Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday Lunch Date
For our lunch date Tuesday Keith and I went to Tailpipes. It is a locally owned burger and shake joint on the High Street. Neither one of us eats much red meat, but sometimes you just hanker for a burger, you know? We were not disappointed.
Two reasons led me to the eatery. First off, one of my co-workers told me they use locally grown grass fed beef, which I thought was pretty neat. According to materials posted in the restaurant, the beef comes from Hawthorne Valley Farms, a family owned operation in Harrison County. You can also purchase frozen 1 lb packages of said beef right at the restaurant, which again I thought was pretty darn neat. The second reason was just kind of coincidence, because I had been looking at the Chestnut Ridge Park website over the weekend, trying to suss out places nearby to camp, and I noticed that Tailpipes was one of their sponsors. If by eating there I am also supporting a park I like, so much the better.
The eatery is clean and somewhat spare, with booths on one side and tables on the other. The upholstery is that old fashioned 50's diner sparkly vinyl, and the tables look like old kitchen Formica with the metal edges. Reproduction metal signs decorate the walls, we chuckled especially over the road signs peppered with bullet holes. It reminded me a little of the T&L Hot Dogs in Rosebud Plaza, but with more of a classic car theme instead of Rock & Roll.
We went at about 1:00 in the afternoon, and there were only a few patrons, one of whom was intently typing away on an iPad. I guess there must be free Wi-Fi in the place because that's what it says on the UrbanSpoon entry, but I saw no signs about it and didn't really think about it at the time. The girl who took our order was very friendly and gave off an aura of competence that I appreciate in a restaurant worker (since I am one!). I read a couple of bad reviews of the service at Tailpipes, but I must say I was impressed. Keith always orders a specialty item that comes with cheese, and then says "with no cheese." So when our food came and his burger was cheese free, we were happy.
All the burgers are named after classic cars, and I think Keith was swayed by that a bit more than I was. He ordered the Charger, which was a burger with hot banana peppers and pepper jack cheese. Of course he didn't get the cheese, since he has no patience for that sort of milk product. I thought it was kind of naked looking, but he isn't a big fan of toppings or sauces anyway. There were, however, a LOT of peppers on that burger. He ate it and really enjoyed it, but I could see sweat beading up on his forehead and the AC in the joint was working just fine, if you know what I'm saying. He was also happy that they had a full line of Stewart's Sodas in the cooler, because he's partial to the orange.
I ordered the Corvette, which has a slice of fried green tomato, bacon, coleslaw and BBQ sauce. The slaw is old-fashioned tasting, very creamy with a lot of celery seed. The green tomato was deep fried, and it was so thick it made the burger absurdly tall. I had a devil of a time keeping it together to eat it, but it was worth it. I would have been completely happy with the sandwich if they left off the burger, but that's probably because I am in love with fried green tomatoes. Both of us ordered our burgers cooked through, as opposed to medium. I didn't know the food code allowed restaurants to serve hamburgers medium rare, maybe next time I will try my luck and order one that way. They were tasty even so, with a nice crust on the outside. The burger reminded me of something I would have eaten as a kid, shaped by hand and cooked on a grill at a family gathering by my Dad or Uncle Eddie.
The burgers are about $7.50 and come with fries, which were pretty good, natural cut with the skin on. There was also some kind of dipping sauce which was awfully sweet and possibly BBQ flavored although I abandoned it in favor of ketchup. It was too much food for me to eat in one sitting, but I tried. Lunch for two for around $20 downtown, you can't beat that with a stick. The only drawback being they don't serve beer, but they do have a bunch of different fountain drinks and bottled sodas if you like that sort of thing. Also shakes, which we might sample sometime in the future if Delia comes with, as she is our in house shake aficionado.
Ultimately I am glad we gave Tailpipes a try!