Come for the beer, stay for the food at First Street Draught House

by Charles Womack

Citrus beer-battered shrimp have just enough twang to cut the sticky dipping sauce. (photo by Charles Womack) I’ve been a fan of the shiny metal building for a while now, but just last week had the opportunity to stopin and sample the food and hospitality.

The First Street Draught House, by all appearances, could be considered an amazing beer bar. With one of the largest beer selections in the Triad, the choice can be tough, but Lance Sawyer, who owns the business with his wife, Michelle, makes it easy.

“We have 26 taps and 10 of those are from right here in North Carolina,” he says. “We rotate them out seasonally. We also feature a cask of beer, which is a brewer’s signature item, the third Wednesday of every month.” “Cask” ale or “cask-conditioned” beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurized beer, conditione, fermented and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.

Not one to linger on his suds, Lance quickly points out some of the most popular items on the First Street menu.

“People love our lamb sliders, the Bourbon Street and Cuban sandwich,” he says.

FSDH offers 13 appetizers, soups and salads, 22 sandwiches and a variety of wraps, pizzas and burgers.

On my visit, the citrus beer-battered shrimp jumped right off the page in the app category, and for my entr’e I went with the fried catfish sandwich. My dining companions, Brad McCauley and Kasey Smith, went

for a Greek salad and the Bourbon Street sandwich with homemade potato salad.

The citrus shrimp were delicious, with just enough hint of a lemony orange twang to mix well with a sticky, honey-soy-ginger dipping sauce. The shrimp were tender and the app was served promptly.

My friend catfish sandwich was wonderful. This was some fresh fish, hand-battered in the back and cooked up to perfection. It was served on a soft, plump kaiser roll with homemade coleslaw and a Cajun remoulade.

Brad’s Bourbon Street looked great and when he told me I “had to try” the potato salad, I declined, as I have never really been a fan.

But after much prodding, I eased my fork into the nice mixture.

It was really good. I am not sure what they do, but I hope they don’t change a thing.

Sawyer, made sure to point out that all their sauces are made from scratch, as well as the potato salad, the salsa and all their salad dressings.

So my impression of FSDHis that peoplecomeforthe beer,but they stay for the food.

wanna go?

First Street Draught House 1500 W. 1st St. Winston Salem