From Pat’s Tap to…

Standard

November Girls’ Night took place on a back-to-back weekend with last month’s Girls’ Night. Rob asked the girls if he could crash it. Not only did they happily oblige…

But Jen offered up her turn to choose the restaurant to Rob!

He was tickled. He threw out five options he was considering, just to make sure he wasn’t completely stepping on our toes.

It was narrowed down to Pat’s Tap.

I love this tradition of trying new restaurants with the girls every month. There are no rules, except that we each take turns choosing the location. We do tend to try new places, unless someone has a hankering for something they’ve loved before… 😉 One of the reasons dining with just the girls is fun for me is that we often get dine where Rob normally wouldn’t like to go, namely seafood joints. {I know, they usually have steak or a burger, but his choices are limited.}

For example, one month, we dined at Sea Change. I never posted on the restaurant, quite frankly, because I kept my iPhone in my purse, took no photos of the beautiful food and just spent time chatting and catching up with the girls. Because that is really the purpose of these dinner nights. And sometimes, that’s all I want to do!

All of that being said, it’s fun to add Rob to the mix sometimes, too. No matter the situation, his personality and sense of humor gets everyone laughing.

I did take a couple of photos that night, but they aren’t very good ones. So I hope my words convey the character of this place more than anything else!

The Ambiance

Pat’s tap does not take reservations. I warned Rob of this because he doesn’t like to stand and wait – ever. The plan was to arrive around 6pm on a Saturday evening. Luckily, there was a table or two left and we didn’t have to wait at all, despite the fact of how busy it was. The bar was packed and people were standing.

I’d call this a quintessential neighborhood bar {and eatery}. It seems to be the hangout for people about 30 – 45. And there was Skee Ball! Seriously. However, I don’t think we were ever going to get in on that action with how busy it was. If you’ve been looking to join a Skee Ball legauge – they’ve got ’em here.

Skee ballThe Beer {and wine and cocktails}

The beer list is quite extensive! There are a couple of handfuls on tap and a gazillion more in the bottle. Whatever your taste, you’ll find something. The wine list is pretty decent, too. Not just the usual suspects. And the craft cocktails had me intrigued. I almost went in the that direction.

Instead, I went for the Deschutes Jubel Ale on Nitro. It’s a seasonal, festive beer that I’ve only seen on tap in these parts the past couple of years. Enjoying it on Nitro means it’s smooth and creamy. They also had the Deschutes Black Butte Porter on Nitro, which we recommended to Kim. The best part? These two Nitro taps are offered at Happy Hour prices – ALL MONTH LONG (any time of day).

An excellent beer, on Nitro, for just $3 per pint – YES, PLEASE!

The Food

We started with a couple of apps, of which I took no photos.

  • Kim and Jen split the Zucchini Cakes with Lemon Honey Aioli – I took a bite and loved the shredded zucchini texture. They were so good! My only complaint was that aioli was a little too lemony for me. And I like lemon.
  • Rob ordered the House Made “Cheese Its” – Everyone pretty much agreed that the real thing is better, but I applaud the effort. They tasted more like Goldfish and I didn’t have any problem eating them!

At this point, none of us were particularly famished. But I’d heard rave reviews of the burger here, so I was still hoping someone would split one with me! Rob said that he would and really wanted the Bacon Burger.

“That’s okay,” I said. “I’ll just take the bacon off and give it to you.”

“Uh, no,” he replied, as he pointed to the menu. “It says here that the bacon is in the burger.”

As being one of The Odd Ones who is not a bacon fan {I like it by itself, but not in or on my food}, I hemmed and hawed for a bit. Finally, I said that I’d just go with it because it was something I’d never had before.

But when it came time to order, Rob went with the Big Cheese Burger instead. Oh how I love that man!

I don’t think I mentioned how great the service was here! The only thing that took some time was getting our beers, but I can imagine that the bar was backed up at that hour. But the server brought out our dishes that we split on separate plates!

BIG CHEESE BURGER. . . . . . . 13 Cheddar, tomato, garlic dill pickles

BIG CHEESE BURGER – $13 (Half of a sandwich pictured)
Cheddar, tomato, garlic dill pickles

One thing that is really hard to tell in that photo {besides what the dish actually looks like} is that there is a big, thick slice of cheese that is FRIED. It’s all golden and carmelized on top.

Despite the fact that we talked about it with our server, Rob totally missed this. He thought that piece of cheesy goodness was the top bun. He gave me the tomato and ate the top bun by itself claiming that he thought it was a crouton. When it came time to eat the burger, he had a look of confusion on his face about his “top bun.” It was then that we explained the fried cheese concept to him all over again!

Here’s what we will tell you – This was an excellent burger! It does not make Rob’s Top 10 List, but will come pretty darn close. It is also one we’d order again. The fries were okay, but nothing to rave over. And a half burger was just enough food for me.

The girls also split an order:

FISH & CHIPS. . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Cornmeal breaded MN perch, remoulade

 FISH & CHIPS – $14 (Half an order pictured)
Cornmeal breaded MN perch, remoulade

I’m pretty sure neither Kim nor Jen had ever had perch as a fish fry before. However, that’s the name of the game on Fridays in Northeast Wisconsin where I grew up! One thing I don’t think any of us ever had, though, was fish with cornmeal breading.

I believe that they thought the fish was fine, but that the cornmeal made it taste dry. I think they’d try something else next time.

Also, when Jen dipped her fish into the tartar sauce, she said, “Whoa! That’s spicy!” She was expecting traditional tartar sauce.

But it wasn’t. We all tried it and Kim and I concluded that we thought it was raw garlic that was making the sauce spicy. But there was something in it that we couldn’t put our fingers on. We tasted lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs individually and we thought that there just had to be something else in there. We asked our server and she told us it was a remoulade, but wasn’t exactly sure what was in it.

So it wasn’t actually a tartar sauce at all. Still, I’m not sure that, by definition, a remoulade is meant to be spicy either. It’s a French word. And while classical French cooking has a lot of flavor, it’s not generally spicy. Rob loved it and stole a ramekin away from the girls in which to dip his fries!

~

By splitting a burger and ordering $3 Nitro beers, Rob was surprised and please by our bill. One of the best values in town for the quality we were served!

By the end of the meal, we thought about going somewhere for dessert. But we were full and had no room! We checked our iPhone apps for nearby watering holes, but we weren’t yielding any intriguing results. Instead, we decided to drive around a bit…

Come back next week to find out where we went after Pat’s and why we had to Ring for Champagne…

Have you ever had bacon in a burger rather than on it?

Cheers~
Carrie

B

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4 responses »

  1. I envy the fact that you have so many restaurants to try. I live in a small town so the choices are very limited…
    Remoulade is a basically mayonnaise with some fresh herbs and mustard. So no it’s not spicy…
    And thank you for your words of encouragement about my back. I know you are doing better now so it’s reassuring 🙂

  2. Pingback: …to Blackbird Cafe | Season It Already!

  3. Pingback: Republic | Season It Already!

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