I’m sort of a guest blogger on SoFlaFoodie. I have been “tapped” to focus on restaurants that focus on a vast array of beers, and serve good food to boot. So my initial foray into this particular blogosphere is Tap 42 just outside of Ft. Lauderdale. It’s nestled in between… well nothing. It’s slightly off the beaten path but worth the journey. As the name suggests, Tap 42 features 42 taps of beer, I think. They currently have 30 non-rotating draft beers, and 20 rotating drafts. I confirmed with a 7 year old that that is at least 50. In actual fact, when Tap 42 first opened they had 42 taps of beer and 8 taps of various chilled liquor. Since then, they converted the 8 liquor taps over to beer. A gastro-pub with ample table and bar seating both indoors and outdoors. It’s big, very upbeat, and typically crowded but not overly loud, or at least not outside at the bar where we sat.
In any event, there is plenty of good beer flowing. The nice thing about Tap 42 is that with the rotating beer selection, you can always expect to get something different. The non-rotating beers include several up and coming staples of a good craft beer bar… Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale (hoppy, better than average IPA, but probably served better in its traditional can), Bell’s Two Hearted Pale Ale (a fruitier IPA), Delirium Tremens (a Belgian golden ale) and Abita Purple Haze (fruity, decent, but more for the ladies I presume). If you like the stronger, darker beers (“like my men”, Airplane!, 1980) I am particularly fond of the Rogue Dead Guy and the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter (solid porter with a hint of cream soda taste). I would have like to have seen more stouts and porters on the menu.
Obviously, the rotating craft beers vary. During my visit, I was happy to see Boynton Beach’s Due South Brewery with a couple of entries on the menu (as I recall): Category 3 (a more citrus flavored IPA) and their best known Caramel Cream Ale (hints of caramel and vanilla). In addition they had a selection from Colorado’s Great Divide Brewery that I have not seen often called Rumble IPA. I was particularly pleased with the Ommegang Three Philosophers, which is a blended brownish-red ale with a very clean finish, and much less fruity then say the Ommegang Abby Ale. Again, the stout and other darker selections could have been better. Aside from the taps, there is quite a selection of bottled craft beer, signature hand crafted cocktails and beer cocktails (never seen that before), along with a selection of wines.
Two things that caught my attention in terms of service. First, at one point while I was scanning the menu for another beer, the Ommegang caught my attention. I mentioned to my friend that I was familiar with the brand but had not tried that particular style. A bartender overheard my comment, recommended the beer, and without further prompting poured me a two ounce sampler, which inspired me to order the pint. Second, another patron who had ordered a beer (he clearly did not know what he was doing), and informed another bar tender that he didn’t like the selection. Without question the bartender took the glass back, asked what type and style of beer the patron liked, and made a very successful selection for him. That is some solid beer service.
Tap 42 emphasizes beer, but it also has a very solid menu that rises above and beyond typical bar fare. That said, I had a delicious “Prohibition” burger, with lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese, and some of the best bacon I’ve ever had atop a burger. The French fries were also notable due to a unique salty and perhaps garlic seasoning. I would have liked to try the Salami Breadsticks, and the Berkshire Crispy Pork Belly.
Overall, Tap 42, or however many there are, is a very welcome change to the typical generic beer selections found in Fort Lauderdale.
Guest of SoFlafoodie
1411 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL