The Bier Boutique at 1421 First St. across from Advanced Auto features recipes that even the toughest foodies can appreciate.
“I am from Kansas City and am very picky with my barbeque,” said musician Larry Baeder. “A friend gave me some wings and I thought, ‘These are spectacular.’ Now I come here every week. I am just upset I didn’t find it first.”
Husband and wife, Scott (who goes by his last name Brookey) and Heather have 40 years of restaurant experience between the two of them and a few months ago they decided to leave their Ohio restaurant and open up a Midwestern influenced BBQ joint here in Key West.
“It took about 10 years to perfect my chili recipe to make it have the exact amount of sweetness and spiciness,” said Brookey. “It is really popular. I sell about seven gallons a week.”
Meat, veggies and peppers come together to form a harmonic blend in Brookey’s Spicy Chili, which is served with homemade cornbread.
Some dishes are traditional, some are tweaked and some are brand new — all reflect Brookey and Heather’s desire to appease the customers’ taste buds. For example, all the burgers are made with 100 percent bison meat, which is a South Dakota “thing” according to Heather.
“Bison meat is leaner and has a better flavor,” she said.
The gastropub has its own signature burger, Heather’s Burger: Swiss cheese, mushrooms and sour cream served with fresh-cut Idaho fries. There also is the jerk burger, spiced up with pepper flakes topped with aged cheddar, caramelized onions and served with sweet potato fries.
Every item on the menu is made from scratch, and everyone has a Midwestern flavor. Starters include beer-candied bacon, grilled marinated wings (juicy and savory marinated for 24 hours), and housemade tater tots topped with cheese, chives and chili.
One of the more popular sandwiches you will not find anywhere else in Key West is the Goetta Breakfast Sandwich. It features crispy goetta (a ground meat breakfast saugsage), folded egg, aged cheddar, sautéed onion, fresh jalapeños piled on a toasted baguette. Better yet, it’s available anytime.
And Heather makes all the desserts. Her Rice Krispy treats with a twist may have some added ingredients such as cinnamon.
Along with the food, the Bier Boutique would not be living up to its name without a huge selection of craft brews. Founders Brewing is from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Two Brothers Beer from Warrenville, Illinois, and Bells Brewery from Kalamazoo, Michigan are some Midwestern favorites they serve cold in cans out of their selection of more than 50.