Today, Monday March 26th the new Von Ebert Brewing opens in northwest Portland’s Pearl District in the former Fat Head’s PDX space. Portland Fat head’s franchise owner Tom Cook has made the brewery his own, branching off from the Ohio based Fat Head’s company to pursue his vision and that of new Head Brewer Sean Burke (formerly of The Commons Brewery.)
Von Ebert Brewing’s restaurant and pub is much the same as it was as Fat Head’s, only without the garish colors and cheesy cartoonish branding of Fat Head’s. The main difference other than removing the bright graphics and branding of Fat Head’s is more natural looking wood slab tables and soon new comfier booths. The space is more warm than bright and cold like before.
The food menu is also much different. Before the gigantic menu was filled with just about every kind of burger, sandwich and fried food you could imagine with much taken from midwestern fare, now it’s a paired down and more wholesome and beer friendly selection. While there is still a large menu of options to choose from, the basics are burgers, sandwiches, pizza, salads and bbq plates. One of the big new additions is three different kinds of cheese and meat boards (very welcome and much more beer friendly.) While I loved the over the top chili fries with cheese, jalapenos and a fried egg from the old menu, the new menu satiates that craving with the more Portlandia-like Totchos.
The past food options were love or hate in my experience. Perhaps the most popuar thing on the menu being their smoked and fried wings that many connoisseur’s called amongst the best in-town. The wings have more or less survived the transition with unnoticeable changes to the flavor but more to the sauce options that go from a hot K2 Habanero sauce to Chipotle, Teriyaki, BBQ, Szechuan, Garlic/Lime/Cilantro and of course your Ranch and Blue Cheese.
Quinoa/Kale/Beet Salad at Von Ebert Brewing
There area also plenty of vegetarian options including six salads, such as the Quinoa/Beet/Kale salad pictured above. They also have the vegan Impossible Burger and you can switch it out for the meat patty in any one of six different burgers.
The beers have a refreshing range to them. The lineup is perhaps not as hop centric as before but hopheads will still find plenty to love from the west coast IPA’s to new hazy tropical IPA’s. Yes they also have a Pilsner and even some classics like a Dunkel and Hefeweizen. The brewing program is now headed up by Sean Burke, so I am betting we will be seeing more German-styles and Saisons in the future and perhaps a lighter touch overall.
Von Ebert head brewer Sean Burke
Von Ebert is still family friendly like fat heads with basically the same seating options and plenty of TV’s. I doubt anyone other than the most hardcore of midwestern gluttonous food fans will be disappointed by the more balanced Von Ebert Brewing when they open today.
Von Ebert Brewing, 131 NW 13th Ave.