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Sometimes, It’s about the Beer

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July 17, 2014 / International / By
Katie Schenk

One of my favourite things about Cleveland, and indeed any city in the rust belt, is the beer.  While you can certainly get your hands on a bottle of Budweiser to go with your hotdog, that’s not the sort of beer that I’m concerned with.  In the Midwest, there is a thriving craft beer and micro-brewery culture.  Sometimes, going out for a beer can seem almost as snobbish as heading out to a wine bar.  And, don’t get me wrong, I’m not passing any judgements here; I enjoy both. 

But, at the moment, I’m not in the Midwest.  I’m in Joburg, which is only just beginning to develop its craft beer culture.  (There’s already a thriving wine scene here, mainly because it is so inexpensive to procure from the Cape.)  Getting your hands on craft beer in Johannesburg usually involves forethought, planning and often more driving than you want to do. 

When I suggested The Foundry for dinner the other night, I wasn’t thinking of my stomach, or yearning for a particular food.  I wanted beer.  I wanted craft beer.  I wanted the bitter taste of a draught IPA.  I was so blinded by my desire that I was willing to forego the eating experience of The Foundry if necessary.

It didn’t come to that.

My partner and I headed out for the evening once I had convinced him just how much he (well, I) wanted to have a delicious beer (and once I had finally chosen the right pair of shoes).  I had considered selling him on a particular dish, but The Foundry works on a seasonal menu so there would have been no point.  We were seated on the heated terrace, because, as it turns out, you need to make a booking – even if it’s the middle of the week.  And shortly after, I was gulping my Boston IPA in happiness.  With my beer craving satisfied, it was finally time to peruse the menu.

Even when you’re concentrated on the beer, making a decision isn’t as easy as it seems.  When a menu has classic and comfort options, it’s easy to become lost while exploring your atmosphere you want to create for the evening.  I was working on the principles that no matter what I ordered, it would be good – and that I was planning to drink plenty of calorie-laden beers.  (For the record, I wasn’t driving.)

Knowing the reputation of the kitchen as well as the beers, I opted for the Beef Fillet Tartar with a side of grilled, seasonal vegetables. 

Both were incredible.  The Tartar was brought on a platter for self-assembly, and also had a modern twist with pickles instead of capers.  But, how an establishment noted for its beers managed to get the vegetables so right is beyond me.  They were infused with a smoky flavour as if they were cooked over a wood fire. 

I had to trade some of these for the Pork Belly tempting me from across the table.  And, as much as I enjoyed those veggies, that was a trade worth making.   

The whole experience felt like a mini holiday, and I had a terribly difficult time pulling myself away from the IPA on tap, but eventually, it was time to go.  I left with a smile on my face that stayed as I kicked off my shoes and feel asleep wondering how good beer can taste like home.  

The Foundry

Country: South Africa

Province/State: Gauteng

City: Parktown North

Address: Parktown Quarter, 3rd Ave

Zip/Post Code: 2193

Location Tips: Halfway between Rosebank and Parkhurst

Phone: +27 11 447 5828

Website:http://foundrycafe.co.za/...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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