Some time ago my friend Russ Salazar and I went to the Placerville Brewing Company, which is located at 155 Placerville Drive (across from Raley’s), because their fish and chips were on his “Bucket List.” I had been there several times before and, like all those times, we were delighted with the food.
Last week I had the same desire he had, although I have a very different “Bucket List,” so we met there last Monday to chat about his recent trip to Chicago and try the food again.
Placerville Brewing Company is a cozy but spacious, family run and family friendly restaurant and brewpub. The present owners took it over about eight years ago and made a number of improvements, including additional parking and a great patio on the side of the restaurant. What I especially like is the fact that they have left room between the tables, so that when the restaurant is busy, which is very often, it doesn’t feel too crowded.
I started to order the fish and chips, but Salazar said, “Let’s try something different. I think the fish tacos look good.” So, he ordered the tacos (two to an order), one grilled and one deep fried in beer batter, asking, “Do they have cilantro on them?”
A significant number of people are allergic to cilantro, which is the leaf of the coriander plant. There are even a greater number of people who, because of genetics, think it tastes like soap. Unfortunately for them, cilantro is used in an increasing number of dishes and salads, including guacamole and most Tex-Mex dishes. So if you believe you have a problem with it, you should ask in advance.
Our delightful server said they would leave the cilantro off and then turned her smile to me. I ordered the Sourdough Patty melt, a one-third pound Angus beef patty with Swiss cheese, sauteed onions and Thousand Island dressing on grilled sourdough, and requested it be cut in two. It came with a choice of fries, pasta salad or ranch beans. Last time we tried the Parmesan fries, but this time stuck with the regular ones (fries also come with garlic and herb, Cheddar or blue cheese, and pepperjack).
Both of us, in spite of the wonderful beer they make, had iced tea with our lunch. Drinking at lunch makes me want to nap and I had things to do.
The tacos came with colorful red, blue and regular chips and an outstanding salsa. It had a nice bit of heat and a delicious smokey flavor.
Owner and brewmaster Steve Meylor told us that his chef, Erik Lara (formerly with Sequoia), puts the garlic, tomatoes and peppers in the smoker for a while before making it. Well, hats off to him for one of the best salsas ever.
I had the grilled fish taco and Salazar ate the deep fried one. Mine was very good and moist with lots of grilled cod. Salazar said his was good, but a bit dry. He recommend asking for a bit more sauce on it. We thought later that it may have been because they left off something that contained the cilantro.
We both (me especially) liked the patty melt, but because it is grilled, I really needed more than the one napkin they originally brought me.
The fries were nice and hot and I enjoyed them with several of the mustards that they provide (mustard, not ketchup, with fries is my favorite, although I often mix the two). Salazar liked the fries, but said he likes them a bit crisper. I am sure you could ask for that.
As I mentioned, we had the opportunity to share a few minutes with Steve Meylor. He was hooked on craft-brewing over 15 years ago when he earned a gold medal at the El Dorado County Fair for his first ever entry. Since then, he has brewed close to a thousand batches of beer, commercially.
Meylor is very proud of the partnership they have with Hill Country BBQ owner and authentic Texan, Allen Vickers. Several time a week Vickers fires up one of his top-of-the-line, Southern Pride smokers right there at the restaurant to make their delicious pulled pork, smoked sausage, tri-tip sandwiches, and fall-off-the-bone, barbecue baby back ribs.
The menu is several pages long and has lots of appetizers (try the wings), specialties, salads, soup, sandwiches and burgers, steaks, dinner plates and more. And you can get everything to eat in or take out.
Of course, they have a fantastic selection of delicious craft brews they make right there. In addition they also have soda, ice tea and local wine, among other things to drink. Remember, they are family friendly.
Placerville Brewing Company is open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., every day but Tuesday and is located at 155 Placerville Drive. Call 530-295-9166 for more information.
Right now their webpage, www.placervillebrewingcompany.com, is being reworked, but until then you can visit them on Facebook.