Monday, July 26, 2010

Veg Out: City Tap House

There was a new dress to wear, a new movie to see, and a new bar to try.

The dress: The Mink Pink "Waisting Away" number that I mused about last week. [image via]

The movie: Inception. I'd rather not review it. I feel like I made the whole thing up in my head.

The spot: City Tap House at the Radian. A very handsome interior (for a college campus bar) greeted us as we stepped out of the elevator.

I felt inches taller in the body-skimming dress. It shielded me from the hostile sun and the cutout waist let just enough air tickle my skin to have a cooling effect. In this case, more is more, and my partner certainly thought so.

Usually when you look up in a bar from your drink, nothing good can come from it. I always appreciate an interesting ceiling, and City Tap House is wearing all of the right clothing. They seem to have invested a great deal in the design and layout, and it shows. Even the bathrooms were well above par for what I was expecting.  It made the 90's covers during the open mic session seem that much more out of place.

Josh was able to try PBC's Pennsylvania Pale Ale and some very tasty wheat beer. I had a glass of white wine. As a pre-movie drinking option, this is brilliant. The space is enormous, guaranteeing a seat at the extensive wraparound bar or at the outdoor patio. The taps are plentiful and there is enough to choose from that you could skip the movie. There are beer flights, too, and that's always a good show.

I knew what I was getting even before we stepped inside, because I had a hummus kind of feeling. A sign of a good bar is how seriously they take their hummus plate. There is a small falafel joint named Hummus next door to the Radian, and they make a swell enough version that I had initially suggested we grab a bite there.

But I'm glad we gave City Tap House a go. My plate was large enough for two, with grilled zucchini and cucumber, a punchy serving of quinoa, and some of the finer housemade bread that I've had with a hummus plate. Some parts soft and pillowy, other bites crisp and crackered. You get the pita and cracker experience all in one.

The Seitan Saute was a poorly presented showing of wheat gluten, a natural ingredient that I will defend to my death. More than half the time it is prepared incorrectly. It should be seared on high heat. If you cook it on a lower heat for a longer time, it will never achieve the sumptuous texture that is intended for it. If you do choose to simmer your seitan, you will need Awesome Sauce.

Instead, we had a sugary Chinese-takeout-inspired glaze. Our very attentive server took it back and listened to our feedback with patience. Josh ordered one of the pizzas instead, because they offered a wheat crust and the pies being served around us looked quite appealing. While the Tartufo pie was an improvement over the seitan,  we could not detect the wheat crust.

We liked our drinks and my plate, as well as the atmosphere, and it's always fun to trek around University City in skyscraper wedges and high digit temps.


hellopa said...

I think only a few people could pull that dress off, and you do it quite well.

So Inception was good? I am trying to convince Eric to go sometime this week.

kellywhitephillips said...

Why thank you.

Absolutely go see it, it was an amazing flick but it didn't entirely add up. It's one of those movies that assumes a lot from the audience and doesn't waste time with the finer details. It is really worth seeing, though.