ON THE MENU — Go inside Neches Brewing Company’s new lunch menu, plans for more
Published 12:36 am Saturday, April 15, 2023
PORT NECHES — There’s something new cooking on Port Neches Avenue — literally.
Neches Brewing Company recently rolled out a lunch menu that has proven to be a hit with the community.
“Getting back to just pre-COVID numbers, people’s habits changed,” said owner Tyler Blount. “Disposable income really wasn’t there. The economy isn’t that great. A lot of people started staying home. And so we needed another way to attract people besides just the beer.”
A few years back the brewery opened a kitchen. However, Blount said, the crazy hours coupled with a new addition to his family led to the decision to close it.
But now, he said, the timing was right to bring food back into the popular establishment.
“A food truck made a lot of sense,” he said. “We don’t have to tote it around.”
They launched a lunch menu April 5 and sold approximately 50 poboys. The following day, that number more than doubled at 117.
“We’re still just figuring this out, trying to be efficient in the kitchen,” Blount said. “We’re knocking these poboys out pretty quick, and we don’t have to rush really because where else can you go and get something in under five minutes? I think we’re all excited.”
The food truck is parked behind the brewery on Port Neches Avenue. Last Thursday, Blount was joined inside by Deon Beasley and Justin Yates.
“Let’s put some razzle dazzle on it real quick,” Yates said after pulling shrimp from the fryer and adding seasoning. “It looks a little bit better with that green.”
Beasley, Blount said, owns a catering company.
“He’s making sandwiches now, but he can cook anything and his food is amazing,” Blount said. “And (he’s) a perfectionist. It needs to look pretty and taste great, too, for him.”
The brewery is starting slow with lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering a muffuletta, shrimp poboy, Philly cheesesteak, roast beef poboy, chicken salad poboy and original poboy.
At a later date, Blount said, they will look into lunch specials and adding new menu items.
But the poboys are authentic, as employees did research in Louisiana before launching their own sandwiches.
“We’re actually using Gulf shrimp,” he said. “I know it sounds crazy because we live on the Gulf, but we went to these places and they didn’t have Gulf shrimp. That was so disappointing. You can literally see the Gulf of Mexico.”
In addition, the muffuletta bread comes from New Orleans and, “if you can eat a quarter, good luck,” Blount said.
The roast beef is slow cooked overnight.
“We’re still running a business inside of there,” he said of the brewery. “Adding this is stressful, but it’s a good type of stress. And people are supporting it.”