Bilbo’s Pizza and Brewing
6202 S Westnedge Ave
Visited on February 27, 2011
I very much hoped to enjoy this place, as Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite book and movie series of all-time. However, it turned out to be quite likely the worst brewpub I’ve been to in the state of Michigan, which is nearly 50 establishments strong. The waitress didn’t have a clue about the beer. They didn’t offer flights. The beers were below average at best. And the appetizer we ordered turned out to basically be the exact same thing as the pizza, neither of which were very good.
It may be that I was a little jaded after having visited many great brewpubs in Chicago. But after stopping at Bilbo’s on my way back home, I don’t think I ever want to come back.
It wasn’t really the venue; it’s big, clean and nice. There’s nothing to set it apart from any other chain behemoth restaurant like Max & Erma’s or Outback, but there’s nothing to drag it down to the level of Applebee’s, either.
It wasn’t really the beer, either. The honey porter was decent enough to keep me happy and satisfied. The IPA wasn’t great and the red wasn’t bad. I only tried three, so it’s hard to really give a good grade, but it was average.
And it wasn’t really the food that left a bad taste in my mouth. The whole wheat pizza is thick and the crust is flavorful. The pesto chicken toppings were on target. I did enjoy the entrée.
The problem was the service. We had a (I’m assuming) new waitress who didn’t know a thing about beer. She wasn’t even old enough to drink it. Poor choice for a brewpub if it wants me to think it takes its beer seriously. That I can look past, but she also claimed that they didn’t have a sampler option just before offering me “tasters” of half-filled double-shot glasses that she subsequently charged $2.00 each for. I’m sure they were supposed to be fully-filled samples, and maybe I should have complained about paying for them, but she was still an idiot. Also, we ordered a pesto cheesy bread thing as a side dish. It was exactly the same thing as the pizza but without the chicken or mushrooms. Any server who’d ever worked more than a day would have warned us that we ordered the same dish twice. Finally, it took about 10 minutes between her dropping off the check and coming back to run my card. I don’t know where she disappeared to, but a fellow employee came back from behind the scenes with her with a goofy grin on his face. Just sayin’.