The brunch menu at Aero Crafters sounds like boot camp for taste buds: smoked sausage fried in pancake batter with cinnamon maple syrup; fries with stout cheese sauce, Parmesan and truffle oil; bacon-fried rice; and blackened shrimp on a garlic polenta cake drizzled with lemon garlic butter.
The brunch is served noon to 10 p.m. every Sunday.
For those who are salivating for more, the beer garden and gastropub also hosts a four-course wine or beer dinner once a month. The Sweeter Side of the Vine Wine Dinner, which includes four courses paired with complementary wines, is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Brunch also features thirst-quenchers like the cucumber mint refresher with muddled cucumber and mint, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and Topo Chico.
Flights of mimosas and “craftails” like the pisco sour, which blends pisco brandy, lemon and lime juices, a sugar cube and egg whites “shaken not stirred,” are served only on Sundays.
And happy hour specials typically offered from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday are available all day Sunday. Well drinks are $3; beer and wine flights are $2 off and draft beers are $1 off. Aero Crafters offers 24 craft beers on tap.
“You can’t get the pisco sour anywhere else in town,” said Fe Vela, the marketing strategist for Aero Crafters. “The pisco sour with the shrimp and grits is my happy meal brunch combo.”
While customers can order off the brunch menu all day on Sundays, the menus for the alternating wine and beer dinners vary monthly.
Alex Castillo, the chef, and Mike Brewer, the assistant general manager who specializes in beer and wine procurement, dream up the special menus and prepare the gourmet meals in the Aero Crafter food truck fitted with a full kitchen. In preparation for menu planning, they taste the wines – even those they know well because they change from one vintage to the next. And they tweak the menu until the last possible minute.
“We bounce ideas off each other and settle on something a week out,” Brewer said. “One of us always has an epiphany – it’s part of the creative process.”
The hot weather motivated the selection of wines from the “sweeter side of the vine.” Gulf Breeze Winery in Victoria is providing two of the wines, a late harvest Riesling and a “Just Peachy” fruit-infused wine, for the upcoming dinner. During the interview for this article, the other two wines and the menu still were unconfirmed.
The wine and beer dinners are always “informative experiences,” Brewer said. Representatives from the wineries or breweries share information about their processes and products, and the chef explains the motivation behind pairing each wine or beer with each course.
During the warmer months, the dinners are hosted in the main room, which offers a “cool, communal” atmosphere, Brewer said. When the weather cools down, they are held outdoors on the side patio.
Aero Crafters offers a place most evenings where Crossroads residents can listen to live music, socialize with friends and find new ones, and order from the extensive bar and inventive dining menus. They can relax or play backyard games such as cornhole, washers, oversized Jenga and oversized beer pong.
Certain evenings throughout each month, they can stimulate their brains with themed trivia nights, find their new favorite musicians at the VAMA Open Mic Night, get centered at Sunset Yoga and enjoy a four-course gourmet meal with wine or beer pairings.
Patrons can bring their pets and sit with them leashed on the patio.
All ages of visitors are welcome until 10 p.m.
“People have been asking if they can bring the kids, and for sure, Sundays are family-friendly,” Vela said.