Tag Archives: restaurant review

TK’s is much more than OK

11 Jan

It’s hard to find a restaurant that makes fresh and flavorful American cuisine and bar food favorites without compromising service, quality, or atmosphere. A restaurant that feels like a home kitchen filled with gourmet flavors and concepts but that offers something different from a local self-proclaimed fast-casual concept chain. If simple, good eats is what you’re after, then TK’s Urban Tavern is the place.

TK’s Urban Tavern is a moderately priced casual eatery offering everything from comforting bar classics like mac ‘n cheese to grilled halibut filets that might just put your favorite seafood restaurant to shame. The bar hosts a variety of craft beers, a familiar wine list, and some unique specialty cocktails. The atmosphere is just like a tavern should be – dark wood floors, exposed brick walls, a vaulted ceiling with small spotlights, and floor to ceiling windows for natural light when there is some.

During the warmer months, outdoor seating is located on a small patio and offers guests an even better people-watching vantage point while they enjoy their cuisine. During our visits, the staff and service was truly refreshing and added to the enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere. Every person we encountered, whether one of the friendly owners, Tom Kelly and Brian Pierce, our server, or someone clearing the table, made sure our dining experience was perfect.
Our server treated us like we were all friends hanging out for the first time in years. She welcomed us to the restaurant like we were at her house and she was the one cooking the meals. She answered questions with ease and made us very comfortable – water glasses were always full, and empty plates never lingered.

On one occasion, we chose the barbeque chicken quesadilla. Not being the biggest fan of barbecue flavors, I was skeptical to put something smoky in what should be a spicy Mexican dish. The appetizer came out hot, fresh, and presented in way that you would find at most upscale restaurants. It came with a delicious side of guacamole and had the perfect combination of meat and cheese. This is the kind of quesadilla that requires some fork and knife attention. It’s gooey, messy, and flavorful. Excellent.

Our gang of four ordered the Cobb salad, the pulled pork sandwich, yet another barbeque chicken quesadilla, and an order of the special that night: mahi mahi street tacos.

Admittedly, Cobb salad might not sound like anything fancy; particularly when most dinner salads these days come with five parts greens to one part toppings. TK’s Cobb salad came already tossed with large pieces of tomato, avocado, and tender chicken breast. Bacon, egg, and mild blue cheese crumbles served as the perfect complement to the mixed greens. The salad is served with tasty ranch dressing that beautifully brings the flavors together. While a simple dish, it was a memorable salad.

The fish tacos were a special that night and could be ordered individually or as an entrée. The entrée came with four small tacos. There was some sort of seasoning on the fish that didn’t quite mesh with the other ingredients like theguacamole. But the mahi mahi was grilled perfectly and each street-sized taco was amply filled with fish. The entrée wasn’t large by any means, but enough for one person to be very satisfied.

The pulled pork sandwich is a TK’s Tavern favorite and has made quite a name for itself with frequent visitors. On top of a large toasted baguette comes a heaping portion of pulled pork, topped with Havarti cheese and cold apple slaw. Served up next to this monster sandwich is a mound of homemade French fries and a spicy ketchup accompaniment. Unlike most pulled pork sandwiches, which offer more sauce and mess than meat, this sandwich is all about the protein. And then French fries are hot, crispy, and worth every calorie. Out of the four items we sampled, this was the clear winner and easy to see why it was such a favorite among regular visitors.

Once again too full for dessert, our eyes did happen to glimpse (or maybe stare) at some of the desserts on our neighbors’ tables. We did see a root beer float, served up in a chilled mug with vanilla bean ice cream. And for chocolate lovers, a decadent layered chocolate cake is served with caramel ice cream – and definitely big enough to share.

Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at TK’s. Even though the restaurant was closing by the time we left, we never felt rushed to order or eat; and we even lingered a bit afterwards. TK’s Tavern is a great place to eat quality food in a relaxed environment. Almost like your best friend had become your very own personal chef, and happened to re-do his living room to look like a dimly lit, yet modern tavern. For lunch, dinner, or happy hour, TK’s Urban Tavern is worth the visit. Your taste buds will thank you.

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