(161 Brighton Ave., Allston)
Formerly The Kells, Tavern in the Square is less meat market and more amped up sports bar. It's pretty much the closest thing Brighton has to a Game On! or The Cask 'N Flagon. I went there last night to watch the Final Four and was pretty impressed with the atmosphere. I think the White Horse Tavern was probably the closest thing that area had to a legit sports bar but Tavern in the Square blows it away - more TVs, more space. Don't get me wrong, I like White Horse - a lot - but for a sports bar it can't compete.
I'll be honest, I was focused a bit more on the beers than the food last night, but both were pretty good. The food was typical bar food. Nothing amazing - good diversity in their menu, but I think the best part are there sides. They've got every different type of fried potato combination you can think of. I got the tater tots. My wife got the waffle fries. Both were awesome. The waffle fries were seasoned well, crunchy, sturdy - like a miniature edible plate with holes in it. And the tots were, well, they were tots. I'm not sure what makes a good tot, but the fact that you can even order them there is great enough. I haven't really found any other places that serves them and these ones didn't disappoint. I literally thought about pulling a Napoleon Dynamite and stuffing my pockets with them to take some home for later. In hindsight, I regret not doing that.
Then there was the beer. Oh, sweet glorious beer. They've got a pretty huge rotating draught beer list AND they serve pitchers, which as most of you fellow beer guzzlers know is not that common in Boston. But if you're not ordering by the pitcher, your choices are regular and large. And there's no indication on the menu as to how many ounces the large size is, but let's face it - when you're out with a bunch of guys and you're presented with the choice or a regular size beer or a large, you have to get the large. I don't know why, but you just do. It's a guy thing. Plus, my wife is pregnant so I have permanent designated driver for the next few months.
But anyway...here's the issue. So I want to try out some of their different kinds of beer BUT I'm forced to order this huge ass mug (my guess is it's about 24oz.) and if I don't like the kind I just ordered then I'm stuck with a big glass of beer I don't like. And I'm not going to not finish my beer. Again, it's a guy thing. So I tried a few different beers and didn't really love any of them. They were good and all, but I could have had just like 8oz. of it and moved on. But no, I had to drink the whole mug. So now I'm like 72 ounces of bad beer deep and I'm totally regretting not having just gone the whole Miller Light route. Instead, I've got this smorgasbord of hoppiness going at it in my belly like Kirstie Alley fighting her way through the Dancing with the Stars aftershow buffet line (if Kirstie is reading this, I'm just kidding. I loved you in Look Who's Talking). So I finally wise up by "large" beer #4, but at that point it was just too late.
I think the real moral of this story is if you want to try different beers, go across the street to Sunset Grill. If you want to get your drink on, watch sports, and eat yourself sick on tater tots and nachos, check out Tavern in the Square. And while you're there, do yourself a favor and just order the "regular" size beer. Tell them your boy Angus at Eat It, Boston said it was cool.