Barleygarden in Alpharetta’s Avalon is a beer lover’s wet dream
There was still snow on the ground leftover from Atlanta’s January snow event. But that didn’t stop the many nearby office workers from wanting to get out for lunch on this chilly Thursday as evidenced by the fact that parking was hard to come by.
I met my lunch date at Barleygarden (him: punctual as usual, me: unusually late because I’d underestimated how much snow was still on the ground), and we were lucky enough to have the near undivided attention of beer and cocktail master, Chris Mason.
For a bar devoted to beer with over 60 rotating taps just in the downstairs, I didn’t think they’d put much effort into their cocktails, but shockingly, Barleygarden does! With fun names like A Flesh Wound, Trojan Rabbit and Face the Peril, they make really original cocktails. A Black Knight made with Bourbon was quite strong but good. And a Holy Hand Grenade (see those fun names again!), features Whiskey with a stout beer iced cube.
If you are a craft beer lover, then you’ll certainly find something you’ll love on your own. But the list is daunting, I found it better to describe to Chris what I liked and let him pick something for me. He brought me a taste of an IPA and wheat (I know, so different but I do like variety). See a clip from Barleygarden’s site below:
Here at Barleygarden, we LOVE our beer – so much so that our draft list changes constantly. We are two beer bars in one. Downstairs you will find 61 rotating North American craft choices. Upstairs you will find Europe’s finest choices highlighting Belgian and German selections.
The menu at Avalon’s Barleygarden is the same all day. And they are known for their hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches. But before jumping into your entree, you might want to delve into their charcuterie board. It is plentiful and certainly more than two could eat, given we had entrees coming. Brussels sprouts are presented in a heaping bowl and come with bacon and drizzled with balsamic, just the way I love them.
It’s not just cocktails that have cutesy names. Grilled cheese sandwiches which feature different cheeses like cheddar, gruyere, goat and more come with names like The Best Day Chevre and You Can’t Put it Pastrami. I opted for the more perennial favorite featuring provolone and American cheese. Adding chorizo was a must too. You can add a cup of soup to any of the grilled cheese sandwiches at Barleygarden in Alpharetta. And they’ve always got a tomato bisque, which is a grilled cheese lover’s match made in heaven.
Wait? Didn’t we already try gourmet hot dogs…er…haute dogs in Atlanta, a la Richard Blais’s HD1? I actually never visited HD1, since it was a heck of a long way to go for a hot dog. But I think the difference is that Barleygarden places more emphasis on the variety of craft beer and also serves upscale bar food too. And these are some bougie dogs, people. Though I opted for a chili cheese dog and didn’t regret it, there’s also a blue cheese and buffalo sauce dog. Personally, I’m gonna head back for the Don’t go Bacon My Heart Dog with bacon (duh!), arugula, and sun dried tomato aioli. You’re ordering wrong if you don’t get a side of Barleygarden’s crispy fries to go with it.
But wait, there’s more! And by that I mean that sexy looking sandwich above. It’s called the Butcher’s Bun, and although you may not be able to see it in the picture, there’s tons of shaved Ribeye in this sandwich. It comes with gruyere and fried onions too. And it’s only 12 bucks. Hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches are only around $8, so it’s quite affordable.
Check out Barleygarden’s Menu here