WTGW 12/4/13: Tavern of Stow, Stow

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Wow, it’s December already. How the hell did that happen?

Regardless, I think that means we’ve officially hit the six month mark in our Where To Go Wednesday adventures. Yay us!

So this week our travels take us to the Tavern of Stow – another of those places we’ve talked about going for a while now but just never quite made it to the “I definitely have to pick that this week” list. Shane almost pulled an audible and changed up his pick as we were leaving the house – based on the fact that Ted has been to this place more than once – but we all vetoed him. Even Ted, who I’m kind of surprised was so eager to return to this establishment. Oops, I think I gave away our general feeling of the place there …

A little blurry ... like the end of most of our Where to GO Wednesday evenings ...

A little blurry … like the end of most of our Where To Go Wednesday evenings …

Don’t get me wrong, it was … well ..  fine. The decor, the food, the staff – all were fine. But just “fine.” Nothing notable, nothing overwhelming, nothing that screamed “we have to stay until closing and then we just can’t wait to walk back in the door again!” Maybe the bar has been raised, maybe we’ve visited too may of the same type of place all in a row … but I think it’s safe to say we definitely were underwhelmed.

The place is small – once again, located in a trip plaza, although the neighboring establishments weren’t of the dollar store variety like we encountered on our visit to The Red Fox, so that was a little more comforting. And we discovered there’s a Bruegger’s Bagels across the street, which answered the question of “someone gave me a coupon for a free dozen bagels from there but I don’t know where the closest one is.” I know, you’d think we’d never heard of the internet or something.

Shane was disappointed from the get-go that we were seated in the restaurant portion of the place and not the little bar area at the front of the Tavern – which, truth be told, were only separated from one another by a few booths and, well, air. I wasn’t even certain they had a table big enough for four people to sit together in the bar area, but I guess they did have one or two. Oh well. Instead we sat behind a large table that when we first arrived had more children dining in the group than adults, and by the time we left had turned over to a group of artsy college students who debated politics. Neither group probably appreciated our group’s topics of conversation, which included things like the best looking actors and actresses (complete with visual aids), how the whole “top 5 people your significant other can’t get mad at you for sleeping with” list works, and how one crosses the line from actress to porn star. Whatevs.

Tavern of Stow 12/4/13We finally stuck to our vow of not ordering enough food for 40 people and just got two appetizers – neither of which surprisingly involved melted cheese of any kind (you’re welcome, Ted). The pretzel bites were small but, well, pretzel-y – kind of like the kind you can buy in the frozen foods section of the grocery store and microwave in a minute. As for the zucchini planks, I think there may have been three full zucchinis used in the basket we got, which was great – although the way they were cut meant that Ted didn’t have as much luck using them as a facial accessory as he did with the ones at Gasoline Alley a few months back.

For dinner we all ordered something different: Amanda and I had different pasta dishes (cajun chicken and shrimp de angelo), while the boys went all carnivore and ordered ribs (Shane) and steak (Ted). Like I said, it was all fine. Nothing overly impressive, but nothing bad enough to send back. I think the overall agreement was that none of the dishes really had enough flavor to them. I mean, it’s hard to screw up noodles tossed in olive oil with shrimp, but mine was pretty much on the bland side. Amanda said she actually preferred her homemade cajun chicken pasta  to what was served, and even Ted salted his steak. Hmm.

Pasta on the girl's side

Pasta on the girl’s side of the table

Meat on the boy's side of the table

Meat on the boy’s side of the table

But I will say that the one thing that I would take a whole basket of in place of the pasta was the breadsticks. Seriously. It wasn’t really even a breadstick, but more of a fried-dough concoction – like someone just took an elephant ear and made it into the shape of a breadstick. Um, yes please. And side note, any restaurant who wants to take that idea on as an appetizer you have your first customer. And then please expect me to be back every day.

Another thing to note: the special at Tavern of Stow on Wednesdays is “Buy one dinner, get the second for half price” – which is why we all went with dinner entrees and not the usual sandwiches, wings or burgers. However, when the bills came, the waitress didn’t take that special into account on either of our checks. She was apologetic and quick to make the change once pointed out to her – but word of warning, just be sure to look over your bill before plopping down your card for payment.

At least they had cool colorful glasses. Yes, we're easily amused.

At least they had cool colorful glasses. Yes, we’re easily amused.

CAPSULE

Picked by: Shane
Drink options:  Not impressive. Aside from a few seasonal offerings, not much in the craft beer selection. And has Miller Lite stopped being offered in keg form? Why can we never seem to find this on draft anymore?
Food:  OK. Just get something with a breadstick. Trust me on this.
Service: Good. Our waitress was friendly and attentive, even given our placement in back of the dining room. A few points deducted for the check mishap, but it was corrected easily and without incident.
Overall: Probably won’t end up in the Flashback Friday basket, but not a horrible place overall.

Next Pick: Steph

Tavern Of Stow on Urbanspoon

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