Lennie’s/Bloomington Brewing Company
1795 East 10th Street
Visited lots 2006 – 2008
Living in Bloomington, Indiana, I was lucky to have two great brewpubs within a small college town. Though you couldn’t get Bloomington Brewing Company in a bottle, you could find it throughout the community – especially in the breweries own restaurant dubbed Lennie’s.
I have such fond memories of the place. Every time I wanted to celebrate, that’s where I went. The pizzas are superb. The cheesecakes are delicious. The place is always crowded, but the service is consistent and the beer is always flowing.
The beer that still sticks out in my mind to this day is their nitro stout. I ordered it pretty much every time I ever visited the place. If you find yourself in town – perhaps for the Little 500 – I highly suggest dropping by to grab a pint or five.
The restaurant is a bit small and it’s sometimes difficult to find seating. The location itself is nothing to brag about. Yet it is elegant, warm and inviting. One side features family dining style tables and booths while the other has high-top tables, smaller pub-style tables, and, of course, the bar.
As for the food – pizza. Get the pizza. Don’t even bother with anything else. They offer multi-grain crust which is rich with a great texture from the local bagel shop. The regular crust is grand as well, and they’ll do thin or thick. The toppings are numerous, the styles outstanding, and the prices a bit on the high side (but well worth it!) Okay, okay, if you don’t feel like pizza, the salads are great too. But they’re huge and probably won’t save you any calories, if that’s what you’re worried about. And if you are, get the hell out of a brewpub.
You can’t miss with the BBC’s beer selection, but my favorites are the Ruby Bloom Amber (an amber with hints of butter flavors), the Big Stone Stout (an excellent example of an Irish dry), and the FreeStone Blonde. Also, they often have a couple of great Belgians on draft.
Original Review Update
Repeated visits have proven the pizza superb, but stick to that and don’t venture too far. The Belgians weren’t great, so stick to the Ruby, Quaryman, or my favorite, Big Stone Stout. Oh, and the cheesecakes are the best in Bloomington. Whenever they run out of one, they make something different. I’ve had a mint chocolate version that was very good and a chocolate raspberry creation that was to die for. And they offer little mini desserts in double shot glasses that are also very good. I recommend the pecan pie.