Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First (real) look: Iron Horse Tavern

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Trio of mac n cheese

Last week I wrote about the opening event at Iron Horse Tavern. I was (am) really excited about this particular new restaurant because I was impressed by the look, atmosphere, and the menu. Being that it was a special event, it didn't really count as a review.

Tonight I returned again with a group of old coworkers. I thought it would be fun for us to check out the Asian fusion tavern menu that Iron Horse serves. Now generally it's not good to review a restaurant so soon after opening, but I couldn't wait to really try them out and here was an opportunity to try several items with a group of friends.

Suffice it to say, we had a really great evening with service, food, and drink. We also lucked out.  After we put in our food order the first four dishes magically appeared in literally about a minute. We were like, "Wow! These guys are fast!" But we eventually figured out that our table had been delivered the order from the next table over, which was nearly exactly like our own order. So we got an extra pizza out of the deal. This table/food confusion continued throughout the night making me think I want to be sitting at that table from now on if the table confusion can continue in my favor! Except for that error, the service was very good. The staff were friendly, attentive, and efficient. 

I have to highly recommend Happy Hour. All the pizzas and small plates are half off from 3-6pm. We took advantage of that and for all the food you are about to see, the bill itself was only $68. There are, of course, drink specials as well. The only drawback is that the mocktails are not included in HH pricing, which seems stupid to me. After all, mocktails don't have any alcohol in them in the first place, so why shouldn't they be given a HH discount?

Out of the items you are about to see, the mac n cheese and the desserts are not included in the HH pricing. 

Let's start with the Trio Mac n Cheese seen at the top. Iron Horse has 9 mac n cheeses and for the trio you pick three. Our three were jalapeno, lobster, and chicken chorizo. You can see by the picture that the servings are small (note the spoon size next to the skillet). But mac n cheese is really rich and so do you really need more than that?  To break them down I'll say that the jalapeno either is really mild or they mistakenly gave us the pesto version instead of the jalapeno. It was the creamiest of the three, but not all that flavorful. The lobster was dull although it did have big chunks of lobster in it. The best of the three was the chicken chorizo. The other two needed that bit of spice and salt to waken them up.



The Bavarian Pretzel I had at the opening. It is served with mustard, jalapeno cheese, and bacon peanut butter. My favorite is the jalapeno cheese.




The Asian Style Short Ribs appear here like a large chunk, but these are actually cut Korean short rib style and so there are three thin cut ribs piled up here. It is served with a bit of kimchi and Asian pickles on the side. It's hard to mess up Korean short ribs and we all found these to be tasty.



The Beer Battered Chicken Wings are covered in a batter and then served Buffalo wing style with blue cheese drizzle and celery. I would have preferred with a lighter batter, but the sauce wasn't too hot, which was good for me. I'm not a Buffalo wings fan, so if you are, you might want more bite/fire to them than these had.



The Sweet & Spicy Shrimp was not what I expected purely because they were also covered in batter and deep fried and then drizzled with a sriracha and honey mayonnaise. I had envisioned a batter-less peel-and-eat style shrimp, so I was a little disappointed in the deep fried aspect of this dish. I will say the number of shrimp for this appetizer was good.



Everyone loved the Tuna Poke Nachos. This has crisp deep fried wonton chips and then there is chopped tuna with wasabi mayo drizzle over it. I would have liked a bit more tuna, but overall this one was a hit. I'm not a wasabi fan, so there were a couple of times I got a "hit" of wasabi that shocked me, but that's a personal thing. 



This pizza was one of the items delivered to us in error. Since they couldn't re-deliver it, we got it for free. The toppings were tasty, but I like the pizza crust at Masullo and Federalist better as far as texture and chew is concerned. 



The Red Velvet "Ho-hos" are another winner. A good sized ho-ho, there's a nice cream cheese filling, it was moist, and had a small bottle of milk to go with it. Fave!


The Beignets were a generous number in a metal basket served with two squeeze bottles of raspberry and vanilla bean sauces. My friend was concerned it would be heavy like a donut hole, but they were light and airy. Best eaten hot.

We did not try any entrees, so that will have to wait for another day, but for happy hour, Iron Horse is a hit and a great place to go if you are partial to HH eats versus drinks. 




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