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San Francisco Bay Area Brewpub

Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub, Cloverdale

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Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub, Cloverdale

Melanie Wong | Jul 7, 2003 04:32 AM

Since my first visit to the local brewpub shortly after opening, I’ve been back twice for lunch. The meal hours are now limited to lunch and dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also, Susan Hayward-Keith has moved on from the kitchen and is reportedly cooking somewhere in Windsor.

The 1/2 pound Angus burger was vaguely dissatisfying, maybe the description on the menu built it up too much. Even though it proclaimed that the burger would be cooked medium-rare unless requested otherwise, this was almost well-done. The red onions had tough outer layer, should have been peeled more carefully. The battered fries were great when hot with creamy centers and crackly outside, but became pasty and tough as they cool. At $7.75, this burger should deliver more. Maybe the best bet is to stop by Monday nights when the burger alone is on special for $4.99.

Yesterday the menu said that fresh clams were available, so I sprang for the steamed clams with fettucini, $15.95. The bowl was heaped with a generous amount of clams or at least it looked that. Plenty of shells, these were the kind with only a tiny bit of meat inside. Intensely flavored, but a lot of work for little return. Based on the pub’s Cloverdale Ale, the broth was lovely with bits of fresh garlic and pale green slivers of leek. It was mopped up with the toasted French bread. The noodles were firm to the bite.

To accompany the clams, I had a 10 oz. glass of Caroline’s Blond, a pale brew that tasted like wheat beer but with a prickly, spicy finish. It was very dry and refreshing on this hot day. This lunch was on the pricey side perhaps, but I left happy.

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