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Gyro Sausage with a side of onion rings. Gyro Sausage with a side of onion rings.
Gyro Sausage with a side of onion rings. Enlarge
Published: Wednesday, 6/4/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Perrysburg pub doesn’t go light on the fixins’ or the beer

BILL OF FARE

Smoked, Cured, and Curious. Smoked, Cured, and Curious.
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Sip. Drink. Gulp. Chug.

Better yet — Swig.

If you haven't checked out the gastropub in Perrysburg, it's time. With its in-house, hand-crafted sausages and franks coupled with craft beers, Swig is a refreshing change to the typical pub with traditional sandwiches and the common glass of suds.

The pub hangs its hat on great food and a wide variety of craft beers in a relaxed social atmosphere with live music on the weekends and takeout and catering options.

MENU: Swig Restaurant

RELATED CONTENT: Click to see more of The Blade's restaurant reviews

Swig Restaurant
★ ★ ★ ★

Address:
219 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg
Phone: 419-873-6223.
Category: Casual.
Menu: Gastropub specializing in charcuterie. Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: swigrestaurant.com

Choices that include a duck reuben ($11), a hand-made brat ground from gyro meat with all the fixings of the mediterranean classic ($4.75 and quite frankly amazing), or a grilled mortadella sammich ($5.75) — as the menu calls them — make it almost impossible to order the mundane. The common. The classic.

Even the burger ($8.75) has to be different — a half pound of ground prime brisket, chuck, and tenderloin that is flat-iron grilled and … wait for it …. basted with a big slab of clarified butter. It's not for the weak of heart. It was, in my opinion, the best thing on the menu. Every bite included an explosion of juices and succulent flavors. I blame the butter and the three different meats. Best burger he's had in a "long, long time" a dining companion said.

Sauces and dressings are key components at this joint. One appetizer called the Smoked, Cured, and Curious that offers a sampling of many of the pub's cured meats — Sweet Sopressata, Spicy Capicolla, Corned Duck Breast, Smoked Chicken, and Mortadella ($8.75) — that it vows it "trims, grinds, seasons, stuffs, smokes and cooks" onsite offers House Cranberry Mustard and a Creamy Lemon Caper Sauce for dipping. Delish. Even the ketchup for the fries is made with a smoked chipotle flavor.

But if you happen upon Swig and insist on the routine, try its traditional reuben, some chicken wings (I recommend the Frankenstein wings, which are tossed in hot garlic parmesan and ranch and then sprinkled with blue cheese chunks, $8.75), or the beer cheese dip, a favorite there that is served with baseball stadium-sized soft pretzels ($6.25). You will get yours. They seem to do everything well.

Speaking of wings, one of my eating companions was intrigued by the Melt Yer Face basted wings and asked the server about them. You could see the shudder run through the server, and she said she had only experienced a couple of guys who liked them after ordering. That was enough for my friend, who asked for a side of the "just" hot sauce as well. Just in case.


Chicago  Frank Chicago Frank
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When the wings came, we misunderstood which sauce the waitress pointed to as the one that might send you to the hospital ER, and my friend dug in. "These aren't outrageously hot," she said after a bit.


Hot Feta Dip Big Crock of Spiced Hot Whipped Feta Dip along with Sliced Green Peppers and Warm Fresh Flatbread Hot Feta Dip Big Crock of Spiced Hot Whipped Feta Dip along with Sliced Green Peppers and Warm Fresh Flatbread
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Not as adventurous, I dipped a french fry into the sauce that wasn't supposed to be quite so hot. Whoopsie! We had them mixed up. My mouth was numb for a good 20 minutes.

Thankfully, my tastebuds returned to sample one of only two desserts offered at Swig: a chocolate covered bacon sundae with bourbon roasted pineapple. The other is a root beer float, which you can change up by ordering it with milk stout (both $6).

On our first visit, it was insanely crowded and we got a table inside after about an hour. On the second visit it was packed and we scored a seat outside on the patio. The harried server had way too many tables for one person and there was a bit of a wait, but she held her own. She was friendly and took the time to explain the pub's beer menu, which changes so frequently they don't offer a beer menu at the table.

Rather, the day's beer menu is written on a giant chalk board inside the restaurant. If we had one complaint (it was hard to find any with such good service, food and drink) it is that they should put an identical board on the patio. With the relaxed atmosphere and live music on the patio every Friday and Saturday night, that's where people want to be and they would rather not get up and check out the beer menu. The server on our second visit was ready with a written beer list she whipped out of her pocket. The first server, not so much.

Onto the reason for the pub's name. The restaurant, which opened about five years ago, specializes in craft beer diversity.

A manager who introduced himself as Ed visited our table during both visits and engaged us in conversation. We asked him about the beers he brings in, and he said he asks his distributors for a wide selection that includes the unique and the sought-after. "I want something no one else has," he said. To that end, one of my eating companions ordered their most unique that day — a higher-alcohol content Rince Cochon Belgian Strong ale. ($11). It had fresh hops that were complemented by some sweet, fruity notes, and worth every smooth penny, my beer connoisseur friend said.

Don't worry though, they have reasonably priced craft beers as well that were thirst-quenching and enjoyable, if the thought of an $11 pint makes your wallet cry.

And the word is out. The excuse for the packed house on our first visit was blamed on a rare Kentucky bourbon stout that apparently the entire city of legal age wanted to try — the keg was blown in 30 minutes, the server said.

Swig? Don't mind if I do.

Contact Bill of Fare at fare@theblade.com.

Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics' meals.

Click here to read more Blade restaurant reviews.



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