Auf Wiedersehen, Leavenworth

The worst thing about Ellensburg Brewing Co. & Tilted Tree Cider is that I no longer have the excuse drive to Leavenworth for German food. Why weave through Blewett Pass when I can get my fill of schnitzel, spaetzle, and pretzels right here in Ellensburg? Writing that out I now see that it’s not a bad thing at all. 

The second worst part is that I never know if I should call it Ellensburg Brewing & Malting Company, Ellensburg Brewing Co. & Tilted Tree Cider, EllensTree CiderMalt & Tilted Brewing, or any other of the mouthful of names that I associate with this place from signage or social media. Luckily for the EBC&TTC/EC&TB/WTAF that’s about where my criticism ends.

Just your average pretzel the size of Pluto.

On a recent visit my little family of four ordered a pretzel with beer cheese, a kids chicken strips and fries, a Reuben sandwich, and a Jagerschnitzel. Everything tasted great and each dish was roughly the size of my oldest child so the majority of it came home with us in boxes. While everything was quite good, a surprising standout are the french fries. None of us could stop eating those beautifully-seasoned little buggers. The kids chicken strips could easily pass for an adult meal in both size and quality. The Reuben had about an inch and a half of towering pastrami and is a contender for the best version of that classic sandwich in town. The Jagerschnitzel is perhaps better than a Jagerschnitzel has any right to be with a perfect amount of mushroom sauce on a crunchy and tender fried pork loin, all atop braised red cabbage and those little heaven nuggets known as spaetzle. I could nitpick and say that I thought the spaetzle were a little puny and I much prefer them refried in brown butter as I do at home but spaetzle is pretty much wonderful regardless of shape or size. 

Nice, huh?
Child’s hand shown for reference or because he couldn’t keep his grubby paws off the plate for two dang seconds while I snapped a picture.

I sampled all of the house-brewed ciders and while the American Apple is the only one I truly enjoy, I am just happy that more people are making ciders so, A for effort. The fruitier and sweeter offerings are not to my taste but I know that they will appeal to many others and the pumpkin cider is not remotely as bad as one would think it would be. The newly-released Oktoberfest beer is…I don’t know…beer. Beer rarely leaves an impression on me but I’ve been told it’s good by people who appreciate beer far more than I care to. 

As with Jim Rowe’s other joints in town, it’s a highly professional operation staffed by competent people, but he seems to be really flexing his restaurateur muscles with this new venture. The food prices are a little high for the area but any two reasonable adults could split a meal and keep costs way down. A smaller lunch menu would be a nice addition.  

I think Ellensburg Brewing Company is an asset to downtown Ellensburg. It’s big, friendly enough for groups and families, and brings to town a cuisine and atmosphere that we’ve been lacking. Oh, and the food is about as satisfying as food gets.

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