Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Brickhouse Run

407-409 Cockade Alley
Petersburg, VA 23803

                Last Friday was Amanda’s 25th birthday. Because she was out of town on a business trip and did not get home until 10pm Friday night we had to take her out to dinner Saturday night. This worked out perfectly though because I was planning a surprise birthday party for her and birthday dinner was the perfect excuse to get her out of the house so my parents and our friends could get everything up and shuttle people back and forth without her growing suspicious. When Amanda’s parents decided on Brick house Run I was very excited; not only was it close to home but it also serves very good food.
                The Brickhouse Run is located in historic downtown Petersburg on a cobblestone alley. This five block area is the only nice part of the entire city. The restaurant is a stylized version of an old fashioned British Pub. Everything about it screams Britain from the Union Jack flying outside to the paintings on the walls. It is dark and a little dreary like one expects a British pub to be. The menu mimics the décor of the restaurant.  It is a very British menu and they serve very British beers.  The menu ranges from Welsh rarebit and fish and chips to Sheppard’s pie and bangers and mash. They have recently updated the menu, taking off some items and adding a few more Americanized southern dishes like pork chops and shrimp and grits. I have been to Brickhouse Run a few times but always on their Wednesday night burger night. On Burger night you can get a burger anyway you could possibly ever want and fries for $9 so I’ve never had anything from there other than very delicious and outrageous burgers. 
                Like every other time we’ve ever been, Amanda and I started out with the Welsh Rarebit. Welsh rarebit is a delicious appetizer of crabmeat in a gravy type sauce over their homemade bread. It is to die for. The crab is sweet and its flavor shines throughout the gravy and their bread is baked on premises and is absolutely delightful.  If you ever follow any of my recommendations follow this one and order the Welsh rarebit at Brickhouse Run.  Order it and a few beers and you’ll be good.  For my main meal I decided to order their new shrimp and grits. It came with cheese grits and chorizo sausage. A couple of months ago Amanda made Paula Dean’s shrimp and grits and I’ve been hooked ever since. ( I swear that Paula Dean’s shrimp and grits was the best homemade meal I’ve ever eaten. Please try her recipe. ) I digress.  While we waited for our meal we munched on their delicious homemade bread and watched Amanda open a few of her presents. By the time she had finished opening her presents our food had arrived.
                Everyone’s food looked amazing. Amanda’s pork chops looked like nothing I’ve ever seen before, not your typical pork chop but a mammoth looking piece of meat covered in a delicious bourbon pear sauce. Andrea’s stuffed chicken took up the entire plate and was oozing cheese and ham, Amanda Grandmother’s fish from her fish and chips hung over both sides of the plate. By far the most unimpressive looking plate was mine. I had 6 shrimp hanging out around two small mounds of grits with a few chopped up pieces of sausage in a puddle of a red vegetable type sauce.

                At first I really did not care for the taste of it all together. I felt that the vegitable sauce that it was in over powered it and did not go as well as Paul Dean’s creamy sauce. Also the chorizo sausage felt like an afterthought that was just put there because there is suppose to be sausage with shrimp and grips which I agree with that because otherwise it can be a little bland.  Finally I got fed up and cut up the shrimp and mixed everything thing together.  This is when it finally started to taste good. The flavors finally blended together to create one cohesive taste.  But all in all the shrimp and grits were not nearly half as good as Paula Dean’s.
                I highly recommend checking out Brickhouse Run. It is a great place to take a break from the usual restaurant. The place in quaint and charming and really transports you somewhere new. Usually the food is really great but I would stick to their tried and true English faire because they still need to work on their more American southern style plates. 

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