The Mainline, one of the newest restaurants in Old Town, is a nontraditional pub that strives to give patrons a break from the norm.
This new endeavor by the Wynkoop and Breckenridge breweries captures the essence of modern downtown Colorado. Walls of rustic brick emit warmth, and decorative tarnished pipes form a forest of aluminum aspens. The restaurant blends the state’s roots with the young and hip saplings.
The menu consists of some traditional brewpub food, like chicken wings and burgers, but there’s other unique Southern and Cajun options like shrimp po’boys and bacon wrapped meatloaf. It shows its state pride by having a local selection of drinks like Stranahan’s whiskey, Breckenridge bourbon and a wide variety of craft beer.
I started off the evening with the crawfish cakes served with a Louisiana remoulade, which had a pleasant kick with a flavorful and not overbearing burn.
For my entree I ordered the chicken and waffles. The light watermelon salad paired smartly with the savory and dense meal. My only complaint of the entire night was that the chicken batter was browned a little too much and the waffles were dry and not as fluffy as I would have preferred. However, drowning the course in the Breckenridge whiskey syrup alleviated the situation. Perhaps it was overcooked for that purpose, but I doubt that was the case.
Nevertheless, I would still recommend the dish since this Southern staple is a rare find in Colorado.
To wash down my meal, I drank the legendary Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. On the first sip my tongue tasted a fantastic balance of sweet chocolate and bitter coffee. At an ABV of 7.5 percent, it has more heft than a session beer, but it won’t leave you on the floor after a glass.
Rumor has it that Wynkoop actually brews it with Rocky Mountain Oysters, but having never eaten them, my palate couldn’t discern anything different.
This unique stout is a must-have because it’s only found at Wynkoop establishments.
For my last course, I feasted on a huge serving of bacon bread pudding topped with Cap’n Crunch cereal and pecan toffee syrup. Whoever decided to serve breakfast as dessert deserves a medal. The salty, sweet and fatty dish was simultaneously heavenly and sinful.
I’ve had many bread puddings, and this delightful combination makes the shortlist.
Service was informative, prompt and attentive. I never drank to the bottom of my water glass. Even though the chicken and waffles had room for improvement, I left that night with sticky fingers and a satisfied stomach, wondering how soon I could return to this refreshing restaurant.
Price Range: Bar snacks for $4. Appetizers from $5-$10. Sandwiches from $9-$12. Entrees from $9-$22. Desserts for $6.
Location: 125 South College Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily