Northern Tap House
The reality is, where one eatery fails another will typically suffer the same fate. The old Mike’s Smokehouse location is a great example. The same was once true for where Northern Tap House is currently located at Keystone Crossing. Originally opened as an Outback Steakhouse (creating a steak district if you will), the building seemed destined to slowly deteriorate into an eyesore as a couple other places followed. Then after a brief run as a Mexican fare spot, it’s been the Northern Tap House for a couple of years and memories of the Outback days are long gone.
Ordered: Buffalo and Garlic Parmesan Traditional Wings. Mac-n-Cheese Pizza
Price: $27 for two adults
Entrée’: There is an energy inside of this place that is unmistakable and has that “place to be” feel that no eatery can create but can only hope develops. First, credit to the operators who (starting during their run operating it as a Mexican fare spot) redeveloped the restaurant to distance itself from its days as an Outback Steakhouse. Those who remember it as that, will notice the building layout and some exterior looks carryover but if you didn’t know it used to be that it’s not quite as noticeable as lazy operators in the past had done nothing except slap a new name on the place.
Inside, large flat screen televisions along with a sound system that can be a touch on the high side, feed the room with light and noises that are augmented by the sounds coming from an open kitchen. A horseshoe bar in the middle is a nice touch and though the place looks small and can sometimes feel that way, it’s not cramp.
The Hungry Italian and his companion were here on a Sunday night and started with an order of traditional wings split between buffalo and garlic parmesan sauce.
The wings were good. They wouldn’t make a bulldog break off it’s chain to go get, but a good value and worth getting again.
The main course was the mac-n-cheese pizza. Usually, the Hungry Italian has a firm rule that pizza should be pizza and not another dish trying to infiltrate. For example, if one wants a taco…go get tacos and not a stupid taco pizza.
Alas, his hypocritical nature gets the best of him here as the mac-n-cheese pizza offering at Northern Tap House is that good. First, the thin crust is firm and crunchy with a hint of char, courtesy of a brick-oven. The pizza is piled with a cheese cream sauce and handfuls of noodles. Each bite is a mixture of soft and crunchy, the texture as much of the pleasurable experience. The taste is good, but it’s the texture that is perfect and a different experience.
Some bacon bits sprinkled on top add a hint of saltiness. The Hungry Italian has a content relationship with bacon but this addition likely makes many faint in joy as obviously many are in love with it.
Second Helping? Good food and a fun atmosphere keeps the Hungry Italian coming back
Final Score: Five out of Five Cheese Curds