Limited time appetizers partner well with craft beer

Gordon Biersch has always held a special place in my dining heart and nothing gets my blood pumping like their amazing appetizers. That’s why I was so excited to learn the Burbank location would be featuring a new beer and a mixture of unique food choices to sample.

Believe it or not, some of my most important meals in life have taken place at Burbank’s Gordon Biersch. I’ll never forget enjoying a handcrafted beer with my friend Scott one evening at Gordon’s spacious bar. While there, Scott informed me he was going to marry the woman I had recently introduced him to. The Southwest flight attendants in the restaurant that night were so moved by his love story they sang him a love song. That story sums up the atmosphere at GB’s. It’s classy and laid back, just like their new menu.

Besides the editor of the paper, I wanted my friend Scott to be the first to know of my upcoming move to Texas. To break the news, I took him and his daughter out for a bite to eat. We started with the Brewer’s select appetizer combo, which includes Texas Caviar Dip, Housemade Tortilla Chips, Taquitos and Blackened Chicken Quesadillas. For good measure, we also ordered Coconut Shrimp, Buffalo Wings and two different styles of seasoned flatbread.

Quick heads up: If you want to try the new appetizers, you’d better hurry. They are only being offered until March 13.

I’m not a father but it seems like variety is the key to getting a 4-year-old girl to eat a healthy meal. We had so much food piled on our table, patrons would stop by and ask us questions about what we were enjoying. Our favorites were the coconut shrimp and the crunchy taquitos. Both of those are must-haves and the perfect starter food. We washed everything down with the limited edition 2011 Brewer’s Select Craft Beer. Little Ava is not old enough to drink, so she received a free kid’s cup for her water and a hug from Scott for cleaning her plate.

Most people don’t think of Gordon Biersch and children, but kids are more than welcome, as long as you don’t sit at the bar. That’s just common sense and many families were sprinkled around the location. Once the sun goes down, the crowd becomes a little more hip, especially when an Anaheim Ducks game is playing in the background.

For our main course, we shared a Kobe beef cheeseburger and crabcake sandwich. The portions are very generous. We had plenty of leftovers for Scott to take home to his lovely wife, who was stuck at home taking care of their newborn. Both of these dishes came with mammoth orders of garlic fries. I can honestly say those were the strongest garlic fries I’ve ever had in my life. My doctor said to eat more garlic but I’m pretty sure I got a month supply in one meal. Now I understand why their fries are so popular with garlic lovers, but I’ll probably choose the fresh fruit on my next visit. I don’t want my breath entering a room before I do.

I have been to almost every local restaurant in my 14 years of living in Burbank and Gordon Biersch has to be the cleanest establishment in the city. I honestly think that’s why it has been able to survive no matter what is happening with our economy. The employees are friendly and professional. Even with a packed house during a Valentine’s weekend, the service was solid.

I’ve had a good long run living in Burbank, but I found work in Texas and therefore I must leave. God willing, when I return to visit, I’ll be able to stop by Gordon Biersch for a meal, a beer and a trip down memory lane. I’m going to miss that place and this town.

Matt Bellner is a retired actor from Burbank.

Infobox:

What: Gordon Biersch

Where: 145 S. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank

When: 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Prices: Appetizers: $5.95 to $18.25; Meals: $9.50 to $28.50; full bar, dessert menu and happy hour specials

Contact: (818) 569-5240 or visit www.GordonBiersch.com

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