I’ll spend the next few weeks checking out the picks in the 2012 Best of the Triad readers’ poll. This week I hit High Point to sample what was named the best restaurant in High Point, the Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery.
This is not the first time I’ve written about this place. The last was way back in 2005, our first year of publication, and if memory serves, I never did get past the bar.
Liberty is a true brewery, the only one in the Furniture City, with a second location at Myrtle Beach, SC, and a dozen or so house ales, lagers and porters.
But because last time I never did actually eat any food, I figured for this run I should concentrate on the other thing they’re known for: steak.
A quick ride down Eastchester Drive brought a lunch date and me to the large restaurant in the periphery of the Oak Hollow Mall parking lot, not in much use these days, leaving plenty of room for the noontime crowd.
Liberty does not smell like a brewery — at least not when the vats aren’t full. But the air was redolent of grilled steak on my visit, enticing me to order the grilled sirloin with garlic butter, while my date made do with the fish and chips.
First we shared an ahi tuna appetizer, crusted with black and white sesame seeds and dipped in a wasabi aioli. The tuna was seared on the outside, cold in the middle, just like we like it.
My steak, too, was commendable. Sirloin is one of the more flavorful cuts of beef, but in the wrong hands it can become tough as leather. Mine was tender as a ribeye — in fact, I checked underneath the butter sauce to make sure they hadn’t substituted in a ribeye cut. It did well with a loaded baked potato, the only acceptable starch, in my opinion, for a proper steak. And I took collards as my second side. Liberty steakhouse takes the liberty, pardon the pun, of adding vinegar to the greens, which I normally eschew but considering the amount of dairy I was ingesting — butter on the steak; butter, sour cream and cheese on the potato — the astringent properties of the vinegar were welcome.
The fish and chips proved to be too large a portion for my date to finish, so I helped her out a bit. It was everything fish and chips should be: flaky fish filets coated in crispy, fried batter. Her side of walnut and apple cole slaw was clearly made in house and not some pre-packaged abomination, and it was more like a chopped salad than other slaws in town, which is to say that it was more like a true slaw.
She also took down a couple of malty, sweet brown ales that she deemed excellent.
Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery may not be the fanciest restaurant in High Point. It may not have the biggest menu or the best prices. But it cannot be denied that this place has withstood the test of time, anchoring this spot for decades, even as the mall next door has withered on the vine. And, according to YES! Weekly readers, it is the best spot in town.
Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery 336.882.4677 914 Mall Loop Road, High Point www.libertysteakhouseandbrewery.com