Two Brothers Roundhouse
Aurora landmark turned eatery and brew house
Fish tacos with roasted vegetables
Two Brothers Roundhouse combines the comfort of a neighborhood bar with the square footage of a big-time brewery. Nestled in downtown Aurora, this craft beer and restaurant hot spot is worth the drive — or Metra ride — whether just for a round of drinks or for a complete meal.
The full-service brewpub concept is rooted in a love of artisan beer, but this sprawling location — the largest of five Two Brothers’ establishments — offers more, such as house-brewed coffee, homemade sodas, distilled-on-site liquors like gin, whiskey and vodka, and a comprehensive food menu.
Deciding on a beer is a tough choice, but servers are knowledgeable and eager to help. Coming in on a cold and rainy night? The coffee and chocolate notes of the dark Northwind Imperial Stout make this a nice, high ABV draft that’s not too strong or heavy. For spring, the seasonal In the Flesh pomegranate sour is a refreshing, tart option. This one will rotate to pear and then guava throughout the warmer months.
The line-up of appetizers includes the usual suspects — wings, spinach dip and a soft pretzel with a signature beer cheese. But Two Brothers is surprisingly known for its brussels sprouts. “These aren’t the healthy kind,” a friendly server advised. “We fry them, bake them and serve them with chili sauce.” For larger appetites, go with the chimichurri nachos. Enough for four, they are baked directly on the plate on which they are served, ensuring every chip is hot, crunchy and covered in melted cheese.
Entrées include comfort food favorites such as tender filet medallions and a hearty pot roast, but there are also soups and signature salads for lighter fare. The handheld sandwiches stand out, namely the Brewer’s Reuben, which is stuffed with brisket, as well as the melt-in-your-mouth short rib sandwich, served piping hot on a soft bun with sriracha mayo. Sandwiches come with chips, but they can be subbed for fries for a small upcharge.
Food comes out hot and quick in this lodge-like brewpub, complete with soaring ceilings and extra-large bay windows. Once finished with the meal, patrons can enjoy other elements of the 70,000-sq-ft facility — depending on the day of the week — including live music, comedy and a walk-through of the on-site merchandise store. In warmer weather, the giant outdoor beer garden and gazebo are open.
Don’t leave before rounding out the meal with a cup of joe brewed at Two Brothers Café, as well as a decadent dessert. A slice of crème brûlée cheesecake will do the trick. Chocoholics, don’t fret. A flourless torte or slice of Swiss chalet cake has your name on it.
Richness isn’t just found in the desserts, there is also quite a bit of history to the location. It was erected in 1856 as a railroad roundhouse — a service building that once housed a huge turntable to reverse the direction of train engines. It was built with locally quarried stone from nearby Batavia and is the oldest limestone roundhouse in the United States, with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
205 N. Broadway, Aurora
Roundhouse Burger; fish tacos; and brussels sprouts
Appetizers: $7 – $12
Small plates: $6 – $13
Entrées: $14 – $25
M - Thur: 11 a.m. – midnight
F – Sat: 11 a.m., – 1 a.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Comedy on Thurs; live music on F & Sat; outdoor beer garden