Pub food is hard to do right. Most pubs recognize the need to offer some food, some sustenance beyond chips or peanuts and an olive garnish to prevent patrons from sloshing out of the bar. Food can act as a (temporary) sponge.
But most pubs don’t have a proper kitchen or the necessary equipment to do more than a rudimentary menu. And that’s fine. Sandwiches with big doughy buns are appropriate fare. But when a bar tries to overreach and offer more than it’s capable of delivering, the results are usually disappointing.
That seems to be the issue with Roque Pub, an otherwise fun neighborhood bar in the emerging Curry Ford West district.
Before we go further, yes, the name of the pub is Roque with a q instead of Rogue with a g. It started its life as the latter but was forced to change its name when challenged by a bar elsewhere in the state that had already laid claim to Rogue. You’re welcome to pronounce the two words the same.
Roque Pub’s menu features an array of appetizers — dips, cheese boards, nachos — that might be considered standard fare for bar snacks. The starters are followed by wrap sandwiches, unwrapped sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, burgers and wings. Thirty-one entries in all, much more than is necessary.
From the appetizer list I ordered the Lauter Tun, a curious name for a “classic quesadilla” with grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, and green peppers folded in a large, slightly grilled flour tortilla. As you can see from the photo, not much chicken was harmed in the making of the quesadilla.
The Firkin Fajita that a friend ordered was similarly unstuffed. It was also meant to have grilled chicken (perhaps there was a shortage the day I visited) with melted cheddar cheese, green peppers, onions and tomato. The dominant taste was flour tortilla.
The Publican flatbread had more toppings, including shaved steak, jack and cream cheese, onions and peppers to approximate a Philly cheesesteak. The pre-made platform, however, was dry.
The wings, baked (adding a fryer to a kitchen is problematic) fared better. They’re available in a variety of flavors and heat and were meaty enough. At $1.05 per wing, however, a bit dear.
I like Roque Pub’s atmosphere, unassuming and welcoming, with requisite televisions for sports watching and a bank of dart boards for activity. But its food game needs tweaking. It might do well to pare down the menu and offer less quantity in order to concentrate on the quality.
Roque Pub is at 3076 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-985-3778.