Last Updated on by Angie
We're always excited to hear about new food options available at local breweries, but we were even more excited when one of the best chefs in the city, Justin Severino, announced his partnership with East End Brewing. His restaurant Larder is a counter-service style barbecue-leaning joint located inside one of Pittsburgh's original craft breweries.
Larder at East End Brewery is a Justin Severino Concept
Like many Pittsburghers, we were devastated when Justin Severino closed his groundbreaking restaurant Cure; the opening of Larder pacified us all just a little bit. However, there is so much barbecue in Pittsburgh and it doesn't exactly take a James Beard award nominee to do it- we were a little skeptical going into the restaurant. But overall we ended up being pretty happy with the food and are thrilled to have more food options at breweries besides just food trucks.
The menu at Larder is fairly brief but includes an all-star cast of barbecue characters including smoked wings, pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and chorizo. Most of the meats are fancied up in sandwich form and complemented with housemade toppings like pickled veggies and sauces. While the menu is pretty meat-centric, there are a lot of fantastic seasonal veggie side dishes which we really appreciate and which could be combined to form a meal if you don't eat meat.
A Mix of Barbecue and European Pub Fare
Service is counter-style and was friendly and helpful, especially with my tree nut allergy. Jeremy loves wings so we had to try an order of the dry coffee rub flavor. The skin was very crispy and the rub had a nice peppery bite that was cooled off with some buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Other wing flavor options include classic buffalo and harissa with za'atar and apricot honey.
We visited in tomato season so we tried a tomato side dish with chow chow, smoked sunflower seeds, and corn custard. The contrasting flavors and textures were good but the dish was overall a little sweet for me; Jeremy like the sweetness, though.
One thing we both agreed on- the beet dish was amazing. The beets were smoked and pickled and served with a maple-dijon sauce, cilantro, and goat cheese. The combo of creamy goat cheese and sweet, tangy beets was classic and delicious.
We also split the brisket sandwich which, on our visit, was served on rye bread with cheddar cheese and tomato jam. Some slices of brisket were a little bit leaner and tougher than others, but the fatty ones were flavorful and rich.
The thick rye bread was just ok, but we loved the combination of funky, sharp cheddar cheese and acidic, sweet tomato jam that both complemented the fatty meat.
Overall, if you go into Larder expecting a Cure-like experience, you'll probably be disappointed. But if you go in expecting some high-quality barbecue sandwiches with creative toppings and great side dishes, you'll be spot on.
Larder is located at East End Brewery at 147 Julius Street in Larimer.