As with so many other reviews of GLBC on the internet, I thought the beer was really good but the food and service were simply pitiful. First there is their rather odd selection of appetizers...when one reads the menu one really must ask, ""Do people really eat this rubbish?"". Ok...perhaps I'm just a bit spoiled but I'm used to a few ""standards"" when it comes to an appetizer menu. mozzarella/cheese, stuffed mushroom caps, chicken quesadillas, etc.. I certainly welcome the unusual house specialty but in this case, that was the only thing on the menu...weird and unusual. While the Fried Eggplant was actually very good (kudos on the marinara sauce), the Meat and Cheese Board left a great deal to be desired...the sausage and splutch of cheese mush were practically too spicy to eat. Thank goodness there wasn't much of it there. This Board also included 4 thin sliced of a salami-like deli meat, 4 sliced of (stale) bread and a couple of other small nibblings, none of which was really appetizing. In fact the only good thing about this meat and cheese board was the 2 fresh strawberry's.
The story was the same about the entrees. The Sirloin steak actually wasn't too bad, included mashed potatoes and fresh green beans (the demi-glace was particularly noteworthy although it should have came in a plentiful gravy boat on the side). It was well prepared and the presentation was what one would expect from an establishment of this caliber but for $19 again the portions were beyond petite and when compared with other ""nice"" commercial restaurants of similar price range (Outback, Roadhouse, D&B, etc) the portions were downright inadequate. The same is true of the ""Half Slab of Ribs"". Have these people NEVER attended a Cleveland Rib Burn Off??? Do they honestly have no clue as to how large ""a slab"" of ribs really is? In this case, the actual slab was LESS than one quarter of a slab...it was literally nothing more than the pointy end of a small slab of ribs with a few small bones. In this case as with the meat and cheese appetizer, the sauce was also so spicy that it was virtually inedible. One can only surmise that GLBC expects their customers to be quite drunk at this point so as not to notice that the ""spice"" is clearly intended to cover up the rest of the flaws of the evening as a whole. No comments can be made on the cole slaw as it never even arrived at the table. The ""pub fries"" were of generous portion but that was about it.
The service was slow and inattentive at best. After having told the server that we were ""on a schedule"", she seemed to do everything she could to drag things out and make us late for our next evening engagement. While we placed our appetizer and dinner order when we first arrived, it took close to half an hour for the appetizer dishes (as unappetizing as they were) to arrive at the table. While the dinner entrees were a bit more timely, it then took over 15 minutes for us to get the guest check so that we could complain about the missing cole slaw (which we received NO compensation for).
Bottom line: if you want a ""trendy"", over-priced meal with more spice than actual substance which leaves you hungry afterward and you want this event to take all evening with a great many mistakes, by all means Great Lakes Brewing Co. is the place to go. If you want a really good glass of beer, their Dortmunder Gold was indeed wonderful. On the other hand if you desire a -good- meal and a pleasant experience from a restaurant in this price range...do yourself a favor and go somewhere else. GLBC simply was NOT worth even half the price of admission.
Pros: Good beer
Cons: Over-priced food, poor service