Taste | The Rookery Alehouse and Grill
Written By: Chef Alex Rivas
Photographed By: Jamie Durante
August 27, 2015 marks my oldest daughter’s birthday, which coincidentally is the same day as National Burger Day, so it’s only right to share my experience at The Rookery Alehouse and Grill in Downtown Pomona. The Rookery offers a small simple menu that is executed perfectly and can be washed down with one of the many beers offered on tap and in bottles.
I was excited when I arrived to The Rookery—I had heard many good things about the alehouse and grill. I was greeted by one of the two servers that assisted me that day, Janet, who was very nice and eager to help with making choices for us to taste. We all know that bacon with extra bacon always sounds good on a burger, but luckily The Rookery offers so much more than that.
I started with two of the starters on the menu—first up was the IPA Battered Pickle Spears. Now if the fresh out the fryer doesn’t spear you in the mouth, the spicy mayo sauce that comes with it really compliments the starter very well. I’m not a big fan of spicy items, but The Rookery balances the spicy in the mayo to pair nicely with the tango pickle and the crunch from the IPA batter—a great way to start the evening and get a good since of the culinary passion coming out of the kitchen.
Next up was the Mac & Cheese starter, which was big but more importantly was rich and creamy enough to be a sufficient main dish, but you know this wouldn’t be a taste article if we stopped here, now would it?
I next moved on to some of the lighter fare available at The Rookery. The Chicken Salad was a simple salad with red onions, grape tomatoes and classic spring mix. But what made the dish burst with flavor was the perfectly cooked chicken, I don’t know many people who can’t admire a simple yet well-executed salad, and I appreciated every bite of my pristine salad with ranch.
After looking over the main courses, Kyle let me know that one of the favored dishes on the lighter side of the menu was the Mama’s Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup. A classic pair served at The Rookery, the grilled cheese is built on light and fluffy brioche bread. Buttery and soft, the cheddar and Muenster cheeses are at a perfect ratio with the bread. The Tomato Soup was very fragrant with fresh zesty tomatoes, yet creamy and smooth. Both great on their own, but when you dip the grilled cheese into the tomato soup you gets a whole new, simple flavor that is a poetic balance of the two.
Now it wouldn’t be fair if I mentioned National Burger Day if I didn’t write about one, so with Kyle’s assistance I picked The Stout Burger to taste. Once again brioche is used to handle this beautiful and juicy burger. This beauty was layered with a half-pound of in-house ground beef, homemade onion bacon stout ale marmalade, tomato and Swiss cheese. It’s a sweet and tangy burst of flavor; the marmalade helps cut the fat from the juicy patty, yet is rich in flavor on its own. My daughter might disagree with me because it didn’t have bacon strips coming out of all sides as she would like it. But I enjoyed every last bite with a side of nicely seasoned fries.
So, with a good idea of the great food The Rookery has to offer, it is only a small but impressive part of what makes it a nice location to sit with friends and socialize. They are well known for carrying many great craft beers on tap and in bottles, and you can even have a beer float with any beer you’d like. Lucky for me, Janet offered a great recommendation for the perfect float; I had the High Water’s Campfire Stout with vanilla ice cream, and I must say it did not scare me away from trying other beers with ice cream. This one had great notes of marshmallow and chocolate. It was a delicious surprise.
You can find out more details about the great selection of beers The Rookery has from our partners over at BierBuzz. My trip to The Rookery reminded me of how nice it is to see how much things have changed both in the quality of spirits and the quality of food in many new trending locations like The Rookery.
The Rookery Alehouse and Grill is located at 117 West 2nd Street in Pomona. For more information call (909) 865-4400 or visit their website.
Full Disclosure: The meal was provided complimentary by The Rookery Alehouse, however all opinions are 100% our own.