Bricks Bar & Grill

On the Monday we were in Cedar Rapids we holed up in our hotel. We had signed a lease on Sunday and it was snowing pretty hard. We had no reason to go out and the hotel had an indoor pool. For dinner we wanted to stay in walking distance. I had noticed the first time I visited Cedar Rapids that a restaurant opened up into the back of the parking garage. The parking garage was linked to the hotel by a sky walk so we really wouldn’t even have to go outside to get there. Of course we trudged through the snow instead.

Bricks Bar & Grill. To me this is a real bar. Long and narrow with lots of glass, mirrors, and polished wood and brass. They may have a kitchen, the food may even be good, but it’s primary purpose is to serve alcohol, mainly beer. I think this place might have the most taps in town, over forty if I remember correctly. We sat down in a half booth, half table right behind the bar stools. It was happy hour which meant Two for One beers on tap. Whoo hoo! We didn’t drive. I got two Bell’s Two Hearted Ales. It was a wonderful thing.

Our server wasn’t too friendly at first but after I asked her about her Yankees tattoo she warmed up fast. She said she’d worked there for 11 years I think. It used to be a brick oven pizza place. She left for two years and came back and they had taken out the brick oven and replaced it with a smoker. I guess that explains the name.

I don’t remember what the wife ordered. The daughter ordered plain wings, all drums. They were pretty good, but nothing amazing. I ordered the Burnt Ends as an appetizer. I’m so glad I did. They were fabulous! I don’t know if they were true Kansas City burnt ends, but they were tender juicy morsels of smoked pork covered in a really good barbecue sauce. I’m ordering these every time.

I followed the burnt ends with The Lil Stevey P sandwich with a side of onion rings. I’m am very very picky about onion rings. I don’t like them battered. They must be breaded. My first choice is breaded in crushed seasoned crackers. Most servers don’t know the difference between breading and battering so I usually pass. These were excellent! A wonderful dry breading, fully seasoned. Glad I took the risk.

The Stevey P is smoked sausage sliced lengthwise, grilled and topped with red onions, pepper jack cheese and bacon. Served on grilled Texas toast. This is a great sandwich. The first bite I thought it was missing something, maybe salt. Then the pepper jack cheese kicked in and I forgot what was missing. I’m not a big fan of caramelized red onions, they are too sweet, but here they balanced perfectly with the smoke and heat of the sandwich. The bacon seemed more of a textural player than a flavor contributor. Wonderful sandwich. But be sure to orient it correctly when eating. If you bit into it with the sausage running parallel to your teeth you end up pulling out a whole sausage. Bite crosswise ☺

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Lil Stevey P sandwich with side of breaded onion rings



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