Shop Small Day 306: Hardware Gastropub

Let me preface by saying, I am not a foodie. I’m not necessarily picky…I appreciate great food, but I tend fall on the simplistic side. I don’t need fancy ingredients.

So, if you’re anything like me…make sure you have “adventurous” eaters with you when you visit Hardware Gastropub. I wouldn’t have ordered 90% of what we chose…and I would have missed incredible food!

hardware-4Hardware has been on my “must try” list for a while…less for the menu and more for the sustainability. There are few restaurants in the area that have their own Hops farm, grow their own produce/fruits/nuts, and reclaim their roof water.

I had hoped to look around a little bit before our reservation, but had a minor delay meeting “Montgomery’s finest” on the way (side note-Officer Smith- you’re awesome!)…that’s ok, it gives me another reason to go back.

Though the polenta may be reason enough.

You can certainly order your own plates at Hardware, but I definitely suggest ordering to share, otherwise you will have serious food envy when the plates arrive. We each chose a couple items to share for our girls’ night dinner.

hardware-3Although their menu changes seasonally, a few favorites seem to be staples and offered year round. Since the menu had just changed to when we went, there’s a good chance my favorites will still be available.

Many of the items include a fried egg on top…personally I don’t eat eggs, so I scooped underneath it before everyone else mixed it all together…everyone was happy.

Of the 12 items we ordered, my top 4 were…brisket tacos (four in the order-could’ve eaten all four myself), wood grilled bread (served like a flat bread pizza), fish and chips (we were divided on this one- I’m not usually a fan of swordfish and thought it was delicious, but it wasn’t a favorite of those who like swordfish), and the Bison spare ribs…but not for the ribs.

Not to say the ribs weren’t good, they were, but the polenta served with it…yeah, that’s one I was still thinking about a few days later. Simplicity done fabulously well.

hardware-1Of course, with a restaurant that grows its own hops and carries over 350 whiskeys…plan on having a cocktail or two. But, lets talk about dessert.

I know. You’re going to be full.

You think you couldn’t possibly eat another bite.

You have to.

hardware-2When adult “Ho Ho’s” are on the menu…they are too damn delicious to pass up.

“An adult version of Chocolate covered rolled cake with Maker’s Mark whiskey cream filling, vanilla bean creme anglaise”

We tried the Ice Cream Sandwich (Brown sugar cookie, brown sugar ice cream, and toffee) too, but if you’re only choosing one, go with the Ho Ho’s.

Though it was too cold when we visited, Hardware does have a great patio space. They also have almost everyday drink specials: I foresee a warm Wednesday evening on their patio with $5 Whiskey Acre’s Bourbon (a Dekalb distillery still on my list to try) and a big side of polenta in my near future.

It’s a little awkward to get to the restaurant, there isn’t an entrance directly off Orchard, but it also makes you feel like you’re off the beaten path.

Hardware Gastropub
2000 W. Orchard Rd.
North Aurora, IL 60542

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