Saturday’s trip to the world famous Old McDonald’s Farm in Sackets Harbor was a success for The Kid. She got to pet the bunnies, ride a tractor, pet the bunnies and was nearly licked by a large brown cow. But, as with everything, the farm ran its course after a couple of hours and the adults (The Wife, The Father, The Stepmother and I) were hungry.
Despite living in nearby Cape Vincent, neither The Father nor The Stepmother knew of anywhere to eat in Sackets. The only restaurant I know of is the brew pub located square in the middle of the village. Thanks to the GPS, I was able to find it.
The Sackets Harbor Brewing Company opened the doors of its brewpub in 1995 at its spot on West Main Street. It brews a number of different beers, but is best known for its War of 1812 Ale, a regionally-distributed amber. When we visited on Saturday afternoon, SHBC had seven beers on tap.
There was a 20-minute wait for a table on the recently expanded patio, so we opted for seating in the medium-sized dining room that overlooked the harbor. It seemed that a packed house at 1 p.m. on a Saturday was probably a good sign of what was in store. In terms of food, yes, it was a harbinger of delicious.
My father and I each had the sampler — seven 5 oz. beers served in a wooden train for $12 (the restaurant keeps the train). We both skipped the stout, as we don’t particularly care for them. I rated the six beers on Untappd as such:
- Sunrise Pale Ale: 3.5 out of 5 bottle caps (good, not great)
- War of 1812 Amber Ale: 2.5/5 (very average)
- Blackhorse IPA (black IPA): 4/5
- Spoonful of Cream Ale: 0.5/5 (I think I called it miserable. I refused to finish it.)
- Bodacious Blonde Ale: 2.5/5 (I called it totally average.)
- Blueberry Ale: 4/5
As an aside, their root beer beats all of their beers without much fight.
The lunch menu offered an array of salads and sandwiches, supplementing the full dinner menu of steaks, fish and pastas. Everything on the lunch menu was priced in the $10 to $12 range, including my Adirondack burger — bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, apples, lettuce, tomato and onions. The kitchen cooked it medium rare, by request; a change from so many restaurants that refused to go lower than medium. The only downside were the food-serve French fries, which had that nasty coating to help them cook quickly and stay crispy. I’m not saying that the fries should always be handcut, but you have to draw the line at Crisco-coated potatoes.
The Wife enjoyed the fish and chips. Two large pieces of cod were battered in the 1812 Ale, fried, and served with the Crisco fries and homemade blue cheese coleslaw. The slaw was a winner. The cabbage was nice and crisp, with just enough blue cheese to wet and flavor the cabbage.
The Father went with the drunken sow — a slaw-topped pulled pork sandwich with homemade beer barbecue sauce — while The Stepmother picked the Brewben — a traditional reuben on marble rye. Both approved.
We passed on dessert, though we did order a round of root beers after the entrees came.
Having never before eaten a meal in Sackets Harbor, I have nothing to measure SHBC against. It was a perfectly serviceable meal that stacks up against any other bar menu in the Greater Syracuse area. The shame of it all was the hit-or-miss selection of beers, which you would not ordinarily expect from a brewpub.
The Sackets Harbor Brewing Company restaurant is located at 212 W. Main St. in Sackets Harbor. It is open seven days a week and reservations are accepted. I have no idea how much lunch was as The Father got to the bill before I did.