North Texas Daily

The Dose: Barley & Board sets up for homebrewed success

The Dose: Barley & Board sets up for homebrewed success

The Dose: Barley & Board sets up for homebrewed success
September 09
16:03 2015

Nicholas Friedman | Editor-In-Chief


If the Square is Denton’s heart, and music is its soul, what can a gourmet restaurant with a home-brew stage and a whole ‘lotta wood represent? We’ll call it the spirit.

Barley & Board, the latest brainchild from LSA Burger Co. mastermind John “Sparky” Pearson, along with Eric Pulido of Midlake fame and the ever-Denton-present actor/comedian/skateboarder Jason Lee, makes you feel right at home from the moment you set foot inside. But an atmosphere is only as good as its food.

The food

B&B offers a lot of options right off the bat, and you can start your meal with a small plate of bacon-wrapped medjool dates or an order of truffled portobello fries.

The dates are so darn succulent, you’ll forget you were even eating a fruit in the first place. Plus, you know, bacon. But B&B has an ace up its sleeve on the small plate menu: roasted bone marrow.

It does sound gross, I know, but it’s all about the execution of the dish. Served on a plate with a bone split down the middle and some really great bread to scoop it onto, the marrow is full of texture and flavor.

Moving on, you can grab yourself a ‘motherboard,’ as B&B calls it, which is quite literally a board topped with meats, vegetables, cheeses, condiments, jams and more. Or you can get a large plate, with dishes like hanger steak and brazen two-faced quail topping the menu. It’s pricey, but in this case you’re getting what you pay for: a really solid, flavor-heavy meal of gourmet proportions.

Also available: soups, salads and even a burger.

Also available: A moose head.

Also available: A moose head.

The presentation

From the minute you walk in the door, B&B slaps you with that upscale Denton flavor found in places like Harvest House or Hickory & Fry. There’s no bumping and thumping music or murals of rock legends on the walls, but there is a pretty radical painting of some bears.

Everything is designed by hand, “Sparky” told us. Tables, chairs, bars and more were commissioned by local artists and wood-workers, friends and family, and this gives B&B a fresh, non-poser-like feel.

There is a glass pop-cap bottle of water on every table and a small plate of malt to show the business is serious about its beer. Speaking of beer, here is where B&B finds its novelty: a live stage.

The homebrew station in Barley & Board hosts an array of local beers. Nicholas Friedman | Editor-In-Chief

The homebrew station in Barley & Board hosts an array of local beers. Nicholas Friedman | Editor-In-Chief

No, it’s not a music stage. Denton has plenty of those. Here you’ll find a transparent room, with tanks and all sorts of equipment hooked up for live home-brewing. So, periodically, B&B will invite local and famous home-brewers to come in and put their beer on tap. It may be a light beer one week and a cream soda beer another, but the potential here is evident.

The execution and staying power, however, is yet to be seen.

The verdict

B&B is in a great location, nestled on the corner of the Square after a way-too-lengthy stay from chain restaurants. It offers professionally-cooked, quality food at a fairly high price, but makes up for it in taste and presentation.

This can be the place for nights out with a significant other. It can be a place to show your parents just how hip and cool Denton is. Let’s just hope it sticks around long enough to be a staple.

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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