We're full in to college basketball season now, so our season tickets give us lots of opportunities to dine in Lawrence before games. I love going up to Lawrence to eat. It's a whole untapped resource of yummy things right down I-70.
The bad thing about eating in Lawrence is that I have my favorites and I find it hard to deviate from those. Sometimes you just get a craving for the sweet salsa or the mushroom empanadas at La Familia and nothing else will do. And sometimes you're in the mood for a Wheat State beer and some Cheddar Ale Soup, and you just have to go to Free State. I'm really never not in the mood for their Cheddar Ale Soup.
I've had bad service at Free State before, but I've never had a bad meal. I like their daily specials and I feel like they do a great job of updating the menu on a pretty regular basis. Wednesday night the special was a Ad Astra Ale-battered chile relleno stuffed with three different cheeses, served with beans and rice. The chile relleno was lightly battered and not at all overcooked. The sauce was sharp and flavorful and it was especially good with the Saison beer. My butternut ravioli had a cream sauce, a dollop of pesto, and was sprinkled with dried cranberries; the toasted focaccia slice was perfect for sopping up the rest of the sauce.
Our dining companions had the Fish & Chips (you can never go wrong with their Fish & Chips, mainly because they have awesome fries) and the Hot Pastrami Baguette, served with a mixed greens salad.
Free State Brewing Company
636 Massachusetts in Lawrence, KS