Happy New Year!
We continue to be excited by the impending opening of some new dining options around town, but our most recent outing was to someplace quite the opposite: The Office Tavern, a long-established neighborhood bar that has started building a reputation as a hidden gem. We decided it was time to see for ourselves.
The Office is known for their hand-cut steak specials, only available on Mondays and Fridays, and their burgers, for which they grind their own meat. They have a fairly limited menu of typical bar fare. We went on a Friday night, and the place was hoppin’. We had to wait 20-30 minutes for a table, and it was a bit challenging to stay out of the way of the busy servers.
Once seated, Beth ordered a beer, and Wendy a soda. This is where the Office clearly defined itself as a bar, rather than a restaurant: it was a can of Coke, with a clear plastic Solo cup of ice. It was reminiscent of being served a beverage on an airplane. Seriously? You serve drinks, you must have a fountain, don’t be such a piker.
Wendy: I am always on a quest for a truly delicious cow sandwich, so I had to find out if The Office Steak Burger really was Fort Wayne’s secret best burger. I had my choice of a full pound(!) ($10.59) or a half pound ($7.59). I opted for the latter, with a fifty-cent upcharge to add cheese. Per the menu, it comes with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and mayo. It includes a choice of side, and I chose the steak fries. Once again, I was surprised that a place that is supposed to be burger-centric didn’t ask how I wanted it prepared. I for sure didn’t want it how it was served, which was cooked to death. It was sadly dry, with no hint of pink anywhere inside. The lettuce was so wilted that I had to remove it. And the mayo? In a packet. Come on! I was thoroughly underwhelmed. I will say that the steak fries were yummy. Thick and potato-y.
Beth: When I told people we were going to The Office Tavern, all of them said, “are you having the steak? Have the steak.” I’m really not that much of a steak person, and I did give it some consideration, but my favorite bar food tends to be a fish sandwich. And, so, the Battered Cod Fish Sandwich ($5.99) was my choice with a side of French Fries. It come with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and mayo. The mayo looked like tartar sauce and tasted like tartar sauce, but no matter. It was very good. Flaky, hot, and quite delicious. The fries were, fries. And fortunately for me, I love fries.
The service was fine. Our waitress was very friendly, which went a long way. As we were wrapping up, the night’s karaoke was getting underway, and we stayed for a surprisingly good rendition of “Every Breath You Take,” but left during a far less impressive attempt at some terrible country song.
My food was definitely nothing special. It’s near my home, so I’m not opposed to going again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way. If I go back I am definitely trying the fish sandwich, based on Beth’s experience.
My food was very good. I enjoyed it very much. However, I enjoy the fish sandwich from the bar that is within walking distance of my home. I’d go back, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way either. I feel like there’s a home crowd, like all good bars should have. If you live near The Office, give it a try!
The Office Tavern
3306 Brooklyn Avenue
Fort Wayne, IN 46809