Living walking distance from Crabtree Valley Mall has its perks – being close to food and shopping is pretty great, especially when the mall gets packed or you want to have a drink or two and don’t want to drive. When I heard the news that a beer garden was going to open at the mall, I was so excited to have an option within walking distance that offers great draft beers with traditional pub style food. A few weeks after the opening, and after I read some sub-par reviews on Yelp, I decided to give this spot a chance after a long shopping day.
First I tried the Irish Nachos ($10), which consist of waffle fries, sausage, and cheddar “cheese.” The nachos were okay. Granted I use the word cheese loosely in this description because in my professional foodie opinion, this was definitely not fresh melted cheese, it was a cheese-like sauce. The type of cheese sauce you would get out of a jar in the chip aisle at your local grocery store. Overall the nachos were okay, traditional waffle fries with a cheesy sauce, however the sausage could have been chopped a bit better to not be as heavy on the fries.
I heard that the pizza place that was in this space before the Beer Garden opened left their pizza oven behind, allowing the Beer Garden to offer fresh artisan flatbreads. I tried the Buffalo Chicken Flatbread ($11.95), which was better than the nachos by far. The dough was crispy and thin, which was great and not overpowering after having had the nachos, and you could tell the dough was made fresh in a pizza oven.
At the end of the day, the beer selection was by far my favorite part about this place. About 75% of the draft beers are local and there are usually specials for $4-$5.00 pints on any given day. They also have about 40 beers on tap, and over 300 types of bottled beer you can take home, as well as growlers.
If dining here, I truly recommend the flatbreads; they seem to be the most promising items on the menu and pair very well with their draft beer selection. Overall, out of all the dining options at Crabtree Mall, I would suggest this place if you are looking to have a nice craft beer or to try different local beers in a flight, but that’s it. I had high hopes for this place being so close to my home, but in the end they did not offer something unique and different, which is a shame. The rest of the food at the mall is so heavily commercialized that I was looking forward to something off the beaten path.
Morgan is a local Registered Dietitian and food lover. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC and loves the Triangle food scene. She was born and raised in New York, so she often looks for the comforts of home through delicious foods. Since moving to the Triangle, she enjoys eating from the eclectic local food scene. Whether it’s food trucks, hole-in-the-wall places, or fairs you’ll find her there with her partner in crime and fellow foodies, trying it all to tell you about it.