When my friend Dennis suggested we meet for lunch in Newburyport, I said sure and deferred to him, and his local knowledge, to choose the place. When he said The Port Tavern, I was skeptical. The last time I was at that location it was an Irish bar called Molly O'Something, and it was fair at best. Well things have changed on State Street. The tavern had a warm feel, complete with fireplace blazing, on a chilly, snowy Friday at noontime. We started with a couple Lagunitas Czech Pilsners, which they had on tap, along with about 20 other offerings. My friend explained to me that they have a new draft delivery system that ensures that the brews are always delivered through clean tubing and you never get a skunky draft. I had the Voodoo Chicken sandwich. It was blackened chicken, with gouda cheese and a zingy chili sauce, all parked on a great bun. It really hit the spot with me. Dennis went for the classic Reuben. It was loaded with corned beef, kraut, Swiss cheese and a special horseradish sauce that gave it a big push. I saw awesome looking burgers at other tables along with some good looking salads. The place got pretty busy by 12:30 and I could tell why. The food was all very good and it was reasonably priced. I never would have guessed that TPT would be a hopping lunch spot in town in January. I would imagine that dinner is just as good and that the place is packed during prime time. When summer comes back, I bet it is a very popular destination for lunch, dinner and late night. I was pleasantly surprised with my lunch at TPT. I will not wait several years to make a return viisit. I would suggest you stop in and give it a try. You will probably be as pleased as I was.
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