On a sunny spring day, when a brisk, southerly breeze is pushing pillowy white clouds across the Texas sky, even the most conscientious cubicle dweller is apt to feel a rebellious animus stirring in his or her nethers. Fantasies arise, unbidden, of simply walking away from every molochian responsibility — and may the devil take them all!
However tempting, it would be wise to think things through before cashing out the 401k and heading to Baja. A long lunch of burgers and beer could be just the ticket, and Pouring Glory might be just the place.
Pouring Glory Growler Fill Station & Grill
1001 Bryan Av, FW. 682-707-5441. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
The Near Southside gastropub opened in a beautifully renovated 1943 storefront south of downtown — a building that, until last year, housed the venerable BYOB Club Nu Flava (the Flava has moved down the road to Polytechnic Heights, in case anyone’s looking). Some heavy sandblasting and glass garage doors have transformed the small space into a bright, cheery spot, industrial but warm, with a bit of a steam-punk vibe, the effect completed by a few Edison bulbs and steel gears on the walls. Pouring Glory is the only building still standing for a block in any direction, but the empty lots frame the structure like a verdant parkscape. Even the parking lot out back is a thing of beauty.
On a recent midday, my guest and I arrived antsy and hungry, flush with spring fever and brimming with sedition. Inside, we took a table awash in natural light and found ourselves relaxing by the minute. Everything about ambience seems calculated to minimize stress. The staff was friendly but not too chatty. The television was on but not obtrusive.
Pouring Glory’s bill of fare consists of a very small menu of burgers and sandwiches and a very long list of craft beers on tap. Most pints run between $5 and $7, but a smaller “taster” size is offered for $3 on all items. My guest had a pint of Panther Island Allergeez, served perfectly cool, tasting of grass and sunshine. The curated tap list has plenty of local brews, as well as quality selections from around the country.
The kitchen developed its menu to pair with the house’s selection of beers and did a good job lining up big flavors and putting a gourmet spin on classic bar food. Pretzels, nachos, and wings have foodie flair, and even the most basic burger is served with cracked pepper stout mustard. The intrepid attitude makes the menu a fun read, and there are several items that looked tempting enough on their own to warrant a return trip.
And yet, sometimes a sense of adventure can go a step too far. I looked on, horrified, as my guest ordered the grilled ahi sandwich — a normal listing in most respects, but along with lettuce, tomato, and aioli was the improbable addition of Swiss cheese. I couldn’t imagine doing that to a piece of fish, especially a piece of fish cooked as perfectly as the one that arrived at our table. A crisp, salty sear guarded a delicate pink interior, glistening down from its crusty ciabatta perch — and then that damned Swiss cheese, lurking just out of view, ready to crash the party. Perhaps it’s a matter of taste, but I could recommend this sandwich only sans fromage.
The kitchen’s bold vision paid far greater dividends on the “fried bacon” Thai burger, an ambitious construction in every respect. From the cantilevered bacon “X” suspended out beyond the brioche bun, to the barrel-orange mash-up of sweet Thai chili sauce and cheddar cheese, this showstopper came to win. Even with all its flashy accessories, the medium-well beef patty at the center held its own with smoky, sultry confidence.
Both sandwiches were served with “home slice” fries, half-inch thick rounds of russet potatoes crunchy on the outside, moist and mealy on the inside. The dish would make a fine snack on its own, a perfect companion to a good glass of beer.
Pouring Glory managed to make an hour-long lunch feel as satisfying as skipping school. The joint hits all the right notes for a grown-up recess — sunny, uncluttered, and uncomplicated, where the stimulation stays on the palate. It might even relax you enough to feel OK about going back to work.
[box_info]Pouring Glory Growler Fill Station & Grill
Grilled ahi sandwich $13.99
Fried bacon Thai burger $11.99
Panther Island Allergeez pint $5.50[/box_info]