I don't know where the name "The Shepard and the Knucklehead" came from. I do know I like it and their slogan "Where We Celebrate the Duality of Man" and Woman too.
For years, and up until several months ago "The Shep" was just a place to enjoy a great selection of beers, 60 taps in all. You could bring your own food if you like.
Today great food is part of the package. A renovated bar and a new dining room are perfect for your drinking and dining pleasure.
We ordered three small plates that started with the "Pickle Pot" which is three nicely brined vegetables of the day. Today there were Haricot Verte, Fennel and Jalapeño Peppers. The acid of the pickling and nutty flavor of the vegetables were a wonderful contrast and compliment to the deep beer flavors.
Then our "Poutine" came. This is a dish you rarely see south of the Canadian border, and is claimed to only be good in French Canada and British Columbia. Nell had this dish a few times on her trip through Canada this spring. Usually it is just French fries covered with brown gravy, and topped with fresh cheese curds. The Shep's version adds pulled pork shoulder, over some of the best French Fries you have ever had. The gravy is subtle and the cheese is light. Very good.
We had a couple of more beers from Founders Brewery of Grand Rapids, Michigan. We happen to love their beers. Founders Centennial IPA and Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale were oustanding on tap.
Our next dish was Chorizo Street Tacos. House made Chorizo with lime, cilantro, onion, and pickled radishes in a real flour tortilla. Look how beautiful they are. Very fresh and tasty.
As you might imagine the beer list spans the globe, with a lot of regional brews, national and European.
I ordered a wild beer Kasteel Rouge a Belgium fruit beer with unique dark red colour that comes from the beer mature for at least 6 months with sour cherries.
Nell had a beautiful Dry Irish Stout by Brooklyn Brewery.
We had this idea to mix the two, and it was delicious. But then our waiter Chris one upped us by making a cocktail of the Irish Stout, the Kasteel Rouge over a layer of Long Trail Double White.
All around great time.
Now one thing to know, if your are traveling from Montclair, Google Maps will take you right through downtown Paterson. Which is not necessarily the finest of rides, all the beautiful old buildings not withstanding. Better to go up 208 to Goffe Rd. and make your way over to Belmont from there.
Lastly the service while very well intended is still a little weak, but be patient, you will be rewarded with great food and drink. It is something that is getting better for sure.
The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Pub
529 Belmont Ave.
Haledon, NJ 07508
Open Daily 4pm-2am