The FoodA steak house is only as good as its steaks, which means that Hereford and Hops is very, very good. If you're not into grilled steaks, there are other options: fish & chips, tuna, steak pie, pasta with mushroom sauce, ribs, and five-cheese pasta among other entrees.
There are a lot of good appetizers to select from at Hereford and Hops - calamari, a pound of wings, clams, and more. We chose the fried Brie which turned out to be better than expected. It's fried in a beer batter and served with a raspberry sauce and what appear to be Ritz crackers. You can also get a sampler platter: full sized portions of any three appetizers for $19.95. Soups include french onion, of course, and beer cheese soup which I'll have to try next time.
Hereford and Hops is the only steak house I've ever been to where you have the option to grill your own steak. Multiple grill rooms allow you pick your steak from a cooler (steaks are best grilled if you start them at room temperature, though) and place it right over a large fire (these fires may contribute to the overall warmth of the restaurant). Grill chefs are on duty, so you aren't totally on your own, but you ultimately control how much your steak is cooked. Pros will cook your steak for you for an extra $2, and frankly, we think it's worth it. If we wanted to grill our own steak, we'd just stay home.
More Do-It-Yourself Dining
You can also assemble your own baked potato at one of the potato bars and create your own salad at a salad bar. Like the steaks, these are optional and you can have the food prepared for you. Either way, we recommend trying the horseradish sauce for the baked potatoes.
What About the Steaks?
It's all about the steak at Hereford and Hops with several cuts and more than one level of quality available. Most major cuts (Sirloin, NY Strip, Delmonico, and Fillet) can be had for $19.95. There are also premium cuts, such as a $34.95 Fillet and a huge $49.95 40oz Porterhouse.
What Makes the Steaks so Good?
We've had steaks at many restaurants before and while most have been good, the steaks at Hereford and Hops immediately proved to be vastly superior to others. The difference? Probably the special rub made from papaya extract and spices.
Beer & Micro BrewsA brew pub that makes bad beer won't last long, but the beer at Hereford and Hops proved to be quite good. The wheat beer was the weakest and struck us as too hoppy. The Schwarzbier is good if you want something dark without being too bitter. The nut brown ale is smooth and satisfying. I also tried a red beer which I found enjoyable. Hereford and Hops sells party pigs so you can take a nice large portion home with you. If everyone can agree on one beer, you can order the 60oz "beertender" for your table. Can't make up your mind? There are small beer samplers available.
What's for Desert?The desert tray the night we visited looked very good indeed: carrot cake, crepes, creme brulee (a sampler of cappuccino, vanilla, and orange), turtle cheese cake, and tuxedo cake. Far too bloated from steak, potato, and beer to even consider ordering something, I left the desert choice to my wife, who enjoyed the cherry bread pudding.
ServiceServers at Hereford and Hops are very attentive and exhibit genuine concern about how your meal is. They also bring out your food very quickly, so keep that in mind while eating appetizers.
Dining at Hereford and HopsIt would make horrible advertising, but the motto of Hereford and Hops might fairly be, "Come Hungry, Leave on a Stretcher." The steaks are huge, the salads are huge, and potatoes are huge...everything is huge and very filling. Whatever you order, be prepared to take some home in order to save at least a little room for the next course. You might also want to make arrangements to have help getting to your car before a food coma sets in.
Hereford and Hops
Cranberry Township, PA