The Mash House – [East Coast Road Trip]

After leaving Dogfish Head our route to Florida took an interesting, albeit expensive swing: The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Killer tolls (12 bucks? Let’s be serious). The bridge/tunnel dips a couple of times to let big ass boats through, and we happen to passing along JUST as this huge tanker was going through. The bridge is so long and the tanker moved so slow it ended up looking like we going to drive directly into the thing. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

After we got ass-raped at the tolls, we had to start thinking where we were going for dinner. When doing long road trips like this we generally decide how much further we’re going to drive, see what city we’re going to end up in, and then I check the BeerAdvocate Beer Travel Guide and TV Food Maps. There’s not a lot going on during the stretch of 95 that goes through North Carolina, but the Beer Travel Guide did point us to The Mash House in Fayetteville, and what a great choice it was.

Since we still had plenty of driving to go, we opted for the Mondo Mash, a sampling of all 9 beers they had on tap. Some were hits some were misses but that’s always the case. No one knocks it out of the park on every beer. Luckily, the ones that mattered were good. IPA and Double IPA were fantastic. Stout and porters were great. The rest weren’t a style I’m generally interested in.

It was pretty late at this point, and while we weren’t super hungry, this was the only decent food we were going to see so we ordered small: the Wood Oven Roasted Artichoke Dip and the 12-Hour French Dip. THIS FRENCH DIP ROCKED MY WORLD. Now, this was no ordinary French Dip. I’m sure you’ve all had that crappy french dip with frozen roast beef steeped for a few minutes in beef broth thrown on a crappy bun with flavorless cheese served at every crappy bar in the nation before. This was none of that. This was short ribs that were roasted for twelve hours on really decent ciabatta with cheese and Dijon cream sauce. Twelve hours! Sooo tender. French Dip perfection.

Other than some slightly chain restaurant appearance (which is hard not to do in a restaurant this size), this place was a great stop. The impeccable southern hospitality, great food and awesome beers made this a winner.

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