Will it really be worth it, the mind asks, trying to justify the miles and time to be spent on just one meal?
But then, after the bill is paid and you’ve dug into the old, predictable routine, you realize it was more than a meal, it was an experience — not an unforgettable-trip-to-Disneyland experience, but an I-got-out-of-my-shell experience, which is something everyone needs once in awhile.
Hardware Brewing Co., in Kendrick is a fun afternoon or evening outing to a custom pub in a restored hardware store in a town of about 300 people in southern Latah County. It’s a quiet drive whatever direction you’re coming from, and you’re bound to see some wildlife along the way.
The former hardware store has been lovingly restored, and its wood walls are tastefully decorated with antique farm and kitchen equipment, along with some historic photos of the area and its people.
The food is pub grub — burgers, fries, wings, sandwiches and, of course, beer. Fresh fried potato chips are a signature offering, and the thin chips can be ordered as an appetizer ($5.50) or come as a side.
Meals they’ve put their spin on include Doug’s Beer Dog, a beer-braised beef link sausage served with bacon-fried cabbage and beer cheese sauce on a bun ($13); Brewery Bites, 10 ounces of battered-and-fried sirloin angus beef steak ($21); the Potlatch Creek Gobbler, a cold sliced turkey-and-swiss sandwich with duck bacon ($14); and The Kendrick, beer-braised beef brisket topped with cheddar and caramelized onions served on a brioche bun ($14).
Craft soda or beers are what’s on tap. Beer comes in pints, pitchers or flights ($9 for four 5-ounce servings). Most of the selections are guest taps, with plans for more homebrews to come. On the day I was there, choices included Osprey Pilsner from Kootenai River Brewing Co., Dry Cider from the Seattle Brewing Co., and Blonde Moment from Riverport Brewing in Clarkston.
Hardware also offers a children’s menu, for “urchins” age 10 and younger, with prices around $7.
If you’re planning a trip, it’s best to check on days and hours before you go. Right now, Hardware is open only at specific times Thursday through Sunday, according to its website, hardwarebrewingco.com.
Hardware Brewing Co., 701 E Main Street, Kendrick; (208) 289-5000