Oak Barrel Tavern, located at 229 Grove Street, is a contemporary style tavern with a menu full of comfort foods and an extensive drink list. I live in on the east side of Worcester which is filled with restaurants so naturally being the lazy person I am, I never venture out to this part of town, but I’m glad I did.

I started at the bar and ordered the chalk board special, the OBT mule. I love a good Moscow mule, especially one with a twist. This one had Absolut Oak vodka with fresh lime juice and ginger beer ($10). The oak added a smoky flavor which I really enjoyed. Once the rest of the group arrived we were seated in the back room and quickly began our night.

Our table started with some “tavern treats”, huge Bavarian soft pretzels accompanied by beer cheese and spicy mustard, as well as the RI style calamari that were served with huge fried jalapeños. After my moscow mule I continued on with a glass (or 3, oops) of Sauvignon Blanc; served in huge branded OBT wine glasses. I was torn between a salad or burger for dinner but ended up going with the burger and I kind of regret it.

The idea of it sounded great; a burger topped with avocado, fried jalapeños, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado/poblano aioli served with your choice of a side for under $12. I asked for it medium/medium-rare because I like them juicy but it came out very rare. I did enjoy the edges of this burger but when I got to the middle it was too pink for me. I wouldn’t tell someone not to order it or not give it another try, but I’d just make sure to ask for it cooked medium-well to be safe.

Although the burger took a turn for the worse, the service was wonderful. Our server Matt was engaging and seemed to be on top of things. Our drinks, apps and entrees came out in record time although the restaurant seemed pretty full for a Tuesday. I also noticed they host Trivia every Tuesday which would be another good reason for me to come back again.

Overall, I did enjoy Oak Barrel Tavern and do plan on coming again for appetizers and drinks at the bar. I’m dying to try the OBT Buffalo Chicken Dip and Randys Clam Chowder. I’d definitely recommend this spot for an after-work spot with co workers or a casual, cozy date night.