by guest blogger Emily Trostle
If you have a hankerin’ for ostrich and good beer, have I got the place for you.
The Spinnerstown Hotel in Quakertown is located in the very northwestern part of Bucks County. I first heard of this place when my father, an adventurous fella, and uncle, his helpless sidekick, stumbled upon this gem. They brought back a beer bible as evidence of their discovery.
It’s rather unassuming from the road but enter and be amazed. The Spinnerstown Hotel is a white-table-cloth kind of place but you’d never know it sitting at the bar. Soon after we sat down all the regulars began filing in.
I tend to be one of those women who takes forever browsing a menu for the perfect meal. In order to speed up the selection process, I jumped onto their Web site and decided days ahead to go with the ostrich quesadilla, and mussels in Guinness butter sauce with a glass of Kono Sauvignon Blanc. My boyfriend, Wes, settled on the ostrich cheese steak and began the evening with a glass of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse. Beer at the Spinnerstown is served in glasses particular to the kind of beer. Different glass shapes allow the head to form properly and release all those delightful aromas specific to each type.
Ostrich is a difficult flavor to describe – kind of gamey, beefy chicken. A dark meat, it was difficult to tell just by looking at the cheese steak that it wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill steak. As soon as we tasted it though, we knew it was extraordinary. The ostrich held up very well to all the flavors associated with a quesadilla: the spice, the cheese, the sour cream. In fact, I dare say that it’s better than beef.
As the friendly banter between regulars and bartender continued, Wes was browsing the menu for his next brew. The bartender spoke very highly of the Stone 13th Anniversary Imperial Red Ale that was on tap. This is not a brew for those afraid of hops. Keep in mind though that “hoppy” doesn’t necessarily mean bitter. Hops are, essentially, the flowering part of the plant and are steeped to get great flavor and aromatics in brews. After drinking Stones Anniversary beer, the exhale immediately following will fill your nose with hops while your mouth gets the caramel-toffee notes typical of red ales (side note: the best way to get a great flavor profile of beer is to drink it then immediately exhale through your nose with your mouth closed. Try it!).
If you have a tough time choosing, they offer a flight special: four 6 oz. samples, your choice, for $9. Or, for those who live by the book, some of the menu selections give beer suggestions to ensure pairing is perfect. Don’t forget though, the best resource is the bartender.
The Spinnerstown has many beer-related events, like the Summer Send-Off with the Victory Brewing Company on September 16th. Different beers paired with “opulent culinary creations,” like beer cheese and potato soup, baby back ribs braised with maple brown sugar and beer, shellfish and Hop Devil stew and chocolate porter crème brulee. See their Web site for more information and call for reservations.
This is a place that I can’t wait to explore in more depth. The menu, the beer selection, the atmosphere; it all beckons to me. My only regret is that it’s not a wee bit closer to home so that I could make it a regular venture.
The Spinnerstown Hotel
2195 Spinnerstown Road
Spinnerstown, PA 18968