Dining Out review: A Beer at a Time
Hours: 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to midnight Friday and Saturday; 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Happy hour is 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Where: 216 N.E. Third Ave., Camas.
Contact: 360-835-5200 or www.abeeratatime.com
Health score: A Beer at a Time received a score of 12 on March 3. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.
Why: A Beer at a Time in historic downtown Camas has 51 taps with a rotating selection of offerings from breweries in the Pacific Northwest to around the globe. Wine and cider round out the beverage offerings, and pizza and salad ensure a complete sit-down meal if you so choose. The establishment is also known for its dog-friendly policy, and like all good tap rooms, the availability of kegs and growlers are commonplace.
What I tried: I selected the potato skins appetizer and a Caesar salad, and I tried the Herbivore pizza and the Sweet Baby pizza.
The potato skins are essentially baked and halved with a dollop of sour cream, mozzarella cheese, bacon and chives in the scooped out center. Unlike many potato skins that are twice-baked, A Beer at a Time skips this step, giving them a loaded baked potato quality that I found appetizing. They were not the least bit greasy.
The salad was served in a paper-lined basket and consisted of chopped romaine lettuce, grated Parmesan cheese and croutons with the dressing on the side to add at my discretion. You may also add chicken to the salad for an additional cost. The lettuce was not ice cold and was just minutes away from being wilted, but it was fresh.
The crust on the pizzas reminded me of a frozen variety (not to be considered necessarily negative) — perfectly round with a firm crust bottom from which the soft, doughy base rises into a bread-like texture.
The Sweet Baby pizza is topped with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, chopped chicken, mozzarella cheese and thin-sliced red onion. The chicken was applied sparingly and it did not have an unpleasant re-heated flavor that is sometimes present in chicken that is added to pizza. The barbecue sauce was sweet and only slightly tangy and the onion, like the chicken, was sparse.
The Herbivore pizza starts with a red pizza sauce base, which tastes very much like marinara sauce, and is topped with mozzarella cheese, green and red bell peppers, red onion, tomatoes, artichokes, black olives and mushrooms. The result was a garden fresh flavor. The vegetables still had a slight firmness to them and were in balance with the other toppings.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Appetizers include bread sticks topped with garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese salted peanuts and popcorn. Salad options range from Mediterranean to Italian, and there is a chicken bacon salad and a basic dinner salad as well. Twenty different sauces are available for wings — categorized as mild, medium, hot and insanely hot (credit to ghost peppers). Among the pizza choices is an Alfredo garlic chicken, a pineapple express — topped with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, sausage, mozzarella cheese, pineapple and red onion — and a more traditional pineapple version, the Hawaii 5-0 pizza topped with red pizza sauce, Canadian bacon, mozzarella cheese and pineapple. My Big Fat Greek Pizza is comprised of pesto olive oil, chicken, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives. I’ll Feel It in the Morning pie is topped with extra hot buffalo sauce, hard salami, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, jalapenos, pepperoncinis and a Sriracha drizzle.
Atmosphere: The space sort of feels like a warehouse-turned-tap room, with a roll-up door at the front and a bank of coolers toward the back. The area houses the kitchen to one side and the bar on the other. Seating options abound, with your choice of sofa, tables, benches and booths. Light fixtures are antler style, and a few ceiling fans move the air between the open beam ceiling and the concrete floor. Tabletops include picnic-style boards and handsome slabs of highly lacquered wood. Large-screen TVs and a giant Jenga block set provide entertainment.
Other observations: Orders are placed at the counter and delivered to tables. The space has a friendly, comfortable vibe. The food items I tried are priced in line with the quality of them. Join the mug club and receive extra perks throughout the year.
Cost: Appetizers cost 50 cents to $5.95. Salads range from $4.95 to $11.75. Wings come in 6-, 9-, 12-, 18-, 24- and 36-wing portions and cost $8.50 up to $36. Pizzas are available in 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch size pies and range from $6.95 to $25.95. Happy hour deals include a happy hour pizza and a nonpremium beer for $10.