For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.
DuClaw Brewing Co., 4000 Town Center Blvd
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 06/01/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
DuClaw is a Maryland chain of three brewpubs (plus a BWI location). Before the kids arrived, we used to eat at the Arundel Mills location from time to time.
Our first visit to the Bowie location occurred on the last night of my parents' recent visit. While taking kids to a brewpub might seem a little bit odd, DuClaw actually has a fairly extensive kids menu. According to a press release I grabbed off the Internet, "Craft beer is most popular with the 25-34-year-old crowd," and I figure that's the age at which a lot of people start to have kids. Being kid-friendly is a good way of appealing to that crowd.
The kid-friendliness wasn't perfect, however. I called ahead to let them know we were coming, but they didn't have the high chairs ready. That's annoying when you have to convince two squirmy almost-two-year-olds to stay in place while their seats are fetched. Worse, they led us to a booth -- logistically, there's no way to put two high chairs on the end of a booth.
Honestly, though, this reception -- along with the placing of dangerous items too close to the kids' grasp -- is something I've grown to accept as par for the course. These deficiencies were compensated by the "smiley fries" they served, which were the cutest food I've seen in some time.
Enough about the kids, though -- how was the experience for adults? Everybody was satisfied with their food. I got the Spicy Jambalaya, which was good, and I had a bite of Christina's Pork Pastry Puff, which I enjoyed. In the past, I've had the Pepperjack Penne Pasta at the Arundel Mills location, which was also good.
I had a glass of their Misfit Red (pictured to the right). It was nice, but I'd probably try something else next time.
The service was solid, but not exceptional. The food is good, but not great. I was initially hesitant to award four stars, not out of any particular deficiency, but out of a lack of specialness. Then I realized -- hey, it's a brewpub. Bowie has a brewpub. That's exactly the type of interesting place to eat we could use more of. Four stars.