A “Burger and a Beer” is the quintessential American meal. If you add a side of good, hot French Fries and maybe start the whole thing off with some Spicy Chicken Wings; well sir, you may just have the perfect American meal. Now, it is not hard to find a place that offers all these things but, unfortunately, it is hard to find a place that does all of them right. To our good fortune in Ocean City the 45th St. Taphouse is that place. Plus they have one of the more breath taking views of the Assawoman Bay in town.
The Taphouse is located in the 45th Street Shopping Center. It has the warm inviting feel of all good bars and whether you sit at the bar or bar area, the main dining room or the outdoor deck bar you will be made welcome. The inside is all exposed wood with wooden tables and chairs and plenty of wide screen TV’s to catch any sporting event you may want to watch. The outdoor Tiki bar is large with a good number of stools. The outdoor deck tables and chairs are metallic and anywhere is a great view of the Bay.
The servers are friendly and helpful, especially with the 36 beers on tap. They will be glad to make suggestions to try to match your tastes with a new beer. The service itself can be a little haphazard, especially during the busy summer months, so be prepared to wait for your meal if the dining rooms are full. Also, like 99% of the restaurants in Ocean City, they have not mastered the art of knowing who gets what meal so be prepared for the auction when your food arrives.
The menu is a fairly common and straight forward one; it is the execution and the attention to detail by the kitchen that makes this Bar & Grille worth noting. Now is a good time to explain that all the sauces at the Taphouse are made in-house and they all compliment their dishes very nicely. Some appetizers of note are the Fish and Chips, which are made from fresh, local Rockfish and crusted with the Taphouses homemade potato chips. These are served with a spicy mango ketchup and an old bay tartar sauce. The Crabby Balls are made with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and have so little filler or binder that they have trouble staying together (may all our troubles be so tasty). The Crabby Pretzels are Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial served over a Bavarian style pretzel, which is topped with cheese and placed under the broiler. Every restaurant in Ocean City has a version of this appetizer but very few are as good. The Chicken Wings are a section of their own and come in 5 different levels of heat and/or flavors. As is the custom in Ocean City the wings are normally served on the “crispy” side but for those of us who prefer them still juicy they are more than happy to oblige. The Taphouse serves nice meaty wings and the only thing to watch out for is that the heat levels are variable so when they say mild to medium or medium to hot be careful!
The Burgers are all served with either homemade Old Bay Chips or Fresh Fries, which can come plain or with parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary. All three choices are yummy so go with whatever floats your boat. My two favorite burgers are the Gnarmax which is their fresh burger patty served with fresh sliced jalapeno peppers, pepper jack cheese and house-made habanero mayonnaise. The other burger of note is the Shark Biscuit which is two burger patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, and grilled onion topped with a fried egg and served with the habanero mayo. An awesome creation; just make sure you request the egg to be sunny side up so that when you bite into the burger the yolk oozes out and mixes into the sandwich.
There are other sandwiches and entrees but I will honestly tell you I have not gotten past the Burger section of the menu. I have dined with friends at the Taphouse and everyone has been very happy with the Guinness Stout Chili, The Best Ever BLT and the BBQ Chickenlicious sandwiches. Also the Smoked Prime Rib dinner entrée sounds like something I will have to try someday.
Finally, some news of interest for the Taphouse, this season they will start serving breakfast with an emphasis on different types of Eggs Benedict. Now, being a huge Eggs Benedict fan and having very few places in town where they are even attempted, I am looking forward to having a breakfast or two at the Taphouse. So, make a stop at the Taphouse this summer and catch a beautiful sunset with a cold beer and a juicy burger with a date or some friends. It is your right as a red-blooded American!