PGH Dining: Alchemy N' Ale

Lucky you. You get to read yet ANOTHER post about a Lawrenceville restaurant. However, this one features beer and Frito pie. So, can you forgive me?
Alchemy N' Ale is located on Butler Street, and just three blocks away from our doorstep. This can be a bad combination at times, but we've restrained ourselves to only visiting A&A three times. We went with our new friends, an adorable couple that I'll call Vanna for kicks, and began our meal with beer. A&A has a good selection, as they tout themselves as a gastropub. We ordered two Rogue Dead Guys, a Red Stripe and a Lindeman's Framboise.  

The menu was basically the same as it was in December {it is still winter}, so we were able to order a few of the dishes we weren't able to last time.
A green-leafed wall, with table setting. 
We ordered many things on the menu, including the mac and cheese and Alchemy fries {complete with a jus-like gravy and fried herbs.}
Macaroni and Cheese.
"Herbed" Alchemy Fries.
Both appetizers were good, but the fries were taken to the next level with that jus gravy. If this is what the Northeast calls Disco Fries, I'm all over it!
Next, we'll move on to entrees. I ordered the Frito Pie, a dish I'd been queuing up for my next visit to A&A. Husband ordered the Fried Chicken, and Vanna ordered a Frito Pie {too} and Mizalini Pasta.
Frito Pie, complete with a fried egg.
The Frito Pie hit the middle of the score charts for me because of two factors: the meat and the consistency of the Fritos. The meat was similar {if not the same} as the brisket used in the Shepard's pie. Smoky, without tasting smoked, and tender. The Fritos, however, were 90% soggy. I am from the South and grew up eating Frito Pies at home. If the Fritos are soggy, it's over. You have to have that texture, that crunch, in an otherwise piping bowl of magma. The cheese, was the bonus, and set the Frito Pie on the path to redemption.
Husband's Fried Chicken.
As I've said before {as an original Southerner}, I knew not to order the Fried Chicken. Husband went against his gut and ordered the dish, and was served chicken fingers. He ate every bite of the chicken, mashed potatoes and greens, but I took two bites {I had to give a second chance!}, and was done. This chicken was skinless, and boneless, leaving the end product seeming more like something from Kentucky Fried Whatever than from an awesome gastropub. The table differed on the opinion of the chicken, but I'm the one writing this blog...so mine wins out. The greens were delicious though! They still had the tiniest bit of crunch along the stems, and had a good amount of heat.
Vanna went with a pasta dish, which tasted of summer. The pasta was flecked with basil, and the tomato sauce was not overpowering in the least. Great dish!

As we were finishing our dinner, we noticed some drinks being served at the table next to us in what looked to be a mule mug. Sure enough, they were Ginger Mules {a vodka and ginger beer cocktail}. I'm not a big fan of any drink made with ginger beer, so Vanna and Husband each ordered one. I was coerced  into a sip, and it wasn't bad! Both the vodka and ginger beer were toned-down, and it turned out to be a relaxed but refreshing drink.

Vanna enjoying their Ginger Mule.
We ended the meal with desserts, which Husband and I had never ordered at A&A before. {We were always too full!} We ordered the Berry Torte, and Vanna ordered the Chocolate Sorbet. Our server told us that these desserts were made by the pastry chef at La Gourmandine. Those are some big shoes to fill!
Berry Torte
I should have known that the berries of choice in this dish would have been blackberries. Crunchy, seedy sweet goo. The custard was layered well, and had a good thickness. I was fifty-fifty on this one.

Our friends' dessert was a sight to behold. They claimed it looked like a dinosaur's... dropping. I can't blame them. The server made sure to let them know not to eat the shell.
The sorbet had rich chocolate flavor, yet was too icy for me. Husband said it had a similarity to the beloved Blue Bell Ice Cream. 
If these were La Gourmandine desserts, I'm not sure I want to have any of their non-pastry offerings again. 
Alchemy N' Ale has its ups and downs. We like their beer selection and hearty food selection, but some dishes fall short for us. We enjoy the atmosphere and jovial attitudes of the manager and servers. A little tweaking of the food output will put A&A over the top!

Alchemy N' Ale on Urbanspoon

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