We thought it would be good exercise to walk to this restaurant from home... Then we thought again, with the big hill we would have to climb on our way home, let's just drive this time and measure the distance!
We were not expecting the place to be very busy just before 5 on a beautiful Sunday, but an about to end graduation party was still lingering as we searched for a parking space. We chose a table away from the departing party in a darkened, middle dining area by the kitchen door and the back entrance which must have had a handicapped ramp for the wheelchair customer we saw leaving through that door.
We were expecting with all the party clean-up confusion, to be overlooked by servers who blended well enough with the customers that you would not know who to flag down for attention. But to our surprise, we were promptly recognized as new arrivals, pleasantly greeted, provided with menus, and questioned whether we cared for a beverage. This was a very good start.
The draft beer selection is not broad, but with 8 taps there is some variety and an attempt to meet customers' different tastes. A pint of Guinness ($5.25) was served at a proper temperature, but for some reason seemed to lack the full flavor one expects from this brew. It's lack of flavor made it seem "flat." The Klamsteam Red ($4.25), advertised as "exclusively ours," on the other hand, had plenty of flavor. While our server did not know who brewed the red for them, and doubted that the bar staff would know, was served both times in Davidson Brothers glasses. Rounding out our evening's beer selections, the Sam Adams ($4.25) seemed to suffer the same fate as the Guinness, a flatness, or lack of flavors. The menu didn't say which Sam Adams was being served, we didn't ask, and our server didn't offer the additional information. But prior experience with so many of Sam's different brews left us wondering why this one was missing flavor.
We ordered Chicken Wings ($8.75 for 10) and chose the BBQ sauce instead of any of the offered degrees of hot sauces or the garlic parm. The wings had a nice crispy outside and were moist inside. The BBQ sauce tasted different from the standard stuff, my wife sensed a cinnamon flavor while I tasted vinegar. They were good enough to order again and the side of blue cheese dressing even went nicely with the BBQ sauce.
The Reuben ($7.95) - a plentiful portion of lean corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese served between grilled rye bread was very flavorful but extremely messy and difficult to hold in your hands. The fries that came with it were very ordinary and barely warm.
An 8 cut Pizza ($8.99 plus $1.50 each for additional items) is of the thin variety with a crispy bottom. The sausage has a nice flavor, the mushrooms came from a can, and the green peppers and onions were pretty standard. Overall, it had a very nice blend of flavors and is likely to be good even with just the tomato sauce and cheese.
We're likely to return to try the Wednesday special on clams ($5.50/dz.) and the burgers since our server told us that they are hand-formed. Everyone was very friendly and it seems like the kind of place you know you'll be welcomed.