After a half day at work, our merry band of coworkers headed down to the new Malted Barley in downtown Providence. Though many of us had frequented the Westerly location before, we were excited to see what this new Westminster Street drink-n-dine had to offer.
Upon arrival, we were immediately seated at an extra-long table that could comfortably fit up to 10 adults. The decor of the restaurant was charming, a pleasant mix of Craftsman-esque low chairs and somewhat more refined high tops. There was definitely a rustic vibe, but with a hint of big-city modernity.
The Malted Barley, carries a strong reputation north from its Westerly flagship; it’s known for two things: beer and pretzels. The beer list is thorough, offering a wide variety of brews on tap as well as bottled, and there is also a flight option for those who can’t decide on just one thing. The flights are reasonably priced, with samples running anywhere from $1.50 – $5 apiece, and end up coming out to about 16 ounces – a good deal for those of us who like variety without too much volume.
The flights are reasonably priced, with samples running anywhere from $1.50 – $5 apiece, and end up coming out to about 16 ounces – a good deal for those of us who like variety without too much volume.
Another nice touch is that you can order individual samples – so, say you want to try the fruity IPA but you’re not much of a hops person: order the sample size and you can try it without fully committing to the whole glass. At our table, between pints ordered and flights tried, we probably tasted about 20 different beers in all; in the end, everyone left with their cravings satisfied.
The other claim to fame for The Malted Barley is their house-made soft pretzels. They have a pretty impressive list of pretzels and dips, with options including jalapeno and cheese stuffed and garlic and parsley seasoned pretzels, and dips such as homemade spicy brown beer mustard and gorgonzola. Myself, I went for the plain, salted pretzel and homemade mustard, and was not disappointed. The mustard was spicy and packed with flavor, while the pretzel had just the right amount of salt and was fluffy on the inside, but hard enough on the outside to maintain its perfect dipping form. Others at the table ordered sandwiches from the menu, which of course, come served on a pretzel bun. They were all equally pleased.
Going in to The Malted Barley with high hopes, it was a nice surprise to have those expectations not only met, but exceeded. This new Providence location is spacious, comfortable, and has a great vibe. And with a sweet selection of beer, undeniably tasty pretzels, and a relatively cheap price tag, there’s really not much more you could ask for.
The Malted Barley
334 Westminster St.
Providence, RI 02903
— Shannon Curley