Monday, February 10, 2014

The Urban Tap

A month ago, SP & I decided to try The Urban Tap. We had read a review in The City Paper and it sounded pretty good.
The Urban Tap is on East Carson Street in the South Side. The South Side is... shall I say somewhat notorious for its weekend crowds of inebriated people annoying neighbors as they stagger, shout, urinate/barf in public, etc. Being old farts, we chose to go a bit on the early side, arriving around 5:30 pm. My first thought was: LOUD. It's really LOUD inside. We were seated right away.
Lots of exposed brick walls, exposed ducts, lots of televisions showing sporting events, wood tables. Did I mention noisy? Good thing we sat right next to each other!
I tried to order an iced tea, but sadly, they do not serve fresh brewed iced tea. So I went with water since I dislike soda. SP ordered an Arsenal Cider. It was the first time he tried an Arsenal Cider and he really liked it.
On a chilly winter evening it wasn't very surprising that I opted to order a Small Plate of warm, cheesy, comforting macaroni & cheese: Smoked Gouda Mac with smoked gouda & white cheddar. It was very good. Cheesy but not rubbery. Flavorful. I would definitely order this again.
Also not surprising was SP ordering soup: Seafood Bisque. 
He enjoyed it and it was gone before I even thought about trying a spoonful. Oh well!
There are 5 entrees plus daily specials on the menu in addition to several burgers. We both decided to try burgers. SP chose The Tap Burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and roasted garlic aioli with the salad side.
I chose the Short Rib burger: braised short rib, bordelaise sauce truffled arugula, fontina, NO roasted garlic aioli and the side salad. Both burgers were huge and tasty. I really liked the braised short rib and would have been happy to have just a braised short rib sandwich, no burger.
I liked the salad - fresh mixed greens, tiny bits of cucumber, onion, carrot, tomato. My only complaint is that I kept smelling and tasting onion and I could not figure out why. We both finally concluded that perhaps the lemon vinaigrette has a lot of onion/shallot mixed into it?

I am a little torn on The Urban Tap. I don't drink beer/cider, so that aspect doesn't appeal to me and I cannot comment on the selections. I am definitely not happy that they don't offer fresh brewed iced tea. The macaroni & cheese was fabulous. So was the short rib. The salad is a nice salad, but I do not like onion/shallot/garlic mixed into my salad dressing. Next time, I'll have to ask for the dressing on the side or no dressing. The burger was good, but I run into the problem that it's difficult to make a huge, thick, juicy burger when someone requests well done, which I must do because of my stomach sensitivity. I am not sure this was as well done as my stomach needs because later that evening, my stomach was upset. This is not a reflection of The Urban Tap - the burger was delicious when I ate it, it's just that I really should know better by now and not order beef burgers when I dine out.

Our server was friendly and answered questions, kept the water filled, etc. - no problems there.

We would go again, I am glad we tried it, and it's worth trying if you're on the South Side and looking for good beer and food. But it's just not at the top of our list since we aren't huge beef burger fans (I prefer the burger places that offer beef, chicken, bison, veggie, seafood burger options) and since there's no fresh brewed iced tea.

The Urban Tap on Urbanspoon

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