But it was lunchtime when I stopped by with my friend, Dori Grinder, to try Civil Kitchen & Tap out for the first time, and I wasn’t in the mood for a waffle. We sat down to check out the menu, and although the restaurant wasn’t full, it had a steady stream of folks coming and going during our extra-long lunchtime chat.
In the mood for something utterly unhealthy, I ordered the Chef’s Burger. It comes with two beef patties, bacon, American cheese, a barbecue-like Civil Sauce, onions and homemade pickles stuffed inside a brioche bun. This was definitely an indulgent sandwich—one that kept my napkin in frequent, much-needed use. After a few bites, I had to pick up my fork and knife. It was that kind of burger. And the house-made pickles were a nice touch that was way more satisfying than a floppy Vlasic. While the burger was so juicy it was practically dripping, I wasn’t a big fan of the bun that was just way too greasy for me.
And just so I could make sure that there was absolutely nothing good for me on my plate, I got the smoked mac and cheese as my side. Fat cavatappi pasta (one of my favorite noodles, especially for saucy meals) floats in a thick and smoky cheese sauce with plenty more stretchy, ooey-gooey cheese on top. This rich side dish was my favorite thing on my plate. I said I had ordered it just to try it, but I ate every last noodle.
Dori’s sandwich was a little funkier. She got the bacon, apple and cheddar panini. A tasty combo of fillings for sure (especially since the apples were tart Granny Smith slices), they were made a little unusual by being served inside a crispy Belgian waffle. Yep, a whole waffle in place of bread. I didn’t try a bite of her sandwich, so I can’t review it. But I did notice that it looked way too light on the fillings for something surrounded by that much thick waffle. But the waffle did look delish. Dori said the sandwich was not particularly flavorful compared to her side dish: the crispy Brussels sprouts. I definitely dipped my fork into her Brussels sprouts a couple of times, and they had a very bold flavor with lots of zippy vinegar and a nice, light crunch. She loved them, and so did I. I actually kind of wished I’d ordered them as my side, but I was still pretty darn satisfied by my little bowl of carbs and cheese.
Our server offered us dessert (monkey bread, chocolate mousse or creme brulee), but we had to scoot. Maybe on our next visit, a sweet treat will be the perfect meal ender.