Monday, October 15, 2012

Uptown Tap House: Quantity, Not Quality

I was sad to see Ireland's Four P's leave Connecticut Avenue... even sadder after trying out their replacement Uptown Tap House. The 4Ps had the warm and cozy feel of a real Irish pub: Uptown Tap House cleaned out the charm and replaced it with flat screen TVs (and to its credit... great drink specials.)

I arrived with a friend on Monday night (just after 6:30.) The first thing I noticed was how clean (spotless, in fact) the new digs were. Two hostesses (part of a large staff) greeted us, and steered us to a table near the bar. There weren't many other customers when we arrived, and our waiter quickly set us up with drinks (1/2 price drafts for $3) and took our order for 2 all-you-can-eat Sriracha Buffalo Wing specials.

After adjusting to the restaurant's cleanliness, it didn't take long to notice the surplus of televisions all over the place: It screamed sports bar, minus the charm. I was impressed by the beer (Anchor Steam) but the wings were a disaster. Our first plates were loaded... 8 wings on a bed of lettuce, veggies and dip. Unfortunately, the wings weren't cooked (as in covered with blood.) This oversight is unforgivable (not  to mention dangerous) and I alerted our server who apologized and promised to tell the chef. Our next batch took a while to get to us (all-you-can eat isn't what it used to be) and contained 6 wings each, minus the trimmings. My first wing was cooked perfectly, but my second wing uncovered more blood. Good grief, Charlie Brown. Ditto for our third and final order (which I didn't risk finishing.) The price is right, but they should pay us for possible food poisoning.

Service was attentive, but useless given the bad wings. The place began to fill up, but definitely skewed older (50+) I imagine the crowd gets younger, the later it gets. Uptown Tap House is only open a month, so growing pains are expected; but I'll wait a while before trying their main menu (which includes an expedition raw bar.)

Atmosphere: C (Too many TVs)
Cleanliness: B+
Food: F (Raw chicken... That's Food 101: An automatic F)
Price: B
Service: C- (No good-byes from either hostess, despite standing directly in front of the exit door.)
Overall: C-