Tap & Barrel has opened their door in what seems to be one of the hotspots for eateries, Coal Harbor on the new Convention Center grounds. Serving up one of the largest craft beer selections on tap and in the bottle the original location in the Athlete’s Village has become one of the most popular places to eat in the area so an expansion to Coal Harbor was only natural. Besides the restaurant they also have a cafe located next door with a slightly different menu but that same great selection of craft beer and wine.
We ordered up a couple appys that we’ve never had before, these are the Deep Fried Pickles ($5). When I had my burger at the other location they were using a traditional batter for these but since have changed to panko and it’s for the better, these were nice and crunchy.
Next up was the Southern Fried Chicken Wings with a Spicy Honey drizzle ($11). These wings had an amazing crunch to them and they weren’t overly greasy, the outside coating was outstanding. The wing meat was seasoned nicely with the wings being plump. With great wings and frying the thing that killed it for me was the honey drizzle, it wasn’t spicy at all and there was way to much of it which made the dish extremely sweet. I’d recommended the wings for the great fry on them but minus the honey or get it on the side.
Melissa went with the Beer Cheddar Mac and Cheese with the addition of Sweet Fennel Sausage ($14+$6). I really liked how they used corkscrew pasta, it did a great job holding the creamy sauce. Flavor wise the cheese sauce was pretty good with the beer cheddar being a great choice but I would have loved a bit more tang. The sausage was really good, the fennel definitely came through and each piece had a nice crisp sear.
My choice was the PB & J Burger ($15) with fries. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this burger so I was really excited to try it. Tap and Barrel put chipotle peanut butter and bacon jam on their 7oz house burger for this creation and it’s similar to burgers I’ve seen on Triple D. When I picked up this burger I couldn’t help but notice a large amount of oil dripping from my burger, it would appear they use a natural peanut butter for this so it completely melted and separated from the heat of the burger. The bacon jam on the other hand was delicious and the rest of the burger topping wise was really good and fresh. My fries were seasoned nicely but could have spent some more time in the fryer for both color and crispness-slightly anemic.
With this visit to the new location of Tap & Barrel it left me with just an alright feeling after lunch and I would say the food we had at the original location was a lot better with the burger ranking up with one of the best I’ve ever had. Price wise it’s on point with the area and I’m sure to do a re-visit in a couple of months to see if the kinks have been worked out.