I stopped by the new Taps Wine & Beer Eatery in Winter Park Village not too long ago for a quick visit. Just to be clear, only beer is on tap here; wine and eats are dispensed otherwise.
Beer is clearly the reason for Taps to exist. The beer list goes on for pages and has what appears to be hundreds of selections, some on tap, others in bottles. It could be an adult beverage playground for a beer aficionado. If you don’t know your beers, however, you may find it a bit daunting. And based on my experience, the servers didn’t have much more knowledge than I did. (If you want guidance, you might be better off sitting at the bar.) I finally settled on a Radeberger, which was the closest I could find to the style of pilsner I prefer.
The food is OK, though I couldn’t help thinking that with just a bit more effort it could be a lot better. I had an appetizer of sausage sliders and a “main” of BLT&A, the BL and T being the traditional bacon, lettuce and tomato and the A being the addition of avocado.
Of course, both of these are sandwiches. Even the sliders. A slider is usually served on mini burger buns, the original sliders being small burgers that were so greasy that they veritably slid down the gullet. (Interesting how the term has been co-opted into classy joints, no?) These “sliders” featured grilled Italian sausage on a crusty roll that was then sliced into slider-sized pieces. The sandwich also included grilled onions and mozzarella — more of the former, too little of the latter.
The BLT&A had chewy, thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon with the other ingredients on a ciabatta loaf, served neatly wrapped in waxed paper for handling and accompanied by a nice salad of mesclun mix with a light vinaigrette. There wasn’t much avocado on the sandwich — maybe it should be BLT&a — but otherwise it was good.
Mostly, the menu just seemed boring and unimaginative. I spent a good deal of time staring at it, hoping that I was missing something really wonderful, but it never jumped out at me. Maybe they can find someone to put as much thought and effort into the menu as has obviously been given to the beer list.
Taps is a second location for a Tampa business, and, still as of today, the website has details only for the Bay area location, although I’m told the menus are the same for both locales. Eventually, someone at the restaurant said, the Winter Park details will be added to the Tampa website.
In the meantime, I can tell you that Taps is at 480 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, in Winter Park Village opposite Mitchell’s Fish Market and the cinemas. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. Here’s that website link where you can find the menus (they’re downloads, just so you know). The phone number is 407-677-5000.