The first time I stepped foot in the Nickel Taphouse, it was one of the first bars I had been to outside of my neighborhood . Seeing that this was a date, I chose this location strictly on the distance between her place, and me leaving from work. So this place was right in the middle, and I was basically sold at gastropub and the fact they had an octopus entrée.
So me being neurotic and have the fear of being late, I arrived like 10-15 minutes before our planned meeting time. This gave me a chance to really scope out the scene, menu and ask people at the bar what was good and all that kind of shit.
So one really good thing about Baltimore so far, is the craft beer scene.There are so many small little micro brews in the city and the state of Maryland, that finding a good craft beer isn’t that hard to find! The Nicklel Taphouse is a killer spot to find some killer craft brews. http://www.nickeltaphouse.com/craft-beer-menu Here is the beer menu, it is always rotating and every couple of weeks there is a new tap takeover! So if you are in the area and looking for a good beer the Nickel Taphouse will have something for you, 1000%.
Now for the food, I am one of the biggest carnivores you will meet, as are most of the contributors of JUSTGRUBBIN.com, so any chance I can put any sort of animal flesh in my mouth, I’m going to. I started out with an order pork belly. Now for those still on the fence about pork belly, 1. Fuck you, and 2. get the fuck off of it and indulge in the sweet, tender, crispy, and succulent goodness. Pork belly is bacon on steroids. And we all know steroids are fucking awesome, just look at baseball between the years of 1992-2002. The taphouse cooked theirs with sweet and smoky molasses and paired it with perfectly sautéed Swiss Chard. The flavors of the sweet and smoky pork belly matched perfect with the bitter and spicy flavor of the chard.
My entrée, like I stated in my opening, was their charred octopus. The first time I ever tried octopus it was the most game changing piece of meat I had ever eaten. Now since then I have had some bad experiences with octopus, but this time wasn’t the case. Octopus is one of those things where I think you either love it or hate it. It’s a little chewy, but not tough, doesn’t have the most flavor, but when paired with the right items, it really takes on those flavors. Here at the Taphouse their pair 1 huge tentacle perfectly grilled laid on top of a bed of chick peas, roasted red peppers and tomatoes. The party of flavors running around my mouth with each bite were enough to make me momentarily speechless, and for those who know me, that’s pretty hard to do, but sometimes the proper dish, will do it.