Thursday, November 23, 2017

Food Porn: Tavern Hall Opens in Bellevue

A Casual Gastropub in Bellevue.

Tavern Hall opened in Bellevue Square in October (formerly the Munchbar space). The restaurant and bar offers a trendy, yet casual place to hang out. Come as your are. Play shuffleboard on their four shuffleboard tables or catch the Seahawks (or your favorite team) on their 23 flatscreen TVs. The menu offers a huge selection of draft beer and elevated comfort foods.

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Whether you want an appetizer or just something to snack on while you watch the game, the Hearth-Baked Pretzels are a must-order. They are soft and slightly chewy. Served with your choice of White Cheddar Jalapeño Sauce, Salted Peanut Caramel, Bacon-Onion Dip. The Salted Peanut Caramel sauce needs some work. The Housemade Ricotta is fresh and creamy, topped with a pistachio pesto, basil-marinated tomatoes, and herbed flatbread. The Stadium Nachos are great to share, with chili cheese sauce, jalapeños, black olives, red onions, guacamole, sour cream and optional spicy chili or ale-braised brisket. Both are good, but I’m a sucker for pork.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the flatbreads. There’s Salame, Sour Grapes, Wild Mushroom, and Fennel Sausage. The latter two are my favorite. That pistachio pesto is really well-made and the flatbreads achieve just the right amount of crunch that can only come from being baked in a brick oven.

Let me preface this review of the burger by saying: I eat a lot of burgers. I order burgers at almost every restaurant that has one on the menu, even the fancy ones. I grill handmade patties at home. In short, trust my burger opinion. Two friends ate at Tavern Hall a few days before I did and both their Tavern Burger patties were overcooked. I mentioned this when I ordered mine, yet it was still overcooked. The patty, especially after being overcooked, is thin, flavorless, and rubbery. You will get the same thing if you buy one in the freezer aisle at the grocery store. Tavern Hall will need to up their game if their website continues to boast that theirs is the “best burger on the Eastside.” *

Photos by Jennifer Liu.

The Steak & Cheese sandwich with ribeye steak, white cheddar jalapeño sauce, crispy fried onions and pepperoncini is a big hit. The Spicy Chicken sandwich with fried chicken, a pickle slaw and a spicy aioli is too. The BBQ Brisket is probably one of the better braised brisket (pulled pork) sandwiches I’ve had in Seattle. The jalapeño slaw really seals the deal.

The brunch menu features a Dutch Baby, Hashes, a Malted Belgian Waffle, and Fried Egg Sandwich. I’d be willing to check that out sometime. Bellevue is seriously lacking on brunch spots.

The moral of the story: people are going to come here. This place is already and will continue to be crowded, especially on game nights and weekend nights. Some of their food borders excellent, others need re-working, but it’s all offered at a reasonable price. Our waitress was superb, but overall, the service could be better (I shouldn’t expect more from Bellevue though, right?). Come drink some beer, order some munchies, hang out with friends, play some shuffleboard… it’ll be a good time.

Open Monday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 am to midnight.
Friday from 11:00 am to 2:00 am.
Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 am.
Sunday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Happy Hour is offered from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm to close daily.

Tavern Hall    |     958 111th Avenue NE, Bellevue     |    (425) 454-7500

*The best burger on the Eastside is at tie between Broiler Bay and John Howie Steakhouse.

About Jennifer Liu

Despite the rain, Jennifer loves Seattle and is a rare native. From the gorgeous summer weather to the drizzle the other 9 months, this may be her forever home. She graduated from the University of Washington and has a master's degree in counseling psychology. She loves to travel, volunteer, and host themed dinner parties. You can find her eating, hiking, hanging out with her awesome dog, or napping. Ice cream, burgers, and sushi are some of her favorite things.
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