First things first: I'm hoping to integrate more beer info into this site. I'll be perfectly honest... I'm no beer expert (yet). I couldn't tell you too much about different types of hops and such, although I do know there is such a thing. And I know the general process of brewing a beer. But most importantly- I like to drink beer. I don't drink it to get drunk. I truly savor a delicious microbrew (or macrobrew if it's decent). I look forward to the Great American Beer Festival every year, and willingly dole out 40 bucks to be in the presence of greatness. As Ben Franklin said, "God made beer because he loves us, and wants us to be happy."
And now on to the review. I recently ventured out into suburbia to drink and dine at a little place called 221B Baker St. Pub. Located in the new Belmar shopping/dining/living conglomeration at Wadsworth & Alameda in Lakewood, it was actually fairly difficult to find. You can't drive past it on the street, as it overlooks a little outdoor seating area and some construction that is a future pond. We ended up parking on the street (which costs $1... silly, considering there is a ton of parking around there for free) near a directory. Luckily, we were just around the corner. For future reference, it is next door to Chama, which is visible off the street.
The atmosphere is very much like an English pub, but enormous. It's a large space, with lots of tables, nice booths and some little seating areas of comfy leather chairs. It seemed very cozy, and there were lots of people enjoying the outdoor seating (until it rained).
I considered writing solely about the beer here, because... well, I hate to write a bad review. I really do. Especially because I would go back to this place to just sit in the corner with a pint of cold Baker St. Draught (made by Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs). And I would encourage others to do just that. Just that. To start with, the service was surly at best. Not in a good way- because I highly enjoy the good kind of surly. Rather than greet us as we walked in, I felt we were intruding upon the servers, who seemed annoyed at our presence. The feeling continued with our own server, who was nice enough, but certainly didn't go out of her way.
I can forgive poor service if the food is good. I don't know if I was silly to expect good food in a Pub. I have been to my fair share of pubs in England, and the food is never fantastic. It's just food. We began our meal with a simple appetizer- chips with queso and salsa. The chips and queso were fine, but the salsa was very salty and runny. I love a really spicy salsa with lots of fresh cilantro. This wasn't it. For my entree, I opted for a simple burger with bacon, mushrooms, and blue cheese. I expect when blue cheese is offered as an optional topping for my burger that it will be actual blue cheese. What I got instead was some blue cheese dressing in a cup, on the side. Blech. The burger itself, which I ordered medium, was dry and overcooked. I didn't even finish it, or the incredibly overseasoned fries. Which for me, is rare. I like to eat, and I finish my meals. My dining companion ordered the highly-advertised soft tacos. She said they were good, but were unfortunately ruined by the bland salsa. We decided to skip dessert there, and instead headed over to Ben & Jerry's across the street. Mmm. Now that I recommend highly!
Again, I'm not saying don't go to the Baker St. Pub. The beer was awesome, and they've got a great happy hour. The aforementioned Baker St. Draught was only $2.50. I would totally go back later in the evening and hang out on the patio. I'll just eat before I go next time.