GQ magazine says that the “Bro” culture has gone upscale and become “High-Bro” (Like brow! But Bro! It’s funny!). Guys who used to hang out in their basement drinking Bud Lite and watching Superbad now spend their evenings watching Moneyball and going to Brave Horse Tavern to talk about it over shuffleboard. Brave Horse is the perfect place for the former bro because there are all the elements of the basement – beer, pretzels, baseball caps– but upgraded with a celebrity chef, dozens of microbrews and pretzels that are “malt boiled and hearth roasted.”
Brave Horse is High-Bro because it’s basically a pub but the bar snack list includes beef tartare in a Cannibal Crostini. Raw meat with a clever name as a bar snack. Very high-bro. Other things that mark Brave Horse as high-bro include shuffleboard games, communal tables, a second floor corner location with a gigantic square bar, lots of beautiful dark wood and windows and great food that comes mostly in the form of burgers. It’s also very crowded, which I’m sure the bros love since they’re used to shouting over loud music and football games.
Five of us arrived on a rainy Friday night and displayed incredible table karma as a big group vacated just as we walked up. Dude! Our server was swift and friendly, gave us the “pint or schooner” portion size options and then came back with small glasses of beer as “schooners.” I thought schooners were rather large ships but apparently they’re also thimbles of beer. Who knew? My advice is to upgrade to the “pint,” which would have sunk a schooner in a second.
We also ordered the malted and hearthed pretzels and while I loved the outré dipping sauces – bacon/peanut butter – I didn’t love the pretzels. I wanted more baked surface, less cakey innards and a better ratio of dipping sauce to bread.
We could have gotten more sauce, I’m sure, but it was crowded (as I’ve mentioned) and by the time we saw our server again she was delivering dinner.
I had the ling cod fishwich and it was delicious enough that I didn’t remember to take a picture until I only had this much left.
Highly recommended, as were the onion rings that I also didn’t photograph until the end. Too busy with the eating.
The boys, however, grumbled about the portion sizes for the price they were paying. No sides came with the sandwiches, which did up the price but also the flexibility of menu planning. But that’s also a high-bro situation: Better food but less of it for more money.
However, when combined with a clogged up shuffleboard table we opted to jet out and get additional beers with the Salt of the Earth at Canterbury in Capitol Hill. Their shuffleboard table was also clogged up since it had been co-opted for a buffet; but the beers were 24 ounces, so, who cares!
Everydude, pry yourself out of your basement and get to Brave Horse Tavern. Beer, burgers, shuffleboard. It’s a bro-down!