Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

JoeKaner's Profile

Title Last Reply

Barren Hill Tavern

Checked out the place tonight on their opening weekend. We have waited a long time after many years of inconsistency, disappointment, poor service, and lacto-baccillus infested beer and beer lines at the (former) General Lafayette Inn in Lafayette Hill. I still can't believe how hard a time they had doing something that just had to be decent to be successful.

We have watched the abandoned micro just sit there for years.

So we came again to the reborn Barren Hill, just hoping for decent, and we were happily surprised.

Tried two of the local beers: Biere de Octobre (a Farmouse ale take on Octoberfest), and the Edel Helles. Both were fresh, true to style, and very well done.

We had a sampling of the food across the menu among us. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and well presented. Forest and Main still holds the vote for the best in the area on Fries, but theirs were still good.

For good measure, our waitress brought over a free tasting of Baltic Porter. It was a small but very nice gesture that is just good business. The service was good, and they have ample servers, runners and bussers to keep things moving.

Clearly, the owners' previous legacy with Manayunk taverns and pubs shows through; they know how to run a bar/tavern.

If they can just keep it up, it should be a no brainer.

Nov 09, 2013
JoeKaner in Philadelphia

Forest and Main --Ambler Brewpub

Haven't replied back in a while, but Forest and Main continues to impress. We have made this a regular stop, and it does not disappoint.

We missed the Ambler Oktoberfest proper (ended at 5PM) on Saturday, but had another good dinner here. The newly brewed Bier de Garde was just... fantastic.

Agent Moosehead playing Kraftwek-esque tunes while you enjoy quality brews? Priceless.

Did anyone catch the robot?

Oct 06, 2013
JoeKaner in Philadelphia

Forest and Main --Ambler Brewpub

I liked the Noir over the Lunaire. The Lunaire was too sour for my taste; not knocking it, but I'm not the biggest fan of sours. I was expecting a little more oak/smoke from the chard. barrels (just my preconception). The sour was well pronounced and should have earned a mention in the description.

The Bitters are off the hook.

Ditto what others said on the kids, I continue to see a large age range. Saturday night there was a really small baby in a car carrier in the bar. Baby was happily sleeping while mom and dad had a few.

Jun 11, 2012
JoeKaner in Philadelphia

Forest and Main --Ambler Brewpub

Thanks. I wasn't expecting to get Cask Bitters by growler. The lower carbonation and lower alcohol content usually don't translate. I am hoping that Noir will make it in a Growler; I can order up a pint of Bitters while I wait for my growler fill...

I haven't been to Rosey's yet, will need to stop in there.

I like Uncle Teddy, but I have a harder time finding that regularly, and if I do, its usually not cellar temp (often despite assurances that it is ). I understand that the broader market expects a cooler beer. And Milford is a long haul for me.

Good info on burgers (Duck Fat), I can see that now that you mention it. I agree with you that ten dollars isn't bad, but they are charging 15 for the burger. A little steeper than most (all) places I can think of locally; that said it was really good and a lot better than most. I'd get it again.

The lamb and the chicken entrees passed by us as we were eating, both looked good.

May 29, 2012
JoeKaner in Philadelphia

Forest and Main --Ambler Brewpub

Went there for the first time tonight.

Finally, a brewpub IN THIS AREA that does proper English Bitters, served at cellar temp, in the right glass. The beer is very good, and I care. We had the Spring Bitters, Tiny Tim (also a Bitter), and Noir (dark famhouse ale); all served off hand-pump. And again, I care.

Beers are focused on either English or Belgian istyles, and the selection (about 7 to 9) is impressive for the size of the place.

Service was good, and the food was very good as well. The menu is real limited, but everything that we ordered was well prepared and tasty. We got the mussels for an appetizer to share. The burgers (while very pricey) were fantastic; Aged Cheddar, and Bacon Mayonnaise. Damn good. Fish and Chips were also nicely done.

I forgot my Growlers; a tragic mistake. But I will be back. Next time you want to throw back a few, go give these guys some business.

May 27, 2012
JoeKaner in Philadelphia