Monday, July 13, 2015

Henry's Tavern

For Father’s Day, we wanted to take my Dad out for lunch and weren’t sure where to go—he likes to be helpful with my blog and said he would just like to go somewhere new, and they live further north than we do, so we decided to give Henry’s a try. This is the latest incarnation in the building (and from the same restaurant group) that was originally Kincaid’s and then for a short time, Stanford’s (in Clay Terrace). Henry’s has an even more casual feel and they have even taken over part of the dining room with a shuffleboard table and pool tables that are free to play for diners. My kids were fans of these options. It’s more of a bar feel, and it seems to be working for them, because it was more crowded than I had ever seen the other two places.

We got a bunch of starters, because everyone wanted something different, and I was happy because I got to try a lot of things. After a recent trip to Wisconsin, hubby and I were intrigued to try their cheese curds, because we had enjoyed the ones we had there. So we ordered those ($8.95), my parents wanted calamari ($11.95), and my kids wanted the soft pretzel ($6.95).

I think the best thing we had out of the appetizers was probably the calamari—not chewy at all and with a nice breading. There were also some hunks of fried jalapeno in there if you wanted something with a bit of heat. They served it with two dipping sauces—a cocktail sauce and a bacon-jalapeno tartar sauce. I actually enjoy good fried calamari, even if it has become such a ubiquitous appetizer option. It’s so rarely done well, and this one was. The cheese curds were good too, although not quite as crisp on the outside as the calamari. It was more of a tempura type light batter, which was good but didn’t stand up totally to the thick cheese curds inside. I did enjoy the fried pickled peppers that were mixed in there. I was not a fan of the pepper jelly to dip in, and instead just used more of the tartar sauce.  Dipping into any kind of jelly is hard—jelly is a spreadable item in my mind—maybe to spread with cheese on crackers.

The kids got the pretzel. I enjoyed the presentation of it hanging from a big hook. Interesting. The pretzel itself was just okay—didn’t have anything that made it stand out among soft pretzels, and honestly it wasn’t all that soft or warm.  You are given several choices of dipping sauces. We got the Ale Cheddar and onion sauce, which was my favorite. Well, my daughter also chose Nutella, but I had no desire to eat that as an appetizer. I appreciate that more places are moving away from using just that neon nacho cheese in situations like this, and this cheese had more flavor than most. Overall though, I’d probably skip the pretzel in the future. The kids were fine with it though.

We were all pretty satisfied with our apps, and I was intrigued to see what the main dishes would be like. Since we had ordered so much to start with, hubby and I elected to split a main dish—we had the fish and chips ($12.95 for the two-piece version). This dish was a pretty big letdown, particularly after having had two nicely fried appetizers. The fish was pretty dry and somewhat flavorless—they seemed more like they came from foodservice, even though it’s listed as a specialty on the menu. I did like that they added capers to the tartar sauce. My parents had fish tacos, made with the same fish. I didn’t try them, but like I said, I thought the fish itself was a letdown.

My daughter had the fancy mac and cheese with chicken ($15.95 with the chicken added). She seemed to really enjoy it. The noodles were in a parmesan and cheddar sauce. It was decent for a fairly straightforward mac and cheese—it almost came across as Alfredo-ish, probably because of the parmesan. I liked the texture from the breadcrumbs on top. I would probably skip the diced pieces of chicken breast, they didn’t really add much.
All in all, it looks like this place might be finally finding its groove—it’s more of a casual bar experience with some half-decent pub food. The menu is fairly wide-ranging and I think it would be pretty easy to please most people with something on there. Some things were pretty good (appetizers mainly) and I think some things were just ok, but it’s a family friendly environment and has a nice casual feel. I would try it again and see how it is, but as far away as it is from me, it isn’t something I will probably rush to do.

Has anyone else been there?

Henry’s Tavern
14159 Clay Terrace Blvd
Carmel IN  46032
317/575-9005


3 comments:

  1. Jessica in ArcadiaJuly 13, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    I've been there twice recently and was pleasantly surprised. I reallyrics enjoyed the cheese curds but agree they could've been crispier and the jam didn't make sense. Their peanut butter burger is the best of this style that I've had. Portions are huge. We tend to eat late, and their happy hour specials start at 9 pm .... for $5 or less, everything on that menu is a steal. The first time we were there, hubby ordered the bar special burger and hot dog, thinking both would be mini ... nope! He was served 2 full entrees with sides!

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  2. Wonderful post.Thank you for the informative post.

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  3. agreed with Jessica....we've been there for the happy hour (both early and late) and the pricing is amazing. They actually started that as Stanfords (I'm pretty sure Henry's is owned by the same group) and we would be the only table in the bar sometimes. Last time I went it was packed.

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