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December 22, 2020
Fig Table Iron: Hill Brewery
A short year ago, the Iron Hill Brewery on Harrisburg Pike would’ve been buzzing with Franklin & Marshall students, couples enjoying happy hour brews, and ugly-sweater wearers celebrating the holidays with their coworkers. Today, the space looks a little different–with numbers taped along the hightop parallel to the bar for social distancing guidelines and a properly masked-up staff, it’s clear that this trusted community brewery has taken every recommended safety precaution to heart.
Chef Kyle Embly, Executive Chef of Iron Hill ’s Lancaster location and 7 and a half year company veteran, had been training culinary teams for the rapidly expanding restaurant’s new kitchens before COVID-19 struck. Once it hit full-force, their ambitious plan to have 20 breweries open by 2020 was brought to a slow simmer.
“We went from opening new locations–being busy from the moment we walked in the door till the minute we left–to everything really slowing down,” explains Chef Kyle, who had been relocated to Lancaster to assist the staff mid-pandemic. “It was a game-changer.”
Fortunately, Iron Hill Brewery ’s leadership, Chef Kyle and his team were still determined to continue sharing their scratch-made menu and innovative craft beers with customers. They just needed to find a safer way to do it; and that’s how they came up with the idea to offer ready-to-heat meals to-go (in addition to their regular menu, which is served hot and fresh).
Parents stuck at home juggling remote work with virtual-schooling and careful commuters alike will find their online ordering system simple and convenient. Customers can pick up fully prepared meals to stock their fridge in as little as 3 hours! The build-your-own feature offers the ability to choose a protein (with options like flank steak, crab cakes, and haddock), a starch, a vegetable, and a sauce (think IPA ranch and red onion jam).
And those already plagued by decision fatigue can also choose from a list of Chef’s features, which currently include comforting favorites like meatloaf with mashed potatoes, edamame succotash, and gravy. Also included on this list is Chicken Parmigiano with cavatappi pasta and pesto cream, which we were lucky enough to try fresh in Iron Hill ’s dining room.
The delectably tender and crispy breaded chicken, which fell apart with the light touch of a fork, served as a sophisticated contradiction to its modest microwavable container. Similarly, the faultlessly al dente cavatappi and rich but light pesto cream seemed to deserve a plating on the special family china.
The quality of Iron Hill ’s ready-to-heat meals clearly outshine their humble vessels; our opinion confirmed by one of our writers, who wound up taking the dish home after just a few bites in order to avoid a menacing snowstorm on her way home. She reheated the meal hours later right in the oven (its container is both microwave and oven safe), and reported that the dish was not only just as fresh as that afternoon, it did not last more than a few minutes.
Mouth watering already? Order your custom-made or Chef featured ready-to-heat meals by ordering at order.ironhillbrewery.com/menu/iron-hill-lancaster–and don’t forget to pair it with one of their award-winning beers.