Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Pub at Polaris

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit The Pub at Polaris.  It’s been on my list of places to visit for a couple of years now, since I attended the Dayton AleFeast.  At that event, the Dayton location of The Pub (it’s a chain) had paired their Shepherd’s Pie with St. Bernardus Abt. 12 beer.  I’ve never been a big fan of Shepherd’s Pie, but The Pub’s version of the dish is excellent.  I’ve craved it several times since.

The Pub attempts to replicate (at least in appearance) the English pub experience in the United States.  I know from conversations with actual people from England that this isn’t a perfect replication by any stretch.  They play mostly Top 40 style American music, rather than traditional English pub music.  They serve a few beers from the UK, but many more from Europe and the U.S. as well.  And there are items on the menu that you probably won’t find in a “real” English pub.  So you might call it a “Pub-like” experience.

That being said, I had the opportunity to sample two items off the menu during my visit.  The first were the scotch eggs.  These are hard boiled eggs, wrapped in sausage, then coated with a bread crumb mixture and deep fried.  They’re server with a sweet and tangy mustard.  I found them unusual and delicious.  My wife didn’t.

My main course was the Shepherd’s Pie I’d been wishing for.  The portion size was ample, though I had no problem eating it.  The beef, lamb, and vegetable mix on the bottom was moist and tasty.  The mashed potatoes above that were warm and not dried out.  The top layer had cheese and breadcrumbs.  It was even more delicious than I’d remembered from AleFeast, and I look forward to going back to have it again.

Adam, our server, was very knowledgeable about both the menu items and the beer available.  I would imagine that the selection changes periodically, but during my visit they had drafts from Bass Ale, Boddington’s, Fuller’s, Old Speckled Hen, Belhaven, Guinness, Hoegaarden, Palm, Stella Artois, Angry Orchard Cider, Budweiser, Dogfish Head, Kentucky Ales, Samuel Adams, Yuengling, and a few seasonal/rotating items.

Bottled beer is also available.   During my visit you could have ordered Amstel Light, Chimay Red Label, Corona, Crabbie’s, Dos Equis, Duvel,  Heinekin, Innis & Gunn, Kaliber, Labatt Blue, Lindemans, McEwan’s, Newcastle, Red Stripe, Saint Bernardus, Samuel Smith, Schneider, St. Peter’s, Weihenstephaner, or Well’s beers in bottled form.  They also had bottled beers from Abita, Avery, Bell’s, Breckenridge, Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, Great Divide, He’Brew, Left Hand, Magic Hat, New Holland, Ommegang, Oskar Blues, Rogue, Shiner, Sierra Nevada, Stone, and Two Brothers (along with the usual macros).

Draft prices outside happy hour range from $3 for a Bud Light to $5.95 for some of the more-expensive drafts.  Bottled beers ranged in price from $2.95 for the macro brews to $10.95 for some of the imported/craft beers.

On Monday nights, they do a “Monday Night Nosh” offering traditional British comfort food starting at 5pm “while supplies last”.  You can order Jacket Potatoes and Meat Pies for $7.95 each.

Happy Hour is from 3-7pm.  During that time, you can get $3.95 appetizers from a list that includes curry chips, young’s bbq crisps, beer-battered onion rings and mushrooms, the pub double dip (hummus and spinach/artichoke dip), spicy cheese dip, pub pretzels, or buffalo chicken.  Drink specials include $3 schooner draughts, $4 three olives vodka and premium well drinks, $5 select wines, and $6 martinis and favorites.

(Note that the above specials were active at the time of my visit in July 2014.  As this review “ages” it is likely that things will change, so plan accordingly if you choose to visit.)

Our visit happened during the early afternoon on a Saturday, and there were plenty of free tables.  I understand it can be busy during happy hour and on weekend nights.

I very much enjoyed the food, beer, and service at The Pub and look forward to returning again soon.

The Pub at Polaris
1554 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240
(614) 761-7829
Official Website

Hours of Operation (as of July 2014):
Monday through Thursday – 11am to 12 midnight
Friday and Saturday – 11am to 2am
Sunday – 11am to 11pm

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