On Saturday night, Nathan and I ventured into Durham to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of his friends from high school. They had decided on Fullsteam Brewery as the venue. Nathan and I were both looking forward to it, as neither of us had been there before. We decided pretty early in the week, that we would go into Durham a little earlier and have dinner before meeting up with the group.
When Saturday rolled around, we realized we hadn’t done any research on a place to dine, so we spent a little time perusing the websites and found out that food trucks set up outside Fullsteam on a regular basis and you are allowed to bring outside food into the establishment. We quickly checked the food truck schedule for the night and discovered that two trucks, Porchetta and Big City Sandwiches, would be outside that evening. Big City Sandwiches comes to Greensboro on occasion, so we were familiar with their truck, but we didn’t have any experience with Porchetta, but because we both have love for good pork, we were intrigued.
We did a little more reading, and were impressed with what we found. All of their pork is sourced through the NC Hog Growers’ Association (no mass market meat for these guys). Their primary menu items are various types of sandwiches made from Porchetta roast. They also have a veggie sandwich and a couple of different types of pork burger. The sandwiches themselves were served on a gorgeous, large ciabatta roll. They have sides of Crispy Rosemary Potatoes (which were delightful) and Apple Horseradish Slaw (which we didn’t try). Dinner was awesome!
While Nathan was out at the food truck ordering our dinner, I made my way into the bar to order drinks and find us a table. I really wish Greensboro had a venue like Fullsteam! When you enter, there is a room with some games and ping-pong table. If you walk through there, you enter a larger space with picnic type tables that run almost all the way across the room. Large and small groups congregated around the tables; drinking, talking, eating, and some playing games. When we arrived, there were also a number of families, which meant children (and even one dog). You don’t often see that in an establishment that’s primary purpose is beer. It’s important to note that Fullsteam doesn’t provide table service, so when you visit, be prepared to go into the bar to place your orders.
To the left of the large gathering room, there is a set of glass doors that leads into the actual bar area. Chalkboards behind the bar list the beers and snacks available. I quickly settled on Working Man’s Lunch for our first round, and was able to locate a small table back in the gathering room to wait for Nathan. I was rather impressed that the bar area never seemed very crowded and I never had to wait very long for my drink order to be placed or filled. In a bar that serves a lot of people, I was surprised and impressed with this kind of service!
Fullsteam Brewery brews their own beer and sources local ingredients. We found out during our visit that when the brewers are putting together ingredients for a new beer, they will frequently send out updates via their Facebook page to local farmers regarding their needs. This means that ingredients that we would consider quintessential Southern, or North Carolinian, make it into their beers. During this trip, they had beers on tap featuring ingredients such as sweet potatoes, persimmons, and North Carolina honey.
As we finished our food and started on our next round, Nathan’s friends began to arrive. He spent a good deal of time reminiscing with his old buddies and I enjoyed getting to know some new friends. We’ll look forward to more time at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham in the future!
What we ate:
Katie – Mediterranean Porchetta Sandwich with Crispy Rosemary Potatoes
Nathan – The Hot and Sweet Porchetta Sandwich (extra hot) with Crispy Rosemary Potatoes
What we drank:
Katie – Working Man’s Lunch, Rocket Science IPA, Fullsteam Southern Lager
Nathan – Working Man’s Lunch, Carver Sweet Potato, Hogwash Hickory-Smoked Porter (tagline read “if barbecue was a beer”)