If you’re vegan, we have your ticket to the birria train in the form of crispy dipping tacos from The Old Bakery Beer Co. in Alton, Illinois.
A star of the restaurant’s new winter menu, the plant-based tacos feature refried black beans, seasoned rice and, of course, dipping sauce – in this case, a creamy avocado variety. The two tacos per order are fried to crispy perfection, and the dipping sauce has a pleasant tang and gentle spice that rounds out each bite.
Chef Matthew Cooper, who is always looking for ways to elevate the vegan options at Old Bakery Beer, was also inspired by “Alton fried tacos,” which were popularized by Morales Tacos, a local food truck, many years ago.
You can’t go to Old Bakery Beer and not pair your meal with, well, a beer. The Citrus Wheat, the company’s flagship beer, is light enough to allow the flavors of the tacos to shine, while the lemon and orange peel of the brew helps cut through the heaviness of the fried taco shells.
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We’re mildly obsessed with this dish, but you can’t go wrong no matter what you order off the winter menu at Old Bakery Beer. The Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts smothered in Sichuan chile sauce, the toasted ravioli stuffed with portabella mushrooms and paired with rosemary Alfredo sauce and the Frito pie packed with Fritos, chili, Chihuahua cheese, jalapeños and sour cream are all fantastic snacks. The roasted fennel salad boasts dried cranberries, hazelnuts and a honey-Champagne vinaigrette, if you’re looking for something fresh, while the Charlie Brown sandwich features everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving flavors (roasted turkey breast, stuffing, gravy, Swiss and cranberry chutney) on a rosemary Tuscan roll. And that’s just a few of the carefully curated, downright delicious options.
The Old Bakery Beer Co., 400 Landmarks Blvd., Alton, Illinois, oldbakerybeer.com