Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blue Dust: A Family Affair

We all have that uncle in our family, you know, the one that headlines every epic family reunion.  Wouldn’t it be sweet if your favorite uncle opened a bar? Well look no further my foodie friends!  Uncle Jerry is serving up craft brews and mouth-watering dinner plates at Blue Dust.  Whether you’re a Homestead-lifer or a curious first-timer, you’ll feel like part of the family in no time. 

I’m not sure what I was expecting the first time I entered Blue Dust, a name that pays tribute to the steel industry, but I was pleased from the start.  It isn’t “cold” or industrial in style; rather, it’s homey and has a bit of a southwest feel.  If you prefer sitting tableside there are various spots to eat comfortably both inside and outside (weather permitting).  Honestly though, in a local spot such as this, you’re going to want to sit at the bar and participate.   Besides, the bar itself is quite lovely, Jerry Miller’s daughter, Sarah, created a work of art using mosaic glass.  If you look closely, you might see the sea monster at the end of the bar. 

Once seated at the bar, you can take a gander at the row of craft taps waiting for you to imbibe upon…26 to be exact.  Therefore, if your beer of choice is produced by those Clydesdale lovers (man, those commercials get me every time), you are better off elsewhere.  Blue Dust is for patrons who actually like to savor the flavors of brews like Eylsian Immortal IPA at 6.2% or Sierra Nevada’s Imperial Red at 8.1%.  If you don’t see a draft you love…um, I guess that’s possible…they have a wide range of bottles in the wall coolers too.  And if beer isn’t your thing, or you need something stiffer to ease the woes of a long workday, Frank (Jerry’s son-in-law), will make you a mean cocktail.  Frank may stir up something using their house-flavored vodka or may go out back to grab fresh mint from the garden to muddle into your mojito. 

Draft List
The Taps!
So you get the picture, Blue Dust is a must on the watering-hole list, but it’s also one of my favorite locales to get my grub on.  Everything you order is made in-house, from scratch, using local ingredients.  And the menu ranges to please all, vegan and meat-lover alike.  For starters, I usually get a cup of soup and a farm-fresh salad.  The last soup I tried was Curry Crab Bisque.  The balance of rich spices and sweet crab was pure bliss.  The house salad is a nutritious blend of mixed greens, red onion, slivers of almonds, dried cranberries, and house-made balsamic vinaigrette.  I order this side salad for a small upcharge in lieu of the chips and salsa that accompany the sammies and tacos.

Curry Crab Bisque
Side Salad
Speaking of which, I now have a serious craving for the house-smoked meats that fill those empty slices and shells.  The pulled pork is a homerun in both forms, completely tender and deliciously seasoned.  When it’s presented as a sandwich, it’s rightfully named Porkzilla and comes out on toasty bread with a blanket of gooey Muenster cheese.  As the Eric Pastor, two corn-shell tacos are loaded with that Mexican spiced pork and topped with fresh salsa and scallions.  You can also order the Fish Tacos.  The grilled tilapia is complimented with flavorful lime cilantro sauce and crunchy cabbage.  But I digress, back to the smoked meats.  The Hot Pastrami and the Smoked Brisket Sandwich will literally melt in your mouth.   Blue Dust even smokes their own turkey in order to create their version of a Rachel.  You can also order from the “Specials” menu that changes monthly.  This past month, you may have chosen the Balsamic Glazed Short Ribs or the Pork, Squash, and Mushroom Empanadas.

Eric Pastor Tacos (Pulled Pork)
Fish Tacos
After you stifle your hunger pains, you can stick around to take your turn at the dartboard.  The dartboard is real, meaning you’ll want to be somewhat sober if your dart skills are lacking (no one likes to get punctured by stray darts), and it’s free to play.  You can feed the TouchTunes machine and sing along to your favorite 80s band as well.

Blue Dust is an example of what a great bar should be…amazing drinks, delicious food, and a welcoming atmosphere.  Come on over and join the family!

I give Blue Dust: 5/5 forks
601 Amity Street
Homestead, PA 15120

Happy Hour: Thursday and Friday 5-7pm Half Off Apps & Taps

Neighborhood: Homestead

 Blue Dust on Urbanspoon

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