There's nothing like popping in to the local public house for a pint and some bites to warm up on a blustery fall day, and Dressel's Public House in the CWE has long been one of our favorite spots for doing just that. The pub has been around for more than 30 years and has long been a local favorite for folks who want that convivial, communal public house experience. The food has always been good; but if you haven't made your way over for a while, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the way the menu has evolved in recent years.
For those who've never stopped in, the interior of Dressel's is classic U.K. public house, with a heavy wood bar and drawings of famous artists, musicians and writers adorning the walls. Once you settle into the warm, inviting space, there's plenty of goodness on the menu to get you to stick around. Chef Michael Miller, who also is one of the forces behind Kitchen Kulture, and his staff have been able to strike a tasty balance between classic pub fare and more elevated dishes, as well—all the while focusing on local producers and purveyors.
On our last visit, we started off with two Dressel's classics: the French Onion Soup ($7) and the Dressel's Pretzel ($9). Local diners would be hard-pressed to find a better onion soup anywhere. It's a steaming bowl of savory soup topped with gruyere cheese and full of croutons just like you'd find at some hole-in-the-wall European pub. The pretzel is hands-down the best of its kind around town, crusty on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. Paired with a crock of rarebit, it's the epitome of quality pub grub.
Entree-wise, it's hard to imagine a better Fish and Chips ($16) than the one at Dressel's. The fish itself was superbly cooked, flaky and tender. But what really sets this dish apart from similar area offerings is the batter. All too often, we get our fish served up with a gummy, oily coating that passes for batter; but Dressel's version is flawless, with just the right amount of crunch, and the batter is consistent all the way through. This fish didn't do any time under a heat lamp getting limp and greasy.
We've always been fans of the Dressel Burger and its counterpart, the Lamb Burger. This time around, though, we opted to try out the Farm Egg sandwich ($12), a hearty amalgam of egg, back bacon, tomato jam, and blue and cheddar cheeses piled between a couple of crusty brioche buns. Fans of breakfast for dinner, this is a must-try. The tang of the blue cheese proved to be a superb complement to the salt of the bacon, while the tomato jam added just a touch of sweet to cut through all of that savory.
Dressel's serves dinner seven days a week, as well as lunch Monday through Saturday and a Sunday brunch.
--Dressel's Public House, 419 N. Euclid Ave., 361-1060, dresselspublichouse.com.