Beast + Barrel is a gastro smokehouse and bar located on Chattanooga’s North Shore serving creative drinks and a simple, elevated menu in a cozy atmosphere.
It’s been almost three years since Beast + Barrel opened on Chattanooga’s North Shore, in the former location of North Shore Grill. I wrote about their soft opening, which my brother took me to (he works at The Honest Pint, which is owned by the same group that owns Beast + Barrel). However, though I’ve been back many times since the opening, I haven’t written about a normal service at Beast + Barrel…so I thought I’d fix that.
Philip and I arrived around 4:00 on Saturday afternoon. The bar area of the restaurant was teeming with diners, so we were seated in a booth in the back section of the restaurant. We’d never been back there, and it offered a birds-eye view of the kitchen, which I found interesting. We were given several menus – the regular menu, a happy hour menu, a specials menu, and a libations menu. Sara, our server, quickly came to fill our water glasses and take our drink orders. Philip ordered a beer cocktail, of which I can’t remember the name. He liked it but said he probably wouldn’t order it again – he’s a beer “beer” guy, not a beer “cocktail” guy. I stuck with water.
A couple of appetizers were discounted for happy hour, including the single wide – beast (shoestring) fries, pulled pork, cheddar bisque, cherry Coke BBQ sauce, and mustard slaw – which was $4 (they’re $8 regular price). I’ve had these as an entree before, so we decided to order them. It’s a generous serving, particularly if you’re having them as your meal. The pulled pork is smoky and perfectly tender, and the cherry Coke BBQ sauce is just a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little tangy. The cheddar bisque was, well, a perfect cheese sauce, and the mustard slaw was a nice tangy topping to offset all the other flavors in the fries.
I’ve had several meals that I loved at Beast + Barrel, including the Big Katz (reuben) and the Executive Chef Salad. For this meal, I decided to go for the Crescent City Chicken dinner – Cajun fried chicken, maple gravy, goat cheese whipped potatoes, and vinegar greens ($18). I decided to sub the special side – broccoli and bacon salad – for the vinegar greens. The chicken was fried perfectly crisp and was ever so slightly spiced with Cajun seasonings. The sawmill gravy with maple sausage was the perfect complement to the chicken, and while I’m just developing a taste for goat cheese, I really enjoyed the perfectly creamy goat cheese whipped potatoes. The broccoli and bacon salad was like a slaw, finely shredded, with carrots, red onion, and a little bit of cheddar in a light dressing (it was not creamy, so I don’t think it was mayo-based like my broccoli salad). It was tasty but I would have liked for it to have more bacon.
Philip went for the burger special, a PB (yes, peanut butter) burger – basically a basic burger (called a “Braveheart Burger” on the menu) but with only peanut butter, bacon, and red onions for topping, on a Niedlov’s bun ($14.50). They forgot the bacon, but Sara let the kitchen know and they got a couple of strips out in just a matter of minutes. Now, I know that peanut butter on a burger sounds a little strange, but it really works. The burger was cooked well and the flavor from the peanut butter and the bacon was fantastic.
Our server, Sara, was very helpful and attentive. The atmosphere at Beast + Barrel is cozy, intimate, and casual. I’ve heard mixed reviews from some, but I’ve never had a bad experience here. It’s a little more pricey than the restaurants we usually visit (our total was $43 pre-tip) but not terribly so. The atmosphere is great for a date night. The menu is simple but creative and the drink options are limitless.
We really enjoy Beast + Barrel and will definitely return.
Beast + Barrel is located at 16 Frazier Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37405. They are open Monday – Thursday, 3 – 10 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. You can call them at (423) 805-4599. For more information, check out their website, beastandbarrel.com or the Beast + Barrel Facebook page. You can also follow Beast + Barrel on Instagram.