The Spot: TapHouse Kitchen
6137 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
The Hours: TapHouse Kitchen offers happy hour seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m.
Perfect for: A pint (or five) after a long day in a casual atmosphere.
The Interior: TapHouse is an impressive space at Hilton Village in Scottsdale, with high ceilings and excellent details, including chandeliers made with glass bottles. The patio seamlessly connects with the actual inside of the restaurant with shutters opening it up to the outside on nice days.
The Food: TapHouse's regular menu consists of elevated pub food, and the happy hour menu offers most of the appetizers at a discount, including the roasted harissa hummus ($6), shrimp mac-n-cheese ($6) and jumbo lump crab cake ($9).
The TapHouse sliders ($6) came out smothered in a heavy béarnaise sauce, perched on a brioche bun. Beneath the thick, gooey layer of sauce was a 100-percent angus beef patty and a quail egg, over easy—it sort of resembled a take on eggs Benedict. The sauce was good, if not very decadent, with a lemony tang, but there was just too much of it, overpowering the egg and beef. In fact, we could barely taste the egg. The beef was also too rare and needed a minute or two more on the grill.
We were a little turned off by the $9 price tag on the charcuterie plate (it's happy hour, after all), but the plate itself was gorgeous, with a nice variety of different offerings, including a creamy butter pecan goat cheese, red onions pickled in-house, crackers, and a house beer mustard. The pickles and onions all had a nice crunch to them, without too much of a vinegary aftertaste.
The Drink: TapHouse's happy hour drink menu covers all the bases, offering $2 off custom cocktails like the spot's take on a Moscow mule ($6) and a "skinny" acai drink ($7), as well as $2 off all draft beer and house wine (Cupcake chardonnay and cabernet). The restaurant's draft beer selection is pretty vast, with offerings from breweries around the state.
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We went for the Arizona Highway beer flight ($6), which is also included in happy hour. The flight came with four ounces of four different brews: a Sonoran seasonal double IPA, Lumberyard's Red Ale, Grand Canyon's American Pilsner, and Papago Brewing's Coconut Joe coffee stout. The Red Ale and American Pilsner had a strong hops taste, while the Coconut Joe was sweet, with a more than just a hint of roasted coffee flavor. We liked the novelty of the beer flight, which is pretty rare for a happy hour menu.
Conclusion: TapHouse is a pleasant space in a relatively busy strip mall in Scottsdale. The food we tried was hit or miss, and most starters included in happy hour sounded pretty heavy. Still, the drink list won us over with its mix of cocktails, beer, and wine. We would choose an early evening at TapHouse over fighting traffic on Scottsdale Road any day.
Don't Miss: The beer flight. The option to create your own makes it a great deal, especially if you have a preference for specific brews.
Skip This: The sliders, unless you're a huge fan of béarnaise sauce.