Restaurant Review: Bar 145December 17, 2014 10:52 am Miriam Bowers Abbott
Did someone say poutine? Open for almost a year, Bar 145 updated its menu a few weeks ago, and the newest edition includes a poutine option: Loaded Poutine Fries ($8). Actually, it’s not just any old poutine option, the offering is made with duck meat and veal gravy: fancy poutine.
Then again, the term “poutine” sounds fancy all on its own. It’s certainly fancier sounding than “gravy fries”. In spite of the fancy elements, the dish at Bar 145 scores on the wings of its thick, fresh cut, salty fries and the homespun elements of the plentiful pulled duck merged with veal gravy and cheddar. It’s hearty and heavy and all the things that make comfort food comforting. That’s a win.
The establishment itself doesn’t really look like a duck-meat-veal-gravy sort of place. It is huge, slick and big budget looking, with fancy murals involving red converse shoes and televisions stationed high, tuned into sports networks. Bar 145 is a Toledo-based operation, and it comes off like a big, raucous sports bar and music venue.
And it feels like an odd sort of place to promote a “gastropub” styled menu. Still, the joint does seem to pride itself on its funky fair. Really, though, a big chunk of the menu is devoted to gourmet burgers — and those are a good match for the ambiance.
Guests can customize their own burgers with a little checklist, it permits total creative control in burger crafting. The options include toppings such as fried eggs, mushrooms, artisan cheeses, and sauces. Alternately, diners can just opt for one of the house creations: a burger topped with baked apples is called Apple Pie, another with mushrooms and bacon is called Simpleton. The Americana ($10 – pictured up top) is a nice basic combination to start with: it’s a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayo. These thick gourmet burgers are a “thing” in Columbus, and this one was as good as any of them.
There’s also a Roasted Salmon BLT ($12). It uses a soft grilled bread-bun as a foundation, which makes for easy eating. While some eaters really dig chewy, crusty sandwich lids, tough bread makes for incredibly messy eating. The soft bun the kitchen uses puts the spotlight on the lush grilled fish, bacon and tomato: all of which were carefully stacked and crafted to make a tight and tidy sandwich.
Besides the Poutine, there are some other fun sides to try from the “gastropub” side of things: Winter Grilled Flatbread ($9) is one of them. A big soft flatbread is topped with a sweet cinnamon-tinged apple butter, a lawn of crumbly cheese, crisped pancetta and teeny little diced apple chunks. Addictive-ly briny, sweet, easy to eat: binge food.
The Maple Bacon Mac ($8) is a holdover from earlier menu incarnations, and it seems to be a pretty popular option. It didn’t end up being a table favorite in terms of flavor combinations.
Online reviews suggest that the kitchen and serving team can get overwhelmed during rushes. The visit was during the work week, and the team did just fine. You can find it at 955 W. Fifth near Grandview. It’s open from 11:30am until 2:30am daily.
For more information, visit www.bar145columbus.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.