Dis­tinc­tive, stylish, cozy … what a find!

Albuquerque Journal - - A&E - BY T.M. COLLINS

We were look­ing this week for some kind of Fe­bru­ary tie-in with Black His­tory Month and Jackie Robinson’s 100th birth­day, and maybe Mardi Gras up­com­ing. When told of our plan for a three-cush­ion bankshot, our men­tor, The Good Doc­tor, sim­ply laughed, shook his head and replied, “Good luck with that an­gle. Here, check this out.”

And with that he shot us over a link to the web­site of Row­ley Farm­house Ales. We checked it out with vi­sions of prairies, Willa Cather and am­ber waves of grain, but noth­ing of the sort, judg­ing by the photos.

And once we were able to un­cover the ad­dress (1405 Ma­clovia St. might be more prom­i­nent some­where on the site), we made a visit to the rather un­pre­possss­ing in­dus­trial build­ing with onebay truck dock in a mixed-use area just off Cer­ril­los Rd. that is all Patti Smith and zero Ms. Cather. At­tached is a small, cozy and warm tap­room bar, counter and ta­bles, with a size­able out­door pa­tio area. The Good Doc­tor and I con­vened for lunch in a freak snow­storm, ducked into the toasty at­mos­phere of the bar and eatery, wel­comed by Jef­frey the bright, af­fa­ble bar­keep, brewmeis­ter and par­towner.

A long lineup of taps across the counter re­minded us that Row­ley’s is a real ale house, with more choices than the next Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial pri­mary. (Oh, by the way, the only rule in the place — check your pol­i­tics at the door.) We sam­ple a cou­ple of snifters — “Wow. This guy is not some­one try­ing to make Bud­weiser!” ex­claims the Good Dr. after a few sips — make our pint se­lec­tions and an app or­der of chicken wings ($9) billed as “Mary’s chicken wings (6) served Korean style with raw peanuts, green onions and cu­cum­ber salad.”

“Wow!” says the Good Doc­tor, a harsh critic, for the sec­ond time in 10 min­utes. “I could eat this sauce off saw­dust. And these wings (ten­der, juicy, meaty!) are just hot enough to re­quire this ale. Su­perb.” When in­formed by Jef­frey that Row­ley’s has been open for two and a half years, we are stunned.

Where the hell have we been?! Never mind. The menu has a def­i­nite South­ern, New Or­leans fla­vor, with of­fer­ings of Shrimp & Grits ($16), Chicken & Waf­fles ($16), Chicken Bis­cuit Sand­wich ($14), etc., as well as sev­eral great­look­ing sal­ads.

We set­tle on a bowl of Texas Chili ($9) made with slow­cooked lo­cal Sweet­grass Col­lec­tive all grass-fed ground beef and flat iron steak (whew). A third “Wow!” for this clas­sic, earthy red chili (Texas is “chili,” New Mex­ico is “chile,” right?), no beans or pork, of course, topped with ched­dar cheese, sour cream, green onion, crack­ers and a sa­vory af­ter­taste of what could be … sausage? No, bits of ba­con (Zoe’s), and it is the sub­tle, plu­per­fect in­gre­di­ent.

Had to have the Wild Gulf Shrimp Po’ Boy ($16) in honor of Mardi Gras, and po’ boy, are we glad we did. Flash fried (and very del­i­cate) wild gulf shrimp, chopped let­tuce, heir­loom tomatoes (REAL tomatoes!) spicy re­moulade sauce and served on a hoagie roll, you could do no bet­ter at Acme Oys­ter House in the French Quar­ter.

Oh, and the fresh, house­cut french fries served with sand­wiches (or onion rings, or green salad) were de­clared “the best french fries in Santa Fe” by the Good Doc­tor, and we en­tirely con­cur. Killer fries, and even the house-made ketchup has a dis­tinc­tive tangi­ness.

In fact, ev­ery­thing about Row­ley Farm­house Ales is dis­tinc­tive, hand-crafted, stylishly pre­sented and what a find!

A split shrimp po’ boy and fries, and a bowl of Texas Chili at Row­ley Farm­house Ales.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.