The Ale House Columbia

I'm always excited when a new bar or restaurant opens near me.  I'm not sure what it is about restaurants that I like so much.  Of course I like to eat out and not have to wash dishes, but there's more to it than that.  I like to sample the atmosphere, check out how they've decorated the bathroom, and talk to the bartenders.

Recently The Ale House Columbia opened pretty close to the house.  I'm not a huge beer drinker (all the good ones have carbs) so a tap house doesn't have a ton of appeal for me, but I heard from a friend that the food was good so the awesome boyfriend and I made a trip.  It was really crowded, which is either a good sign or it means that people of Columbia are excited about having a new place to eat.  We didn't want to wait so we made our way into the bar area (open seating) and sat at a high top table.

The service was very good, but the kitchen was slow.  It took around 45 minutes just to get our appetizer.  The awesome boyfriend and I are not very fussy and we had some cocktails so we didn't mind, but if you're starving and cranky this might not be a good choice.  Previous to my time in the nonprofit biz I worked in a bunch of restaurants and I know how hectic things can be in a new kitchen.  I'm going to say that this might be opening week woes and give them a break.

Now, on to the good stuff.  You all know that I am constantly on the quest for the perfect chicken wing.  Every time I go somewhere new I have this compulsion to sample the wings, even if it's somewhere that is not a wing place.  Current front runners are T-Bonz in Ellicott City, Loafer's in Catonsville, and Union Jack's in Columbia.  Side note: Union Jack's is a British Pub, which confirms my theory that you can find excellent wings in unexpected places.

The wings in The Ale House were grilled instead of fried so they had a wonderful charred quality.  They only had one flavor, Honey Siracha.  Honey has sugar so I won't be eating these very often, but man were they good.  The blue cheese was clearly home made and also delicious.

After finished our wings we looked at the dinner menu.  There are four kinds of mussels.  This is awesome because mussels are really low in carbs and also yummy.  I ordered the Harvest Blue Cheese variety and I was so impressed with this dish.  The presentation was awesome, the mussels were a good size, and the sauce was filled with lots of chunky blue cheese and dried tomatoes.

The awesome boyfriend was being a bad low carb buddy and ordered a cheeseburger.  I didn't have any of it but he said that the bacon was cooked the way he likes it and that the burger was very good, as far as bar burgers go.

Our meal was about 40 bucks including drinks, so not too bad.  We will definitely be returning because I want to try the other three kinds of mussels that were on the dinner menu.  A manager stopped us on the way out and thanked us for coming, which I appreciated.  Overall, I would recommend a visit to The Ale House, but make sure that you aren't in a hurry.

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