Reasonable food and fun atmosphere

Stage House Tavern, 1719 Amwell Road, Somerset, NJ – Last visit 1/19/2020

Editor 1107 and I visited Stage House Tavern at about 7:00 on this Sunday evening. This was not our first visit and in fact, we have visited a few times over the past few years. My favorite time of the year to visit this particular location of Stage House Tavern is during the warmer months. If you have never been there, they have an expansive outdoor patio. If I had to estimate in a completely unscientific manner, the patio can seat upwards of 80 people. As the sun sets and there is a warm breeze it feels very tropical. Often times, there is live music on the patio, otherwise there is trendy pop music playing in the background. There are even Adirondack style lounge chairs that are spread around for people who have come to hang at the adjacent outdoor bar. The environment lends itself to being at a huge outdoor family reunion in a really nice back yard. During the warmer months, this place is always hopping. Reservations are recommended, otherwise you can expect to wait for a table or sit inside.

On this particular visit of course, there was no patio seating. The temperature was a brisk 31° and windy. When we arrived, we noted that the bar area, off to the left, was filled with football watchers and the main dining room had a fair number of full tables. We sat at a booth for six, but there were only two of us, that was okay though because we could spread out. Off to the right, there are a few other smaller rooms that also seat regular diners.

Our waiter came over and took our orders for drinks and appetizers. We opted to share fried calamari with Siracha mayo and sweet chilis (pictured here). The sauce was interesting.

Unfortunately, the calamari was overcooked and chewy. But we persevered and ordered our meals. We both chose different burgers and agreed to split each burger so we could both taste two different burgers. I ordered the BBQ burger which was paired with cheddar cheese, bacon, onion rings and Alabama white BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce was what enticed me. Editor 1107 ordered the bourbon burger. The bourbon burger included cheddar cheese, candied bacon roasted onions and a bourbon glaze (tasted like a sweet onion spread but you could definitely taste the bourbon). Both burgers came with fries (I love shoestring fries that are fried crispy). About 15 minutes later, our burgers arrived and at first glance, everything looked YUMMY. We promptly split each and traded halves. My burger looked more enticing at the moment so that’s what I went with.

As I was enjoying the exceptionally juicy burger (very tasty as well), I noticed that the BBQ burger did not have any bacon and also did not have any onion rings. Of course, it wasn’t a crisis, but we called over our waiter and called out the fact that the burger was missing some of the described ingredients. The waiter, maintaining a professional air, apologized but suggested that we might have mixed up the ingredients of the two burgers and that he didn’t think the BBQ burger included bacon. Because of this blog, I normally pay attention to the details and often take a picture of the menu so I can remember descriptions. I informed him that the menu specifically stated “…with bacon and onion rings….”. He apologized again and offered to bring us an order of onions rings as a compromise. As we ate through the other halves of our burgers, we realized that a plate of onion rings would be way too much and they would probably go to waste. Editor 1107’s bourbon burger was good, but not as good as my BBQ burger. Even though the BBQ burger was missing some ingredients, it was still an exceptional burger non-the-less. The fries, both editor 1107 and I noted, were seasoned fries, the kind that have a coating of something on them before they are fried. They were okay, but my preference is always plain fries. Overall, Stage House Tavern is a good local “pub-like” place with just that, “pub-like” food. It was a little buggy that the kitchen messed up our order and that the calamari was over-cooked, but the Stage House Tavern is fun and there is a lot of energy flowing around.

Given all of the items we ordered, our bill came to $46…not super cheap, but not unreasonable either.

I would rate my burger (despite the mishap) 😊😊😊😊. I rate the Stage House Tavern in Somerset 😊😊😊 for my overall experience. Editor 1107 rates her burger 😊😊😊😊 as well, although I would rate her burger only 😊😊😊1/2. She thought the overall rating should be 😊😊😊😊.

So there you have it, three smiles for one reviewer and four from the other. This place is definitely worth a try, especially because the Stage House Tavern is very local, very convenient, the atmosphere is fun and lively and the food, as noted above, is also reasonable quality for pub food.

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