Fun Dining with Dennis and Michelle at Bube’s Brewery
“The times, they are a changin’,” sang Bob Dylan in 1964. And, Sam Allen, owner of the historic 19th century Bube’s Brewery, wanted to show the Fun 101.3 radio station announcers Dennis Mitchell and Michelle Cruz just what they are changing at Bube’s in 2019. The Fun crew said that they always had fun experiences at Bube’s, whether it be in the Bottling Works pub, the outdoor Biergarten, the underground Catacombsfine dining and feasts, or the former Victorian Central Hotel, Alois with its special events. Built during Alois Bube’s successful stint as a brewmaster in what was known as Lancaster County’s Little Munich, the entire complex has a ton of history and each setting is so unique and stimulating.
But, what has been changing in the past several months is the introduction of new chefs, who are shaking things up. Susan is the chef for Bube’s Bottling Works bar and casual dining area and the Biergarten and Corinna Killian is Executive Chef for fine dining in the Catacombs and new banquet shows. A Chef’s Table will be coming soon that will showcase the best culinary menus the Catacombs has to offer. The menus were evolving as we ate.
From the Bottling Works and Biergarten kitchen, came appetizers of a beer mug full of thick, candied and spicy bacon strips along with a plate of skewered, grilled and charred poblano peppers stuffed with the nutty, blended texture of gruyere and blue cheese. That sweet bacon showed up again crisscrossing a one-half pound beef patty with a fried egg served between waffles with a side of curly fries. “I’ve had a lot of chicken and waffles over the years, but never have I had a burger in waffles; this is great,” exclaimed Dennis. Michelle liked the play on the “breakfast” burger, held together with a steak knife, having the fried egg on top with the solid whites and a bit of a runny yolk, served with bacon and waffles.
“I love this style of pork barbeque,” said Dennis. “It’s not as sweet or saucy as other regional varieties,” he added as he enjoyed Susan’s slow cooked smoked Carolina pulled pork that had been mopped in a piquant, peppery blend of vinegar sauce. There was no slaw flaw here as the pork was topped with Carolina style slaw and capped with a shimmering pretzel bun. Having no need for ketchup, the side of crispy sweet potato waffle fries were a nice complement to the sandwich.
From the Catacombs came caramelized, soft and succulent seared sea scallops on a bed of savory and light corn coulis enriched with tomato jam. Topped with crispy kale, Michelle thought the texture of the kale balanced out the silkiness of the delicate scallops and the surrounding coulis. “And, we all know how well scallops and corn go together,” said Michelle.
A double dose of filet mignon and puff pastry was arriving at the table. Michelle was partial to the espresso rubbed filet having the sensuous addition of cardamom infused into the carrot mousse, served medium-rare with a port wine and grenadine reduction alongside asparagus wrapped with puff pastry and smoked bacon. Flakey puff pastry encased a medium-rare filet mignon and gulf shrimp to form a gussied up surf and turf Beef Wellington resting on smoked cauliflower puree. Add sundried tomato and jumbo lump crab cream sauce with a touch of saffron and a dash of smoked paprika and Dennis said that dish was irresistible. “World class fare, that’s what we’re striving for here,” said Sam.
The tartness of coriander and peppery turmeric provided earthy Moroccan flavor to a three-hour braised, then pan seared pork shank, finished with a pork rind reduction, lemon and lime juice and citrus zest. Blocks of crisp feta adorned the meat served on the bonem perched on a bed of risotto. Not quite satisfied, Dennis asked, “Is there any pork left on that bone?” There was a bit. “Ah, that’s the best part,” he moaned as he ate the last bite.
Dennis said, “Having been radio partners with Michelle for the past fifteen years, I have never seen her enjoy this much red meat.” Michelle agreed. “Tonight makes me rethink Bube’s Brewery. I used to think it was a fun experience, but this food, tonight, just blew me away,” said Michelle.
Bube’s Brewery will always have the fun and popular experiences, i.e., the feasts, the mystery dinners, the ghost tours, the Halloween parties, but as Dennis said on this night, “The food it is a changin’.” And, the plans are to work that world class changing food into the event experiences, too.
102 N. Market Street
Mount Joy PA 17552
By: Sue Barry