Tavern=not tightPosted: April 11, 2011
There are certain food stuffs you dream about as a child but never really imagine you will have the opportunity to behold unless you befriend an eccentric billionaire. A swimming pool full of jello, a house made out of chocolate, a blanket of cheese perhaps? The Tavern‘s Cheddar Blanket Burger provides the opportunity to partake in a queso quilt—an opportunity that’s better imagined than experienced in 3D.
The laughs produced by this ridiculous cheese to burger ratio was about all the fun The Tavern provided on this particular Friday night.
After a rousing debate of Which Sports Bar Can Host Heath and Kelsey’s Pretend Anniversary/Ranger’s Watching Party The Tavern, for one reason or another, came out on top. We arrived on a Friday around 6 p.m. and despite it being the optimum time for end-of-week drinks, the place was pretty barren. I don’t usually like to give bad reviews of restaurants, as I believe it’s better karma to not put those negative vibes out into the universe, but The Tavern was pretty terrible. It met all of the “don’t eat at this restaurant” requirements:
• The wait staff was MIA. We waited 20 minutes for a waitress to acknowledge us at our table, despite other people arriving in our vicinity and being tended to, and by the time she did arrive we had already ordered at the bar.
• The wait staff was rude. After other friends arrived to join the party and were directed by the server to order from the bar because the restaurant was “busy,” the table was then chastised for having some drink tickets at the bar and some at the table. “Well that’s confusing,” she said without first consulting the brain-to-mouth filter.
• The wait staff was incompetent and slow. They couldn’t split tickets, they couldn’t remember drink orders and they couldn’t ring up the credit cards and adjust the bill without error (causing a delightful double charge on the trusty Visa). That being said, the former waitress in me still tipped a commendable 20 percent, so servers of the world hath no fear.
• The food was excessive and mediocre (see cheddar blanket above). In actuality I don’t have super high expectations of bar food, but when everything else is terrible, you want something stupendous from the menu to perhaps make up for it. My fried egg BLT was on par with something I could have made at home (with fresh eggs nonetheless), and Heath’s burger was, despite the entrée’s title, unexpectedly saturated in cheese. Come now, who orders a cheddar burger and expects to be drowning in cheese? Not until last Friday did I come to realize there is such a thing as too much cheddar.
Perhaps my sour recollection of The Tavern is partly rooted in the fact that, through no fault of the Tavern, The Ranger’s game was rained out, which put a pun-intended damper on the evening. Or perhaps I’m being blind to the difficult serving circumstances that can arise with a large dinning party. Perhaps the server was in training, or had some severe personal issues that prevented optimum attention to the table. Whatever the circumstance, the long-standing Austin grill and bar was a severe disappointment. The Tavern did, however, deliver on one promise—it was air conditioned.
[At least we had the company of friends to bring a much-needed silver lining to the evening.]