Half Moon Restaurant and Brewery
4051 S Lafountain St
Visited on May 31, 2008
One of my sister’s favorite things to do growing up was to tell her classmates that we had gone to Kokomo over the weekend. Of course, going to Kokomo is a whole hell of a lot less exciting when you’re referring to Indiana.
I was surprised by this little brewpub. I expected it to be awful, seeing as its in the middle of nowhere. And in fact, it was pretty decent. The building is a stand-alone structure reminiscent of pretty much any build-to-suit restaurant these days – Outback, Applebees, TGIF, Damon’s – you name it. That naturally makes the interior large and accommodating.
If they serve anything other than barbecue here, I didn’t bother to find out about it. I ordered a giant plate full of meat and country sides and went home extremely happy. It was pretty damned good. The beer’s were probably the weakest part of the experience, and I wouldn’t have it rated so highly if their IPA hadn’t been so damn good. Extremely floral and citrusy – I enjoyed it immensely.
This new microbrewery is in the heart of Kokomo, Indiana. If you’ve never been there, don’t go, unless you really want to try a very decent microbrewery. It’s an industrial town that has lost its industry, so things are fairly run down. This joint is pretty decent, however. From the outside, the restaurant is a very large but unspectacular building. Nothing really sets it apart from the rest of town. Inside, they’ve done what they can. Typical brewery decorations, big rooms, and huge tables. Not too shabby.
I actually really enjoyed the food here more than I was expecting to. They serve barbecue, which has been cooked low and slow in their own spice rub, and they serve it with their homemade barbecue sauce. The ribs and brisket need the sauce, and with it they are decent. But the real star of the show is the pulled pork. It’s so good, the sauce is unnecessary, as it should be. They also bring in thick sliced potatoes every morning and fry up their own potato chips. They are also delicious. In fact, for some reason you have to upgrade to French fries. Do yourself a favor and stick with the chips! The homemade cheesecake was unspectacular but good. The homemade bread pudding with porter praline sauce and cinnamon ice cream, however, was indeed spectacular. The dessert itself wasn’t as custardy as I like, and it seemed to be baked from scratch instead of from pieces of bread soaked in custard, but it was still yummy.
The beer is forgettable, but it does have one star. The IPA is copper-toned with a highly fruity taste and finish. The bitterness is subtle, the malts shine, and I could drink it all day. For those who are new to microbrews, the Pre-Prohibition Pilsner and Wildcat Wheat taste identical, and reminds me of a high class Bud. The Stoplight city Red and Old Ben Brown are both sweet and make very good session beers, but taste just like every other red and brown I’ve ever had. The same can go for the Coal Porter, although this is the one I would choose if they ran out of IPA. The seasonal of the day was both a German Weiss and an Applewood ESB. The ESB was better than everything but the IPA. The German Weiss was forgettable, but apparently made exactly like their regular wheat except for the hops and yeast strain, which makes it a great learning experience to taste the difference between the strains.
The service was absolutely amazing. I loved our waitress. She tried to get me a mug club mug to go, but they were running low. She suggested the cinnamon ice cream to go along with the bread pudding, and it made the dish. She was chatty, friendly and kept our glasses full at all times.