By David Jones
The City of Lancaster held their annual restaurant week recently and we decided to take advantage by checking out the new Hazel Street location of the Spring House Brewery. There is also another tavern location on West King Street, but their food options are limited to snack/bar food. The Hazel Street location has a full and interesting menu.
When you first pull up to 209 Hazel Street the huge façade of the building is hard to miss. They have a very nice and large parking area with easy access to the front door. There is also a very nice raised patio off the front for outdoor dining.
Inside, the space is very attractive. Large vats dominate the interior space, but the tables and chairs of natural wood and the rustic overall interior is very pleasing. A large portion of the indoor seating is high stools and tables that many pubs utilize. S.H. also has a very nice addition of low tables and chairs for the older sets like Lin and I.
Being new to the Spring House brand, I decided to go for a taster of 5, 4 ounce glasses. I went with the Braaaiins Pumpkin Ale, Big Gruesome Nitro Stout (chocolate peanut butter), Spinal Remains Pumpkin Stout, Smoked Porter and Satan’s Bake Sale Stout (chocolate mint).
The flavors were a little too dominant for my tastes, but anyone who enjoys flavored beers will definitely go for this brand. I did thoroughly enjoy the Smoked Porter and the Big Gruesome, which was smooth and silky with a very nice lingering hint of chocolate. The taster flight was $7.50.
For dinner I got the fish and chips. My mind was immediately made up when I was told it was made with Snook! I just don’t find this wonderful fish on the menu very much anywhere, so I just couldn’t resist. It was very light and flaky and absolutely delicious. The fries on the other hand, were just so-so.
Lin went with the Hazel Street Burger. Tuesdays, this burger is half price at $6.38. It was quite disappointing that we found out when we got the bill that we had been charged $.75 for mayo on the burger. This was a full 2 patty very juicy sandwich. The potato chips were standard fare.
The service was pretty good, but slow at times. The waitress, who was very nice, apologized for the delays saying how busy they were at the time. As we looked around there were many more empty tables than filled ones and 2 waitresses. We weren’t in a hurry, so it really didn’t matter, but they just didn’t seem very efficient.
I’m not familiar with the history of the boiler works, but it was quite a nice coincidence to see such a beautiful piece used decoratively. I also would be remiss if I didn’t give a nod to the restrooms. They are quite unusual and ‘fun’, if that’s the right term for such a room.
Lin and I talked it over and came up with 2 stars for the Spring House Brewery. Although the food was good, $20 for fish and chips is way too much, even for snook.
It’s a very pleasant environment and the food is pretty good, so I think it’s worth a visit. It’s just not quite polished enough for a higher rating at this time. Our full price was $43, including tax and a 20% tip and a 50% discount on the burger.