Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Tremont Tap House in Tremont

Food---My choice for the evening was the Joshua Burger.  It came with Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Applewood Bacon, Smoked Cheddar, and house BBQ sauce.  I ordered it cooked to a medium temperature which they did a very good job achieving.   The burger itself had a lot of flavor to it, which was even more enhanced by the bacon and cheddar flavors.   I really enjoyed the burger, but I would have liked a bun that was slightly more proportional in size.   As I ate, the bun just seemed to disappear and I was left holding everything basically without a bun. (I think you can see that in the picture.)  That being said, I did eat every bit of it in the end and enjoyed it.  The fries that came with the burger were outstanding. They were soaked for a day in water and then fried to a crispy perfection and simply salted. These crispy, salty fries in combination with the softer texture of the burger were a perfect complement.  Two others at the table also had burgers and our opinions were all the same about our burgers and our fries.
The fourth person in our party ordered the Mac and Cheese that was flavored with Fontina, White Cheddar, and Parmesan cheeses.   I had a chance to try this as well and honestly the menu failed to mention one key ingredient that really dominated this plate, GARLIC!   I am a garlic lover, but this Mac and Cheese could have been amazing with about half as much garlic as they used.   The dominant garlic flavor took away from the great cheesy flavor this dish had. 

I should also mention the appetizer that my friends ordered.  They picked the German Pretzel with the Stout and Cheddar sauce.  Everyone at the table agreed this was a hit.  The pretzel was cooked perfectly, soft and warm on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside.  The Stout and Cheddar dipping sauce was something you could eat all evening!!
Overall we were pleased with the overall flavor and tasted of the food.  If the buns were slightly more proportional and the mac & cheese wasn't as garlic heavy this could have been a higher score for overall food! 4/5

Drinks---You don't go to the Tap House for wine or mixed go there for great beers and that is what we had all night.  The selection of bottled beers is excellent and the amount of different drafts will please all types of beer lovers.   My choices for the evening were the Bear Republic Bear Racer 5, Brew Kettle 4C's, Ithaca Cascazilla, and the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.   All were excellent and full reviews of each of these brews can be found by clicking on their names or by going on the CraftBeer Reviews Page. When it comes to beers the TapHouse does as good of a job as any place in Cleveland in terms of variety and selection! 5/5
Brew Kettle 4C's

Bear Republic Bear Racer 5
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Ithaca Cascazilla
Overall---In order to be fair I'm going to break this down into smaller more specific parts that will better explain our evening.   At 6:40pm we called ahead for "Call Ahead Seating" and estimated that we'd arrive around 7:30pm.  We arrived earlier than expected, 7:15pm, and our table was not ready which was fine since we were early.   We managed to find 4 bar seats while we waited which gave us a chance to see how the bar service was.   The bartenders were very helpful, friendly and prompt with our beers.  You couldn't ask for more, and I would give the bar service a 5/5.   

When our table was ready at about 8pm we quickly sat down and had our food orders in within 5-10mins of being seated.   This is where the night went downhill in terms of service.   The restaurant was full, but not packed.   After 30 more minutes of waiting my friend spoke up and asked why it was taking so long for 3 burgers and a Mac&Cheese.   Instead of being apologetic for the long wait, our server simply said we should have known because it says on the menu that we should expect to wait an hour.  No where on the menu did we see that and honestly that should be something we are told ahead of time.  We were also told that there were only 3 people cooking in the kitchen.   Our problem with this is that if you have a popular establishment and the restaurant is full AND it is a Friday night...3 cooks to fill orders is being understaffed.   In terms of getting our food in a timely manner and the service during this part of our night I'd give it a 1/5

In terms of bar atmosphere we all thought the inside setup was very nice and the patio area outside would be a great place to kickback in the summer.  I loved the great craftsmanship of the cement bar!  I'd still recommend the Tap House because the bar atmosphere was really cool, we loved the food that we waited so long for, and the beers were great as well.
Tremont Tap House on Urbanspoon


Ben said...

We've experienced long waits for food at the Tap House as well, somewhere around 40-50 minutes, which isn't fun when you're dining with a kid. Our server was more courteous, though--she just explained that about five tables were seated at the exact same time. The food is excellent, though, and the beer selection is great (I can't think of any better beer menu in Cleveland).

Bite Buff said...

Ah, yes the service does fall short most of the time. You just have to be prepared for that. I've had the Mac & Cheese twice, and it has never been too strong on garlic flavor. I'd give it another try!

Allison M. said...

When I go out to eat, I'm not in a hurry and don't mind waiting long. Plus, we always seem to get appetizers knowing you wait a while at the Tap House, it's sort of a given. I like the pretzels, mac and cheese, mussels and scallops from there.

lives2eatcleveland said...

I remember the service to be quite lacking as well...i was hoping that they would address that; and was thinking that if and when they do i'd make another trip there. the food is worth it though; great wholesome bar food; just lacking service. good review!

Brad said...

This was my first time ever at the Tap House. (I have lived in Cleveland since 98 and It is funny I have never been there.) I went in with an open mind and with zero expectations. I never mind waiting for food, as long as I'm told that I should expect a wait when I place my order. Communication to me is a HUGE dividing line between below average service and above average service. If the server or even the Hostess simply said that we should expect to wait at least 45mins for our food the problem would have went away thanks to good communication. The Mac&Cheese had to be a mistake because the garlic was totally overwhelming....everyone at the table thought so and we were all disappointed because the dish had such potential! I have heard from several people since the review posted and they all said that what we experienced was normal for the Tap only question is WHY? Why should it be expected to have that type of service when the Food and Beer is so darn good. The Tap House is a good place that could very easily be turned into a great place if the service stepped up a couple notches.

Anonymous said...

I've been to the Tap House before and have had a very similar experience. Great food and beer, but I was very disappointed with the service and the length of time we waited for food.

Beer Drinker Rob said...

Wow, just the beer list that you drank is impressive. I really wish I had a great place like that near my house in South Florida. Until then, I'm stuck drinking alone at home. :)

Jason said...

Thank You All for eating and drinking with us at the Tap House. I wish your Mac & Cheese was up to par & your service was better. We always strive to correct our mistakes and will continue to work hard and improve. I also apologize for the servers untrue & odd comments on the food timing. We have a small kitchen & make virtually everything from scratch. The VERY limited kitchen space is the most significant reason for longer food times, not because of a 3 person kitchen staff. Kitchen expansion hopefully in 2010! Service is Always a focus and I thought we were much improved. I guess we will have to do better. Thanks Everyone for your Feedback & Hopefully we will see you again soon!
PS Beer Week is this Week & we are adding 24 more Draft Handles.


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