Saturday, November 30, 2013

Uptown Tap House Brunch Review

Egg White Omelette

Uptown Tap House closed its doors for a week or two, late this summer; and hopes were high for some real change. But change is hard to come by (just ask President Obama) and the Cleveland Park pub appears in trouble again... especially if you use today's brunch as a barometer.

There's no shortage of promos here... usually splashed on banners & displayed along Uptown Tap House's once mighty patio. Probably too many promos; but heck, one got my attention... so go figure. "Unlimited Omelette Bar" had me at unlimited, and I ordered it late this morning for $15: This gets you as many omelettes as you can eat, along with bottomless hash browns. Sounds like a great deal.

Bottomless "Hash Browns"

We entered just before noon; and were greeted by a friendly hostess, who sat us in one of UTH's little nooks up front. Our server Jack came by immediately, gave us menus and took our drink orders. Jack couldn't have been nicer; but our menu was three printed pages on a cardboard clipboard (talk about cheap and tacky.) The large space was pretty empty... 8-10 people at the bar, and two couples near the stage. The restaurant was remarkably clean, but dark (after all, it's a pub.) All-in-all, a little depressing.

Before we could order, our server brought over a brown paper bag of complimentary, fresh kettle potato chips (nice!) They weren't very greasy, and tasted really good. Great start. We placed orders for one omelette bar and Eggs Chesapeake (Eggs Benedict with crab & shrimp instead of ham.) Both meals cost the same ($15 each.)

The omelette bar was located on a raised platform by the side door, and manned by a quiet, yet polite chef. You have a lot of choices for your omelette, including six different cheeses and meats. I ordered one with egg whites, bacon, green & red peppers and tomatoes. It didn't take long (I was his only customer) but the plate was far from inspiring. For starters, it was paper thin and not doubled over (how do you not flip an omelette?) All the toppings were visible, and as you can see in the photo at the top... not pretty. I had a hard time tasting bacon, yet alone salt or any kind of flavor. My suggestion? Use three eggs at a time, fold it and add salt & pepper.

Complimentary Kettle Chips

My disappointment continued with my first (and only) plate of bottomless hash browns. Problem #1... They weren't hash browns, but rather flavorless roasted potatoes (mixed with onions & peppers.) Hash browns are often fried and tasty: These were likely cooked all at once, and heated up in small batches when necessary. I somehow (reluctantly) managed to finish half of 'em. I went back for a second omelette, this time minus the peppers (and with pork sausage in place of bacon.) Once again, it looked terrible and tasted of almost nothing. When you say "no mas" after less than two skinny omelettes & a few bites of potato... you're saying a lot (most of it, bad.) Good service, nice chips and a $44 bill (including tip) for two plates of uninspired food? Not cool. It may only be a block away from home; but I won't be coming back for this kind of food again.