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Patrons go nuts for Beer Nutz Bottle Shop & Grille

Step away from the beer -- it's only noon.

Such might be the dilemma if you're a beer fanatic and you brave the gauntlet of microbrew and specialty and imported beers that beckon from coolers at Beer Nutz Bottle Shop & Grille in O'Hara. They've got almost a dozen drafts, plus growlers and a monthly beer school. A blackboard serves as a guide to the various types of beer, listing the characteristics of ale, stout and other varieties of beer in blue, green and red chalk.

But their menu, which features bar-food classics and creative sandwiches and pizzas, is worth investigating.

Located between Route 28 and Freeport Road near Blawnox, they serve fearlessly fried classic-bar food such as the Beer-Battered Fish Sandwich ($8.99), Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich ($7.99) and onion rings ($6.99), which features white onion loops dipped in beer batter and flash fried. They've also got an intriguing range of pizzas, including the seafood pizza ($15.99), which features olio sauce with lobster, crab meat and mozzarella cheese.

The parking lot was almost empty at 11:30 a.m. one recent weekday, but that didn't last long. Patrons entered in twos and threes, some in business attire and others in shorts and T-shirts who might well have come from the nearby Fox Chapel Marina. Before long, the friendly waitstaff was in motion.

The Homemade Chili ($4.99) comes with two pieces of buttered bread. It has large onions, green peppers, kidney beans and meat. It was spicy and filling but not heavy.

The Carolina Burger ($8.99) is topped with cheddar cheese, cole slaw and pork barbecue. The latter provides a tangy, pungent taste. The fresh-cut fries, which come with the burger selections, tasted crisp and fresh.

Those looking for a lighter repast might try the ALT ($6.99), a vegetable wrap that combines avocado, lettuce, tomato and house dill sauce.

Brave souls might tackle their Ruination Burger ($9.99). It features a burger topped with onion rings, lettuce, tomato, fried egg and bacon. It's served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. To be honest, we didn't have the guts to tackle it.

Maybe if we had a couple of beers first ...

Additional Information:

Beer Nutz Bottle Shoppe & Grille

Location: 1335 Freeport Road, O'Hara

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight daily

Details: 412-963-6882 or www.beerpgh.com

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