Sunday, July 19, 2015

It's a Summertime Celebration at Miller's Ale House

It's summertime alright here in Orlando. I'd say one of the hottest I can remember. But what can you do but embrace it, right? Bring on the heat, bring on the beer, and bring on the barbecue! That's my philosophy and I recently went all out summer celebrating at Miller's Ale House in Winter Park with a sampling from their new All-American Summer Fest Menu -- a combination of freshly-made BBQ dishes with a twist, ice cold beer, delicious cocktails and a chance to win tickets to the Budweiser Made in America 2-day concert.

For a limited time, Ale House guests can experience a variety of newly created menu items with summertime panache. Two of my favorite items were the Backyard BBQ Brisket Sliders ($9.49) and the N'awlins Style Shrimp ($10.99). The sliders were jam-packed with smoked brisket and tipped with sliced pickles and crispy onion tanglers. I dunked mine into the side of spicy BBQ sauce for a little more kick. The "peel and eat" shrimp were some of the easiest to peel I've tried, and were crisp, yet tender, and floating in Tabasco-seasoned butter. Delicious!

I washed it all down with pitcher of Watermelon Rita ($10) and a glass of Orange Crush ($3.95). The crush was great but, chunks of watermelon and lime floating in the Watermelon Rita pitcher just said Summer to me.

My favorite dish on the Summer menu was a surprise to me -- the Chopped BBQ Chicken Salad ($9.99). Salads aren't exactly unknown to my palate, but I'm certainly more meat and potatoes than iceberg and carrots. But this chopped salad really appealed to me with chilled, sliced grilled chicken mixed with freshly-chopped greens, black bean corn salsa, ripe tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese and crispy tortilla strips all tossed together with a BBQ ranch dressing. With a drizzle of BBQ sauce and green onions on top, I was more than pleased to down such a refreshing dish.

The signature dish of the Summer menu has to be the Ale House-Made Ribs and Brisket Platter ($16.99) with a generous serving of slow-smoked, sliced brisket drizzled with BBQ sauce and a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs served with grilled corn on the cob and cole slaw. I loved the ribs. I loved the cole slaw. I loved the grilled corn. I liked the brisket, even if it was a little dry. A quick dunk in a side of BBQ sauce was a quick fix. All this food for only $16.99 is quite a bargain.

Finally, for dessert, Apple Pie? No, even more American than that -- A fried Twinkie ice cream split. A county fair inspired Ale House original, the panko-breaded and deep-fried, banana-flavored Twinkie Split ($4.99) was served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and strawberry sauce. Too much? Certainly, but I loved it.

Made in America Sweepstakes

The Made in America Sweepstakes is easy to enter. Guests can upload their favorite summertime photo to Instagram or Twitter under the #AllAmericanSummerEntry through August 2 to be eligible. Visit Miller's Ale House for more info.

Miller's Ale House has 17 Orlando area locations.

4.5 Days of Summer out of 5

Note: I dined compliments of Miller's Ale House

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