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Broad Axe Tavern opening

Jdbc Mar 10, 2009 03:34 PM

The Broad Axe Tavern is apparently opening in April. The website is at broadaxetavern.com.

  1. c
    Chefpaulo Mar 10, 2009 05:14 PM

    I eagerly await the reincarnation of a 17th century icon of Montgomery County. I've passed by the tavern since the early '50s , enjoyed meals there in the 90's and have watched the reconstruction since rennovations. I wish them well.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chefpaulo
      jujuthomas Mar 11, 2009 08:55 AM

      interesting. sounds like they will be in direct competition with Phils next door.

      1. re: jujuthomas
        givemecarbs Mar 11, 2009 06:21 PM

        Phil's is competition? Been there twice jujuthomas and I don't get the appeal. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing or went at a bad time.

        1. re: givemecarbs
          jujuthomas Mar 12, 2009 08:43 AM

          They have to be doing something right, they are always packed. We have had some really good dinners there - but we go for the bar food - ribs, burgers, etc.
          The portions are generous, the staff is friendly- I wish the tvs weren't so loud, but that's a personal preference. :) Not sayin I love the place, but when I want a gi-normous well cooked burger (ie: They DO med rare) that's where I go.

          1. re: jujuthomas
            givemecarbs Mar 12, 2009 03:38 PM

            Thanks jujuthomas I think you nailed the problem with Phil's for me. I stopped there with my friend about a year ago around eight thirty pm and I did get a very tasty burger. Didn't try it medium rare but that is the way I prefer them too. But between the flat screen tvs and the bad acoustics, conversation was impossible. They did have a nice crowd. Then I stopped in this fall at an odd time, around three thirty pm, for a beer and a burger and the place was empty. I thought that was a good thing but a waitress who was waiting for her ride plopped down at the table next to us and started talking really loudly on her cell phone. I was feeling a bit jumpy and in need of relaxation, so we just bailed without ordering. She didn't seem like she was gonna stop anytime soon. Maybe third time is the charm. I'll give them another chance.

            1. re: givemecarbs
              jujuthomas Mar 12, 2009 04:44 PM

              Phil's is certainly not a place you go to have a quiet moment, lol! We go, we eat, then we talk. I believe Phils is one of the very few areas I can get a cold hard cider in the area - they serve Woodchuck, but their flavor selection can be spotty, but if they have the amber I'm a happy girl! :)
              I really was hoping to see the broadaxe bring something new to the area. I am disappointed that it's going to be another tavern - we'll see what happens.

    2. t
      TwoBellies Mar 11, 2009 01:29 PM

      read the web page. Doesn't sound very exciting. I was hoping for Belgian.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TwoBellies
        94Bravo Mar 11, 2009 06:06 PM

        Didn't the people who wanted to do a Belgian beer restaurant back out a while ago?

        1. re: 94Bravo
          TwoBellies Mar 12, 2009 04:03 AM

          I think so. Now it's going to be just another tavern. /yawn.

        2. re: TwoBellies
          Chinon00 Mar 11, 2009 06:13 PM

          Where did they list the beer selection?


        3. c
          Chefpaulo Apr 26, 2009 03:03 PM

          I drove by last week and the ol' girl looks her best in over 300 years. There are new windows, a new roof, stone pointing and, from what I remember from last summer, all is held up by a new foundation. This is definitely a six to seven figure makeover. All that's missing is a sign indicating who the lucky occupant purveyor is. Any news here? Someone had to have very deep pockets on this speculative enterprise. i hope it works out.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Chefpaulo
            cheesewit Apr 26, 2009 07:07 PM

            It's a group fronted by Matthew Doman, former chef of The William Penn Inn.

            1. re: Chefpaulo
              jujuthomas Apr 29, 2009 09:33 AM

              the building really does look gorgeous doesn't it! Such a nice change from before. We are eagerly awaiting the opening!

              1. re: jujuthomas
                sokojojn May 1, 2009 06:29 AM

                I was wondering where will you park? The parking lot that was there now has a bank, I believe, on it. Even when that was there parking could be tough.

                1. re: sokojojn
                  bucksguy14 May 1, 2009 11:24 AM

                  That is an excellent question. I recall parking in the strip mall a few times.

                  1. re: sokojojn
                    jujuthomas May 1, 2009 01:03 PM

                    seriously! Wondered that myself. if they and Minado both have a busy night it's going to be a pain.

                    1. re: jujuthomas
                      Jdbc May 1, 2009 03:18 PM

                      They're apparently going to have valet parking.

              2. bucksguy14 May 1, 2009 01:43 PM

                Grand Opening for "VIP Members" is Monday 5/4 and for the "general public" Wednesday 5/6. Check the website - http://www.broadaxetavern.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: bucksguy14
                  AmblerGirl May 3, 2009 05:51 AM

                  This is so exciting! I am actually a VIP club member (nothing special, you just have to sign up online for it) and am considering going on Monday. Do you know if they have anything special scheduled that night or if it is just going to be a normal opening night?

                  1. re: AmblerGirl
                    hungrytom May 3, 2009 06:20 AM

                    They were open Friday and Saturday for a friends and family gathering. They do have valet parking, and I heard from someone who was there that it was terrific. Bar with flat screens on floor 1, more quiet dining on floor 2, and private room on floor 3. The place looks great, food and service excellent. I can't wait to try it out myself.

                2. h
                  Hellolaura May 8, 2009 10:25 AM

                  Has anyone made it here? I was thinking to check it out tonight. I'm wondering if they have any outdoor seating available?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Hellolaura
                    TwoBellies May 8, 2009 12:03 PM

                    Just came back from lunch there. Not impressed. Ordered a Turkey sandwich that looked like my Mom used to make me, poor count and plain rye... Meh! The hand cut fries were soggy, not good at all. Also, the pickle I got with the sandwich was half the size of any decent pickle I have ever gotten. Will not go back!

                    2 Boos! out of 4

                    1. re: TwoBellies
                      oliviasaru May 8, 2009 07:56 PM

                      I'm very picky when it comes to restaurants (I have a list of establishments I absolutely will not go to anymore, and it's pretty long), so I always give new places about a month to get themselves straightened out before I try them. I think it's only fair. I'm really looking forward to visiting the Broad Axe a few weeks from now!

                      Anyone else try it this past week?

                      1. re: oliviasaru
                        TwoBellies May 9, 2009 05:34 AM

                        so you know, service was fine, the space beautiful, just the menu was uninspired imho.

                        1. re: TwoBellies
                          Hellolaura May 9, 2009 06:34 AM

                          So we ended up going to the Broad Axe last night. We pulled up at the entrance to the Valet and rolled the window down, only to be asked by the Valet if we had reservations. We said no, we didn't have them, and he then said they were only allowing those inside who had reservations and to come back to see them again sometime, soon. Strange, right?!?

                          Anyway, we ended up parking our car to walk over to Phil's Tavern, since it's right next door and passed the Valet area. I asked if we were at least allowed to go to the bar, since we really just wanted to check the place out, have a drink and MAYBE a bite to eat....by all means, he said, have a drink at the bar. We ended up ordering a couple drinks and within a few minutes had a seat at the bar.

                          BF had his mind made up that we would eat at Phil's, since he recalled the Chows had told us Phil's tavern has one of the best Burgers in the place. While we were there, we decided to order a calamari appetizer. Jalapeno and Calamari. It came out within 5-6 minutes on a very hot plate. The quantity was average for 9.00 dollars, though I was disappointed it only had ONE Jalapeno in the dish. As for the Calamari...typical frozen Calamari, that wasn't seasoned, on the small side and heavily breaded. It was hot, I'll give it that...but in our opinion, we think restaurants like this should be breading their own Calamari and putting their own twist on it and not serve food they are bringing in from a distributor. Charge a couple extra bucks and put some quality behind the food.

                          1. re: Hellolaura
                            Chefpaulo May 9, 2009 05:59 PM

                            I use calamari as a one of my standards for restaurant judging. Frozen, machine-breaded rubber bands are the tell all of a mediocre establishment. I'm saddened to hear that, after all of the renovations, hype and pompous VIP-valet glitz, that chef is turning out Applebee's fare.

                            Thanks for the heads up.


                  2. w
                    WeeThree May 17, 2009 07:09 PM

                    We went to the Broad Axe tonight for dinner and I'm not convinced that it's worth another try.

                    We had to ask for the bread before it was brought (after the waitress said she'd bring it to us) and when we reminded her about it, the waitress said they were out but had just pulled some new loaves out of the oven and that's why it took so long. When she finally brought the bread, it was obviously NOT fresh from the oven, being cold and hard to chew. Fail.

                    The service was slow and shoddy and orders were incorrect. The food was mediocre - the orzo mac & cheese was very bland and had no taste, the burger was well even though it was supposed to be medium rare (and it came piled with mushrooms, bacon, lettuce & tomato even though it was specifically requested to only have cheese), and the fries were greasy and bland as well. Fail.

                    We had to ask for things multiple times and the waitress seemed at a complete loss when we asked her for a glass of water for the child in the party. (We finally just told her to fill the juice glass the child had just emptied, egad!).
                    The second floor was so loud and it took a long time to even be acknowledged by any of the wait staff.
                    When we asked the waitress to clear up some confusion about the VIP club that we'd signed up to online, we were met with a blank stare and told to go downstairs to the hostess desk to ask.
                    We won't be back. Major fail.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: WeeThree
                      mitchh May 18, 2009 01:10 PM

                      Went there for lunch today.

                      As everyone has stated, it is very LOUD. They definitely are going to need to do something about that. It's almost impossible to have a conversation.

                      I was there right around noon and there were plenty of empty tables, yet the hostess said there was a 10-15 minute wait. We ended up going to the bar to eat.

                      Ordered a diet soda and they serve it in the tiniest of glasses. The glass was not much bigger than a standard juice glass!

                      The food was pretty good though. I had the sliders, which were tasty, but there was a lot more bun than burger, and the fries were nicely seasoned.

                      The bartender was somewhat attentive, although my juice glass of diet soda was virtually empty when my lunch arrived yet I didn't have a refill until most of the second slider was gone.

                      Not great, but not horrible.

                      1. re: mitchh
                        TwoBellies May 18, 2009 02:52 PM

                        funny, same thing happened to me. Went their for luch, pleanty of open tables. Wound up at the bar. Exact same story, no refill till the end of my meal, lol. On the other hand, tried the Whitpain Tavern and had a great experience there, not trying to hijack the thread.

                    2. b
                      Betharu May 30, 2009 07:20 AM

                      Went there for dinner last night with two friends. We did not have reservations - arrived around 6:30 and told there was about 25-30 minute wait. Our "buzzer" went off after 5 minutes - not even enough time for a drink at the bar.
                      We were seated on the ground level - in one of the bar areas. It was IMPOSSIBLE to have a conversation without shouting. Those poor people who were seated right next to the bar.
                      Our waiter was a moron! Had no idea to let us look at the menus - I had to ask him to come back so we could make our selections.
                      I had the Ahi Tuna burger - asked for with no tomato - got tomato! It was cooked well but not off the charts. The fries were very (almost over) seasoned. They were also burnt.
                      Other friend had the crabcake sandwich - she seemed to enjoy .
                      They brag on their extensive beer list but there is no list on the table. They only list 10-15 beers on tap in the menu. It would also help if they would pair some of the featured beers with their dishes (aka The Drafting Room).
                      The place does look beautiful but all in all, a disappointing experience.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Betharu
                        Jdbc Jun 2, 2009 03:32 PM

                        Add me to the disappointed. First of all, I feel that the bar stools are spectacularly uncomfortable. Ordered a veggie burger that had the oddest taste of any veggie burger I ever had. In fact, I had to ask the bartender if they had given me chicken by mistake. I really couldn't eat it, it was that strange. The bartender never refilled my soda, and they were not busy. In fact, I think our food came out in about five minutes. Don't know that I'd go back.

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