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Country Fried Steak at Oak Barrel Tavern

Country Fried Steak at Oak Barrel Tavern

A little blurb on the atmosphere and ambiance. As I’m told, this used to be the old “Tweed’s” restaurant and has now changed hands and is under new ownership. I had never been to Tweed’s before, so I have no prior experience as to the its previous atmosphere, but I’m told this is much better and nicer. Oak Barrel Tavern has seen a great renovation and apparently it’s too the liking of many people I was with this night. For me it clearly looked renovated and was clean and well lit with “open” lighting. We were sent to the back room and had our own area for our group. That was nice. It fit our group of 12 people and had room for many more. If you were having a small event, it would be a nice room to have it in.

I ordered the Country Fried Steak. I was thinking, “You don’t see that often on a menu.” Naturally, I had to try it. I’ve had many country fried steaks in my life as I spent a good part of my life growing up in the south. I’ve had some amazing home made country fried steaks and also many great ones from restaurants down south. That being said, I’m a bit spoiled and I’m very aware of this, which means when my country friend steak arrived, I was disappointed. Very small, overcooked and a bit burned on the breading. The breading itself was pretty much nonexistent. I was looking forward to a wonderfully cooked light but fluffy breading, but alas It wasn’t there. It was served with either mashed potatos or crinkle cut fries. I should have had the mashed potoatos. The fries looked like they were poured out of a bag of frozen fries from Orida. It also came with green beans on the side. Those were my favorite part of the meal. My overall feeling of Oak Barrel Tavern’s food is that it is your basic “Pub” food that can be found pretty much anywhere. If that’s your thing, then I think you’ll love it. I admit I’m pretty spoiled and was hoping for something special, but it’s not a place a “Foodie” would go to have a great meal.

Our server was very attentive and helpful. Service is very important to me and I have to say it was very good and friendly.

Overall, I don’t think I would go back to this place for food. It was a nice atmosphere and the staff was pleasant. If you just wanted to hang out with friends and have a drink and have some pub food, I’m sure this would be a fine place to do that. If you are a foodie and are looking for something wonderful, it’s definitely not your place.

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Vino and The Left Coast Burger at Oak Barrel Tavern

The Left Coast Burger at Oak Barrel Tavern on Grove Street in Worcester, MA

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.