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More pub grub for Little Rock

Brewski's does it right, mostly.

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BREWSKI'S BEST: The Frito chili pie burger, a massive patty served open-faced.
  • BREWSKI'S BEST: The Frito chili pie burger, a massive patty served open-faced.

Brewski's Pub & Grub is going all in as a full-blown sports bar — tons of TVs, all NFL and college games spread across them; a large menu full of sports bar classics from queso to nachos to burgers to huge sandwiches; daily specials that really are special; and compelling happy hour deals, as well.

Brewski's is accessible, too, open a collective 75 hours across all seven days, with weekday lunch on the horizon, which will add 16 more hours.

A few weeks in, Brewski's is getting most things right. We've found some dishes we love, a few that are decent and a couple we won't be revisiting. Let's start with the highlights:

• Lemon pepper chicken wings ($7.76 for six pieces; $13.76 for 12; $19.76 for 18): The lemon pepper is subtle but noticeable and the wings are very tender. There are four flavors available, and you can mix and match, but the lemon pepper wings were by far our favorite.

• Frito chili pie burger ($11.76 with fries): Like all Brewski's burgers, it's a massive half-pound patty. This one is served open-face with melted shredded cheese expanding out beyond the size of the patty and crisping up nicely. A nice-size scoop of the excellent homemade chili, diced onion and sour cream completed the package. We guess the kitchen was out of Fritos or forgot to throw a few on, but that didn't detract much from the impressive flavor combination.

• Chili ($3.76 for a "cup" and $5.76 for a "bowl"): Those words are in quotation marks because the cup actually is a bowl, and we can only imagine the bowl is actually a vat. This blend features large hunks of ground beef, big pieces of cooked-down bell pepper and onion, as well as plenty of cheese and sour cream. It's quite a lot of really good chili for the price.

• Pabst Blue Reuben ($11.76 with fries): This essentially is a classic Reuben, scrunched down on a panini press, then battered and deep-fried. It seemed more like it had been griddled to crispy, because this is the lightest batter and least greasy frying we've experienced. But no matter — the sandwich is at once crispy and gooey. We loved it. And we found that though the menu says "served with fries" you can get another side subbed at no cost. We had the home fries, and they were tender and well-spiced.

• Jalapeno Popper Skillet Dip ($8.76): Cream cheese, other cheeses, flecks of bacon and finely diced jalapenos are baked to bubbling hot in a small iron skillet. The flavors worked together perfectly, though we could have used more bacon.

MORE CHILI: More generous pub grub from Brewski's.
  • MORE CHILI: More generous pub grub from Brewski's.

Now for the "only OK" things:

• Buffalo Chicken Dip ($8.76): Prepared like the jalapeno popper dip, this one needed more shredded chicken and distinctive spicing.

• Grubby Nachos ($11.76): These nachos are so huge they are served in a sheet pan, but size turned out to be their strongest quality. The choice of cheese sauce vs. melted cheese detracted, the meat-to-bean ratio could be higher.

And finally the ain't-gonna-get-'em-again list:

• Loaded Queso ($7.76): "Signature beer cheddar cheese sauce" is complemented, vs. loaded, with that good chili, but the main problem here is that the dish was only slightly hotter than room temperature.

• Free Bird ($9.76 with fries): The grilled chicken was a bit overcooked, dry and bland.

• Trio Dip ($7.76): Small bowls of very watery, almost tasteless queso; passable salsa; and decent, chunky guacamole that didn't impress. This may be the first time we have not finished cheese dip.

We had serious issues with our server our first two trips. Twice she brought dishes to our table and walked away before we realized we had no napkins, plates or silverware. Only when we brought it to her attention did we get those essentials. Both times she disappeared for 15-20 minutes. The second time we asked one of her colleagues about her and were told "she went to the bathroom real quick." The third trip we had a different waitress and service was fine.

Brewski's has a regulation pool table — not the insert-your-quarters type — and the best news is it's free to play! There is also shuffleboard and a variety of table games. One family was getting their over-sized Jenga on in a major way.

We hope by now you're wondering the same thing we did — what's up with every price ending in 76 cents? Well, we learned that Brad McCray, who owns Brewski's along with Steven Velek (they also have Bear's Den Pizza in Conway and Local Union in the Prospect Building), decided to pay tribute to the founding of the good ol' U.S. of A (1776, in case you forgot).

Brewski's Pub & Grub
315 Main St., Suite 100
372-2739
brewskispubandgrub.com

Quick bite

There are compelling daily specials, with the $1 tacos on Tuesdays among the best of those. (Regular price is $2.19.) Happy hour is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and there are several food-and-drink combo specials offered, like nachos and a bucket of domestic beers for $20.

Hours

3 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

Other info

Full bar. All credit cards accepted.

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