Four Napkin Pork Nachos & Half Day’s Open Sky Amber Lager

We’ve been serving up addictive food and creative brews since 2006, and we still believe that there is nothing better than an ice-cold beer to wash down your meal! This week we have a very special food and beer pairing as we bring together a fantastic local brewery with our famous Four Napkin Pork Nachos.

Our Four Napkin Pork Nachos earned their name! Our pork is marinated in tequila and lager & slow-cooked, then topped with Merkts cheddar cheese sauce, corn salsa, Cuban black beans, roasted red peppers, onion, lettuce and sour cream. We believe that nachos are truly the perfect bar food because they are great for sharing, savory, salty, and let’s be honest… most importantly cheesy!!

Our nachos deliver tangy and sweet notes from the pork which complement the malty sweet flavors of dark lagers. We chose Half Day Brewing’s Open Sky Amber Lager because it’s unique and has a big caramel malt profile to play off of the pork. Also, the clean finish of this brew helps cut through the richness of our Merkts cheese sauce. Nachos and beer are a classic pairing, but this duo takes it to the next level.

Half Day Brewing Company is located in Lincolnshire, IL and they are the definition of creative brews! From smoothie style ales to their new sports drink inspired brew, they deliver on what’s new & exciting in craft beer. Their Open Sky Amber Lager is one of their flagship beers and it is carried at all Tap House Locations.

Come try out this delicious combination at your local Tap House Grill!

Hanover Park | Lemont | Oswego | Palatine | Plainfield | St. Charles | Wheeling 

Cheese Curds & Pollyanna’s Lite Thinking

If you are from the Midwest then you know how seriously we take cheese curds. Cheesy, salty, and fried it’s basically a perfect food in our books. At Tap House Grill, we take great pride in our fresh, squeaky Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds and they wash down perfectly with Pollyanna’s Lite Thinking.

We started this blog because we believe that every meal goes best with a brew by its side and this appetizer is a staff favorite. Our cheese curds come from Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, are made from scratch with our seasoned breading, and are served with marinara. You may be thinking “what could be better than that?” Well, the answer is our curds and a lager.

Cheese curds mild salty flavor pairs best with a light and easy to drink beer. That’s why we believe that a lager is best. Lagers are typically light, crisp, and refreshing. They are light in color and easy to drink. Since they aren’t too heavy and don’t have a particularly strong flavor they won’t overpower the cheesy flavor. Additionally, the saltiness of the cheese helps naturally enhance the flavor of the beer… you’ve got to try it!

Lite Thinking is a 2019 GABF Gold Medal Winner for American-Style Lager or American-Style Pilsener. This lager is brewed up by Pollyanna, a great local brewery that consistently brews delicious and creative beers. Whatever lager you like – we’ve got local beers on Tap Year-round!

June 4th, join us for National Cheese Day at Tap House Grill. We will be serving up bottomless cheese curds for $9.99 all day long. With dozens of lagers on draft, you are sure to find your favorite beer pairing with cheese curds.

Sam Adams & Soft Pretzel Sticks

Our first pairing on our Addictive Food Creative Brews Blog is Sam Adams Boston Lager paired with our Traditional Soft Pretzel Sticks! If you’ve ever been to a brewery, there’s a good chance they had pretzels there. It’s also no coincidence that soft pretzel food trucks often make their rounds at local breweries. Beer and pretzels go together like peanut butter and jelly and for a good reason: salt.

Even though salt is one of the most widely used seasonings, it is so often forgotten about when it comes to enhancing flavor. You might have known that salt enhances the flavors of food, but it does the same for beer too! Our traditional soft pretzels sticks are sprinkled with salt and come out warm to your table. When you bite into them and then take a sip of your cold refreshing beer, you’ll see why it’s the perfect pairing!

With so many beers on tap, why did we choose Sam Adams? Sam Adams Boston Lager is a classic brew with “A distinctive balance of spicy hops, slightly sweet roasted malts, and a smooth finish.” It’s easy to drink and goes great with classic meals. Unlike an IPA for example, this brew is mild in flavor and won’t overpower the flavors of your food. Whether you like it on tap or from a bottle,  we recommend ordering our pretzel sticks with it! 

Addictive Food Creative Brews Blog Introduction

It’s no secret that we love great beers at Tap House Grill! Our tagline “Addictive Food – Creative Brews” is what we live by. Since 2006, we’ve been committed to serving you fresh, made from scratch food alongside a rotating tap of new and interesting beers. 

Every Tap House Grill location has tons of beers on tap to choose from. From local Chicagoland breweries like Half Day Brewing Co. to breweries from both coasts, you’re sure to find your new favorite brew here. Starting this month, we will have a QR code at our restaurants that you can scan to see what beers are on tap. It will tell you the beer style, ABV, and you can even learn more about the brewery it came from.

With so many beers to choose from, it can be hard to know what to have with your meal, but that’s where we come in! Follow along with us as we take your Tap House favorites and pair them with what’s new on tap. 

One of our favorite resources for beer pairings is from the Brewers Association. The simple chart makes it easy to choose which brew to complement your meal, cheese, or even dessert.

From Hefeweizen to Belgian Witbier, we’ll share our taste-tested & staff-approved pairings plus some beer and brewing facts. Check back for interviews with Master Brewers and to see what’s coming to your local Tap House Grill.

What We Learned While Serving Watermelon Bar Specials and Food Specials

Cocktail in the watermelon fresh smoothie. A refreshing summer drink.

We recently celebrated Watermelon Week at Tap House Grill Palatine! Besides offering drink specials and daily specials for food, we learned a whole lot about the wonderful watermelon.

It turns out, everyone’s favorite summer fruit can be enjoyed as way more than just a pool-side snack for kids. Its sweet and iconic taste is perfect for summer cocktails, too! Watermelons have special properties beyond their bright pink color that make it an extra special ingredient for preparing food and beverages.

Watermelon – Secret super food

Did you know that watermelons are both a fruit and a vegetable? Related to cucumbers, squash and pumpkins, the watermelon is high in fiber and low in cholesterol. The signature pink color marks the fruit’s high level of vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and vitamin retention. Watermelons are also a great source of vitamins C, B1 and B6, in addition to potassium and manganese.

This awesome fruit even has a higher content of lycopene than tomatoes, which were originally the No. 1 recommended food for lycopene consumption. Lycopene is a key antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties shown to reduce the risk of stroke. It’s also shown to decrease blood pressure and increase virility. You do need to eat the fruit to get the benefits, so even though our bar specials included watermelon juice, it probably wasn’t enough for a vitamin infusion.

Soaking up flavor

Watermelons are naturally engineered to retain high amounts of water and liquid. This makes them a popular choice for canteens and emergency supplies for explorers, both in the past and today. The bright pink insides have amazing absorption powers that allow the fruit to be roughly 92% water. This also makes the watermelon the perfect cocktail ingredient, which is why our Palatine bartenders mixed up so many drink specials with it.

You may have noticed the recent Drunk Watermelon trend blowing up on social media. Cocktail enthusiasts will cut a hole in the rind and let an entire bottle of vodka empty itself into the melon. This works because the rich pink flesh of watermelons will absorb anything they are soaked in.

Flavor-infused watermelon is the perfect accent for cocktails, slushes, appetizers and entrees. Additionally, the sweet summer favorite makes an excellent beer, and we have some on tap at our sports bar in Des Plaines, our sports bar in Lemont
and all Tap House Grill locations.

Sweet sauces and lush salads

Beyond blending and soaking, watermelons are also amazing for summertime barbecues. Similar to using a watermelon in a powerful pink smoothie, watermelons can be blended into different sweet and refreshing sauces for your favorite grilled meat. The Palatine location served up watermelon wings as a food special during Watermelon Week. The fruit goes especially well with chicken, and that’s why Palatine also had a food special featuring a barbecue chicken and watermelon melt. Guests who enjoyed the watermelon salad food special got to experience how great the cool fruit tastes mixed with vegetables and more.

 

Visit Tap House Grill for bar specials

Tap House Grill locations feature daily specials, in addition to regular drink specials and food specials. Visit any one of our gastro-pub restaurants for a taste of something different!

Beer Science: Learn How Your Beer Bar Specials Go From Keg to Glass

barman hand at beer tap pouring draught lager beer serving in a restaurant

Guzzling Pabst through a funnel while on spring break. Executing a flawless keg stand at a college frat party. Drilling shot after shot playing beer pong at that tailgate. You’ve created so many memories. Unfortunately, most are just a blur.

For you, drinking has always been an art. You’ve perfected your craft. But, it turns out there is much more science behind your beer than you realized.

It’s time to trade in your “beer goggles” for a pair of lab goggles.

The physics behind draft beer systems actually follows a familiar formula from your college days. One chilled keg plus one pumping device equals one red Solo cup foaming with beer. This simple set-up is the basic foundation used by the expert bartenders at Tap House Grills to pull beautiful draft beers for bar specials and more. (Without the wasted frat boy pumping the keg every 10 minutes.)

Draft beer systems operate via multiple working parts that operate in harmony, but there are six main components responsible for delivering that frothy, delicious beverage to your glass. Quench your thirst for knowledge by learning about them below.

Keeping it cold in the cooler

That ice-cold beer you’re holding while you enjoy one of Tap House’s grill specials had to start somewhere. Keeping your beer cold — from keg to glass — is key. And the effect goes beyond taste. Keeping beer at the proper temperature avoids excessive foaming, maintains the right carbonation levels and ultimately prevents the beverage from spoiling. We can’t serve up drink specials with skunky beer!

The keg: A metal barrel of love

Within our walk-in coolers, we have multiple rows of kegs varying in size and mostly made from stainless steel. To get the beer out, gas pressure is applied within the keg. This presses the liquid up from the bottom where it passes through a metal tube and out of a valve.

Gotta get some gas

When you pump a party keg, you draw in air from around you to introduce pressure into the keg to force the beer out. All that hard work is necessary, but actually spoils your beer, as the oxygen produces bacteria. It’s also an imprecise method, causing excess bubbles to form. For this reason, like most bars, Tap House Grills use pure bottled carbon dioxide with a regulated distribution to make sure the right amount of pressure enters the keg, and you end up with the perfect drink special beer.

The coupler’s dual purpose

The pump on top of the party kegs most of us know is a dumbed-down version of a coupler. Couplers provide the power for dispensing. Running out of the coupler are two tubes connected to valves — one to push carbon dioxide into the keg and another to let the beer flow out. It’s almost time for the bartender to serve up your bar specials!

Tubing makes the love connection

Tubes connect the kegs to the faucets, which are the “taps” you see when waiting for your bar specials at Tap House Grills. If the beer has to travel a long distance, the tubing may need to be chilled to keep the beer cold.

The function of the faucet

All that stands between you and hoppy bliss is the faucet. Ideally, this pours from the tap at a rate that forms a one- to two-finger head on the top. Faucets are meticulously cleaned on a regular basis to ensure a sanitary and perfect-tasting pour.

Tap House Grills serves up your favorite drink specials and bar specials

Now that you’ve done all this hard work learning about beer, it’s time to drink up! Come on in to Tap House Grills for monthly grill specials, drink specials, TapHouse beers, bar specials and other daily specials.

New Menu Items at Tap House Grills!

Our head chef Bob Zrenner is always looking for new and inventive tastes to delight our guests and keep our tastes fresh and ever evolving. With new dishes being dreamed up and served all the time, and reliable food specials and drink specials abounding, your options are limitless at Tap House Grills!

We’re rolling out four new entrees and two new creative cocktails during our Customer Appreciation event, which runs through May 28. Don’t miss out on your chance to try these new dishes as limited-time food specials. Pair it with a beer, one of our new cocktails, or any of our daily specials, and you’ll have a delicious meal to satisfy any appetite!

 

Check out our newest dishes:

MACARONI & BACON TACOS – Food special price: $9.99

Oh yeah, we went there! Chef Bob combined some of our favorite tastes into one incredible hand-held dish. These hard-shell tacos are stuffed with our signature 5-Cheese Mac ‘N Cheez, along with crispy bacon and diced onion, then kicked up with jalapen?os and salsa. Buckle up and grab a couple of napkins for this spicy and creamy delight!

DOUBLE BYPASS BURGER – Food special price: $12.99

Chef Bob got a little carried away with this one — in the best possible way! He tops our 8-ounce burger with a thick-cut onion ring, 4 ounces of slow-cooked pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, Merkts spreadable cheese sauce and pickles, stacking it all on a toasted brioche bun. You’ll probably need a nap after this grill special, but it’s worth it!

FISH TACO SALAD – Food special price: $11.99

This dish takes a West coast favorite and adapts it to make it even healthier and more delicious! A light and flaky grilled tilapia fillet lays atop of bed of mixed greens stocked with avocado, black beans, tomato, cucumber, corn salsa and crunchy tortilla strips, and finished with lime vinaigrette and chipotle sour cream. This combination of flavors, temperatures and textures is sure to delight your tastebuds.

THREE CHEESE GRILLED CHEESE – Food special price: $9.99

A cheese-lover’s dream, with ooey gooey goodness between two slices of bread! This grill special features Brie, Swiss and smoked Gouda cheeses melted on dark rye bread and layered with smoky caramelized onions, spicy arugula and zesty horseradish cream sauce. Don’t pass up this decadent version of a childhood favorite!

 

Drink specials to debut new cocktails:

THE BEACH COCKTAIL – Drink special price: $7

Imagine your toes in the sand, your butt in a beach chair and this cocktail in your hand. We mix up RumHaven Caribbean rum, pineapple juice and soda, and serve it in a Mason jar.

SALTED CARAMEL MARTINI – Drink special price: $8

This truly decadent cocktail is perfect for summer indulgences. It’s a dense and potent blend of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka, RumChata and cream — the perfect treat for any sweet tooth.

A Lemont Brew Pub Serving Two American Favorites


If you’re looking for places to eat in Lemont, odds are you’ll find two types of restaurant options — something new or something familiar. At Tap House Grill Lemont, we offer both trusty favorites and innovative new dishes to try.

What we serve up most, though, are two perennial American favorites — burgers and tacos. But, why? What is it about these two dishes, so seemingly different, that brings our diners back to them time after time?

Burgers and tacos at our Lemont brew pub are versatile

One awesome thing about burgers and tacos is that you can top them with just about anything. Both start with a protein base and are contained within some kind of carbohydrate. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless!

Take our burger selection, for example. Diners can order a signature Tap House Brew Burger with their selection of cheese, for a truly traditional flavor. Or, they can try something a little different like The Farm Burger, topped with a fried egg, or the Orange Mallard Burger, flavored to perfection with duck bacon and brie. If you want to forget the meat altogether, order our black bean burger, a great vegetarian option.

Our vegetarian options don’t stop at burgers though. Our to-die-for fried avocado tacos are always a crowd pleaser and are a perfect complement to our other taco varieties featuring pork, steak, tilapia, shrimp and others.

Burgers and tacos are easy to eat at our sports bar

With one on a bun and the other folded into a tortilla, both burgers and tacos are portable and easy to eat. You might have to pick up a few fallen ingredients from your plate, but each meal requires no silverware. Eat with your hands to get up close and personal with every bite.

That’s part of the fun in ordering our burgers and tacos. Go ahead and play with your food, and get back to the basics of eating.

Affordable burgers and tacos, especially with grill specials!

Not only are burgers and tacos tasty, versatile and easy to eat, they’re also affordable at Tap House Grill. Most of our burger meals are priced around $12 or less, making them a great value, especially considering they feature Angus beef and high-quality ingredients. Likewise, our taco dinners each feature three tacos per plate, along with rice and beans on the side, and most are priced around $13.

How does this get even better? We offer grill specials on Tuesdays for Burger Night, when any signature Angus burger is only $5.99 after 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, come out to our Tap House Tacos night, when specialty tacos are half-price. Plus, enjoy Margarita Madness on Wednesdays, when signature margaritas are $5.

Get the best burgers and tacos at our Lemont brew pub

If you’re ready to order up some of the tastiest burgers and tacos you’ll ever have, come on out to Tap House Grill Lemont and check out our Lemont menu. We have other restaurant locations in Oswego, St. Charles, Plainfield, Des Plaines, Palatine and Westmont and coming soon to Hanover Park.

Customer Recipe Contest

Make your best dish or drink for a chance to have it featured on our Monthly Specials Menu!

Tap House Grill wants our customers to share their favorite food and cocktail recipes with us. Send us your unique recipe that you think would fit in well with our gastro-pub style menu. You might even decide to use beer in your food recipe.

• Incorporate craft brew in a stew!
• Use a lager glaze on a lamb loin!
• Marinate a steak in some stout!

Recipes will be judged on originality, ease of execution, visual appeal and overall flavor profile. A panel of experts — including our owners, general managers and our corporate chef — will choose the 10 winners. Each winner will receive these awesome prizes:

• $100 Tap House Grill gift card
• $50 Sur la Table gift card
• $50 The Wooden Spoon gift card
• Weekly Facebook Recognition

Enter your recipe today! Email your name, recipe name, ingredients, directions, and an optional original photo to menu@taphousegrills.com. You can also enter below. See below for full contest rules.

Accepting submissions 2/5/17-2/26/17 from 12:00 PM CST to 11:59 PM CST. Only one submission per person. Must be 21 & older to enter. Winners will be notified via email.

What Makes For the Best Sports Bar

All across Chicagoland, sports fans have high expectations for the perfect place to watch their favorite teams play on the field, court and ice. But sometimes sports bar rituals can get a little repetitive. In order to keep your sports bar visits new and exciting every time, visit Tap House Grills, a sports bar in Palatine and several other locations.

The Best Food and Drink Specials

You can’t drink and watch a whole game on an empty stomach! The best sports bars have great food specials that let you fill up on a budget. At Tap House Grill, we offer daily food and drink specials, so you can experience our chef-created gastro food and beer, wine and spirits for a reduced price.

Amazing Beer Selections

Great beer goes a long way, and craft beer lovers are willing to travel all over to get a new or favorite beer. A great beer selection is part of what drives a crowd to a sports bar, and we don’t call it Tap House for nothing! Tap House Grills sports club in Des Plaines and other locations offer a huge variety of beer selections and a Beer of the Month, and hosts many events for special beer tappings and limited time offers.

Exciting Special Events

Many can agree that there’s no better feeling than cheering on a big win with an enthusiastic crowd in a friendly, engaging environment. This past year, fans witnessed history being made as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The best sports bars all over the country experienced a high demand for customers looking for the right place to enjoy the momentous occasion.

Tap House Grills provides great service and an entertaining atmosphere during these exciting moments. Throughout the year, our restaurants host many special events to let you catch every moment of the game while you celebrate with friends. From the food and drink specials to raffles and prizes, Tap House makes your game-time an exciting and comfortable experience.

Whether you are stopping in to watch the Bulls after a long day of work or you’re bringing your #1 Blackhawks fans to a trusted, kid-friendly place to enjoy the game, you’ll find a great time at Tap House Grills. We also offer a customer rewards program to earn points and receive special offers when dining in with us.

Tap House Grill strives to provide a fun-spirited environment for people of all ages. If you’re looking for the best sports bar to kick back, have a cold one, and watch your favorite team with great company, Tap House Grills is the best sports bar around. Stop in at a location near you!