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Burgers & Beer BONUS – Missipi Brewing Muscatine Iowa

No audio… But I did get a pretty decent burger and beer while in Iowa this past weekend so I thought I would keep in practice by writing about it.

Muscatine is a little over 100 miles away from Pekin via 74 to Galesburg and then a bunch of country roads due west until you hit the Route 98 Bridge.  Most of these river towns have fun little places to check out and Muscatine was no different.  We walked through little antique shops, pawns shops, and galleries.  It was a fun morning of browsing but everyone was getting restless about wanting food.

To be clear, I did pack salami, cheese, bread, and some snacks in a cooler that morning.  I was told in no uncertain terms by nearly everyone in my family that this would not do.  We had heard tales from a business proprietor that we would be happy if we went to a brewery down by the river.  They had good “pub” food.  After hitting a few more stores I had forgotten everything about the restaurant other than it was a brewery.  (easy for me to remember!)

There are 2 breweries in Muscatine.  Missipi and Contrary Brewing.  I did a quick google on both locations and I was pretty sure that Contrary did not have food.  That made the decision easy.  Off to the riverfront and Missipi brewing.

The location of the brewery takes up a whole corner.  When we pulled up to park out front, I could see they had a food truck in their beer garden that looked like a permanent installation.  I got a little worried that the pictures I saw online were from the truck that did not appear to be serving at this time.  We walked around the corner to a small pub that reminded me of a Chicago bar.  Right upfront at the entry were super tight benches and a small bar on the right with a few waitresses running around busily.  We were greeted promptly and told to sit anywhere.

Uncommon Stout by Bent River

This place is like a maze!  You have the old bar upfront… Then, you have a new addition to the left with lots more space.  On top of that…   They have that giant beer garden behind the bar area.  Normally, we would take the garden, but it was overcast and had been a bit drizzly earlier.  We sat in the new area pretty much to ourselves.

The tap list is large!  Lots of craft beers from all over.  Plenty of locals as well.  I ordered an Uncommon Stout from Bent River.  Bent River is brewed up the road in Davenport Iowa.  We have had them in the Peoria area for a long time.  I have not been a super fan of these guys, but I thought I would give them another run.  Especially the Uncommon Stout.  It has a lot of coffee flavor and I knew that having one of these at noon would be just fine.  It’s a good beer.  Little thin for a stout, but it was pretty refreshing after spending a few hours shopping and wandering the streets for hours before.

The Burger menu was pretty fun.  Everybody has their standards… But my son and I both saw the PicNic Burger and were intrigued.  Baked beans along with Macaroni and cheese topping a double burger of beef and pork.  Yes… Intermingled patties of beef and pork!  We had to get it.

The standard sides were 1.50 each… Premium sides were 3.00.  I asked the waitress if the onion rings were made fresh or out of a bag.  She said they were out of a bag, but pretty good.  I decided to go with the rings.

The burger showed up open-faced with all of its extras on full display on top of the meats.  It was everything I hoped it would be!  The beans and mac did not look gourmet by any means… But the aromas of baked beans and macaroni and cheese mixed with freshly cooked meat was killing it!

The premium side…  That was a conversation piece for the whole table.  The food was reasonably priced…  There was no doubt about it.  But 3 bucks for 4 onion rings?  That seemed a bit stiff.  Especially considering that the rings were confirmed to come out of a freezer bag.  That said.  They were really good.  So…  We laughed and shrugged it off.

I ate my burger with a knife and fork…  Left the top bun on the plate.  This PicNic burger just about killed me!

Afterward, we took our newly fattened bodies down to the “Pearler” statue on the riverfront.  There was a wedding party taking pictures near the statue.  (Seemed odd… But we are not from Muscatine, so what do we know!?!?)  We waited our turn and grabbed some pics of the mighty Mississippi.

All in all…  Pretty good stop at the Missipi Brewing.  But, I should have walked back to Illinois after that burger!

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