American TapHouse in Gilbert: Happy Hour Report Card

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The Spot: American TapHouse 1026 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert 480-214-3440 www.americanth.com

See Also: TapHouse Kitchen in Scottsdale Is Now Open: Craft Beer, Modern American Cuisine

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Interior: With a staff clad in clashing plaid, American TapHouse is going for a laid-back, homey vibe. After taking over the BoomBozz Pizza space late last year, the restaurant became one of the few in the Valley that offers food, beer, and wine for delivery within a three-mile radius. The restaurant itself is large, with a sizable full bar with seating and a patio with comfy furniture for relaxing. The setup seems ripe for franchising.

The Food: With six happy hour food options for $5 each, including wings and carnitas sliders, there's something for everyone. Starting with pretzel sticks and queso dip, which had already cooled by the time it reached us, the pretzels were soft and warm, but the dip didn't have much flavor. To its credit, it had a smooth consistency, unlike the cheese dip at many spots, where it's often slightly gritty.

Next, we tried the eight-inch, two-topping pizza. We ordered artichokes and red bell peppers but were served green bell peppers and artichokes. Aside from the mix-up, the pizza had a nice, tangy sauce but was overloaded with cheese, which became chewy in a matter of minutes.

The Drink: With about 25 different taps, you can choose from $1 off pints ranging from Bud Light and Coors Light to local favorites like Sonoran White Chocolate Ale and Papago Brewing's Orange Blossom Ale. We went for the nitro tap, which was a 5 Barrel Pale Ale, but were told several minutes later that the tap wasn't pouring properly and were met with a slightly warm brew.

Specialty cocktail are $2 off at $5 a piece as well, with a Gilbert Mule, margarita, and Desert Martini. We tried out the Basil Berry Lemonade, which was syrupy sweet with little booze flavor to speak of. It also had about 10 basil leaves crammed in it, getting soggy, but adding little flavor to the drink.

The Conclusion: With a staff of seemingly disinterested and inexperienced teens at the helm, the service left something to be desired. The same could be said about the cocktails and food, which was all generic tasting. We do have to give the Gilbert spot props for being able to deliver beer and wine, though, but we likely won't be back for another happy hour visit to American TapHouse.

Grade: D+

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