Barrelhouse: the New Zentropa

Zentropa+has+a+new+owner+and+a+new+name

Erin Rebar

Zentropa has a new owner and a new name

By Erin Rebar, A&E and Features Editor

Barrelhouse Pub and Pizza, formerly known as Zentropa Pizzeria and Pub, feels like the kind of place you’d find in a college town. Its brick walls, decorated in old barrels that echo its name, feel hip and down to earth. Located just off of college row in downtown Cheney, Zentropa is the perfect place to spend a Friday night out.

Barrelhouse’s new owner, Mike Lyon said that the food menu didn’t change with the change of ownership. The original staff remains as well, a fact Lyon attributes to their ability on the job.

Lyon also decided to change up the drink menu, adding hard liquor as well as more diversity to the beer menu. Menu prices are the same, but the hours have changed. Barrelhouse opens at 11 a.m. daily and closes at 2 a.m.

According to Austin Tofell, a server at the restaurant, Barrelhouse’s on-tap brews go through a frequent rotation. Currently, they are offering a cranberry hard cider made by One Tree. On Tofell’s recommendation, I gave it a shot.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like alcohol, but even I found the flavor of One Tree Cranberry Cider quite satisfying. The tang of cranberry was very present and featured an earthier flavor that you might expect from a beer. The beverage’s deep red color made me want to cozy up and get ready for the holidays. According to Tofell, Barrelhouse frequently offers One Tree drinks on their menu.

As an appetizer, I ordered Barrelhouse’s popular wedgies. Wedgies are finger sized bits of scratch-made dough, brushed with garlic butter and liberally powered with parmesan cheese. As simple as that combination sounds, it is extraordinarily effective. I find traditional pizza sides, such as cheese bread, to be too greasy for my taste. Wedgies are greasy but not too much, and the flavor of the warm, freshly made bread combined with the texture of the powdered parmesan cheese really makes this side top-notch. Indulge yourself and dip a bread bite in the provided tomato sauce or house-made pesto ranch, but don’t forget that you still have to save room for the main course.

I was recommended the Thai Pizza by Tofell, who said that this particular dish was one of Barrelhouse’s more unique — and yet still extremely popular — offerings. The Thai pizza is made with peanut sauce, mozzarella, chicken, red peppers, red onions and cilantro and is topped with a swirl of Sriracha sauce.

My first opinion of this pizza is that it is not for everyone, myself included. The combination of flavors, however, is fascinating. I am not a fan a sriracha, which is what turned me off to this particular dish. The sriracha was potent, and if you don’t like the flavor, this pizza should get a solid pass. If, however, you like sriracha, I would definitely give this pizza a try. The peanut sauce tastes lovely beneath the mozzarella cheese, offering each slice a slightly creamy texture. Because of the sriracha, the pizza itself was quite spicy and left me sniffling by the end of the meal.

Barrelhouse is a great pizza-joint and offers a lot of unique options. For those who wouldn’t be a fan of the Thai, the Pesto Pizza, Chicken Pizza and Garden Goddess Pizza are all delicious options that I personally recommend.