OneEleven Public House [Review]

While a ride was planned for Tuesday evening, the radar just didn’t leave me wanting to chance getting stuck in the rain.  So, we progress to plan B – a vehicle with four wheels.

Often, in small-town Iowa, it can be challenging to find food beyond tenderloins, fries, and cheese balls.  I am not saying anything is wrong with that food, but when you’re craving a different menu and atmosphere, you’re often prepared for quite the commute or repetitious choices.  So, when you hear of a great find that’s within 20 minutes?  You go!

Right off the square in Knoxville is a you-gotta-try-it place!  That is…if you appreciate historic architecture, vintage décor, great drinks, and awesome food.  As you walk into OneEleven Public House, the hostess stand is a television that appears to be from the 1950’s.  As you look to your left, an attractive bar with old freezer doors as the background to the great brew selection; a cozy nook at top of a ladder-like staircase, that allows you to see it all; and an open kitchen which is one of my most favorite things to see!

From their drink selection, I opted to try a draft each of the SingleSpeed Tip the Cow (stout from Cedar Falls, Iowa) and Wilson’s Orchard Goldfinch Sider (a favorite).  If I didn’t end up eating so much, I may have had room to try just one more, since I wasn’t driving.  😉

Now – for food.  Some of you may not know my affinity for beets and Brussel sprouts.  These are two of my all-time favorite foods.  So, when I noticed The Goat’s Beet Salad (I opted out on goat cheese), I was all-in!  I inquired about their VOD (vegetable of the day, which took me a couple moments to figure out on my own), I was excited to hear it was grilled Brussel sprouts.  Mama ordered the French dip with macaroni and cheese.  Trinity went with The Meaty flatbread pizza.  Then, we were so hungry, we impulsively ordered Gravy & Fries.

Let’s start at the top!  The Goat’s Beet Salad – spring mixed greens always feel like a present in a small-town restaurant (often, I sadly discover it to be a base of iceburg lettuce).  When you throw in balled pickled-beets, mandarin oranges, and walnuts that haven’t been smashed to pieces?  Well, it’s ready to be amazingly complimented with their spicy orange vinaigrette.

The grilled Brussel sprouts – these were halved with great flavor, and some perfectly charred leaves.  While it may be only my personal preference, I would prefer them to be blanched or steamed slightly before hitting the grill – just to soften them up more.  I don’t mind a little crunch, but prefer more of a softened sprout when they are served warm.

Mama raved about her French dip – especially the carmelized onions.  I had to try a bite of her macaroni and cheese, which was a hit for both of us.  We pondered what was generously sprinkled on top.  It was the texture of panko, but bright red-orange in color.  Stumped, we asked our waitress and loved to hear it was hot Cheetos!

Although I didn’t try the flatbread, it was as thin and crispy as you get – which is my preference.  But, the understated-title of “Gravy & Fries”?  These should be illegal to sell.  My.  Goodness.  Many place do house cut fries, but Table OneEleven does them perfectly – lightly browned and not a drop of sogginess.  When you throw on gravy, you’re onto something.  But, when you top it with many crumbles of aged white cheddar?  You’ve got some homemade crack right there!  The bowl is loaded and every bite has gravy and cheese.  (Don’t you hate it when you get these or nachos and your fries or chips are naked after you clear the top layer?)  We over-indulged, told our waitress not to touch them on one of her check-ins, then demanded she remove the delicious addiction before we had to be pried out of our booth due to bloat.

My pictures do it no justice, but Table OneEleven is worth a visit just to see.  It only gets better as you experience their food and drink.  I cannot wait to return…very soon.

May your ride be smooth, and your drinks stiff!  Cheers!

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