Thursday, June 25, 2015

Miami Mich Review: Batch Gastropub

Let’s just say it: bar food sucks. It’s low quality, guilt inducing and often cooked either in a microwave or a deep frier. But, it doesn't have to be that way!

Let me shed some light on that. 

Last week, a friend of mine called me up after work and suggested happy hour in Brickell. After a long day at the office the thought of an ice cold beer was just music to my ears. The thought of having to pair it with bar food, though... not so much.

Nothing wrong with wings and chicken fingers, but it’s just that I was in the mood for something more… robust, more gourmet and delicious, to go with my beer. 

“Don’t worry, I have just the place for you” my friend said, reading my mind. “Ever heard of Batch Gastropub?”

I was hesitant at first. Could this be true? A great bar experience paired with food that’s just as good? I was determined to find out. 

We walked in. The place looked, smelled and sounded like a bar. A very nice bar, that is. 

Young Brickellites were watching the game on the many TV screens, cheering for their favorite soccer team. In one corner, a group of 30-somethings were having fun with karaoke, laughing and singing as a group. Behind the bar, bartenders were pouring local craft beers and making elaborate hand crafted cocktails. 

OK, so it meets the requirements of a great bar, I thought. The ambiance is fun and lively, the drinks are on point…but what about the food?

The menu was a pleasant surprise, and can best be described as elevated pub fare, with a Miami twist. No matter what you are in the mood for, this place has got you covered. Watching your weight? There’s an ahi tuna poke for that. Looking to indulge? The Batch Attack massive burger is the way to go. Want something gourmet? Go for their famous gnocchi mac and cheese with gruyere cheese and hanger steak.

Even though I meant to be a good girl and order just the ahi poke, I couldn't say no to the other dishes on the menu. And hey, mozzarella sticks go great with cold beer, right? Handmade, gooey, melty, fried cheese with a crispy coating, this made a great start of the meal!

Mozza sticks with marinara sauce
Up next came the veggie pizza. Made in a brick oven and topped with arugula, pesto, shaved veggies, and a fried egg, this was definitely one of the surprises of the night. Who knew vegetables could taste so indulgent?!

And the cast iron cookie and vanilla ice cream and fudge that we had for dessert? Heaven!

Just as I was thinking that this place couldn't get any better, the Argentina vs Uruguay game came on all 14 of their TV screens. We had great seats, smack in the middle of the room in front of the mega screen. This place is the official partner of beIN Sports, so what better spot to watch the Copa America than here? We sat back, ordered a couple more beers and stayed to watch the game. 

What a great night this turned out to be! And in case you are wondering, Argentina won, so that was the icing on the cake. ;)

In short, I would have to say that Batch proved my bar food theory wrong. It is possible, after all, to enjoy the best of both worlds: the drinks, ambiance and fun of a bar, plus the dining, gourmet experience of a top notch restaurant. 

Yes, Miami. It looks like we CAN have it all!

Ahi tuna poke with homemade chips
Gnocchi mac & cheese topped with hanger steak
Veggie pizza, topped with a fried egg!
Cast iron cookie with vanilla ice cream and fudge
Batch is located at 30 SW 12 ST in Brickell.

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