SADDLE BROOK, NEW JERSEY
In a pale green-bricked, beige-topped freestanding building just off Market Street in the quaint town of Saddle Brook, PLANK PIZZA BEER PARLOR specializes in thin-crusted sourdough flatbread pizzas while being “purveyors of artisanal ales.” Its classic West Coast brewhouse feel is reinforced by the well-rounded draught selections (listed on a USB-imaged computer screen above the white-tiled tap handles), 300-plus refrigerated beer bottles-cans and roomy interior.
Open July 2015, Plank Pizza’s reclaimed wood and metal furnishings surround a centralized rectangular bar and its high ceilings support keg fixtures, two TV carousels and exposed ducts. A staired mezzanine and cement-floored side deck provide additional seating capacity. During “Hoppy Hour” (3 to 6 PM weekdays) bottled beers for outside consumption are sold at a discount.
The food menu runs the gamut from ricotta-cheesed Bacon White pizza to Alfredo-sauced French Onion And Pepper pizza and mozzarella-cheesed Bacon Clam pizza while appetizers include sourdough pretzel sticks, jalapeno-pickled tater tots, avocado egg rolls and cajun wings.
I found eight previously untried brews on the tap menu (reviewed fully in Beer Index) ranging from local limited edition ales such as Jersey’s Brix City Wet Hop Pale Ale and Kane Deep Rooted Imperial IPA to California’s 21st Amendment He Said Tripel and Hop Concept Lemon & Grassy as well as Washington’s Elysian Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale. Hybridized West Coast dynamo, Stone Chai Spiced Imperial Stout, Georgia’s Sweetwater Hash Brown and Missouri’s Schlafly Tasmanian IPA completed the score.
Perfect for beer aficionados, pizza lovers and dining families, Plank’s pristine industrial rusticity provides the perfect casual setting for sundry individuals.