The Brick House: Great Ambiance…Not So Great Food

by Chelcee CheersStaff Writer

Upon entry into The Brick House, the owners’ transformation of Signature’s, or shall I say, “Sig’s” is quite apparent.

Gleaming wooden floors and updated leather booths are complemented by a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, the paint job looks like someone thought there was too much green in the room and decided to break it up with a little white paint and a napkin. But something is better than nothing in this case and perhaps it will become a new trend.

Regardless, the atmosphere no longer screams “karaoke drunk fest,” but rather “sports bar meet industrial style urban loft.” I hope that description creates a glorious image for you.

As for ambiance, the restaurant is dimly lit with the luminescence of track-style lighting along with the glow of neon signage and a few flat-screen televisions. Based on appearance, it looks like a decent place to grab a beer after work (or school) and watch a little tube.

As for service, I was pretty impressed. We were greeted promptly and introduced to our waitress, who was great.

Our appetizer came out within ten minutes, and our food followed shortly after. Our drinks were refilled before we asked, and the confusion of splitting the check three ways was handled rather well.

Despite the physical updates and friendly service, however, I must say the food was more of a Sports Page meets Fazoli’s versus Cosi Cucina Italian Grill. The spinach artichoke dip, while not the best I have ever tasted, was not bad.

On the other hand, my shrimp marinara tasted distinctly like a Healthy Choice meal, and it appeared the noodles came a bit too close to the top of the broiler.

In addition, the green peppers were still crunchy, and the entire dish was only slightly over room temperature. The three cheese tortellini was a little “Kraft-ay” with its alfredo/spaghetti sauce but it wasn’t a total flop.

As for the Italian pie, ignoring its mildly soggy crust, which was encountered at the center, our thin crust pizza was by far the best menu item we were able to try.

I think we must have caught them on a bad day. I hope for the sake of The Brick House they’re still working out the kinks of a new menu, but at less than $10 an entrée, you can find an affordable solution to a last-minute date.

The Brick House offers a variety of appetizers and baked pastas along with health-conscious salads and wraps. As I said, my personal favorite landed in the thin crust pizza portion of the menu, but for you crust fanatics, Chicago-style pizza is also offered.

If you are still thinking about trying The Brick House out for yourself. Be my guest but don’t let your mouth cry for deep dish on a Sunday or Monday or you will find yourself out of luck.

However, if the hankering hits you sometime between 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday or before 10:30 p.m. on Friday or Saturday, you should be set.