Thursday, July 10, 2014

Local Tavern Opens in Parma

The east-side chain of Local Tavern has moved to Parma. They've taken over the large bar/restaurant space that recently housed Brew Co. and the Blue Moose prior to that.
The restaurant offers a large outdoor dining area and expansive covered bar, which has always been appealing. Located on Pearl Road, it's high-traffic area of Parma, and there is plenty of parking in the huge lot in front of the restaurant. In theory, a place should do well in this location.

The menu isn't huge, offering a few "Plate Lickers" a.k.a. entrees, but the menu is heavy with burgers, "handwiches" and stuffed burgers. For the smaller appetites, they do have salads and "happy beginnings" a.k.a appetizers. What's with the weird category names? 
First disappointment of the meal was the beer list. Only a handful of craft beer options, and very heavy on your domestic basics. Certainly not the extensive craft beer list that the location's previous tenant offered. I stuck with water.

"R" was drawn to their list of three Signature Stuffed Burgers, and decided on the Beast ($13.99) with short rib, horseradish, mushroom aioli, and Swiss cheese.
They must have to cook them to one temperature only, due to the "stuffing" because he wasn't asked. The bun was soft and fresh, patty quite large and juicy, but overall it really lacked flavor. The mushroom aioli just blended in with the taste of beef, and there was absolutely no hint of the promised horseradish. "R" had to kick this up a notch with ketchup. It was also almost entirely a "brown" burger, which isn't very appetizing to look at.

I ordered the Island Pork Sandwich ($9.99) with sriracha-marinated pineapple, thin-sliced pork, cabbage slaw and a lime-cilantro aioli.
The "thin-sliced pork" had the mouth-feel of deli meat (not pleasant), but the flavors of sweet and mildly spicy were good overall. It just probably wasn't good enough that I'd order it again. Each handheld or burger comes with a side of fries (pretty good), salad (very good), or tomato bisque (we didn't try).

Our server, Rachel, was only average, and was clearly outshone by the server that was waiting on the table behind us. We watched as the other server checked in on, and helped, our server's tables while we were dining. I also had to wait an oddly long amount of time for a bottled beer, once I decided to order a Corona. She came to our table twice during this time period, stating that she was "waiting for someone to get it" for her. The restaurant wasn't busy at all, and both inside and outside bars were fully staffed. Hmmm...

So, long story short, I was disappointed with this new addition to Parma, and we probably won't waste our time returning. Not sure if this restaurant will make it in this location either. Maybe it's cursed?

Local Tavern
5513 Pearl Road
Parma, OH 44129

Two other locations in Mentor and Willoughby Hills.