Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twenty Tap

I have been hearing a lot about Twenty Tap from various people and was intrigued to try it.  Ok, I will just get it out of the way right now, I am not a beer drinker, so this is a food review (as are all of my reviews) so please don’t yell at me.   Yes, this place is a bar/restaurant specializing in lots of different local and regional beers and serves appropriate grub to go along with.  The kids were on fall break and I sent a quick tweet to see if they were kid friendly.  I got lots of responses emphatically telling me yes they were welcoming of kids; that they have a separate dining area where kids can sit, that they have a kid’s menu and that they are in fact non-smoking.  We were good to go on all accounts (and that non-smoking thing is nearly a requirement for me with or without kids anyway).
When we sat down and looked over the menu, I knew I must order the fried cheese curds ($7)—never having seen them on a menu before.  I don’t usually go with a big appetizer for lunch, but like I said, I couldn’t pass them up!  They were quite good and strangely addicting.  They are little cheddar curds, that are soft and somewhat salty and then they were tempura-type beer batter, with seasoning in it.  You got to choose from two of their housemade aiolis to dip in—we choose the roasted garlic and the chipotle (both could have used a little more zip I think, especially the garlic).  Nothing like dipping fried cheese into what is essentially mayonnaise.  Hubby and I had a difficult time not eating all of them…although it is a very generous portion so we didn’t finish them all.  And even not being a beer drinker, I am pretty much sure that they may be the perfect pairing with beer. 
For my lunch, I had heard good things about the burgers, and there are several varieties on the menu.  I went with their version of one of my favorite combos, which they called the “wake up” ($9.00).  It was a burger with cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, bacon and a fried egg served on an English muffin.  I enjoyed it pretty well. The beef was pretty tender and very juicy, although I would ask for it medium rare next time (to be fair, it states on the menu that they do medium unless you ask otherwise).  It was certainly medium, if not a little beyond.  My biggest peeve though was I specifically asked for my egg to have a runny yolk, and it was totally fried hard.  I am sure that is how they normally do it, but I thought if I asked, I could get it that way (and my server didn’t tell me otherwise).  I liked the English muffin part of it too, making the bun less bulky.  I hate it when burgers are so big they are hard to eat.  The kids both had cheeseburgers off the kid’s menu ($5 each) and really liked them.  My son ate half of his and then ate the other half for dinner (it re-heated very well I might add, and I appreciated the non-styrofoam containers that they give you to go).  We all had fries as a side and they are the battered-type of fries that are quite tasty, especially dipped into the aioli, although I would doubt that they are made in-house.  Hubby had the Indiana brat ($8), and seemed to enjoy it, but honestly I think he was a little jealous of all of our burgers.  The brat was served with beer mustard, pickles, onions and roasted peppers.  I can’t speak to its taste, because I didn’t try it.  I can see again, how this would probably be a good pairing with beer (duh, beer and brats right?).
Anyway, it was an enjoyable experience—we all had a good meal and I appreciate that while they are obviously going for a beer place with somewhat familiar comfort type food items, that they are putting a twist on things and are not afraid to venture a little out of the mind-numbing options that seem to appear on so many pub-type places.  They have several interesting burgers and several interesting salad and sandwich options that are not just like everything else you see at other places.  The service was very friendly (although slightly absent a lot considering there were only a few tables there at the time) and while I bet in the evenings it is more of an adult crowd, it was a good place for a family lunch.  Nothing totally blew me away, but everything was good. Tell me what you have had, and what you think.  And hey, if you want to tell me what beer you like with those fried cheese curds, maybe I’ll even order it next time.
Twenty Tap
5408 College Ave
Indy 46220
317/602-8840

Twenty Taps on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. I had the reuben for lunch one day, and was surprised that it had no corned beef at all -- on the menu, I think it's called the Mushroom Reuben, but I wasn't expecting a completely vegetarian reuben. It was good, but I still had the feeling someone forgot to put the corned beef on my sandwich ; )

    The service was friendly, but also a bit absent, as we were also one of about two tables there.

    My main complaint, honestly, was the atmosphere. I think they could do so much more to make it feel warm and comfortable -- especially if they are hoping for anything more than an adult beer crowd in the evenings. The food is good enough to attract a good lunch crowd, but they need to work on the vibe a little.

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  2. Having this place a few blocks from my house is both awesome and dangerous. Glad it didn't open 10 years ago, or I may never have left.

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  3. The more adventuresome items are the best at 20Tap. I have eaten there 8 or 9 times, and have never had something I didn't like. Next time, try these:
    (1) Pickled beet salad: roasted golden and red beets (very lightly pickled), served over ricotta cheese with bitter greens on top, and dressed with balsamic vinegar.
    (2) The charcuterie plate: the day's best selection from the Smoking Goose, served with some stinky cheese.
    (3) The Spicy Cuban sandwich (my favorite) - a riff on the classic sandwich that uses pulled pork instead of pork loin. The spicy version adds a little Sriracha sauce, which gives it a nice kick.

    Also, I am a beer drinker, so I can comment that they have the best selection of craft beers in Indy. Usually a limited release SunKing, a Flat12 selection, and many, many others that you never see in Indy.

    This place is a great addition to SoBro.

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  4. I re-read this review this morning, and just got home from Twenty Tap for dinner. Not to rub it in, but my Wake Up burger had a fried egg with a VERY runny yolk (as in, it needed to be eaten with a fork and knife), and I didn't even ask for it like that. I guess someone has taken your feedback into account.

    I meet a friend here once a month for dinner, and I have yet to be disappointed by anything I've ordered. The charcuterie board, full of items from the Smoking Goose downtown, is also a good smallish dinner for two (I'd recommend other app or salad to go along with it).

    Great addition to the neighborhood.

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Thanks, Erin