Urban Brew & BBQ
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11am-10pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-12am
Atmosphere: A lot of time and thought went into this space, from the mural paying tribute to previous businesses located on Central Avenue, to the Augusta blocks that were salvaged from the very roads of St. Petersburg. The mural even contains symbols representing the first four breweries in St. Pete that all opened within 2 miles of one another.
There are three dining areas, one which contains the bar, another that is a more recent addition and acts as the main dining area, and the beer garden outside lined with picnic style tables and string lights. The bathroom floors are even laden with pennies all facing the same direction. (In the ladies room, if you pay close attention, you'll see the diamond of pennies in front of the commode are actually all "wheat pennies," which are pennies made prior to 1958.)
Food: I don't even know where to start when it comes to their food. There's just too many delicious things on their menu but don't let the online version fool you because it doesn't include all the sandwiches (I'm pretty sure this is because they circulate some menu items). So here's two of my favorites (also pictured):
- Mac & Cheese - It's no wonder why they won "Best of the Bay" for this dish. Not only is it topped with prosciutto (I love me some prosciutto) and bread crumbs, you can get it with pulled pork on the bottom AND BBQ SAUCE. Vegetarians rejoice! Because they now offer a version without meat too! Definitely a must have item on the table.
- Pickled Sow Cow - Basically a giant sandwich with delicious smoked meat, a special sauce whose name I can't remember, and pickled onions. To be honest I'm not that much of a pickled onion person but it rounded out the dish very nicely and was the icing on the cake, so to speak. If you can finish this thing without having to use a fork to eat half the meat, I applaud you. Not a neat eat but ohhhh so worth it.
We can't talk about BBQ without talking about sauce. Urban has three - spicy, tangy, and sweet. My favorite is combining the tangy and the sweet, which was recommended by our server.
Beer: There's 18 beers on tap that rotate throughout the year. Just as with the space itself, a lot of thought also goes into this beer list. They make sure to have a good array of styles as well as favor local Florida brews, all of which never cost more than $7. You can also order half pours so it's easier to sample more and if you're a frequent flyer you can ask about their "Annual Mugs" where you pay a one-time fee and then drink the rest of the year for free.
Service: I can't do anything but sing praises based on my experiences. I've dined here a few times, the food taking longer in some cases more than others, but that's to be expected during peak hours and with quality food. The last server we had, Vlad, was AMAZING. It's like he could read our minds and gave us what we wanted before we ever got the chance to ask. He was very knowledgeable on the beer list and menu and helped me pair my brew with my food. Thanks Vlad!
Written by: Erin