Pearly Baker’s Alehouse

Pearly Baker’s Alehouse

This long-time favorite destination of Easton’s Centre Square attests to the staying power of good food, good drink, and good company.


Warning: Non-meat eaters may need to avert their eyes form the passionate description of incredibly crave-worthy Pale Ale Braised Short Ribs (left). This cut of beef, richly marbled and deeply flavored, benefits from long, slow cooking for delectable tenderness and juicy succulence. A 7-ounce portion of meat, simmered in West Coast IPA, is presented atop roasted smoked cheddar potatoes enhanced with creamy Mornay sauce and topped with melted leeks. A tangy bourbon blackberry barbecue sauce drizzled over the dish delivers a bold note of sweetly spiced flavor. The overall composition is a superbly comforting dish that puts a modern twist on tradition. A dry and hoppy West Coast IPA is the recommended pairing for this smoky-sweet entrée.


While owner/founder Jonathan Davis describes Pearly Baker’s as “an urban craft brew house with a scratch kitchen,” he also adds that the downtown mainstay is difficult to pigeonhole. “It’s approachable, not pretentious,” he says. In a college town, patrons range from professors to students, and with a quarter-century presence on Easton’s Circle, this destination offers “generational appeal.” In short, the diverse clientele itself defines the warm and welcoming vibe. Live music several times a week contributes a rousing dose of energy to the friendly ambiance.


Although time-tested favorite and seasonal cocktails, concocted with everything from local flowers to bacon—plus a carefully curated wine list available by glass or bottle—are always available, the stars of the beverage menu are regional brews. Ten to twelve of the 26 rotating taps showcase regional brewers focusing on quality, rather than novelty, including Weyerbacher of Easton, HiJinx of Allentown, Brew Works of Bethlehem, Evil Genuis of Philly, Saucony Creek of Kutztown, and Tröegs of Hershey.         


Who is your new executive chef?
Chef Ricky Heinrichs, who was mentored by Shawn Doyle at the Savory Grille, has been the multi-time winner of such notable area competitions as the Chili Cook Off and the Garlic Festival’s “Chopped” event in Easton, plus the Allentown Fair’s Iron Chef showdown. He relishes being part of the competitive Easton dining scene, believing that his fellow chefs work together to “keep standards high.”

Will he continue Pearly Baker’s fresh-and-local tradition?
As a strong supporter of area farmers, Heinrichs meshes well with Pearly Baker’s long-standing ethos of locally sourced ingredients. “One of the reasons we brought Ricky on was because he has such a big appreciation of local farmers. Obviously, that’s something near and dear to our heart,” remarks Davis, who served as a board member for the Easton Public Market. “Local is fresh, and fresh is best.” To exemplify this approach, each Saturday evening a “market fresh” special—created from whatever Chef Heinrichs gleans that morning at the Easton Farmers’ Market—brings guests a supremely seasonal dish inspired by his finds.

How is the menu changing?
There will still be an all-day menu that preserves such favorites as distinctive burgers (including a Chipotle Black Bean version) and “totchos” (tater tot nachos!) with du jour toppings, while maximizing variety. Look for vegetarian offerings such as a Wild Mushroom Wrap, a tantalizingly garnished Garlic Hummus Flatbread, and a Tomato Pappardelle main dish with maitake and crimini mushrooms, and roasted garlic pepper crema, served with house-made caraway toast and pecorino Romano. Gluten-free dishes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Madeira cream, roasted peanuts, apple slaw, and smoked salt; and Jameson Horseradish Wings. Other main plates encompass Chorizo Sweet Potato Gnocchi, BBQ Pork Cheeks, and Pan Roasted Salmon with toasted orzo and red onion tomato confit. Modest pricing, with every dish on the regular menu under $20, makes dining at Pearly Baker’s an affordable indulgence.

What about options for casual dining?
An expanded selection of small plates, emphasizing the sharing concept, runs a tasty gamut of culinary influences. For example, Steak Tagliata features a 6-ounce rib-eye with potato hash, herb oil, and crispy onions; Chicken Confit Tacos incorporate pork belly, queso fresco, and grilled pineapple salsa with crispy wontons; and the chef’s signature Bacon Lollipops deliver over-the-top decadence with beer mustard aioli, root beer BBQ sauce, and crumbles of house-baked soft pretzels for mopping up every drop of deliciousness.

Is outdoor seating available?
Guests can definitely bask in the urban social scene at sidewalk tables along Easton’s famed Circle. However, Pearly Baker’s affords diverse dining options, with an elegant crystal chandelier-bedecked dining room for a refined experience, and a spacious vintage taproom that exudes authentic yesteryear charm.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

• 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
• 2 T + 1/2 tsp. olive oil
• 1 tsp. roasted peanuts, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/3 cup Madeira wine
• 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
• 1⁄2 tsp. smoked salt
• 1 tablespoon butter

Apple slaw:
• 2 T mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 Granny Smith apple

Blanch Brussels sprouts in boiling water until tender. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, peanuts, salt, and pepper to taste. Transfer to a baking pan and place in an oven preheated to 325°F. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Heat a frying pan and add a half-teaspoon olive oil. When hot, transfer Brussels sprouts to pan. Pour Madeira wine into pan to deglaze, then stir in heavy cream and smoked salt. Reduce until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste as needed. Plate as desired and serve with apple slaw.

For the apple slaw: Whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Cut the apple into thin strips and fold into mayonnaise mixture. (This can be made several hours ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Herb-Infused Artichokes

• 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
• 8 oz. herb oil (your favorite variety)
• 1 red bell pepper, medium dice
• 1/2 cup mushroom pâté (see below)
• 1 carrot, shaved
• 3 watermelon radishes,
  cut in half-moon slices

Mushroom pâté:
• 4 oz. crimini and portobello mushrooms, diced
• 1 T olive oil
• 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
• Salt and pepper
• 1 T butter
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
• 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

Slice artichokes in halves or quarters, place in a bowl with herb oil and marinate for one hour.

For the mushroom pâté: In a sauté pan over medium-low heat, cook mushrooms in olive oil until tender. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter and heavy cream and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer contents of pan to a food processor or blender, add almonds and breadcrumbs and process until ingredients are fully incorporated. Transfer to a covered container and chill for at least eight hours.

To serve: Scatter diced red peppers on one half of four plates and divide artichokes over the top. Place 2 tablespoons of mushroom pâté on the side and arrange carrot strips and radish slices in the middle of each plate and drizzle herb oil over top and around sides.

Serves 4

Pearly Baker’s AleHouse | 11 Centre Square, Easton | 610.253.9949 |

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