Jacksonville has an impressive line up of breweries, and each one has it’s own strength. Not a big beer drinker I tend to frequent those breweries that offer some Pub Grub. To date, I have sampled food from roughly 10 of my friends’ favorite spots. I have never felt it necessary to write about any of my experiences until I tasted the food from family-owned Strings Sports Brewery.
The building initially built-in 1938 as a service station, is situated at 9th and Main. It still reflects a bit of the Art Deco style of a bustling era in Springfield. It is a thing of beauty for the eyes; a different time in the history of Jacksonville. The interior is vast with light streaming in from the large bay windows.
Let’s look at the food that was the impetus for this story.
We started with a few shareable options; Buffalo Watermelon Bites, Poutine with Southern Gravy and the Burrata with charred stone fruit. The Buffalo Watermelon bites came as a surprise both for taste and texture. Creative and whimsical the watermelon is cube cut, smoked, then tossed with buffalo sauce, served up with celery, bleu cheese and panko breading. Sweet and savory all in one it was a winner at the table.
Buratta is always a favorite of mine, and this particular presentation was exceptional. Drizzled with balsamic, served alongside lovely roasted peaches and heirloom tomatoes plus garden greens as well as chunky well-toasted bread from a local bakery.
The Poutine took on a southern face with the white gravy replacing the French Canadian version. Different in flavor perhaps with the burnt ends brisket and the cheese curds made this a dish worthy of trying.
We moved on selecting two handhelds, Strings Grilled Cheese and Butter Milk Fried Chicken. Both of these sandwiched were outstanding.
The grilled cheese was served with thick-cut slices of bread, loaded with Cheshire Pork belly, and generous amounts of both apple jam and whole grain mustard. There was enough well-melted brie that made this sandwich a craveable treat for me.
We finished off our feast with the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Thigh sandwich. Generous amounts of house-made pimento cheese, lots of pickles, with an ample slathering of heirloom tomato jam covered the tasty bread.
If you are a fan of beer and breweries plus food all rolled into one big and bright spot, I highly recommend Strings Sports Brewery for your next outing.