Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Granite City Food & Brewery Rocks!

Alcohol and children aren't a combination that tend to go together when many parents think of taking the family to dine out, but Granite City Food & Brewery proves to be an exception.  To promote the April 8th grand opening of its new Northville, Michigan location, Granite City invited my family to have lunch for free while participating in its mock service staff training the weekend before its opening so that it could put an emphasis on highlighting its food offerings and showcase itself as a kid-friendly destination to eat out.   Our experience showed that just because its a brewery doesn't mean you should leave your kids at home.

Granite City Food & Brewery is a casual restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere that pays homage to its Midwestern roots with its decor of dark wood and stone accents that provide both a modern and an "up north" vibe to the place.  Granite City began as a local brewery in the granite mining city of St. Cloud, Minnesota and has expanded over the last 15 years to 33 locations in 13 states.  The 10,200 square foot restaurant in Northville can seat approximately 300 guests and features an open kitchen with a central wood-fried pizza oven and an on-site brewery.

Granite City has developed a reputation for the brew-pub's handcrafted beers which are moderately priced and offer unique styles and flavors not typically produced by major breweries.  It has patented a brewing process, known as Fermentus Interruptus , which allows it to replicate its signature beers with the exact same taste throughout all the Granite City Food & Brewery restaurants.  Granite City's are The Duke, an India Pale Ale; The Bennie, a German Bock; The Northern, an American Lager; and The Broad Axe, an Oatmeal Stout.  Plus in addition to creating their signature beers onsite, special seasonal brews are featured through the year also.   If none of these wet your whistle, the Northville location's large three-sided, full-service bar also has a selection of other locally-produced Michigan beers available and an extensive wine list.

Broad Axe Stout - a thick creamy head sits atop the opaque blackness of this oatmeal stout.  Roasted chocolate and coffee notes make this beer a great treat!

The Bennie - carries a brownish color, a medium body, and a mouthwatering smoothness from the wonderful malt and sweet caramel flavors.

The Duke - the rich color of this pale ale hints at the bold malt character used to balance the huge hoppy flavors and defining bitterness of this classic English style beer.

The Northern is a classic American lager with a creamy, smooth taste.

Granite City isn't just about the beer though.  It also features a great menu of made-from-scratch recipes that make it a great destination for a family meal.  Granite City Food & Brewery's menu has selections that will please everyone from the most sophisticated palate to the child who is the pickiest eater.  My daughter has a very severe peanut allergy and we were very impressed that the staff was very educated and concerned about food allergies. Without prompting the knowledge that not just ingredients but allergen contamination is an issue to be alert to when preparing and serving food was communicated to us which gave us peace of mind that this restaurant knows what they are doing when it comes to dealing with this issue rather than just trying to provide lip service to appease a customer.  Also for those readers that may be interested, Granite City has a special gluten free menu.

The restaurant really went all out to demonstrate how kid-friendly the establishment can be for families.  The waitress noted that they just didn't have a nice selection of beers but also plenty of chocolate milk on tap as she provided our children with activity placemats and crayons.  Our twins were than served an appetizer of these huge carrot slices that were cut to appear like potato chips or waffle fries with ranch dressing to dip them in.  They were pretty impressive.  The kids menu contains the four staple items that every parent with a picky eating child looks for Grilled Cheese (Golden Grill), Chicken Nuggets (Chicken Bites), Mac-N-Cheese, and Pizza (Pepperoni Flatbread).  We've been to plenty of restaurants in the past where we've looked at the adult selections and been thrilled than perused the kids meals and frowned knowing our kids won't eat anything on it.  That won't be the case at Granite City Food & Brewery.

Granite City actually has a pretty extensive kids menu that also includes Quesadilla, Saucy Pasta, Grilled Salmon, Steak Burgers and Grilled Chicken Breasts.  They also provide a variety of sides to select from to go along with the meal that include apple sauce, french fries, mashed potatoes, and broccolini to choose from.  Our kids kept it simple with my son asking for a Golden Grill and my daughter wanting Mac-N-Cheese with both ordering apple sauce for a side.  They must have enjoyed what they got because both children devoured their meals.

My wife ordered the pulled pork waffle sandwich which she said was "delicious." It was made up of slow roasted hand-pulled pork topped with BBQ sauce and crispy onion strings sandwiched on waffle buns.  She herself can be a very picky eater at times so "delicious" can be considered a rave review.

I tried out the Bison Burger and it was a decent meal though in the future I'll probably stick with a traditional hamburger just based on my own individual taste.  the burger consisted of a buffalo meat patty topped with Pepper Jack cheese and tarragon mayo on a pretzel bun.  It also included lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.

What will really keep me coming back to Granite City Food & Brewery though is its Cheddar Ale Soup.  Simply put ... it's AWESOME!!!  If you enjoy creamy cheese with a hint of pale ale flavoring you will really enjoy this great soup.  It's worth a trip to Granite City just to get a cup or bowl of their Cheddar Ale soup. The soup is on the daily menu but they really don't tout it so make sure to ask for it.  I enjoyed a bowl of it myself before digging into my bison burger.

The atmosphere of Granite City really is all about enjoying a beer with a meal so you won't find a rowdy or obnoxious crowd at this establishment that would make families want to steer clear of the place.  In addition to a decent kids menu, the establishment also caters to people with children by offering a family rest room, you don't see that very often at a restaurant, and kids 6 and under eat FREE at their Sunday brunches.  We really enjoyed our experience at Granite City and appreciated the opportunity to help their staff get up to speed and ready to go for their newest Metro Detroit location's grand opening.

To allow one of our readers to also enjoy a great free meal too, Granite City Food & Brewery has also provided a $25 gift card to award to one lucky person from A GEEK DADDY blog.  For your chance to win just follow the instructions below to submit up to 2 entries before 11:50pm EST on Sunday, April 12, 2015.  You must be over 18 years old and a Michigan resident to participate.

EMAIL (1 ENTRY) - Email thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com with your name and mailing address with the subject line GRANITE CITY.

FACEBOOK (1 ENTRY) - Leave a comment on this Facebook post sharing which of Granite City's four signature beers you believe you'd enjoy the most and using the hash tag #GCnorthville

UPDATE: Congrats to Adam from Northville MI who won the gift card giveaway!

The brand new Northville restaurant is located at 39603 Traditions Drive.  There is also a Metro Detroit location in Troy, Michigan at 699 W. Big Beaver Road plus another upcoming opening is planned in the near future for Detroit's GM Renaissance Center.

Granite City gets A GEEK DADDY nod of approval because I really love their Cheddar Ale soup and because we found it to be a nice family-friendly establishment where we enjoyed a good meal with our kids.  For a list of all of Granite City's locations or more information about it, visit

Disclaimer & Rules:

You must be a Michigan resident to enter the gift card contest over the age of 18. A Geek Daddy Blog will select a random winner on  Monday, April 13, 2015 ( 1 winner will be selected from a random draw of all eligible entries - each submitted entry will be assigned a number and a random number will be drawn to select a winner based upon total entries ).  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this giveaway as a benefit to our readers.  Information for this post was provided by Granite City Food & Brewery.  A Geek Daddy Blog did receive items and services of value in exchange for writing this blog post and review.  A positive review was not required of this blog and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to go back and try the cheddar ale soup...It does sound amazing! Glad the kids liked their items too :)