This week I am writing about a fantastic restaurant in the Chicago area. I was up in Batavia, IL at FermiLab, the particle accelerator, for a meeting (I am physics graduate student at IU and that is where my project is based). Located very near the lab is Two Brothers Tap House, which is currently my #2 favorite brewery-restaurant (#1 is coming next). The restaurant is located back behind a neighborhood in a building that looks like a warehouse. In fact is is difficult to tell that it is a restaurant at all until you open the door. It’s the kind of place you will never find unless someone tells you where it is. But the search makes the experience all the more rewarding.
From the moment you enter Two Brothers it is obvious that the house specialty is beer, as the pleasant smell of malt and hops fills the air. The brewery began in 1997, the full story can be found here. Two of my personal favorites are the Cane and Ebel Red Rye and Ebel’s Weiss. About seven beers are available on tap at a time and the selection varies. Some seasonal, some year-round, and some specially made for only one occasion. But all are excellent, and range over a wide style of beers. The brewery in particular specializes in hoppy beers such as the Hop Juice and Hoppy porter. At the tap house location they sell hops and other home brewery supplies for those inspired to make their own.
For a brewery, Two Brothers also manages to serve some impressive food. One of the specialties here is the burger, of which they have a rotating weekly special. On my last trip I had the Bacon Blue cheese Butter Burger shown above. The bun was nicely toasted and fresh, providing a great canvas for the burger. The meat was cooked to a prefect medium, very juicy and flavorful, well above average. And the star was a mound of bacon and blue cheese on top. All in all this was a fantastic burger! One thing I really enjoy here is that they serve SWEET POTATO FRIES!! Any restaurant that serves these is almost guaranteed to be a winner. The fries are cut thick, which is how I like them, with the skin still on, and the combination of the salt and sweet potato is one of the great inventions in food.
Another specialty at Two Brothers is the pizza. Generally I am not a fan of thin crust pizza (I like a well made dough and for me the crust is the key factor in turning a good pizza into a great one) but the one here is impressive. It is nice and crunchy with a hint of their pale ale, but still thick enough that I did not feel like I was eating a tasteless wafer (which is what many thin crusts remind me of). The pizzas are made to order with a selection of fresh ingredients and the result is a pizza that is exceptional for a brewery. I have not had a chance to sample the other fare, but it all looks excellent!
Great food. Great beer. Both food and beer lists offer unique and ever changing suggestions so come often and experience them all! More information about the restaurant is here, and info on the brewery is here.