From Farm to Fork
Here’s the thing, when a successful restaurateur starts tossing around compliments about another establishment it’s a pretty sure sign that’s a place you need to investigate. So when Glyn Lacy of Skeeter Barnes fame put a bug in my ear about SchillingBridge Cork and Tap House it moved to the top of my “go do see eat” list. Aaaand so we went, we did, we saw and most importantly, we ate. Turns out the accolades were well deserved, and we also discovered that the story behind the joint was worth a tell as well.
It all began in 2002 when Mike and Sharon Schilling of Pawnee City, Nebraska decided to take a stab at operating their own vineyard. As things progressed they were able to open their winery, SchillingBridge, in 2005. Not only did this venture include their wine but also their own microbrews as well and they became the first farm winery & microbrewery in the nation to combine the two under one roof. Eventually, in 2008 they added some basic food items to the mix and the menu continued to evolve from there. As it happened, 70% of their business came from Lincoln so they decided to roll the dice once again and open SchillingBridge Cork and Tap House. The restaurant is owned by the brother/sister team of Dallas Schilling and Kelly Schilling-Bletscher with their younger brother Jonathan helping Dallas with the daily management. Kelly and her husband Mitchell are the owners of Bletscher Berkshires in Falls City, Nebraska. The warm and welcoming restaurant is nestled along the main street of the charming Fallbrook community in north Lincoln at 575 Fallbrook Blvd. Suite 109. The SchillingBridge Cork and Tap House features a made-from-scratch kitchen menu brimming with unique variety as well as their own wines and microbrews. The Schilling’s also have a great Executive Chef in Drew Sallinger and Kitchen Manager in John Zeleny.
But now for the real excitement, let’s talk about the pork! The tap house features an appetizer of Drunken Nachos topped with slow-roasted Berkshire pork or their Islander gourmet pizza sprinkled with their own house-cured ham. Hungry for a burger? Great! You get your choice of a ground beef patty or a ground pork burger from owner Kelly’s own Berkshire pigs. Two burgers in particular, the Jamaican Jerk and the Farmhouse beg for the pork burger according to the menu. However, the El Diablo is the personal favorite of Dallas Schilling. If burgers don’t trip your trigger maybe the Sicilian sandwich with both ham and pulled pork or the perfectly grilled Berkshire Pork Rib Chop with bacon jalapeno jam are more your style. Rib and smoked pork loin features also appear on the menu from time to time.
The Schilling’s proudly promote that they utilize all their own pork at the restaurant. They even use the bones to make their own pork stock. Additionally, their spent brewer’s grain is used to supplement their hog feed. The pork is processed at Den’s Locker in Table Rock, Nebraska where the carcasses are quartered and all the remaining processing is done right in the restaurant including the grinding for the pork burgers. The option to choose a ground pork burger has been part of their menu from day one and has grown from about 3 – 5% to 25% of customers choosing ground pork. The Schilling’s ultimate goal is 50%. Another mission of the Schilling family is to educate their clientele about pork, especially when it comes to proper cooking temperatures. That’s a mission we can all get on board with!
SchillingBridge Cork and Tap House is a true family farm-to-table experience. They produce their own wine and microbrews, they use their own grain, and serve their own pork. The farmer owns the farm and the restaurant, it’s a deliciously perfect storm. Stop in soon and see (and taste) it for yourself! More information and their menu can be found at www.schillingbridgecorkandtap.com and you’re invited to follow them on Facebook/SBcorkandtaphouse and Instagram/thebridge_lnk.