- 1053 Goss Ave., Louisville, KY, 40217
- (502) 634-1447
- Overall User Rating:
- (1 rating)
- Sunday, 1:00-11:00 p.m. Monday, 5:00-11:00 p.m. (bar only) Tuesday-Thursday, 5:00-11:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
- Official Web Site:
Three little words — simple, cheap and fun — pretty much sum up the Four Pegs Beer Lounge, a happy addition to Germantown’s burgeoning pub/restaurant scene.
Those three words seem simple enough, but it takes discipline, imagination and ingenuity to put them into practice, and based on a few recent visits, the owners — Smitty and Becky Smith — are up to the task.
They started with an intrinsically attractive space (what was formerly the Germantown Cafe) and gave it a thrifty, but extremely attractive makeover. Mix-and-match lamps illuminate the bar, the bistro tables and the booths with the same warm light you might find in your living room. A back room that once housed a pool table is now a cozy lounge furnished with attractive soft seating.
Four Pegs feels like an old-fashioned saloon crossed with a nifty coffee shop. It’s admirably suited to calm, friendly loitering. But I suspect that once it catches on — which it surely will — the calm will give way to happily milling crowds attracted by a fine beer program and chef Matt Flink’s menu, which has the virtues of being concise, clever and very nicely executed.
The beer program focuses on a rotation of excellent craft beers on tap. Recent offerings included selections from Ommegang, Three Floyds, Bell’s, Dogfish Head and more (the bar also offers a handful of whiskeys by the drink and a couple of wines). And on any given night, you’ll find intriguing session beers (like the faintly sour Bell’s Oarsman) and those big, hoppy, high-alcohol monsters that call for judicious sipping.
Chef Flink, who trained at Sullivan and formerly worked at Browning’s, can fit his menu on a blackboard in the dining room. And prices? Well, except for one item, all the sandwiches and main dishes are priced at $8.
And what will eight bucks buy? To start with, it’ll buy you a fantastic chicken and waffle sandwich. Chicken and waffles is one of those intriguing regional specialties that people often sample once, just for the novelty. But the Four Pegs version will keep you coming back for more. A chicken breast is breaded with panko crumbs, cooked until the grainy surface is nearly black, and sauced with a luscious, light maple glaze. And it’s perfectly engineered: The waffle is crisp and sturdy, a perfect vehicle for neatly holding the moist chicken breast and carrying the sauce.
What’s more, because the plate is delivered directly from the kitchen to your table (orders are placed at the bar), the waffle arrives piping hot — an event I have rarely experienced in a restaurant setting.
All the sandwiches at Four Pegs are accompanied by a generous pile of hot, fresh-cut fries, including the house-made veggie burger, the chicken and bacon quesadilla, brined pork chop sandwich and an Angus burger. An order of fish and chips fetches a gigantic fillet of hand-breaded, perfectly fried white-fleshed fish, fries and a tangy dose of tartar sauce.
Appetizers ($3.50-$4) include hummus, fried green tomatoes and an idiosyncratic take on “beer cheese” — a cool, sharply flavored concoction that any Southerner will immediately recognize as pimento cheese, that comes with a big, soft, salty pretzel.
Topping the menu, at the lofty price of $10, is one of the most interesting recent additions to the city’s burger offerings: a beer-glazed Angus burger. It’s a fairly elaborate burger, but built for comfortable eating. The bun has a wholesome, bready flavor and easily supports and contains a crisp, fully cooked patty of meat, a nice pool of melted cheese, a generous quantity of bacon and a tart, crisp slab of fried tomato. And here again, as with the chicken and waffle, there’s the addition of a lively sauce — luminous, beige, faintly sweet — made from beer and maple syrup. It’s a burger, yes, but not just a burger.
Contact freelance restaurant critic Marty Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org.