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“hit and miss”
Review of Birch & Barley

Birch & Barley
Ranked #7 of 84 Restaurants in Pullman
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed March 2, 2014

the reviews of several Pullman restaurants were not very encouraging... We chose this one based on location and fewer negative reviews, but went in with several warnings in mind.
As a result, we didn't venture into the land of fancy cooking, or fried foods! We decided to stick with something difficult to mess up: Prime rib! And it was excellent! The meat was tender and flavorful, and cooked exactly as we'd ordered.
So top score for that!
The side dishes were another matter. I didn't know you could mess up garlic mashed potatoes, but they tasted odd, and were sort of watery. Didn't eat them (which is probably better for the diet anyway!)
The pan fried risotto was a better option, and was pretty good.
The seasonal vegetable was green beans. They were cooked perfectly, but we agreed they were probably frozen, not fresh, as they just had that sort of taste to them. I've had much worse, but they just didn't taste as good as they looked.
The restaurant itself was about what we'd expected. Full of big groups of students and faculty as well as families, buzzing with happy conversation and activity. It was pretty loud, but not in a bothersome way, unless you have trouble hearing with a lot of background noise.
Our server was very nice, and helpful with menu and wine/beer selections. She mentioned that we could get a special on the wine that night, which made buying a bottle to share a much better deal than by the glass. As another review mentioned, we felt we were greeted quickly, but it then took a while to get each step along the way, bringing water, then drinks, taking order, getting food, getting the bill. Luckily, we weren't in any hurry, and our booth with a glass of wine on a snowy evening was a nice-enough place to be!
You might want to download the menu to see what they've got, as it was an entirely new selection the day we went. not sure how often it changes. they call it "an american restaurant" because they had specialities from many places throughout the country. Seems it might be difficult to do justice to so many types of cooking, which is one reason we chose to keep it simple!

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1  Thank Susan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 - 108 of 130 reviews

Reviewed September 25, 2013

The food was poor and the situation was handled poorly.

I ordered the special - a steak diablo pasta. Being a special, I would expected a far better dish. However, the quality of the meat used was quite poor. It was tough and full of grizzle. Since it has cut up into smaller pieces and buried within pasta, this meant that I only discovered this when I ended up with pieces of meat that I could not chew.

My waiter handled the situation as best he was empowered to. Quite curious to me was the fact that the meal was discounted 50% (by a manager who did not come over to address the situation) and presented with the final bill.

Although the manager later came over to "solve the situation", it just didn't work. The situation to solve is using better quality steak for a special. Unfortunately, I can not see a way to ever go back.

(I would have followed up with the owner, but apparently there is a policy to not share email addresses. As such, my only recourse is to post my experiences on line.)

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1  Thank Joseph B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Close to our hotel in Pullman, and the college. Good service, my husband's skirt steak was excellent, the pasta I had passable; I'd try something different. Nice, comfortable place to relax and eat and have a cocktail or two.

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Thank Tamra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Our dinners were all very good. I had the Cougar Mac and lobster. There were about five nice chunks of lobster and it was rich and cheesy. The portion was just right, so I was full but not stuffed. Our waiter came to the table right away, but then it took about 20 minutes for water and drinks to arrive. Dinner was more punctual. We made the mistake of sitting outside, which was noisy due to the proximity to the highway, not at all scenic and were pestered with yellow jackets and flies. Inside would have been a delightful choice...next time.

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1  Thank Sandy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

It's a classic and remains classy. Decent beer, great lunch, fair prices. Went with a basic burger and one of the more local brown ales, both quite good. I will be visiting again and will be more adventurous with menu selections.

1  Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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