After a night of marathon shopping in Bel Air, my friend and I were looking for a spot to relax, have a couple of drinks and a bite of pub grub. I suggested DuClaw Brewing Company since I hadn’t been there in a couple of years. When we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that it was surprisingly empty for a Saturday night at 10pm. But this was good news for us – it meant an attentive waiter or waitress and a bored cook in the kitchen.
Unfortunately this was not the case and when I’m wrong, I’ll say I’m wrong! Although the bar was fairly empty, the bartender was more interested in chatting with some other patrons than taking our order. At that point I decided that I would drink water rather than be forced to tip him on beverage service (or lack thereof). Everything on the menu sounded delicious, but we stuck with what should have been tried & true food – the Fried Calamari and the Brewhouse Burger. The calamari arrived lukewarm, the batter soft rather than crispy and the squid rubbery rather than chewy. It was served with 2 sauces – the traditional marinara and a remoulade which wasn’t spicy enough for my liking.
The Brewhouse Burger should have been a slam dunk. Is it possible to mess up a cheeseburger? Apparently it is. The brioche roll was far too delicious to serve with what tasted like a frozen burger. The tomato looked like someone had dug it out of a trashcan. It was served without any condiments at all and the bartender appeared too busy to inquire as to whether we needed anything else with our meals. Finally, I tracked down a barmaid and asked her for vinegar for the fries and mustard for the burger. The vinegar arrived promptly, but she sarcastically said that the mustard was going to take awhile. By that time my food was cold, so I asked her to give me a doggie bag. That way I could warm up my dinner in the toaster oven and eat in the comfort of my own home surrounded by all of the condiments that my heart desired. I had intended to order some takeout food for my husband since I knew that he was glued to our TV watching college football. But why waste another $10?
On the way out we stopped in the restroom, but it was dirty and the paper towels and toilet paper were missing in action.
Hopefully our experience at Duclaw was uncharacteristic. Because I’d like to go back and try the Venom & Chips (beer battered rockfish) and the Misfit Wings.
Duclaw Brewing Company also has locations at Arundel Mills Mall, Bowie Town Center and BWI Airport.
DuClaw Brewing Company
16-A Bel Air South Parkway
Bel Air, MD 21015
Jennifer Williams will appear live on WAMD 970 at 7 a.m. Wednesday to discuss Harford Hotspots