There’s something to be said about anything that’s tongue-in-cheek. Especially when it’s utilized in matters that can be considered controversial or the taboo. Congregation Ale House is a mini-chain of gastropubs in the Southern California region that happen to be known for their monastery-gothic-church theme (yeah, religiousy but not religiousy)… and their extensive beer selection. As for the tongue-in-cheek part? Yeah, they have it covered. (Ah, religious puns and the play on words! Our favorite!) They refer to their different locations as “Chapters”, their tip box is a “Collection Box”, Happy Hours are called “Mass” (late night Happy Hour is called “Midnight Mass”), and the servers are dolled up in Catholic Schoolgirl attire. Sure, the religious schoolgirl uniform has been a little played out at sports bars and other watering holes, but these fetishy outfits fit in with the theme. Oh yeah, and their water station is labeled “Holy Water.” Step away wannabe vamps.
Gothic stained glass windows adorn the back wall of the bar while their chalkboard is full of their specials and beers of the day. With the 27 beers on tap and 100 different kinds of brew; this gastropub is definitely for the beer enthusiast. However, they serve up some tasty fare as well. Most of their foods are “hand-held”; something that goes pretty well with a beer (or four). Sausages and Flatbreads are their main staples on the food front. However, they do feature a few salads for those who are more partial to the leafy variety.
Bacon Today visited the Pasadena “Chapter” and sampled their Duck and Bacon Sausage. We’ve never had a Duck and Bacon Sausage before so we were fascinated. This fat sausage was brought out in a basket and emitted that mouth-watering bacon aroma. It was delicious. Wrapped in a soft flatbread, it was covered with sweet peppers, sweet mustard, and grilled onions. It was juicy, meaty, and had that unmistakable umami flavor.
They did recommend we try their “Wrapture Dog”, which was basically a “street dog”: the typical all beef, bacon-wrapped hot dog you’d find from a street vendor. But instead of a bun, it was served in a flatbread with beer mustard and grilled onions. While it was tasty, it wasn’t much different from other bacon wrapped hot dogs we’ve tried in the past.
But don’t let one hotdog stop you from trying out their other edible items at this beer-centric gastropub. With a generous menu of delicious foods, including the Brandy Pulled Pork and Brie Sandwich with Caramelized Onions; you can be sure you’ll find something that will appease your aching belly. So Southern California residents, visit this Congregation so you can find your calling for beer. Hey, you may even find that you love the taste of their exotic sausage! And no, we weren’t trying to be dirty with that statement. It says that on their menu! Ok… maybe we were… just a little.
Tags: Azusa, bacon, bacon restaurants, Congregation, Congregation Ale House, LA, los angeles, Pasadena, sausage
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