Like the other two brewpubs that existed in the Tri-Cities area when I visited several years ago, Kimo’s was less than impressive. While the location was nice with a big patio and a decent number of televisions, the food and beer was less than good. The beer was underhopped and generally bland. My food somehow came out in less than five minutes. And while that sounds great, fried fish takes a bit longer than that. I can’t help but wonder if it hadn’t been sitting back there as some sort of mistake for a couple of hours before being set down in front of me.
This brewpub is billed as a sports bar, but it’s one of the worst planned sports pubs I’ve ever been to. Plasma screen televisions are sporadically spaced throughout making it nigh impossible to watch multiple games at once. Not that it matters since every television was tuned to one of two games on the first Saturday of the college football season, meaning there were at least four to choose from. This indicates to me that they don’t care enough about sports to actually get a good college football package. So it’s no wonder that nobody there was actually watching a game. Hmmmm, local brewpub billed as a sports place with nobody watching the game. That speaks volumes in itself. The one redeeming quality was a gorgeous outdoor patio overlooking the river. It would be a wonderful place to sit and enjoy some beers with a large group of people.
The beers were definitely good but nothing grand. The sampler came with 9 brews, a good selection, but 4 of them had lemon wedges stuck in them. When the place fruits nearly half of their beers, I smell trouble. The hefeweizen was actually very tasty though. The honey amber was sweet, nearly overly so, and the pales and browns left nothing in my memory. The other two “light” options tasted nearly identical to the hefe, so much so that I wondered what the difference was in the recipe. There were two clear winners of the group, however. The IPA was perfectly hopped and balanced, leading to all the wonderful flavors that can be derived from different boiling times, and it came complete with a whole hop floating as a garnish—a nice touch. The second was the oatmeal stout. Thick, creamy and full of flavor, it is exactly as an oatmeal stout should be.
The food was alright, but nothing great. They have a Chicago deep dish pizza that I wanted to try, but didn’t want to shell out the nearly $30 for the pie and mandatory pitcher of beer that you MUST order with it. So I went with the fish and chips. Breaded with panko crumbs, the texture was quite nice, but the flavor was lacking, especially in the tartar sauce. I’ve had much, much better. The beer battered fries were the clear winner of the plate, and the coleslaw was obviously homemade and quite tasty, also a nice touch. I would have loved to try their ginger stout chocolate cake, but they were out. Again, a few points off for that.
The waitress was prompt and the food came out ridiculously fast. So fast I wondered if it hadn’t been prepared for someone else who changed their mind and left for me to eat. A superb bartender would have allowed me to substitute a sampler and pint of beer for the requisite pitcher of beer in the Chicago style pizza meal deal. The cost would have been about the same to just ring it all up as the combo, but she said she couldn’t, so I can’t give her many points.