Newly opened Tavern 24 on Woodruff, part of the FATZ local chain recently opened a newly remodeled and concept of a restaurant. Now I have never been to FATZ and honestly had no intention of going to Tavern 24, but when the menu was finally published online, they had something, something that is oh so close to my heart. They have what they call a "Stuffed Beer Burger" or from where I come from, a “Juicy Lucy”. The only place in the entire upstate that, to this point I knew of that serves a Juicy Lucy (Dawgs on Pelham also has one, but that’s for another day and a review coming soon) just so happens to also be one of the finest restaurants in the Upstate, Cafe Rivera's.
The Stuffed Beer Burger is described as the following: Juicy, seared Certified Angus Beef © patty marinated with stout beer and stuffed with Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses and topped with caramelized onions. Served on a butter toasted brioche bun with whole grain mustard. 5.29.
|I would not call those caramelized onions...|
Here is how I would describe the Stuffed Beer Burger: soggy, but dry, gristly and very large hard fat chunks of Taco Bell grade ground beef (no beer present or they soaked the already ground beef in a Bud Light) stuffed with I don't know, it all got cooked out on the grill if it ever started with anything and
higher than the burger itself with some of the soggiest onions with absolutely
no flavor or caramelization. Served in a butter topped bun and a disintegrated bottom before it
arrived with some average grey poupon.
So now that we have the real description of this disaster on a plate out of the way, I'm glad that it was only $5 and some change. That tiny amount of fries however set me back another $2. They were average; I'm willing to bet money that they were not hand cut back in that kitchen (as advertised) as I'm going to guess they are the same soggy fries they serve over at FATZ out of the freezer. I don't want to just come out and be negative about the whole thing, but when you get so excited for something and then they drop a pile of crap on you, what else can be said. This was probably the #1 single worst Juicy Lucy I have ever experienced (I can honestly say that I have eaten over 500 Juicy Lucy’s in my life to date).
|This is where the cheese should be running out...|
So now onto the beer, average selection at best, but completely boring. Nothing that really makes you jump out of your seat besides maybe a Rogue Dead Guy or the Terrapin Rye, but honestly they are way overdone as the premier beer selection at a lot of restaurants. The only beer I really wanted, Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, they were out of and only after a week or so of being open. The other selections are the same thing you can get just about anywhere you turn your head in these parts of the world, Yuengling, Sweetwater, Thomas Creek and RJ Rockers. For a tavern who wants to promote the whole "Drink at a restaurant blah blah blah..." thing, and call themselves a tavern, I would really expect more from the tap menu and certainly more than 12 selections with two of those constantly being out and an equally horrible bottle selection (besides maybe the Half Moon). Just my opinion and for those who say they will give Ale House a run for their money, you are crazy unless they totally revamp the concept and restaurant. Currently, they are so far from even being compared to the Ale House or spoken about together in the same sentence.
Bottom line, the place is busy and it will be busy no matter how horrible the food they put out (I will never understand why people do this to themselves), but at least people can constantly count on the same poor quality food to come out consistently every time. The service was equally as bad as the food; we were given our bills (two other guys and myself, no wife or kids) as soon as our food was removed from our table. We ended up having a few more beers, and each time, we were given a new bill. It was just an awkward chain of events that went on. I wish my second visit would have been better (yes I went back, they have another Juicy Lucy on the menu and I have a weakness for them if you didn’t know by now), but I can fully report that the Black and Bleu (Cajun seasoned Certified Angus Beef © patty stuffed with crumbled Bleu Cheese, bacon and fresh jalapenos. Grilled to perfection and served on a butter-toasted brioche bun with lettuce and tomato, drizzled with roasted red pepper aioli. 5.79) was equally as bad along with the visit itself. Take away all of this fancy shit on your menu and try to serve a basic meal first, then see what you can do.
"Grilled to perfection", in whose opinion?
"Grilled to perfection", in whose opinion?
|Photo taken from the Lodge Restaurant back in Minnesota.|
This is what a Juicy Lucy should look like when properly made and prepared!