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Wrecking Bar and Brewpub

By Steve Trask
I usually try to stick with reviews for establishments within the East Atlanta/Grant Park area, but this brewpub/restaurant is close enough (south side of Little 5 Points) and interesting enough that I felt it was worth a review.
The building has an interesting history. It was first known as the Victor Kriegshaber house from 1900-1924. Kriegshaber was a leader in the cultural and economic development of Atlanta during the first third of that century. From 1929-1940, it became the Centenary Methodist Protestant Church. From 1940-1964, it was known as the Jack Rand Dance Studio. The Rands lived in the back bedroom, and the dance lessons were given in the large open area that the church created. Many of you know the building as the former Wrecking Bar Architectural Antiques store (1970-2005). According to their website, “On June 19, 2011, Bob and Kristine Sandage began a new legacy, as the basement of the charismatic Victor H. Kriegshaber House was christened as the Wrecking Bar Brewpub! Vowing to boldly go where no other brewpub has gone before, the Sandages warmly opened their doors, inviting the neighborhood to enjoy this artisanal gathering spot for the community that took the support of a community to build.”
As of this writing, the large space upstairs is going to be rented out for events. Downstairs in the basement is where you find the brewpub. I like the cozy feel of this space – stone walls, wooden tables and chairs, and stone floors, You feel like you’re in a cross between a French wine cellar or a ski lodge, as some Yelp reviewers aptly described the atmosphere. It wasn’t too loud, and the lighting was just right.
Every day there are about 6-8 brewed beer specials. I sampled a couple. Both were good and were adequate representations of the types of beer. I’m not a huge beer aficionado, but the selection seemed varied and interesting. The styles brewed will run the gamut from light to dark and hoppy to malty. Check out their website for a more detailed listing of specific beers brewed there.
I liked the menu. The price point was low enough to be very affordable for the area, yet the food quality was high (including organic vegetables and herbs grown locally) and the price was reasonable for the area. We started with a fresh, organic, locally grown heirloom tomato salad, which included fresh mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. The salad contained three different types of tomatoes, all equally delicious and fresh.
David ordered the pastrami sandwich (coleslaw, grain mustard and Muenster cheese on grilled pumpernickel) and fries. Now these were real fries – homemade, crispy, skin-on, crunchy, and perfect (I’ve mastered French fries at home, and these were better than mine). I heard no complaints from David about his sandwich, which looked amazing. Mark ordered a burger with a side of grits. The burger was made from ground beef and brisket and rivaled any of the many really good burgers you can find in town these days. I ordered the braised beef short ribs (Brasstown beef, braised, with stone ground poblano grits). Just amazingly delicious! The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and seasoned perfectly. The sweet and rich flavored au jus were a perfect complement to the cheesy grits.
Wowed by the food, we split two desserts: Jemmy Stout Sundae (vanilla ice cream topped with stout syrup, bar nuts, whipped cream, and brandied cherries) and the Wrecking Bar (a home-made version of a Kit Kat bar). The bar was a small portion and just average, in my opinion. The sundae was satisfying but you have to get past the taste of beer over ice cream. Desserts here are not their real forte, but not bad.
Our server was uber-friendly and extremely knowledgeable. He really seemed to be proud of where he worked, which is a good sign. I recommend giving this brewpub a try. I know we are overloaded with beer and burger joints in the city, but this one stood out as unique and of high quality–and, not too expensive!
Wrecking Bar Brewpub, 292 Moreland Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-221-2600, (fax) 404-221-2444. Days/Hours of Operation: 4:00pm to 11:00pm Monday through Thursday, 2:00pm to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, noon to 11:00pm Sunday. The website is www.wreckingbarbrewpub.com.
3.0 out of 4 Porch Chairs.

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