Checking Out Cold Beer Company (CBC), Now Open (and Burger-Free!) in Deep Ellum

CBC (Cold Beer Company) opened in Deep Ellum over the weekend, serving up a mix of casual pub grub and (of course) plenty of cold beer. Keeping a good mix of local craft beers on tap is hardly a differentiator in Dallas these days, but CBC does have some change-ups that make the space worth a look.

You can start with the patio. Exposition Avenue, Main Street and La France Street all converge to form a triangle around CBC, and every side but the back is wrapped with patio seating, some of which is covered. When the temperatures begin to fall later this year, it's hard not to imagine most of these seats full.

Inside, the tables and the bar top are finished with an ashy stain that lets the woodgrain pop through. Grab a seat at the bar, or at one of the large communal tables that will let you sit with several friends and maybe even make a few new ones, depending on how much cold beer you've been enjoying.

No matter where you sit, when the sun sets, hot columns of light cut through the space, cooking patrons and making food-critic iPhone photography impossible. (Gasp!) Some blinds or curtains would do this place well. But as evidenced by the employee glueing a no smoking sign to the door as I walked up, it's pretty clear this place is still working through some opening issues.

As for the food, the menu reads a little plainly, but it's actually exciting. Don't miss the pickles, which are tart with vinegar and boast some heat. You'll get them with any sandwich you order, or you can order them in a jar you're free to take home. Do both.

The Shelby (pictured above) boasts a massive roll that's soft and springy. It cradles enough smoked turkey to induce a nap, with plenty of melted cheddar cheese and slivers of green apple that add a nice tartness if you can get them to stay in place. There's a vegetable sandwich for vegetarians, and hot dogs, but amazingly no burgers. That's right, not a single burger, which seems suicidal but I get the sense things will work out just fine.

No burgers. Not a single one. What will they think of next?

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