A Slice of Fried Gold

Hippie Bracket: (4) Tap Root Cafe vs. (5) Fire Tap

Saturday, March 6, 2010
The battle of the Tap related restaurants! Both Tap Root and Fire Tap are south Anchorage favorites, with one being a long underrated stop for the more discerning restaraunt fan and the other being a recent launch that saw long waits upon its open respectively. But there can only be one eatery with Tap in their name past this round...who could it be?

Tap Root Cafe: Tap Root is the Davidson Wildcats of the past two years in the tournament. At first you think "who the heck are these guys?" and then you get an experience with them and all of a sudden you're cheering as Stephen Curry makes it rain. Or in Tap Root's case, as the server delivers a delectable Shooby Dooby (a sandwich made of two chicken breasts encased in mozzarella and wrapped in bacon - seriously) and some remarkably good beer from parts unknown. They have a number of very impressive factors in their equation: tasty food, surprisingly good prices, great beer, friendly service, cool atmosphere, and steady musical performances of quality.

Yet with any surprising low seed, they bring negatives to the table. Tap Root's big negatives are very evident on the first experience and on the fifth. Luke warm and oddly bad water, service that disappears for 20 minutes at a time even when it's slow, strangely cold (in temperature), and sometimes it is too loud and crowded to exist as a person. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Definitely. But the negatives, however small, can take a good team down at any time.

Fire Tap: This restaurant is very similar to your prototypical major conference squad who gets a nice seed and then gets spanked by a lower seed, ala Illinois falling to Western Kentucky in the first round last year. They look like they should be good. They smell like they should be good. You hear they could be good. But when you get to actual application you wait forever for food, the food is mediocre and overpriced, and ultimately they are getting by on being a poor impersonation of a once good program. They're essentially the homeless man's version of Moose's Tooth, except they do nothing well at all. Really, they made it into this tournament just so they could get a smack down, which sometimes I think is the reasoning behind all of those major conference teams getting a five seed when they shouldn't be in the tournament.

The Showdown: What showdown? Just like what would have happened in the matchup between those two aforementioned squads, Tap Root brings down the rain with fantastic beer, delicious and varied foods like the Shooby Dooby or their awesome breakfast burritos, and tops it off with a slam dunk of unique atmosphere and quality music to enjoy. Meanwhile, Fire Tap folds under the pressure as your server snaps at you and it takes you forty five minutes to get a luke warm sandwich that is bad and costs you $13.95. This is a debacle for the confidence of Fire Tap, and if I were them I'd go back to formula.


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