The Beer Hunter opened its doors on June 16, 2010 with great anticipation from residents starved for more dining choices in Menifee. And in its first couple weeks of opening, crowds of hungry diners stuffed its 128 indoor seats and 32 patio seats eager to sink their teeth into juicy burgers and steaks, enjoy ice cold beer, and watch sports across 32 wide-screen televisions.
And while much of that went well, The Beer Hunter experienced some problems during those opening weeks.
"We don't feel we were prepared as we would like to be" says Dan Held, manager of The Beer Hunter. "Our servers are great, our chefs are great, but it was a logistical problem in getting the two coordinated."
The result was some unhappy customers not getting their orders delivered in a timely manner. "But we made a lot of changes since then and got it all ironed out" Held explains. "We'd like to invite those people back to give us another chance."
Now having been opened for eight months, The Beer Hunter looks to broaden its appeal to more than just the sports crowd. Held wants to bring in more college students from MSJC, wants to make a destination for business lunches, and host social gatherings for women.
So a few of us writers at Menifee 24/7 took time out to do a review based on three unique perspectives, the college perspective, the ladies lunch perspective, and the guy's sports viewing perspective...
Beer Hunter Anyone?
by Julianne Lanz (college perspective)
The best part about the Beer Hunter is that they cater not only to the “Over 21” crowd, but even to those of us who have yet to reach drinking age.
I recently walked into The Beer Hunter for the first time to have lunch with a friend. I thought that customers had to be over 21 to eat there; imagine how silly I felt when I realized that I was mistaken. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted on the menu; there were just so many delicious options that I wanted them all! Wow, were we surprised when our meals arrived to the table, and the portions of food were huge. You really are getting your money's worth here! This brings me to my second favorite reason to visit them again.
Date night, date night, date night! With the massive food portions, you and that special someone could split anything on the menu, have an intimate meal, and save yourself a little coin! As a college student, I know that saving money is what we are all about. We need the money for books and other supplies, as well as bills, so we tend to eat food wherever there is a dollar menu. And you could barely call that food.
I've been to The Beer Hunter time and time again, and every time I am pleasantly surprised. Every week there are new specials on food, beer and dessert too! Their Big Mac Brownie is my favorite dessert; I highly recommended it for the chocolate lovers! I can’t think of a better place to do a little homework, enjoy a real meal, and treat myself to something sweet by sharing a Big Mac Brownie with my boyfriend! Beer Hunter – here we come!
Ladies Like to Lunch
by Tina Walker (ladies perspective)
The lunchtime atmosphere is deeply subdued, with the televisions quieter than the raucous evening sports bar atmosphere. Light and vibrant, the entire restaurant seems more relaxed and welcoming for a ladies lunch. Bright enough to see your food, but tranquil enough to collect your thoughts, The Beer Hunter is more than accommodating. Lunch specials abound, and since the portions are enormous, really geared for hearty appetites, most dishes are large enough to share and still be happily satisfied. The daytime staff is attentive and gracious and every nook and cranny of the restaurant is sparkling clean.
On a beautiful day, nothing beats cool drinks, delicious salads and covered patio seating to help you relax with the girls. The Tequila Lime Chicken is brightly flavored, served with vegetarian refried beans and Spanish rice, handmade tortillas, and farm-fresh pico de gallo. It is a guilt-free lunch that will leave you feeling contented. If you are in the mood for something a bit more decadent, hearty sandwiches, heaping burgers, and sumptuous pasta that is absolutely redolent of old Italy await to please you.
Once you have all thrown caution to the wind, and saved the diet for another day, dive into some dessert. The luscious Apple Crisp and delectable “Big Mac” Brownie are sure to please. According to Manager Dave, all desserts are calorie-free on Tuesday and Sunday, but somehow I think he was pulling my leg with that one.
With deep, comfortable booths that you will never want to leave and abundant table space for the gigantic spread you will be served, The Beer Hunter is Menifee’s newest “Ladies Lunch Destination!”
Beers, Burgers, and Sports
by Steve Johnson (guy's perspective)
Every time I've been there, the bartenders and servers are happy to put on any game you want. The Beer Hunter subscribes to every sports package there is, if you know of a game playing, whether it's a college basketball game in Oklahoma, or a minor league hockey game in Connecticut, as long as it's on television, they'll find it.
And they have so many televisions that there's never an argument over who's get to watch what.
But I'm a beer guy. Yeah, The Beer Hunter has all of your favorite domestics and lagers (Bud, Coors, Heineken, Miller, Rolling Rock, Pacifico, etc.). Except I love craft beer. I love those thick, malty, hoppy ales, the kind of stuff that monks used to make in those dark old abbeys of Europe, the kind of beer you drink as a meal on its own. The Beer Hunter has over 150 brands of beer on tap and in bottles. They even offer their own brand.
I like to start with a Red Trolley from Karl Strauss, then move on to a dark, smokey Anchor Porter, then finish it off with something rich like a Stone Arrogant Bastard or the Chimay Grande Reserve.
The food quality seems to rival that with other sports bars throughout south west Riverside County. The Beer Hunter does offer pasta, but it's not going to compete with an italian restaurant. It does offer steaks and BBQ, but it's not going to compete with a steakhouse. And you can get tacos and fajitas, but it's not trying to be a mexican restaurant.
Instead, The Beer Hunter excels at providing you with the full sports bar experience. 150+ brands of beer to choose from, a full bar, large food portions, and a menu with a wide range of choices to satisfy whatever mood you're in.
Throw in the extras like the Buzztime Trivia games, the Hall of Foam beer challenge, and the friendly bartenders, you get that full sports bar experience.
Best of all, it's in Menifee!