Location, Location, Location. Omaha Tap House is perfectly situated in the midst of a booming area of downtown Omaha. We arrived at the end of their scheduled Happy Hour and grabbed a high top table. The space is open, with high top and regular tables and just a few booths along the walls.
The Tap House has an extensive selection of both local/Nebraska brewed beers, as well as wine and specialty drinks. Most adult beverages are priced in the $4 to $8 range. We tried a Chardonnay wine, two different beers and a diet Pepsi. All enjoyed their picks.
The service was nothing spectacular, but they did refill the water glasses
We started with an order of their ‘Salt and pepper Onion Rings’ ($7.50). The portion was adequate as a starter, for our group of four, but the recipe could use some ‘tweaking’, and the fry cook needs a lesson on onion-rings. There are big thick slices of hand-cut onions, battered with a doughy batter which leaves an off-taste in your mouth from under-cooked baking soda. The onion rings were undercooked, with still a raw onion taste and the exterior wasn’t real crispy. We ate them because our mothers taught us to clean-up our plates, but they weren’t worth a second order if we were to go back. There are various other starters such as fresh made salsa and tortilla chips, chicken nachos, cheese curds and fried pickles…and many wing options.
Jim’s usual order was the signature cheeseburger and a side of the cheesy hash brown casserole. Jim thought the burger itself was better than average with a good Tap House sauce. The hash brown casserole while having good flavor was not crisp, obviously being held in the hot well. Jim likened it to leftover hash brown casserole reheated and served a second day.
Patty chose the Chicken Avocado Bacon sandwich with a side of the cumin apple cabbage slaw. While Patty was expecting a grilled chicken breast, it came as a thinly sliced (almost shredded) chicken which was tasty and tender. There was tomato and avocado on the right half of the sandwich but not the left half- and not enough to think that the portion was just misplaced to one side. There was lots and lots of lettuce. The slaw was rather ‘blah’ and not particularly good.
Rick tried the brined corned beef Rueben and French Fries. The fries were soggy and limp and not a good side. The Rueben was greasy and not that great. He would not repeat that order. The meat in the sandwich appeared to be roast beef- but was corned beef.
Sarah ordered the Rotisserie Chicken Salad which came piled high on a platter with romaine, chicken, thick-cut bacon, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, candied pecans and house ranch dressing. The house ranch dressing had good flavor but was way too thin and runny. And one small portion cup was provided, requiring her to ask for an additional portion of dressing. The majority of the lettuce had big hunks of the rib of the lettuce. The ingredients were mostly fresh and crisp and the taste was good.
SUMMARY: The entrees all ran in the $10 to $14 range. By the time we left, the place was full with people standing by the door waiting to be seated. The waiter was fairly attentive. Overall, none of us were overly-impressed with the restaurant. Their management needs to spend more time ensuring that the food served tastes as good as their menu descriptions sound. Their location is the best thing that this place has going for them. Step it up Tap House- you won’t have a lot of repeat customers if you don’t.