Review: The Underground Tap and Grill
10004 Jasper Ave., Edmonton – Website
Date of Visit: July 7, 2015
I found this place on the internet and, while I probably wouldn’t have been attracted by the menu especially, I saw that they offer 72 beers on tap. I love sampling different brews and I thought that I could spend a pleasant few hours doing so and also see what they could do for a nice supper as well…
Ambience and Service
An interesting feature of this establishment is that the entrance and exit is by way of proprietary escalators from street level. The interior is not large, seating maybe 75 to 100, and there were only about 20 patrons present when I arrived at about 5pm. The air conditioning was a little vigorous to the point of chilliness, which tended to emphasize the stark emptiness somewhat, but I could see that, with a larger crowd, the place could be quite inviting and pleasantly cozy.
I was served by two young ladies while I was there and they both impressed me with knowing from memory what beers were available that night, and which were not. The beer selection changes regularly so this was no mean feat, I should say. My first waitress was a bit too attentive (asking me several times if I wanted to order food after I made it plain I wanted to sit for a while) but that is hardly a serious complaint and overall the service was very good.
The menu struck me as being mostly standard typical fare at first glance but there are some interesting and unique items available such as a ‘Naan Duck Confit’ and Jamaican Lamb Curry. There are also specials on different nights and, for my visit, which fell on a Tuesday, there was a separate additional menu featuring 6 Tapas selections, all of which sounded pretty good…
Patatas Bravas – This was one of the selections from the tapas menu. It was the only item from the list that I recognized and which you commonly see in tapas cookery books. It consisted of chunks of fried potato drizzled with hot pepper sauce and aioli and was quite good. It was a little dry in places and it might have been improved by first tossing the hot potato in aioli before plating and then drizzling on the hot sauce. Still, it was very enjoyable as is and I rated it at a 4 out of 5.
Blackened Tidbits – These were an appetizer from the regular menu and consisted of small chunks of sirloin cooked at very high temperature with seasonings (in this case chipotle sauce) and served around what the menu called a ‘Sweet Potato Haystack’. When I first saw the dish, it looked like the meat had been totally dried out but the chunks turned out to be delightfully juicy, if a little chewy. The sweet potato addition, basically just some crispy shreds in the middle of he plate, didn’t do much for me other than their garnish appeal but the selection, on the whole, was well done. I rated this at a 4 out of 5.
I enjoyed a very nice time at this place and I got to try 5 beers I have never tasted before. The food was pretty darned good for a pub and, even if I would only be likely to return for the impressive beer selections, I would happily eat there again. I gave the place a 4 out of 5.