Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dinner at Macaroni Grill

Tonight, my wife and I had to deliver some necessities to our son in college, and we decided to take him out to dinner while we were there. Macaroni Grill is one of our favorite eateries and there is one near the college, so it was an obvious choice. I inquired about their draft beer options, and there were only 2 non-Anheuser Busch offerings - Coors Light and Yuengling Traditional Lager. What is it with chain restaurants having crappy beer menus? I know that they would sell more beer if they had a little variety. It's a pretty sad situation when Yuengling is their most adventurous beer. The problem is that Macaroni Grill isn't alone - Red Lobster, Long Horn, Chili's, and all the other ones are just as pathetic. The only chain that had a semi-decent selection of beers was Bennigan's, which is mostly shut down. Oh well, enough of my complaining.
I ordered the Yuengling, because it was the only choice I had. I also ordered the Penne Rustica, which is a smoky spicy pasta dish with a creamy sauce, shrimp, chicken and prosciutto - all topped with parmesan cheese and baked in their wood-fired oven. This is a wonderful dish, and about a million calories! Needless to say, after a couple of bites of Penne, the Yuengling tasted less and less like beer, and more like water. The beer actually tasted pretty good at first, a bit maltier than most lagers. It also had a fresh taste since it was draft. Unfortunately, it never stood a chance against the Penne Rustica. A nice hoppy Sam Adams would have been better, or an IPA. Actually, the best beer for this meal would have been a nice smoky Robust Porter. THAT would have still tasted like a beer, even at the end of the meal. I still have half of my dinner left, so tomorrow I'll be giving that combination a try.

No comments: