American Tap Room at Reston Town Center

31 Jan

After watching our friend referee Herndon High School’s basketball game, we grabbed some dinner at American Tap Room in nearby Reston. While Rachel has been to their Bethesda location for lunch before, this was my first-ever foray into the ATR brand.

We already had a reservation, so despite the busy Friday night crowd, we had no problems securing a table.

Crab Cakes

One of the gimmicks American Tap Room incorporates is electronically illuminated menus.

Now, these might be a great idea in theory, but when the house lights are already dim, my retinas were basically screaming in pain. Sure, I may sound like an 80 year old who was three hours late to the early bird special, but seriously, these menus were BRIGHT.

Maryland Crab SoupGiven the name of the restaurant, the drink list at American Tap Room did not disappoint. Their draft selection leaves a little to be desired, but as for bottles, I was impressed. And while they were out of Abita Amber, they at least had my beloved Turbodog in stock. Non-Montgomery County prices were a plus, too.

As for the food, well, it was underwhelming to say the least.

I wasn’t too hungry, so I opted for a turkey burger. Judging by the menu’s description, it sounded a lot more appetizing on paper than it did on the plate. Then again, I don’t typically order turkey burgers to begin with, but there was nothing listed that really stood out to me, so turkey burger it was.

It turned out to be very bland and tasted like it was cooked on a griddle instead of a grill given that I felt like I was chewing on some congealed fat and grease with each bite. I mean, we’ve cooked Trader Joe’s chili-lime chicken burgers at home that were much better than this.

American Tap Room's Illuminated MenuRachel ordered the single crab cake dinner and was a little surprised when her dish arrived with two crab cakes sitting on the plate. Now, she’s not one to complain about more crab cakes, but she certainly didn’t want to pay for two when she had only ordered one.

When she told the waiter the error, he acted like she had asked for two and wasn’t very apologetic. He didn’t bother bringing a new dish with just one, and said that he would just take the difference off the bill. That was fine (can’t beat a bonus crab cake, I suppose) but she should have received what she asked for, and there would not have been a problem in the first place.

Rachel and I came to the conclusion that this would be a great place for happy hour and to get some drinks with some friends, but that would be the extent of our visit. The food was very average, and if anything, I would just order some appetizers next time around.

American Tap Room on Urbanspoon

3 Responses to “American Tap Room at Reston Town Center”

  1. Sally February 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I’ve found food at the Bethesda to be pretty disappointing as well, not to mention overpriced. I also thought the beer list was pretty comparable to what you can get at a lot of bars these days. I was hoping for some more exotic beers. Oh well.

  2. The Bethesda Foodie February 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I agree. Well said. We’ve been there a few times. I love the bar scene but for food… Bethesda has lots more to offer!

  3. Mario32 February 10, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I went to a restaurant in Toronto that had the same menus. I think that they are awesome! I always have a hard time reading the menu with dim lights but not with those ones!! They were from a company called ILED menus. Great idea!

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