A good problem to have

. August 30, 2013.

Usually when we enter a restaurant, we have some idea of what we are in the mood for and ordering is pretty straightforward. Not so with our recent visit to one of Findlay’s newer restaurants, Beer Barrel Pizza.

From the name, we assumed it was a basic pizza place. Pizza, pasta and subs—easy, right? This dinner, however, was anything but. Our trip to Beer Barrel was the first time a waitress had to take our order twice; we wanted to try everything.

I originally thought I’d order the Apple Gorgonzola Salad, a dinner-sized bowl of romaine lettuce, Gorgonzola cheese, cran-raisins, toasted walnuts and apples. I was ready to order the first time our waitress stopped by, but by the second time I decided I wanted a sandwich and ordered the Grilled Eggplant Parmesan sub with provolone ($6.89).

My husband was also undecided, switching from an order of ribs to the Fajita Chicken Sub ($6.89), a twist on the “some assembly required” fajitas neatly packed into a sub bun. My 11-year-old originally started with the spaghetti and meatballs but settled on the Crispy Chicken Parmesan sub ($6.89). The teenager was the only one to stand firm with the Chicken Parmesan Bowl ($10.99), but not without some second thoughts.

“There are so many choices,” she said. “I have three things I want. I definitely have a problem.”

Plenty of menu options

It was a good problem to have, though. Easily one of the larger menus we’ve come across, everything sounded great. The side salads that came with our sub baskets were larger than average, complete with cherry tomatoes and croutons. My husband remarked that at some places the side salad would be the meal itself.

While we waited for our orders, we watched a number of games on the restaurant’s several jumbo television screens. Some booths had leaded glass light fixtures, while others had more contemporary lighting. Exposed beams and painted ductwork added to the feeling that this was “more than a pizza place.”

We weren’t disappointed. Each of us was very— very—pleased with our orders. My husband, especially, was happy with the Chicken Fajita sub, saying he enjoyed the fajita flavor without the hassle of construction.

Despite the mountain of take-home containers piled at our table— did I mention the portions were huge?—we completed our dessert duty and shared one piece of sweet and creamy red velvet cake ($3.99).

Aside from any difficulty choosing between the robust menu offerings, everything about our evening was just right. The hardest part about eating at Beer Barrel Pizza is ordering. You might, however, have the same wish as one member of our party.  “Mommy,” my daughter said, “can we come back so I can try everything I want?”

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Consider off-peak times or avoid times when big sporting events are televised, since there are many televisions
Bathroom amenities: Changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms
High Chairs: Yes
Got milk? Yes, along with raspberry tea
Anything healthy for the kids? Sides include vegetables and cottage cheese
Food allergy concerns? The menu cautions that the restaurant can’t guarantee an allergy-free menu

Beer Barrel Pizza
900 Interstate Drive
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11am-11pm; Friday & Saturday, 11am-Midnight; Sunday, 11am-10pm. (Bar closes one hour later; Party trays available)