Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gimme Sahm more. (Yeah, I’m not very proud of that one.)

Sahm’s Tavern is the latest addition to the Sahm’s restaurant chain in and around Indianapolis. This new downtown location has been open for several months in the first floor of the historic Gibson Building at the corner of Michigan and Capitol. Don’t let the downtown location worry you; there’s plenty of free parking in the lot adjacent to the building reserved especially for patrons of the tavern.

The exterior of the restaurant is no great shakes, but the inside’s wrought-iron candelabras and dark wood paneling, trim, and floorboards do a good job emulating the look of a traditional, cozy English pub. There are even a couple of brick archways that span the length of the room, adding a little drama. The inside seating is mainly booths, which I love, although there are also a few tables. An outdoor patio will add additional seating in the summer, but I’ve not seen anyone brave the cold to sit outside just yet.

“So, what’s good here to eat?” you might be asking. The short answer is – everything I’ve tried. I’ve eaten at Sahm’s several times and I’ve only had one complaint. (More on that in the next paragraph.) Thankfully, Sahm’s Tavern offers the same great selection of sandwiches, soups, salads, and specialties as the other Sahm’s restaurants. Of course the burgers are fantastic! My favorite is the black and bleu burger (it’s blackened with Cajun spices and then topped with bleu cheese crumbles, Dijon mustard sauce, and bacon), but I also really like the burger portabella (which is smothered in sautéed portabella mushrooms and mozzarella cheese). The buffalo chicken sandwich is a winner, too. All of the sandwiches are served on delicious toasted knot buns and come with one of twenty-one side dishes. I usually choose the cup of chili or the onion rings for my side, but the breaded cauliflower is good, too.

As for my one complaint, it was about the soup of the day (loaded baked potato soup) late one afternoon. By that time of day, the soup had become thick, clumpy, and, well, not good. I wasn’t going to send it back, but my server noticed that I hadn’t eaten much of it and insisted on bringing me something else. So, I tried the Alaskan clam chowder, which was delicious. If you can judge a restaurant on how they handle their missteps, then the grade for Sahm’s Tavern in this one instance would have to be an “A.”

Being a bar, the tavern also offers a wide variety of beers, many on tap. I usually order a Guinness to go with my burgers, but they have lighter beers for all of you stout-haters, too. Oh, and don’t even think about leaving without trying a slice of Sahm’s “world famous” sour cream coffee cake. It’s worth the hype.

Sahm's Tavern on Urbanspoon

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