Sunday, September 20, 2015

Taft's Alehouse is a Great Cincinnati Beer Hall

The Former St. Paul's
Evangelical Church

     What does one do with a closed Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in OTR?  What any beer-loving city would do, of course…turn it into a grand beer hall that dazzles on all aspects.  It feels like no expense has been spared with the interior vestments that perfectly meld the period structure (1850) with today.  Huge chandeliers look like they could have been cleaned up originals, but are not.  Dark wood, beveled glass and tapestry wall paper gave it a welcoming flavor that beckon a return visit on a snowy winter night.  

The Grand Interior

The Menus

     We weren't familiar with the craft beers being produced onsite, so our server gave us a run through and suggestions to match our beer tastes.  Of the 15 offered, we chose 4 different ones to pair with our food.  They ranged from coffee to pale ales to chocolate stout.  All were enjoyed.

Taft's Tub of Love
     The food doesn't settle for second place.  Setting the standard was the Tri-Tip Steak that goes through a 5-step process.  It's featured in several of the dishes offered, popping up as sliders in Taft's Tub of Love appetizer that we shared with our dining partners Karen and Tom.  Also on the plate were Sweet Potato Fries, Smoked Wings and Alehouse Onions.  All were good, but the standouts were the sliders and
Cabo Chop Salad
the light onion straws.  Karen chose the Cabo Chop Salad as her entrée.  It didn't have the appearance of a traditional chopped salad, but her reaction while eating it showed that she approved of the jicama, bleu cheese and honey lime dressing that laid out with the vegetables and Romaine lettuce.  Tom went with 
Portobello Sandwich
the Portobello Sandwich with a red ranch sauce.  It was another winner.  Eric had the Salmon Sandwich, which was grilled medium and topped with a tarragon aioli.  Check!  
Hunter Style Stew
I likened my Hunter Style Stew to a Shepherd's Pie.  Our server cautioned Eric about the mushrooms, but I didn't find any in mine that was ladened with fresh carrots and the tri-tip steak. That led me to think that perhaps the "veggies" listed on the menu may change at the chef's whim.  Nonetheless, it was a hearty portion and I enjoyed it just as much the following day for lunch.  

The Balcony Level
     Our night actually started as pizza and craft beer at Madtree, but fortunately we checked and they are closed on Monday nights.  Their loss and our gain.  We all felt right at home.

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