For years I've been recommending The Tap Room at Dubsdread for its Tap Room burger, one of the best burgers in town for my money. But of course the Tap Room has always offered more substantial fare (if you don't already consider a huge burger to be substantial fare).
The menu just got a little more substantial with a newly added line of hand-cut steaks, as well as a few other items. But I was most interested in the steaks. We have a number of high-end steakhouses in the area, and lord knows we have plenty of low-end ones, too. But that middle ground, the steakhouse that offers good quality meat without pricing it like the steers have been hand-massaged with sake, those are harder to come by. But that’s how I’d classify the steaks at Tap Room. Based on the ribeye steak I had there recently, I’d say these are upper crust steaks for a very fair price: $19.95 for the ribeye, which also included a generous portion of sauteed spinach and a healthy mound of mashed potatoes. No, it’s not the least expensive item on the menu, but we’re definitely talking value.
The steak was cooked nicely, maybe just a tad beyond the way I think a medium-rare steak should be, but still sufficiently red in the center. The meat had that good mix of tenderness with a coarser steaky texture. That’s the only way I know to describe it. The mashed potatoes were real -- with the skins blended in to prove it -- and were real creamy, too. I was impressed with spinach, too. It hadn’t been cooked until it was melting. The leaves were still a bright green and were dressed with butter and just enough garlic, including a sliver or two as garnish.
I started the meal with another new menu item, a caprese salad of thickly sliced tomatoes layered with milky white slices of fresh mozzarella. They were garnished with shreds of fresh basil and plenty of cracked black pepper. Wonderful flavors all.
For dessert, I had the Key lime pie, which is made on the premises. It was a substantial wedge with a proper yellow color. There was just the right amount of tartness in the taste, and I liked the little shreds of line zest sprinkled on top.
I enjoy the atmosphere of the Tap Room, it’s just such a comfortable place. The dining room has a surprisingly warm feel. The walls are still rustic, but what looks to be new carpeting gives it a nicer feel. The carpet, combined with fabric panels overhead, act as noise absorbers to keep the place from becoming too loud. The bar is integrally situated in the dining room -- it’s called the Tap Room, after all -- so there’s always a good energy level.
If you prefer something a bit more low-key, ask for one of the tables on the verandah, which is one of the best outdoor dining spots in town. The wrap-around porch has great views of the golf course. And for those rare days when it doesn’t feel quite like Florida -- um, like today -- there are overhead heaters. It’s just a lovely place to dine.
The Tap Room at Dubsdread is at 549 W. Par St. at the Dubsdread Golf Course (open to the public), Orlando. It's open for lunch and dinner daily. This link will take you to Tap Room's Web site. The phone number is 407-650-0100.