If we're not incorporating beer into an actual recipe, we're also pairing beer with the entrees as you would wine," the chef said.
So they've infused their pizza dough with beer and created something called The Smokehouse Pizza, which combines house smoked pulled pork, chicken, chourico and sausage for the ultimate meat lovers pie. Then there's the ultra-soft pretzels served with a cast iron skillet of beer cheese dip.
"Our dip is infused with UFO beer," Jason explained. "The pretzels are not pretzel bites. They're a little bit larger than a pretzel bite. They're more on the pretzel rod size, and they are soft baked, and you take them and you dip them into that cream cheese, beer infused dip and it is delicious."
Appetizers that you'll want to munch on while you sink some suds include the crispy Lobster Flat Bread, and the signature Sticky Ribs that are smoked in house and slathered in a sweet chili glaze.
"We smoke all of our ribs for at least 24 hours, and then he adds the sweet chili sauce which just gives it a little bit of sweetness, and it has a little bit of spice to it so they're really flavorful," Erin described.
"Just super, super tender. The meat literally falls off the bone," Todd added.
Nacho lovers will have trouble deciding between the Asian inspired Shrimp Wonton Nachos topped with sweet chili shrimp and pineapple salsa, or the mammoth plate of BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos.
"The pulled pork nachos here at the Brew Fish are tortilla chips that are made in house, barbecue pulled pork that's smoked here in house. We do a little spin on it. We add pickled red peppers and jalapeño peppers on top, with cheddar cheese and a cilantro sour cream," Chef Jason said.
One menu item you definitely won't find anywhere else is Brew Fish's Ch'ale. This soup combines two local favorites for one great taste.
"It's a combination of chowder and kale soup," Erin explained. "It's more of a thin based chowder with the potatoes and kale and a little chaurice to give a little bit of kick. A lot of flavor. It's a little bit spicy, but it still has a little bit of the richness of a chowder."
Entrees at Brew Fish are big in both size and flavor. There's the perfectly prepared, 18 ounce choice Ribeye served with roasted root veggies and garlic mash; or the trio of Haddock Tacos served with a ginger spiced slaw and Creole tartar. If you want a little taste of the South Coast in burger form, they have that too.
"We have a strong Portuguese tradition here on the South Coast, so we take chaurice, bacon, onions and peppers and then all melted together on top of a burger with pepper jack cheese," described Jason. "All the flavors meld together on the South Coast Burger. You get the sweetness from the caramelized onions that are on there. You get the spiciness from the chaurice, the smokiness from the Applewood smoked bacon, and nice spiciness from the pepper jack cheese."
If you ask Todd which dish he likes best, it's without a doubt, the creamy, dreamy Lobster Mac and Cheese.
"I think I like anything that has lobster in it. I'm a big fan of lobster. It's just lobster and mac and cheese. Two of my favorites. Combined they're delicious."
As for Erin, her favorite comes at dessert, in the form of the deliciously different Chocolate Chip Bacon Cheesecake.
"It sounds like a really strange combination, the chocolate chip and the bacon, but it's really not overpowering," she said. "Just a really nice, healthy portion of cheese cake and just inside is chocolate chips layered with a little bit of bacon crumbles, so it just gives it that sweet and salty combination which is just amazing."
With enormous portions at pocket friendly prices, it's easy to be amazed when you come to Brew Fish. You can find Brew Fish at 210 Spring Street in Marion, and online at brewfish.net.
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