I like anything inappropriate – filthy language, dirty jokes, poorly timed humour. It’s all good in my book. So when Foulmouthed Brewing opened a couple weeks ago, I had a feeling they might have something in store for me. I knew not what to expect, but the name alone gave me the happys. When I found out they would be serving food and have a full bar in addition to their six brews created in-house, I figured the second brewery in South Portland was onto something that might cause me to make a habit out of visiting the Ocean St. locale.
With on and off-street parking, the brewery has plenty of space for everyone who visits. Once inside, the fun started with a tap and glasses in the wall to the right which I assumed were for self-service water, though I didn’t verify. The restaurant then opened into a single room with lots of seating, a full length bar, and a couple small standing-only tables that stick out of the wall. A couple were playing chess on one of them and the place was pretty busy.
We pulled a menu from the cart on the table. On the front were some notes including – most importantly – that food orders should be placed at the corner of the bar and drinks could be ordered anywhere along the bar. Also, the menu commanded customers to “Wash out your filthy mouth with our freshly brewed suds, served straight from the tanks.” That sounded like a direct order to me. As I checked out the available beers I noticed a flight passing by me and thought it looked like something I might want. I spied on the menu that I could get four ounces of all six of their brews for a mere $10. That sounded like a perfect selection. My wife chose A Clean, Well Lighted Place – light rum, Luxardo, lime, grapefruit, and Herbsaint bubbly. I went to the bar and ordered, dropping a card to start a tab and being told my drinks would show up right where I ordered them once they were ready.
A few minutes post ordering, I saw our flight and cocktail being placed on the bar and scooted back to pick them up. I verified with one of the staff that my beers were numbered one through six per the menu and that each corresponding number was underneath the glasses. I brought everything back to the table and we had our way with the beverages. The brews ranged in color from light golden to black and included a double IPA called Malcontent which sounded particularly interesting to me. We had a friend meeting us and after few sips of those and a few dribbles down my shirt, she arrived and right away ordered a Bad Word – Reposada tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, lime juice, Luxardo, Laphroaig.
The next step was to order some food. The food options were slight with three appetizers, two salads, and four sandwiches, though the choices sounded quite interesting. Among the items I was considering were the Charred Onion and Greens, Crispy Fish Sandwich, and Spicy BLT. My wife and our friend hardly had to think about it and knew that they wanted the Grilled Cheese – sharp cheddar with smoked mushroom duxelles and red onion jam on sourdough. They also wanted to share a side of the Fries – Potatoes from Green Thumb Farm, sea salt, choice of sauce. There were six sauce choices and they went with the standard ketchup in an unparalleled display of thinking inside the box. I eventually decided to go with Pulled Pork Nachos – corn tortilla chips, house smoked local pork, spicy queso, pickled jalapeno, cumin lime crema, cilantro, lettuce, and tomato.
Once we all decided on our food, I ordered at the end of the bar, was given a number to put on the table, and told that the food would be brought out to us. The number We received was 12 and on the other side of the number was a picture of Bob Sagat. Now I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of anyplace that realizes Bob Sagat makes everything better. We each posed for pictures with Bob and the number 12 as we waited for our food. We also watched as other food came out in very large portions.
Before long, I saw the orders coming our way and simultaneously a mass exodus occurred. I was concerned they might be closing, but eventually realized it was too early for that and just concentrated on my food. The ladies’ grilled cheese didn’t look like anything too special except that it was made from three slices of bread and had couple pickle spears on the side. I’m a sucker for extra pickles, so that alone was a positive sign. My nachos were smothered in fresh cilantro, but after eating a few leaves of it and pushing the rest aside, I saw a well-distributed, relatively even amount of all the other ingredients atop my chips.
After a full inspection of my nachos, I started removing chips from the plate like I was playing Jenga. With a few gone and the chips starting to collapse upon each other aided by the weight of the toppings, I started to get a sense of what was happening. The local pork was so tender – both smokey and sweet, but not intense, more of a consistent flavor that added to the plate without distracting from the other ingredients. The cumin lime crema was like a sprinkle of fairy dust as the cool citrus and spice was just an unbeatable combination to add to the mix. Along with the cheese, jalapenos, and fresh vegetables, this was a great concoction.
All three of us paid attention to our food like it was reading us our rights and the ladies each ordered another drink. After I neared the end of my nachos, Mrs. Portlandeater offered me some of her sandwich. I took a huge mouthful to make sure I got a full taste of everything in it. Plenty of cheese gave it a good start, but the heavy mushroom and herb mixture with the onions was a combination to die for and sourdough always makes everything better. I gave my wife a reassuring look that said “wow, this is a really good grilled chesse.” She returned with an audible “yeah, it’s the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had.” As a grilled cheese connoisseur, her opinion was as good as gold on that matter and I couldn’t disagree. I thieved the last few fries too and those proved to be a nice, crisp bunch of potato sticks worthy of an order.
It took a little convincing, but I got my wife to concede that it was a bad idea to order five more grilled cheese sandwiches to eat at home. We finished our drinks and decided to cash out. The meal came to just under 90 bucks before tip. That wasn’t at all bad for three of us eating and drinking. And the beer? Well, that was really good too. My three favorites were the Kaizen Saison, Knightvillian – a black ale, and the Malcontent. Feel free to drink a lot of those, but beware of the last one because, while it was as good or better than I expected, it’s also a stiff 8.5% ABV.
Foulmouthed Brewing turned out to be more than just a brewery. They’re a brewery. They’re a bar. They’re a restaurant. They’re a Brewbararaunt. And they’re a really good one. With excellent food and top notch brews it’s like going to your favorite eatery that makes everything from scratch, including the beer. Plus, the prices are very reasonable. South Portland most certainly has a new go-to location and you’d be doing yourself a favor if you get there soon. Tell ’em I sent you, and for the hell of it, let’s just call this the Summer of Malcontent.
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