Review: Czech this out! Pivovar enters Waco food scene

Pivovar, a Czech-inspired brewery and restaurant, is an exciting new addition to Waco’s food scene. Photo by Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer

By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer

As I walked in, I was greeted by warm lighting and a kind host. The booth was dark forest green leather and the menus were made of wood. The tables were surrounded by tall ceilings and looming brew kettles that are positioned behind glass windows. My parents, boyfriend and I were soon greeted by our waitress, Angel. She was very helpful in her knowledge of what dishes were the best to try and she made her selling point on the dessert menu.

Pivovar brought free bread to each table that comes with butter and house-made hummus. The bread was topped with mixed seasonings, and I spread a thick layer of butter over it which made it taste even better. I ultimately had to force myself to stop eating bread because I was planning to order a full-course meal, from appetizers all the way to the dessert.

For the first dish, I tried the spinach artichoke dip with crostini. The cheese pull on this dip went to the full extension of my arm. It was gooey and creamy and all good things that should be associated with an artichoke dip. The crostini were long thin pieces of crunchy bread that held the dip quite nicely and those two contrasting textures worked well together. However, I am biased to my mom’s artichoke dip and would have liked to have tasted more flavor depth to Pivovar’s dip.

For my main dish I had sausage, sauerkraut and corn ribs. This dish came with two house-made sauces, a mustard and a BBQ sauce. The mustard sauce was quite spicy, but after a couple of bites with the sauerkraut and sausage together I took a liking to it. The BBQ sauce was not what most Texans typically think of, but it was delicious nonetheless — it was smoky, sweet and fresh. The sausage was delicious; it did not taste greasy or heavy, it was a perfect portion too.

However, I was disappointed with the corn ribs because they did not have much flavor on them at all. I can maybe understand the blandness of the corn due to the sauerkraut and unique sauces. This also was my first time trying sauerkraut, and I can see why it sounds like ‘sour’ is in the name. It was perfect when tried with the sausage, but I wouldn’t advise people to eat it by itself if they are not a fan of pickled flavors. Overall, this dish tasted authentic to the Czech cuisine and I enjoyed trying a new worldly food.

After all of the bread, cheese and sauerkraut I consumed, I really thought there was no way I could finish my goal of a full-course meal — until Angel told us the dessert menu. My stomach magically became empty when she said they were serving a creme brulee cheesecake. I immediately made eye contact with the waitress as she brought the cheesecake out of the kitchen; We both squealed in excitement.

There was a hard, sugary layer dripped over the top of the cheesecake. A dollop of whipped cream and a ray of strawberry preserve hugged the cake from the side. I was so excited to dive in, but I had to check how crunchy the layer of sugar was, so I tapped my spoon on top and heard a hearty tap echoing back. I caught all three layers on my spoon and had a delicious bite of creamy, lemony, sugary confection that made me smile. Suddenly the entire table became hungry again and we all enjoyed bites of this decadent creme brulee cheesecake.

Pivovar was refreshingly unique. The inside is gorgeous and so romantic to me, this is a wonderful place for date night. I loved the warmth of the staff and of the historic building. The menu at Pivovar is so large and broad it is a great place to try new things. Pivovar also has a hotel and bakery, so for parents visiting Waco this is a convenient one-stop shop. They also have a happy hour and serve craft Czech beers and cocktails. Pivovar is a great addition to Waco and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a nice and unique dining experience.