Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tannery Bar

5425 E Burnside
Happy Hour: 4 - 6, daily

I love neighborhood bars. I especially love how close the newest ones are getting to MY neighborhood. Long ago I lived in an apartment within walking distance to cutesy shops and restaurants in Montavilla. Then in a townhouse steps away from Hillsdale's central location. When we bought our house, though, we traded convenience and a high walkability score for a big garage, a fenced yard, and room to grow. Soon enough, those neighborhood bars will stretch all the way out to our neck of the woods. I hope.

Tannery Bar is just a block away from Tabor Tavern on East Burnside, just blocks from 60th Avenue. Both offer fantastic craft cocktails and food to fill you up, but Tabor Tavern seems awfully family-friendly while Tannery Bar is, indeed, a bar.

With the farmhouse feel, china that could have been my grandmother's, and teeny tiny tabletop gas lamps, the Tannery Bar is clearly making an attempt to stick to the theme. Their specials are listed on chalkboard cupboard doors painted with an antique crackled finish. They even serve their Moscow Mule in the traditional copper cups (which could have also been my grandmother's...I'm almost certain she had a set). To complete the feel, you'll have to make your way at some point in the night to the back of the bar where you will find more than one turntable and--while maybe not intentionally a part of the theme--a chocolate lab curled up on the rug.

We were there shortly after they opened at five and after considering our options found a seat at the window. Although they had plenty of outdoor seating available, inside consisted of tall stools at either the bar or window and two oversized communal tables. The communal tables filled up quickly and we were pleased with our choice as we were waiting on a third to join us for dinner.

Happy Hour discounts apply to much of their food menu and a few of their drinks. House wine and draft beer are priced with the usual discounts found at similar establishments. (Not super cheap, but still worth the early start to our evening.) They also offer a cocktail special. This evening there were two listed on the board, both at a dollar discount.

After perusing the cocktail list, I opted for a Moscow Mule. No, not because of the copper cup. I decided on this one after having ordered enough Moscow Mules (or variations of one, at least) during the summer months that it might soon be on my list of official go-tos. This one was small but of high quality. I'm sure that had something to do with the house-made ginger beer.

To share, we ordered a plate of fries. They were simple fries, not the Sasquatch Special that came topped with fancy cheeses and chanterelle mushrooms. They were salty and quite obviously freshly-made (we saw the pile of potatoes being processed as we first walked in).

Knowing this was dinner, I opted for a salad in order to increase my veggie intake for the day. It was lightly dressed and topped with almonds and slices of fancy cheese. The biggest slice fell victim to gravity, but the rest added to the flavor and made the salad that much more appealing.

To really fill up, I ordered the ham and brie baguette (minus the ham) after reading the description on the regular dinner menu. It came with a delightful house-made mustard that will probably continue to call my name for weeks to come. My husband ordered the same (with ham) when he arrived and after comparing, I can say for sure that they piled a few extra slices of brie on mine. That, of course, caused the size of the sando to be a bit too large and I proceeded to deconstruct and reconstruct it into two open-faced sandwiches. I may have looked like a small child pulling it all apart, but I didn't make the same mess others might have when taking each bite.

While not having had a bite of the Monte Cristo, I can comment on its presentation and the added benefit it had being offered as "fingers" instead of the traditional sandwich. Covered with powdered sugar and served with berry preserves, these styx were delectable while at the same time easy to eat. I can only imagine that the full-sized sandwich causes more than a light dusting of powdered sugar down your front with each bite. Unless, of course, you opt to use both fork and knife. These, however, don't cause a mess, don't require utensils, and might even have the better ratio of batter to bread with the added surface area.

Although the stools weren't the most comfortable and the server didn't appreciate our helpful spelling suggestions, the Tannery Bar is somewhere I'd like to return. Its farmhouse feel appeals to me and its coziness seems just right for fall. That, of course, means that I will have to return in the very near future.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Exceeds
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets (although just barely)


The Tannery Bar on Urbanspoon

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