Friday, February 3, 2012

Keller Tavern, Tavern, Pub Food, Keller-TX

First visit: February 2012

And here's the third installment of the Keller-goes-bar-and-burgers. Of the three establishments so far, Keller Tavern is definitely the most bar of the lot. I truly love the interior of this place. A simple A-frame low roof, architected in the German or Swiss style, with a dark wood interior. Honestly I felt like I was in the upper Midwest as soon as I entered the building. Like I suddenly stumbled into a tavern in Green Bay or Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Even though it was 65 degrees outside, I imagined it was more like 20, and was grateful to be cuddled up in the warmth of the tavern. And a nice beer...

Since I'm on a burger kick, and that's the comparison point for these 3 places, I went for their Tavern Bacon Burger. Unlike the last two restaurants, Keller Tavern is strictly menu driven, and doesn't offer a dizzying array of choices for your burger. And that's because the Keller Tavern isn't really a burger joint and they offer what I'd call "upscale pub food", which we see more often in Colorado than here. There's another level on this genre called Gastropubs, which are usually marquee name chef driven, but Keller Tavern isn't fancy in that way. Which is fine by the RJG. Upscale pub food works for us. In any case, it's probably good that Keller Tavern doesn't rely solely on burgers. While it was certainly good, and I wouldn't say different, it certainly wasn't great. Ironically enough, the best part was the bun - a nicely crafted Kaiser roll. I say ironically only because the bun was the weakness of the other two! The meat patty was not aesthetically pleasing. In fact it was... and this sounds worse than it is, but it's still a fact.... gray. Gray meat. It was cooked well done and all that, but it was still gray. If Mrs. RJG* saw that, she would never step foot in the place again. And the "crispy bacon" was no such thing. It was rather limp actually. Despite all of that - I did like the burger. The fries were of the crispy seasoned variety that I've had at other such diners and taverns, and they were excellent. But on my next visit, I'll try something other than a hamburger.

As for the bar portion, I was happy to see they had a couple of micros on tap. I went for the Rahr & Sons (Ft.Worth) Iron Thistle, which is a powerful Scotch Ale (Rahr's call it a Scottish Ale, which to me is considerably different). First time I've seen that on tap. It's an excellent beer that I've had many times before. In fact, I have one in the fridge right now. Is it too early? Hmmm... They also had Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, which isn't obscure but better than just the usual Bud-Miller-Coors (BMC).

The fourth restaurant on this block is Bronson's Burger & Beer, which has the most direct naming convention for what's going on here. It doesn't appear they're open for lunch though - at least they weren't for this week. As such, it may be awhile before I try it. Will need a free evening, and those are pretty scarce.

So let's recap the last three places. All 3 bring something positive, and it's difficult to pick a favorite (so I won't). Let's break it down into two categories:

Food:
1. Bottlecap Alley
2. Yourway
3. Keller Tavern

Ambience / Hangoutability:
1. Keller Tavern
2. Yourway
3. Bottlecap Alley

If you're just looking for a great hamburger, go to Bottlecap Alley. If you want to hang out with friends and munch on some appetizers, try Keller Tavern. Want a little of both - Yourway is the place to go.

*You'll note Mrs. RJG's absence on the last 3 blog entries. She's no burger hound, so she opted out of my latest venture. But I think she'll like all of them - just need to find the right dish for her (she'd definitely like the burgers at Bottlecap Alley though).

Website

Keller Tavern on Urbanspoon

9 comments:

Adam said...

66% in 3 votes on Urbanspoon!!!??? The Tavern needs more love, RJG readers! Give it to them! Go on a Friday before the rush and I bet one of the owners would be glad to chum it up with you.

RJG said...

I agree Adam. We need to "get out the vote"! :-)

MikeM said...

I would have to disagree on BottleCap Alley. That was the blandest burger I can recall having in a long time, but Fred's is my benchmark for good burgers. If that ranks a relative #1 on the list then I fear for the others.
I am encouraged by the "comfortable" feed of Keller Tavern and look forward to giving it a try in the near future.

RJG said...

Hi Mike,

That's interesting about Bottlecap. I've had a few friends corroborate what I thought as well. So the inconsistency is not a good sign. Based on what you said, I think you'll enjoy the other two places. I'm going to guess your experience at BottleCap was an anomaly, but who knows right? Hope you enjoy Keller Tavern!

Thanks for the comment!

- RJG

MikeM said...

RJG,

I certainly hope it was an anomaly, although I've been there 3 times. Twice I got the burger with the same opinion and once I got the fish-n-chips (thoroughly disappointed). But its a great family environment, has a good bar area and a staff that's easy on the eyes. So the positives go a long way to offset the negatives.

btw.....where can I find some good fish-n-chips in this down? REAL fish-n-chips?

Keep the reviews coming!

Regards,
Mike

RJG said...

(Concerning BottleCap). Hmmm... twice is definitely enough if it was me. I guess we're just tasting it differently :-) But I'll have Mrs. RJG try it soon, and she'll be the tie-breaker. LOL. Or maybe I'll taste it as you have.

I love Fish-n-Chips! But it's funny, I never think to seek that out while here in DFW. I've had some great ones in Hawaii and in Washington DC before, but that doesn't help us here. To me, it's the ultimate pub food. I'd like to see maybe the Keller Tavern take that on!

MikeM said...

I agree that the Keller Tavern be an excellent location for form "REAL" fish-n-chip. Will make that suggestion when I'm there.

And when its comes to "Chips", it has to be thick cut potatoes, not the curly fries or even Lays chips that I've been served at a few local establishments.

The fish has to be cod or haddock. Bottlecap I believe actually served Tilapia.

Sea salt and a quality vinegar is a must.

I feel the stirrings of a personal quest......

RJG said...

Agreed - thick cut fried potatoes!

Perhaps you can start a fish-n-chips blog? Why not?

MikeM said...

Will probably have to up my Lipitor prescription if I were to take on something like a Fish-n-Chips Blog...:)

btw....hit Hard-8 in Roanoke last week. Ate myself into a BBQ Coma.