Last week I dropped in for lunch al fresco at Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill in downtown Monterey. I've been wanting to try it since hearing that local celebrity chef, Brandon Miller, has taken up residence here. For eating outdoors, I had a choice of the beer garden in the back that has its own menu, or the street-side patio. I opted for the patio that had more shade on this tropical climate day.
The menu is clearly marked with vege and gluten-free options. I was pleased to see so many vegetarian dishes highlighting local produce. I went with the Cauliflower gratin, $11, featuring local cauliflower baked with gruyere and spiked with hot horseradish. And the Veggie dip with the housemade chorizo supplement, $12, a queso fundido made with three cheeses, Swank farm sweet corn and roasted peppers plus the smoky Spanish-style sausage and served with corn tortilla chips. Both were terrific, if perhaps too rich ordered together. But all the better for washing down with beer to cut through the dairy fat.
A full beer sampler is four choices of two ounces apiece. I picked Slugger, It's Verbena White, Friends with Benefits saison and Acid Cafe for a total of $10. I did not like this Saison as much as the one I tried a year ago at the tasting room in Salinas. https://www.chowhound.com/post/alvara... And now I know that I don't care for coffee combined with sour ale. Favorite of the four was the verbena infused weiss, that was also an example of homebrewing Chef Miller's influence.
Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill
426 Alvarado Street
Monterey, CA 93940