A few weeks ago, Kate, her husband Ross and I went out to dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery at Fountain Square. Ross gave us the parameters that he wanted good beer and somewhere downtown, so Kate and I decided on Rock Bottom Brewery (our other choice being Nicholson's).
After parking at the Fountain Square garage, we made our way up to the restaurant, where we were told there would be an 1.5 hour wait so we headed to the bar, of course. I am not at all adventurous when it comes to beers. I wish I was but I just don't like very many of them. I was in the mood for beer but wasn't familiar with any of their handcrafted brews, so the bartender recommended the Kolsch. It was pretty good - similar to a Bud Light which was good with me. Ross had the Brown Bear Ale and Kate went with the Red Ale. They were both happy with their choices as well!
A couple beers later, it was finally our turn to sit down, and we were famished. We decided to get an order of the Ballpark Pretzels with jalapeno spinach dip to hold us over. The pretzels are brushed with ale and topped with salt. They were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and they paired really well with our beers and the spicy jalapeno spinach dip. Nothing fancy, but they were good.
For our entrees, I decided to order the fish tacos, Ross ordered the sirloin, and Kate got the roasted vegetable pizza.
I always find it a little risky to order a steak at a place like Rock Bottom, but Ross was confident in his decision and said it was actually pretty good. The sides were just okay. The broccoli was steamed and pretty plain (which Ross liked) and he was not impressed by the mashed potatoes.
I was pleased with my cajun fish tacos as well. I liked that each taco had a hard taco shell and a soft tortilla shell. The blackened fish had a spicy kick to it and went well with the cajun remoulade. The sides were just okay. The black beans had way too many scallions and the rice was a little dry.
Kate's roasted vegetable pizza looked delicious! If I wasn't so full from my own meal, I would have definitely snagged a piece of this. She had to take a few pieces home with her because it was so big. I like that they weren't skimpy on the vegetables. It was loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, onions, zucchini, mozzarella and feta cheese. The base was a sun-dried tomato pesto. Kate was happy with her decision.
While no one was overly impressed by their meal, we all thought everything was good. Nothing to write home about but decent food, which is what we were expecting from Rock Bottom. The service on the other hand was below standard. One would think that after waiting for almost 2 hours to be seated, the service after we sat down would be exceptional, especially because we noticed a ton of empty tables after we were seated. If I were the server, I would have started out by apologizing for the wait, and then do what I could to get things done quickly. That did not happen. Things seemed to move at a snail's pace, and the only times we saw our server were when she took our order (after a long wait), and when she gave us our bill. Someone else got our drinks and brought us our food (which I understand is a common restaurant practice so your food doesn't get cold). No one really checked in on us, asked us about dessert, etc. I definitely wasn't impressed with the service.
Overall, the experience was just "okay". The food was pretty standard and the service sub-par. It won't make it on to my favorites list anytime soon. If I go back, it would be for the great location and diverse menu. Even the pickiest of eaters could find something at Rock Bottom.