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October 13, 2005
From journal Summer in NYC
June 23, 2005
The atmosphere in Heartland Brewery is very typical of that genre. We stopped in for a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon at about 2:30pm. It was very quiet, and we were seated quickly. I have to comment about the service at this point. We had a bus boy who took wonderful care of us. Our waiter took our order, and when it was apparent that we weren’t going to be big drinkers, he totally lost interest in us. The only time we saw him after we ordered was to pick up our check, which he did with great speed. No one even asked us if we wanted dessert, which, by the way, looked delicious.
We had two strikes against us before we even started, both 13-year-old girls. One keeps Kosher, and one is lactose intolerant. The menu here made it difficult to accommodate them. When we asked our waiter if the hot dog was all beef, we were told yes (by the way, this was untrue, because all-beef franks don’t have whey in them, and Felicia was sick later that afternoon). Both girls ended up ordering off the children’s menu.
The regular menu has many of the items that you would expect: brewhouse onion rings, heartland nachos, smothered steak, Chophouse burger, and fried calamari. It also has some really unusual offerings: free-range Bison burgers, teriyaki salmon sandwich, homemade lobster, Maine crab ravioli, and tuna chopstick salad. We tried some from both types; Al and Cindy ordered the Heartland Buffalo burger, Jeff had the regular Chophouse burger, and I ordered the smoked pork loin Reuben sandwich.
The usual side is a starch, but I was allowed to swap it for a very tasty mixed field green salad.
Buffalo is by its nature very lean, so it needs to be eaten on the rare side. Al and Cindy’s came well done in spite of their ordering it medium. I am sure they both would have sent it back if our waiter had ever checked with us.
My sandwich, however, was a winner. It was huge, loaded with juicy and delicious smoked pork loin. It could have used a little more sauerkraut, and I didn’t see any Russian dressing, but the pork was so good that the rest was just window dressing. Jeff’s burger was also juicy and cooked correctly. I had a Cornhusker lager to wash it down. Brewed with sweet corn, it has plenty of flavor and a mild bite. Cindy tried the Harvest Wheat Beer, a golden beer served with a wedge of lemon--quite delicious. Can’t make up your mind? Try their Voyage of Beer, a six-beer sampler.
From journal Doing New York City My Way