Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chatham Tap

I was intrigued about some comments about Chatham Tap’s tenderloins (and sides) after my Muldoon’s review and after asking around and finding out that at least the location in Fishers is family friendly, we loaded up the kids one night to give it a try (anyone know about the downtown location? Is it kid friendly?)  It had only been a couple of weeks since we tried Muldoon’s, so it was still pretty fresh and a good time to make a comparison.

Based on a reader comment (thanks, Tom H.), we went with an order of the breadsticks ($5.99 with an up charge to add a second sauce) to start (also because it is something that all four of us would eat).  I have to say, they were a highlight.  The dough (assuming the same as their pizza dough, as they have a fairly extensive pizza menu) was cut into rectangles slices of bread (rather than your traditional “stick” form) and were topped with herbs and seasonings—thinking garlic, salt and pepper and maybe some fresh parsley.  They tasted really good—really hot, soft inside and just the right amount of chewiness to the crust.  They had three dipping sauces, the traditional marinara and nacho cheese, but they also offered a garlic ranch which was nice to see.  We got the cheese for the kids and the garlic ranch for us and we were quite happy. And my son even preferred the ranch.  I mean, honestly, it was just good, garlicky ranch salad dressing, but it was a nice change of pace.  I would certainly order these again.

Hubby and I decided to sort of repeat our meals from Muldoon’s to compare and so we split a pork tenderloin sandwich ($7.49) and the ½ order of fish and chips ($7.49).  The tenderloin was a good sandwich.  Did it live up to the Muldoon’s version? I have to say no.  It was a little dryer and less even in size.  It did have a nice flavor and I liked the Brioche bun.  We did have to ask for mayo to put on it, but once it was all put together, it was tasty, just not amazing.
The fish and chips were pretty good as well—these were the true beer battered type of fish fillets—they are really more like fish fingers in form, but you can tell they are hand battering them in house.  The fish was pretty tender.  And my son really enjoyed them as well.  The ½ order was more than enough for me as well—there were 4 “fingers” on the plate and a fair amount of fries. I think the full order has twice as many pieces of fish on the plate. I saw plates coming out and it was seriously piled up. 
My kids were not as excited about their food.  My son particularly, may in fact be a steak snob.  He ordered the ribeye from the kid’s menu (which he was SO excited to see on the kid’s menu) ($6.49).  Unfortunately, it was really thin, and there was pretty much no way they could have made it medium rare no matter how hard they tried.  I should have known better than to expect a ribeye on a kids menu to be anything but this really thin thing, but you can’t know until you try.  He was happy eating some of my fish and chips and declared them his new favorite thing.  My daughter ordered a grilled cheese ($4.99), which I am pretty sure was made with slices of smoked gouda, which was a little more of a distinctive flavor than she wanted.  She also said she didn’t like that the cheese wasn’t really melted (it’s true, it wasn’t).  I did appreciate the fresh slices of apples and pears served with the kid’s dishes.
I was also told by several people that the sides at Chatham Tap are much better than the ones we had at Muldoon’s, which was certainly true.  The fries are the lightly battered type, with a nice flavor and crunch.  But the star side were the housemade potato chips.  They were not too thick, but still nice and hearty with great crunchiness.   Honestly, I would skip the fries (which I doubt are housemade) and get the chips instead. 
Our server was very friendly and our drinks were brought fast.  The food service was a little slow—I was a little surprised by it actually, although the place was pretty busy (and was on a wait by the time we left).  I liked the interior—it really felt like an English Pub, although without all the smoke (which I totally appreciate).
Overall, we enjoyed our visit, and it was fun comparing the tenderloins.  This one was a good one, although, I have still had a couple I like better.  But we are still always open to future suggestions!
Chatham Tap
8211 East 116th Street
Fishers, IN  46038
317/845-1090


Chatham Tap Restaurant on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

  1. I was wondering about the address you have listed. According to the website, it's at 8211 E. 116th St not 82nd St. I don't believe 82nd St is in Fishers, having lived in Noblesville before moving to Indy.

    Mary

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it! While I'm picky (to most folks) when it comes to tenderloins, honestly, as long as it is a fresh, hand-pounded piece of meat... and I dont get any bites with gristle... then I'm probably going to be a happy camper.

    And for any fellow beer enthusiasts, the Chatham Tap has some great things to try - I don't think there's currently another place on the northeast side that has a better mix of craft beer and food.

    My best,
    Tom

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  3. Mary, thanks, you are right! I just wrote it wrong. All corrected now, thank for bringing it to my attention!

    Tom H, thanks for the recommendation. We enjoyed it!

    Miss Chelsea, are they pickle chips or spears? I do like fried pickles...

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  4. Always have good food at Chatham. I really enjoy their Cheeseburger pizza. There is a ranch sauce that is drizzled on top - something about it that is delicious.

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  5. To answer your question, the Chatham on Mass Ave is not child friendly. It's a tiny place and very much a bar-bar, not a restaurant-bar. It has a different vibe than its northern brother. It's a lot of fun to squish into the tables that are packed with people (no, really, the crowd is part of the charm!) on a Friday or Saturday night, surrounded by TVs playing soccer, but I would not bring a child there.

    The pizza IS delicious, one of our favorite things to get there. We also enjoy the "montauks" on the app menu with rasher bacon. And the garlic cheese fries are awesome when you need a snack after a few beers.

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  6. The one on Mass Ave is not kid friendly. This I learned when I wasn't let in when I tried to take my eight week old daughter with me. Oh well. During the afternoon (when there isn't a sporting event) it's not loud and is a great place to eat, but it's always 21+. The nachos are delicious and really different (guacamole and hummus! mixed!). The salmon sandwich and the portabella burger are also really good. I think that if you went again and tried some of their other dishes, you would be more impressed.

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  7. I love the pear & gargonzola sandwich at Chatham. Part of why I love to go there is because they have such different menu items, sandwiches you wouldn't find elsewhere and combos I wouldn't think to try!

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  8. The fried pickles are neither chips nor spears. They're sliced long-ways. And they are the TRUTH.

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  9. While I haven't been to the north side location, I visit the Mass Ave Chatham quite often. The mushroom fries and nachos are really good. My favorite sandwiches are the gorgonzola pear bacon, apple and smoked gouda, and they have a great burger. I would stay away from the pizza.

    Love your blog,
    Chelle

    Oh and my hubby is bananas over the cobb salad for some reason.

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  10. citynomnoms, cheeseburger pizza huh? Hmmm...

    Beth, thanks for the info and the recommendations. I will have to try the pizza. Did like those breadsticks.

    Hannah, Brittany and Michelle, thanks for the recommendations. All the things you guys mention sound good.

    And now I am also intrigued by the longways sliced fried pickles.

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  11. I have been to the Northside location once and usually visit the one downtown about twice a month. Chatham Tap is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out. I love their portabello mushroom fries and the dipping sauce served with them is amazing. Those mushroom fries are my favorite appetizer from anywhere! I also enjoy their spinach artichoke dip (best with half pita chips and half of their homeade chips). As far as their sandwiches go, I agree with HannahB, that you should try some other items on the menu. My husband loves the smoked gouda and apple sandwich, however it is different between the two locations (we are definitely fans of the Mass Ave one...the bread is a bit more toasted). Their burgers are always tasty, and you cant beat their breakfast special that they serve on mornings they open early for a soccer match.

    You should definitely head downtown and check that one out too (sans kids of course).

    Thanks for the review on the breadsticks, I will have to try those the next time we are there!

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  12. English pubs aren't smokey!

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Thanks, Erin