Partake Food Review: Paducah Beer Werks
Grab a seat and unbuckle a notch from your belt: this one is going to take a while. I recently had the pleasure of sampling one of the tastiest and largest menus in Paducah, and it is at a place that wins awards not for their food, but for their beer. I’m talking about Paducah Beer Werks, folks. Known by locals as PBW, the former Greyhound bus depot receives critical acclaim for its in house brews and has quite the selection of bourbon, but the food menu is the most underrated in town.
Paducah Beer Werks offers an extensive variety of food options on its menu and almost everything on the menu is made from scratch including sauces and dressings. One of my favorite lunches is the Paducah Hot Chicken Salad with their homemade ranch dressing. I enjoy that one item so much that it’s hard to make me stray from it. Nevertheless, I relished the opportunity to try out some of the other items that I’ve yet to try.
First up: appetizers! Who doesn’t love apps?! The first I tried was the King Size Pepperoni Chips. Served crispy and topped with herbed parmesan and a side of spicy ranch, these highly addictive spicy crunchy ‘roni chips will almost spoil your dinner so make sure you intend on sharing if you order them.
Also, a must try is PBW’s thick cut, beer battered onion rings with blossom sauce. A special app was on the menu during my visit: the Fiesta Chicken Dip. The Fiesta Chicken Dip combines queso cotija, cheddar and cream blended and served with tortilla chips. And we cannot forget the wings! Served bone in or hand breaded boneless, you can choose from one of twelve sauces or opt in for the wing flight and sample all twelve. I really liked the Sweet Heat and Honey Bourbon flavors. As mentioned earlier, almost all twelve are made in house. I say almost because they can’t make Frank’s Red Hot in house. That’s the only one off the shelf.
Today I’m cheating on my regular salad with the Brew Salad. The Brew Salad is comprised of spring mix with capicola, prosciutto, shaved parmesan, pine nuts with a side of beer citrus vinaigrette and a pair of fried goat cheese rounds. It’s a long way from the Paducah Hot Chicken Salad I’m used to. It tastes like it’s straight from the streets of Italy. I’d never had fried goat cheese, but I’m glad I can say I have now. It’s tangy, and milky, and fried to perfection and is the perfect complement to a salad with spicy meats such as this one.
Special Menu Items
There were another couple of specials on the menu the day of my visit. I was able to have a taste of ratatouille for the first time. Homemade marinara sauce serves as the base topped with thinly sliced zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers beautifully arranged and seasoned with coarse sea salt and herbs, served with a side of parmesan risotto to compliment.
The other was a skillet baked Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese. I rarely meet a mac and cheese I don’t like so I was pretty excited to try this one. Loaded with bacon, jalapenos, chicken, and then topped with Italian bread crumbs. It did not disappoint. It was as amazing as all of that sounds. Pro tip: keep your eyes peeled for more special Mac and Cheese dishes from PBW in the future.
As mentioned in my other food reviews, I’m a bit of a pizza connoisseur. When I go to a new pizza restaurant, I always order the classic margherita or pepperoni to serve as a means to judge and compare to others. I’m no stranger to the pizza at PBW but I’m a traditionalist and usually keep my pizza simple.
I’ve always enjoyed the thin crust, home-made dough they use. It’s a classic hand tossed New York style dough that needs to be cooked very quickly to keep the moisture inside so it doesn’t become tough and chewy. In my opinion, this style of pizza is usually best kept simple with minimal toppings allowing the dough be the star of the show. Since I usually skim past the specialty pizza side of the menu, I’ve never given them much thought, but today I was served the PBW Pizza – the house special.
The house specialty begins with a red sauce topped with mozzarella, sriracha sausage, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted garlic olive oil, and a drizzle of pesto. This is a pizza that I would NEVER order but despite being the pizza purist I am, I really enjoyed it. It was much lighter than I would expect of it, and it had just the right amount of Italian spiciness. Expect flavor overload with this one: it’s really good.
Moving forward to the sandwiches, we begin with two clubs. Yes, two: PBW invented a second club sandwich. Of course, neither are regular, run of the mill club sandwiches. One is an Italian version with all of the Italian meats and cheeses and both are served on toasted Kirchhoff’s sourdough bread. PBW does a great job of taking a classic and putting their own twist on it to jazz it up.
Their Blossom Burger is no exception. The Angus beef patty is grilled and topped with fried onion straws, provolone, jalapenos, spinach, tomato and blossom sauce served on a Kirchhoff’s bun. Accompanying the burger is a side of fries that are thick cut, fried crispy and well-seasoned. They are as addictive as the ‘Roni Chips I had earlier.
Go Experience Paducah Beer Werks for Yourself
The next time your significant other asks, “Where do you want to eat?” don’t respond with, “I don’t know.” demand they take you to Paducah Beer Werks and throw a dart at the menu. It’s as vast as it is delicious!
I’d like to thank Todd Blume of PBW for being so hospitable and feeding me like a king as well as our sponsor, The Clemens Fine Arts Center. Be sure to attend one of their upcoming shows from the Arts In Focus Series. Find more information at there website at this link.