Bricks at Cashier’s House – Erie, PA – Fat Guy Reviewer: Adam

The City of Erie in the Northwest corner of Pennsylvania, right on Lake Erie, is one of those towns in the USA that has been around for over 200 years. As such, it has a decent number of historical buildings that have survived the decades to see revival as a different kind of venue than what was initially intended. Such is the case with the Cashier’s House, the current home of Bricks American Steakhouse.

The Cashier’s House was designed by the Philadelphia architect William Kelly, and was built in 1839 as part of a complex; the other components of the development were the Coach House and the Old Custom House. The Cashier’s House was built primarily as the residence for the chief executive officer of the next door Erie Branch of the Bank of the United States. The bank closed in 1841, but the cashier of the bank continued to live in the house until his death in 1843. In 1850, the house was sold for $4,000 ($116,329 in present-day terms) at half of its original cost. The Cashier’s House was bought by Samuel Woodruff in 1872. The Woodruffs occupied the Cashier’s House until 1913, leading the house to sometimes be referred to as the “Woodruff Residence” or “Woodruff House.”

You can read more in the Wikipedia article and at the National Register of Historic Places.

One of the ingredients of a good restaurant is atmosphere, and this place has it in spades. The interior decor is simple but tasteful, and it retains much of the same look and feel one might have encountered if you visited the place a century ago. Everything about the place comes from a different time, but the service and food are fantastic! While it is not required, reservations are recommended.

A friend and I stopped by Bricks on a Tuesday evening, and while we were not alone, the place was not as crowded as it probably would be on a more “primetime” evening. The wait staff are professional, attentive, and friendly while not overbearing; that last part is particularly important to me. This is one of the first places I’ve eaten in quite a while where a wait staff member hasn’t stopped by to ask about the meal right after I’ve taken a bite of something. It was very refreshing.

I started my meal with a bowl of the Reuben Soup, which features a delightful creamy broth, fine-cut sauerkraut, and thin-sliced pastrami, and it was all topped with crispy dark rye bread croutons. The soup was not over-seasoned; I’d go as far as to say it was “just right.”

Since this is a steakhouse, I ordered the 12oz. Dry-Aged Ribeye steak cooked medium-rare as my entree, and for my two sides (that come with a steak), I chose the Double Fried Au Gratin Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts. The Dry-Aged Ribeye Steak was featured on the day I visited, and as part of the feature, you could add Shrimp or Scallops as an additional protein. I opted for the Scallops.

Pictured here – 12oz. Dry-aged Ribeye steak with Double fried Au Gratin Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, and Scallops. Also on the side is the lower half of a bulb of garlic, roasted in a bit of oil with cracked pepper (and possibly a bit of salt).

While I don’t typically finish a steak that I grille at home with any sort of butter, the finishing butter used here was an added bonus and complimented the flavor of the steak quite nicely. It was subtle, but I think the pat of butter was infused with some garlic and chives. The scallops were cooked to perfection, and they were exceptionally tender. As for the steak itself, I ordered it medium-rare, and it was picture-perfect. If I had been thinking, I would have captured that aspect as well, but I was too caught up in the moment. What surprised me the most was the Au Gratin Potatoes. They were presented in a block, but what is difficult to see in the picture is that the block was comprised of a stack of very thin individual slices. They retained enough of their structure that I could peel them apart with my fork, and what a flavor! Much like everything else, they were lightly seasoned, and I think they had just a little bit of melted cheese between the layers. I’m not 100% sure about that, so don’t quote me. Regardless, they were uniquely presented, and I have not had anything like them to this point in my life. I don’t usually go in for Brussel Sprouts, but these were cooked in a bit of oil and lightly seasoned, and it’s just how I would prefer to eat such vegetables if given the opportunity. Lastly, a highlight of the meal was the roasted (or toasted) garlic bulb. I didn’t see it listed on the menu anywhere, but my brothers and I used to make these ourselves when we all still lived at home. The resulting treat can best be described almost as a “garlic butter.” While the individual cloves weren’t quite the consistency of melted butter, they could have been easily spread on toast. Here too, they were lightly seasoned since the inherent flavors, enhanced by the way they were cooked, didn’t need further embellishment. I commented multiple times throughout the meal that I could have easily eaten a few more of those. It also brought back fond memories of yesteryear, which made the experience that much better.

Pictured below is the current menu (as of 3/2023):

Bricks at Cashier’s House (Bricks American Steakhouse) is open from 11 am – 8 pm Monday through Saturday. While they don’t typically require reservations, they are highly recommended; you can call to make said reservations at the following number: (814) 464-0175. More information can be found on their Facebook page:

I can highly recommend Bricks (two thumbs way up, as they say), and I plan to return sometime soon to sample more of their menu items. Happy eating!

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