Dining Out review
• Hours: 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
• Where: 309 N.E. 76th St., Hazel Dell.
• Contact: 360-907-8582. RailSide Brewing is also on Facebook for more information.
• Health score: RailSide Brewing received a score of 28 on Dec. 16. 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: RailSide Brewing started in Washougal and moved to Hazel Dell in 2015. The brewery incorporates a railyard theme into every aspect of its smallish footprint and offers brews on tap paired with a single-page menu of pizzas and a handful of appetizers and sandwiches for variety.
What I tried: I had the Hammer Wedge salad and my dining companion tried the Reuben sandwich. We also tried the Diesel pizza and the Railyard pizza.
I was impressed with RailSide’s version of a wedge salad. Instead of iceberg lettuce, it was a half-head of romaine lettuce. It was topped with just the right amount of blue cheese dressing, which did not overwhelm the lettuce. A delicious combination of cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, radishes, crispy fried onions, smoky bacon and a bit of green onions were generously added atop. The result was very appetizing and promised of more good flavors to come.
We were not disappointed. The Reuben sandwich was a balanced amount of traditional ingredients, and it was not soggy as can sometimes be the case with this type of sandwich. It was served with potato chips and a dill pickle spear.
Both of the pizzas were special in their own right. The crust was thin and crackerlike. The Diesel pizza starts with a BBQ sauce base topped with salami, pepperoni, smoked sausage and onions. Every bite was spicy, tangy, sweet and meaty. The Railyard is another noncheese option. It starts with an olive oil and garlic sauce base. Spinach, artichokes, mushrooms, onions, roasted red peppers, black olives and bacon top the pie. All the toppings are chopped and distributed evenly, so every bite is very consistent in flavor. The mushrooms bring an earthy character to the pie and the garlic joins all the ingredients harmoniously.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Brew House Nachos are loaded with seasoned ground chuck simmered in RailSide IPA, and then baked with cheese and topped with black olives, cilantro, pico de gallo, jalapenos, radishes, green onions, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. The RailSide Cuban sandwich sounded delicious. This grilled sandwich is made with slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, fire-roasted poblano peppers and two styles of mustard. Pizzas include a Caboose made with fresh basil, vine-ripe tomatoes and whole milk mozzarella; a Hoghead topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon and smoked sausage; and a Gondola, which begins with a drizzle of olive oil and tomato sauce and then is topped with arugula, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon pieces, whole milk mozzarella and red onions. Nine taps provide a cider and RailSide brews.
Atmosphere: Wood, river rocks and brick are combined in the space to create a one-of-a-kind gathering place attached to the brewery, which feels very Northwest-inspired. The railyard theme is accomplished with decor items, photos and prints. A pallet of grain bags on the floor are a fitting addition. Ceiling fans circulate the air and a roll-up door and string lights lend a patio vibe. A large-screen TV provides entertainment. Seating is at picnic-style tables and there is also a bar with barstools. An outside area is available for seating, as well.
Other observations: The service is very low key but friendly. It took a while for our food to arrive with a half-full house but it was worth the wait. The food is on the pricey side but most of the options are exclusive. This is a nice place to enjoy summer weather, which enhances the local vibe. The kitchen closes 30 minutes before closing.
Cost: Appetizers cost $6.50 and $12. Sandwiches are $12. Pizzas come in a 12-inch size for $17.50 and a 14-inch size for $20.50. You may build your own pizza starting with a 12-inch cheese for $12 and a 14-inch for $14, with toppings at $2 each.