Taphouse Grill

A friend of mine, formerly of Seattle, was back in town last night to visit. To celebrate, a number of us had dinner at Taphouse Grill in downtown Seattle. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t particularly thrilling.

The first issue is one most people have dealt with: the bill. After collecting money, we were short $100 on the bill. I think the primary cause of that was all the beer our table drank. Taphouse Grill’s gimmick is having 160 beers on tap. But the beer isn’t cheap, and people (at least in our group) don’t keep track of how many they drink. I’m a non-drinker, so I have a pretty easy time of keeping track of my alcoholic intake. We made everyone pitch in again and got it all covered.

The second part of the suboptimal experience was the atmosphere. The bar has a nice mixture of locals and downtown hotel tourists, which makes for good conversation. At least if you are sitting at the bar and want to make conversation. However, the cavernous ceilings at Taphouse Grill cause a lot of echoing. I had a pretty hard time hearing.

And lastly my food was very undistinguished. I had Garlic Chicken Penne. Outside of the garlic, it would be a normal run-of-the-mill chicken penne dish. Nothing special, nothing bad. But I could barely taste the garlic in the mixture. In fact, when I picked out a roasted garlic clove or two and bit into them, I could still barely taste the garlic. Somehow the palce is picking the most unflavorful garlic ever, or they are somehow leaching out all the garlic flavor before using it in the food.

Now I don’t want to say this was a bad experience because it wasn’t. These things are all typical for having dinner in a restaurant. I’m of the opinion that a restaurant should be giving me something I can’t get at home for the money I pay, no matter what items on the menu I choose. Even if I’m not drinking, the remaining menu should still be better than a boxed Lean Cuisine dish. And it wasn’t.

Quinn’s Pub

To start off the new blog, I will give a short review of Quinn’s Pub on Capitol Hill.

I arrived around 5 p.m. today. Even at that time, the noise level was fairly high. I have problems hearing over background noise, so I do favor slightly quieter restaurants. However, the table was narrow enough that I could hear my dinner companions, so I wasn’t too put out. By 8 p.m., I was straining a bit to hear.

Our server left a little to be desired too. One of our party hemmed and hawed a bit while ordering drinks, and the server just walked away without so much as an I’ll give you a couple of minutes to think about it. He also walked away without getting orders from everyone at the table more than once. He was quite cheerful. Overall the service was satisfactory, just not ideal.

The strong part was the food. I had a Sloppy Joe as an appetizer, and it was quite tasty. The meat in this sandwich is boar meat, which made for something different. I ate the house-made sausage plate with mashed potatoes for my main course, and that was one of the best sausages I’ve ever had. Rather than a strong overwhelming flavor, theirs is subtle and not too spicy, which allowed me to taste the flavor of the meat.

I would definitely go back.