By Art Huckabee
With fall upon us, it’s the perfect time to find an inviting outdoor patio, enjoy a beer or two and perhaps a meal with family and friends. If you happen to find yourself in Midtown, Cypress Street Pint and Plate offers such a place.
A recent visit found a crowded patio with a mix of college students, locals and even a few out-of-towners, enjoying a variety of beers and a small but varied menu.
Anytime a restaurant gives beer, that would be the pint, equal billing with its food, that would be the plate, you know someone cares about the beverages they’re serving just as much as the food they’re dishing.
Its house beer is brewed by Sweetwater Brewery and at $3 a pint is quite the bargain. Other craft beers, 14 on-tap and over 40 bottle selections, hail from all over the world with a few from the unlikely brew capitals of Spartanburg, SC, Raleigh, NC and even just up GA 400 in Alpharetta. The “RJ Rocker Son of a Peach” hailing from Spartanburg, packs loads of peach flavor and was very refreshing on a still warm, early fall evening.
For those non-beer drinkers there are a reasonable number of wines by the glass, most for under $10, with most bottles under $40 and a page worth of handcrafted cocktails that use high quality spirits like High West Double Rye whiskey and Wathen’s bourbon.
For starters, the menu has an interesting array of snacks. The white truffle mushrooms were fried in a rice batter accompanied by a garlic sauce. It was hot and crunchy good. The pretzel, which the server told us is made at Holman and Finch, was a baguette-sized bat – crunchy, salty on the outside and soft and warm on the inside served with spicy mustard and a good IPA beer cheese. The black-eyed pea hummus also sounded good, but they were out of this the evening we visited. Appetizers range from $5-$9.50 and all appear to be suitable for sharing.
The menu, presented on a clipboard, is only one page but has an assortment of sandwiches, burgers and “local fav’s.” The signature dish is the Sublime burger, which features a bun made of two glazed doughnuts, but nothing like you’d find at Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts. It is made by award-winning baker, Kamal Grant, at his Sublime Doughnut shop and is truly sublime. The grilled ring glazed doughnut provides a texture that is closer to an English muffin – light, crispy and airy with the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The doughnuts, thick-cut bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and expertly grilled beef patty accompanied by a tasty barbecue sauce are the unlikeliest of dance partners but no one steps on each other’s toes. The accompanying hand-cut fries are also good; ask for them crispy.
We also tried four other offerings. The night’s special of grilled chicken breast with mashed potatoes and green beans was a comforting dish, but the cream gravy while good, reversed the notion that this was the healthful choice that the server had suggested. The turkey burger was a hit. A cranberry mayo, arugula and crispy fried onions accompanied the surprisingly juicy burger – a veritable Thanksgiving in a bun.
The chicken potpie stumbled a bit; it was overpowered by the buttermilk biscuit crust and the pudding-like cream sauce filling with few pieces of chicken to be found and even fewer carrots and English peas. Perhaps some other lucky diner found his or her pie overfilled with those goodies; ladling mixture equally into piecrusts can often be a challenge.
The recently added to the menu Beef on Weck was less than satisfying as well. This sandwich is beloved in western New York for its tender roast beef served on a Kummelweck roll – a Kaiser-type roll with salt and caraway seeds on the top. Cypress’s version was served cold, very cold. The roast beef was jaw challengingly chewy and the hard roll added to the task.
We did not order the much praised Cypress Philly, the fish and chips or the Southern fried chicken plate, but they looked good as they were served to surrounding tables. The entrees range from $9-$13.
The sublime doughnut dessert was another highlight. The vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle made for just the right endnote.
The wait staff was friendly and informative. There is obvious a team effort at play here as several different servers refilled our water glasses during our visit. The Beef on Weck was removed from our bill despite our protests; another sign that these folks aim to please.
Cypress Street Pint and Plate is the local place that everyone wishes was near their neighborhood. Midtown residents are lucky to have this corner destination.
For more about Cypress Street Pint and Plate, visit cypressbar.com.
Art Huckabee is one of Yelp’s Elite Reviewers, as well as a pilot and food lover. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.