I've driven by Brewski's Pub countless times but never stopped in until recently when I was craving a burger. When I think pub, I also think burger. My bad, as I should have paid more attention to Brewski's logo, which proudly proclaims it's all about pizza and beer. Other than sliders, Brewski's has no burger option. But, as it turns out, I ended up not being disappointed at all.

click to enlarge Brewski’s Pub
Brewski's has the ambiance of a typical sports bar with loads of beer advertisements, high top and booth seating, plenty of TVs (11 of them) and 12 craft beers on tap. One side of the interior holds a rather large bar. The liberal use of corrugated metal for wainscoting gives off a post-industrial vibe. Oh, and of course, there's video gaming.

We visited on an unseasonably warm day and were cheerfully greeted and told to pick a table. We were early in the lunch hour, but as our meal progressed a steady stream of patrons kept coming in. Had we visited it on a cold and blustery day the constant opening of the door may have let in loads of cold air, but it wasn't a problem that day.

The menu is quite lengthy, especially with all the varieties of pizza. It's basically broken down into salads, toasties (toasted sandwiches), pizza and grinders. For those not in the know, a grinder is a form of sandwich that originated in New England. It's similar to a sub sandwich and usually filled with shredded lettuce, Italian sandwich meats, provolone, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, oregano and salt/pepper. For a purist, Brewski's may have taken some liberties with the grinder concept (mayo on a grinder – no), but I don't think New England grinder-makers care at all about culinary cultural appropriation.

One nit on the menu – Brewski's website menu appears to leave out a handful of items that are listed on its order online section.

Although we did not order one, I was very impressed with the size of Brewski's salads. Options run from the traditional chef, Italian and steak salads to more unique selections like the blueberry chicken salad.

click to enlarge Brewski’s Pub

Sandwiches come with kettle chips and all options are reasonably priced for the portion sizes. Waffle fries are available as an add-on. I was intrigued by the Hawaiian toasty (smoked ham, cheese and pineapple), the barbecue pulled pork toasty, and the pub grinder (chicken or steak, bacon, mushrooms, garlic cheese, Alfredo sauce, cheese and turbo sauce).

When it comes to pizza, there are loads of options. First there are the artisan-style flatbread pizzas (unleavened bread), thin and thick crust and crispy pizzas. There are gluten-free options. Then there are the specialty pizzas such as the pulled pork pizza (made with Turasky's pulled pork), the garlic lovers pizza (garlic cheese, Alfredo sauce, bacon, minced garlic and roasted red peppers – better reserved for after work), and the taco pizza (salsa, taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes and crushed Doritos for some crunch).

I opted to go with the spicy Italian pizza (sriracha marinara, pepperoni, Italian sausage, salami and banana peppers) with a side of the sauce to dip slices into. I was a little nervous ordering a pizza well-done at lunch time, but they must have a scorching hot oven as the wait for it to be served would be very manageable for those on the clock. I can be a traditionalist when it comes to pizza, but Brewski's creation hit some fun flavor notes and it was not excessively spicy.

click to enlarge Brewski’s Pub
The Italian toasty comes with pepperoni, salami, banana peppers and cheese.
My other guest went with the Italian toasty (pepperoni, salami, banana peppers and cheese) augmented by a special request for the traditional grinder accompaniments (oil, vinegar and oregano). Our server happily advised us that it would not be a problem. I did manage to grab a piece of the sandwich, and loved the fact that the bread was crunchy on the outside but still fluffy on the inside. It contained a generous amount of meat and cheese, especially for a $9 sandwich.

Service was cheerful and efficient, and Brewski's appeared to be well-staffed the day we visited, something that seems like a rarity these days. Overall, our trip to Brewski's Pub was an enjoyable experience, and I am sure we'll be back.

Address: 605 West Jefferson St., Springfield

Phone: 217-670-1462

Website: brewskispubspringfield.com

Kitchen hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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