As most parents can attest, you can learn a lot from your children; and sometimes the lessons are most unexpected. For example, in our family, my husband and I gained an appreciation for craft beer after our daughters introduced us to some of their favorites.
Fortunately for me – why cook if you don’t have to? – more and more establishments in the area offer not only great beer, but excellent food as well. Mindful Brewing, located at 3759 Library Road in Castle Shannon (the former site of McGinnis Sisters), is one of those places!
Mindful Brewing has a casual, relaxed atmosphere, with a nice-sized bar area to the left of the entrance and the dining area and the brewery located to the right. Since I love to eat, we’ve only made it to the dining area!
Our first visit this spring was with friends who were in Pittsburgh for the weekend. We each started with a beer flight, a great way to sample Mindful Brewing’s extensive beer list, which in addition to their in-house crafted beers, also feature 70 rotating brews on tap. (While we were all beer drinkers, Mindful Brewing also has wine on tap, as well as craft cocktails). Since the list is constantly changing, my suggestion is to try a flight of various types of beer – lager, ale, IPA, stout; or maybe a flight of four different IPAs, or whatever your favorite type of beer is. While deciding on our meals, we shared the sweet corn guacamole, which was an excellent mix of avocados, char-grilled corn and other deliciousness, served with fresh corn tortilla chips.
One of our friends chose a fish sandwich, which our server said was a seasonal offering. In true Pittsburgh fashion, the sandwich was huge; easily enough to share. His wife decided on the roasted beet salad with salmon – a gorgeous salad with roasted beets on top of organic spring greens with candied walnuts, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese, drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze, and of course the salmon. My husband settled on the Mindful chicken “sammie”, which was a fried chicken breast on a brioche bun topped with bacon, tomato, fresh greens and herb mayo. I had the salted caramel apple burger – a beef burger (vegetarians can swap out a red quinoa burger) topped with sweet caramelized apples, sea salt, and sharp cheddar. All I can say is that the sweet/savory combination was amazing!
Since we were all “sharers”, I can say with confidence that all the food we had that day was excellent, and it was hard to pick a favorite dish. Mindful Brewing strives to be farm-to-table as much as possible, and I couldn’t deny the freshness – and tastiness – of our food!
A few weeks later, we were back again, this time with a friend from college whose wife was out of town helping her sister move. This time we paired our beer flights with shrimp and grits pierogis as our appetizer. The pierogi was a seasonal thing, a wonderful marriage of dinner grits (think lots of butter and cream) and tender shrimp tucked into tender dough, served with a drizzle of a tasty gravy. Soooo good!
While we toyed with the idea of ordering chicken and waffles to keep the southern theme going, or possibly getting one of the gorgeous pizzas that were coming out of the kitchen, the guys both ordered the seasonal fish sandwich, and I went with the roasted beet salad with salmon. Everything we had was outstanding.
In addition to their extensive, creative menu, the staff at Mindful Brewing was wonderful and very knowledgeable about the drinks and the food. If you’re looking to discover the world of craft beers, Mindful Brewing is a good place to start!
Mindful Brewing, located at 3759 Library Rd, is open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Tue., Wed., Thu., and Sun., and from 11 a.m. – midnight on Fri. and Sat. Closed Mondays. Visit their website at mindfulbrewing.com to view their menu.
Terry Kish is a freelance writer in the Pittsburgh area. She has been an integral part of the writing team for This Awful-Awesome Life since September 2017.