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She Said: Central Kitchen in Phoenix serves up craft beer, good food

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OK, be patient as you search for Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen — it is located behind the strip center on Seventh Street near Bethany Home Road next to Okra.

I went there on a weekday for a business lunch and I was intrigued to see if Central Kitchen could serve up as good of food as Phoenix Ale Brewery does beers.

A little background on Phoenix Ale House and Central Kitchen: Rich Stark, former CEO of NYPD Pizza wanted to collaborate with Greg Fretz and George Hancock from local brewery Phoenix Ale Brewery.

Stark was a fan of their beer and believed that supporting local businesses was important. The idea of combining craft beer and food was in the works and after a while Central Kitchen was born.

The interior has a welcoming and comforting feel with big windows and lots of use of wood. You pick up on a bit of a warehouse feel, which pays homage to the roots of the original brewery in downtown Phoenix. Overall, this is a perfect setting to put away some brewskis.

Booths and high tables line a large bar, which sit in the center of the restaurant. Offering 16 beers on tap at all times, including the Phoenix Ale Brewery favorites and four rotating seasonal handles, you are sure to find a brew to quench your thirst.

If you can’t seem to get enough of the flavorful beers, you can fill a crowler (a large aluminum can) and take your favorite Phoenix Ale Brewery beer home with you.

The menu is filled with pub favorites and American classics. We started with the pretzel bites for the table.

The pretzels were golf-ball size and sprinkled with herbs. A choice of delicious caraway Biltmore Blonde cheese fondue or a house-made Ironwood Porter mustard were the accompanied dips. I favored the fondue and found myself wanting to double dip.

For lunch, I decided on the Alaskan Cod and Chips. Lightly battered cod in the brewery’s own Biltmore Blonde seated upon a bed of traditional seasoned steak fries and cilantro coleslaw. The dish was nicely done and exactly the kind of fare you want at a gastropub.

It’s a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and I can already see myself returning for an after-work beer, the great happy hour or Sunday football since there are plenty of TVs for catching the game.

From July 25 to Aug. 25, Central Kitchen will be offering happy hour pricing any time of day on Huss and Phoenix Ale Brewery beers with the donation of any (two) qualifying, new school supplies.

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