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TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
35 Paoli Plz
phone: (610) 725-0100
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Reviews by Slatetank:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I went to Tj's for the first time w/ my brother-tenderbranson69 for the 6th Anniversary celebration.
The place was about 1/2 full when I arrived and it had just started to snow - 1st snow of the season. I sat with him at a bistro table directly behind the bar which seats about 18.The room is very loud and slightly cramped, but there is sufficient seating for the space with a couch and a couple comfy chairs by the take-out coolers. The bar is decorated with breweriana and is organized with an overall neat appearance. They have about 12 tables and their is the dining room on the other side, generally a cozy establishment but not very much to dampen the noise level in the bar area with metal ceilings and tile floor.
The service level is very good considering the amount of people they serviced while we were there, the crowd became large when the second wave of taps opened at 5 pm. There were people waiting to be seated at the bar and everyone was served relatively quickly. I waited for a few minutes for my second draft, but overall good service since the staff introduced themselves and was very efficient with our orders which were handled in an accurate manner.
The selection is good, the event brought many drafts which are sought after beers -such as Pliny the Elder, Barrel aged Sea Monster to name a couple. They have plenty of Belgian selections and a good cross section of craft styles such as dortmunder, Imperial IPA, RIS, rye beer, Wit, American strong ales and a few lagers too. The drafts are what you want to see, though and TJ's doesn't dissapoint as they had over 10 plus cask ales to choose from.
The food was prepared well and came to the table hot and was presented well. The menu is standard bar food but care in preparation is taken They have tasty onion rings with horseradish dip which I sampled and the shepherds pie I ordered was tasty however the meat seamed to have a slightly high grease quotient. I sampled the fish and chips my bro ordered which were battered in Great Lakes lager and they were very tasty. It seems that they are trying to present the opportunity to pair beer with food and use beer in the menu items which is a plus. I liked the menu which was laid out well and looked cool with a metal cover embossed with the restaurant logo.
I found the value to be reasonable for what you get. I would return to TJ's and was glad I got to try the 7 beers I enjoyed since they offer flights of three in sampler glasses. I appreciate the opportunity to have craft beer on cask and options like Russian River Temptation and Ithaca Brute are a treat, not to mention an '08 Black Chocolate Stout, Life and Limb, limb & life and one of my favorite hoppy beers - Sculpin!
I recommend TJ's, I enjoyed the place and really didn't want to leave with the 20+ draft selections they offered on this anniversary.
12-06-2009 15:13:36 |
More by Slatetank
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75 | $$$
Great place! Small enough to feel cozy but big enough that I've never had to wait for a table. High-end bar food (duck confit tacos, mah mahi salad, etc.) Tap selection is varied and top-notch. Good blend of hoppy and malty at any given time. Also, their website is informative and constantly up to date.
05-12-2013 03:17:52 |
More by Casey3236
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped here with some friends prior to a Tired Hands bottle release. Just wanted to do a light pre-game session before standing in line over at the brewpub. The whole place is very nice looking. It's not very spacious but it's got a decent amount of room to walk around and/or sit down. The bar area seats about 20-30 people probably, there is an electronic beer menu that is posted above the bar listing what seems to be at least 30-40 beers on tap. The list of beers consisted of some local stuff as well as plenty of out of state brews. The first beer I had seemed a little on the flat side, so did my friends beers and we had all picked something different. Seemed like there wasn't enough CO2 or something. Ended up ordering another round and some food and the beers seemed a little better the second time around (different beers from the first time). The food selection was pretty good, The Mac & Cheese caught my eye and had to roll with that. They gave options to what kind of meat you can have on the Mac & Cheese so I chose bacon. The food was excellent when it came out, big enough portion to fill me up but didn't need to take any home. I feel that everything is a bit on the pricy side due to my bills and such so this could be a reasonable place to go from time to time. I would definitely go back again one day to check it out again. It's a bit of a drive for me but when in the area I could see myself stopping by.
04-15-2013 12:57:50 |
More by Knapp85
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
My old review was when TJ's was merely a stop on a pub crawl. I felt it needed to get updated to the Landmark bar and eatery I actually consider it.
First off, the beer selection is second to none. I always find a local or near-local beer I haven't had on tap. They also keep a steady selection of sought after craft and imports that keep me on my toes in terms of what to expect. And trust me, that's saying something with a beer-snob in recovery like me.
The food, as I really like food, is some of the best when it comes to good-beer bars. Anything served on a roll is going to delight you, as are the appetizers. But keep an eye on what specials are on that day. The kitchen really shines at putting unique spins on pub favorites. Hell, even their popcorn is freaking awesome!
I kick myself often that I used to live 20 minutes from here, and now live an hour and 20 minutes away and never gave TJ's the patronage I should have. Whenever I am within 30 minutes of here I stop. I have even met a business client here who I knew didn't drink, just so I could tip one back and have some of the best nachos in the area.
Don't be like me. Appreciate TJ's if you're in the area. Good people serving good beer and good food.
Very OLD review:
Stopped here on day 2 of a pub crawl with BA Phatz
Took a little longer than I would have liked to get here, but I took the route I knew would get us there, in lieu of trying to save time by taking an unknown route.
Layout of the place is quaint, 15 or so seat bar area and 10-15 4-person tables set up in the middle of the place
We grabbed two seats at the bar and started day 2 of a drinking binge that would have made Dudley Moore cringe. The tap line up really didn't impress me all that much. A handful of Flying Fish taps, a wheat beer I have forgotten, Allagash White, and few others that don't come to mind. What I loved, and had three pints of, was the Sly Fox Pale Ale on cask. It was fresh, good, and served right up when I asked. The food was also very good, with every dish having a suggested beer pairing. I thought this was a grand idea, and way ahead of the curve.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable trip. I would go back here anytime, and will keep an eye on their draft list, as it seems they get in some hard to find brews.
03-03-2013 02:09:01 |
More by leftmindedrighty
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
Local eatery and bar, close to work.
A bit small, bar and restaurant about the same size--right for the bar, left to sit and eat.
Good, friendly service. They know the beers and for the most part don't even need to write down your order so familiar. They will double check though to make sure that's what you wanted.
Good to great selection on tap and bottles. Some hard to find and world class examples both on the IPA and stout/porter side.
Food is a step above any typical bar and they use beer in their food and specials.
Bar can get full quick and standing room only on busy nights or events. Parking gets full fast, but if you drive to the sides or back you can find something.
Overall: Great local, small bar with an amazing beer list every time you go. They never seem to dissapoint, which is rare. Take out bottle section also is a bonus. A few TV's so you can check the scores in between beer-geek talk.
01-14-2013 17:06:44 |
More by SHerninko
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Living so close to TJ's, it's a shame I didn't know about this place earlier. Of course, my liver is probably rejoicing at that fact. Still, this is one of my absolute favorite establishments for drinking if not my overall favorite. The selection is simply awesome, with a lot of variety in styles of beer on tap. You can get growlers filled here as long as you bring your own and it isn't a limited brew. I got a growler of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin which was pretty wonderful. I enjoy their electronic tap list...it gives you all the pertinent information for each brew.
Not only is the beer selection top notch, the food is amazing. The mac&cheese with brats is dangerously good. The prices are always reasonable for what you get/quality. Service is always between satisfactory and exceptional depending on who is on for the day.
Atmosphere is pretty decent, depending on "game day" status. In terms of sports fans, the crowd here is NOT obnoxious at all compared to other places I have visited. Most people who come to watch the game are very subdued and relaxed...even when there is a game on, I don't find my drinking experience much affected negatively.
Overall, I love TJ's. I recommend a visit if you are in/from the area!
10-26-2011 00:03:35 |
More by MsRif
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I have been going to TJ's for a few months now and it is by far my favorite bar. The crafts that they have on tap are second to none. They have a selection of 28 beers on tap, and are constantly changing the lineup. It's in the middle of a little strip mall on the main line right across the street from the Paoli train station.
The vibe is sort of a trendy hipsters bar with beer geeks everywhere. There are a few TV's on the walls but not a typical sports bar feel to them. The real thing that people come there to do is drink great beer from the tap.
Their best feature is the vertical TV's that they use for beer menus. The ever changing list of beers on tap is kept up like a stock exchange of beer and there are $3 keg kickers every happy hour. This helps keep the beer fresh and try something you wouldn't normally have.
The wait staff is extremely knowledgeable. They know about all of the beers on tap and have tried most of them. If you ever have any questions on what to order tell them what you're in the mood for and they will be happy to oblige.
The food is bar food that has been kicked up a notch. If you're there I would highly recommend the pretzels and the chipolte macaroni and cheese.
10-06-2011 20:56:36 |
More by lagerslogger
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
TJ's is currently in the "Big 4" of my most visited bars, along with Teresa's, Capone's, and Pinocchio's. It's a simple 7 miles from my house, and it has just about everything I need in a bar, without the hassle of going to the city.
Located right near the train station, in a semi-hidden strip mall also containing two, yes, two separate stores to buy hot wings. Nice, simple decor in TJ's, with lots and lots of appropriate beer tin tackers on the wall, a few TVs, a good-sized bar, and plenty of tables and leg room, including separate dining areas. It's not exactly dim-lit and intimate like some of my other favorite bars, but it's okay, I still knew it would be a good time from the first time I walked in. Also...DIGITAL TAP LISTS. So far I'd only seen this twice, at the Mayor of Old Town in Ft. Collins, where they have 100 beers on tap and such a marvel of the modern age as digital tap screens makes most sense, and at Al's / Pizza Boy. I like this technology.
They do have a very good amount on tap, around 25 or so, with a hand pump, and a moderately impressive bottle list, just in case the stuff on tap isn't good enough for you. Draught selection is always very good and rotates quickly. You won't always find extreme rarities here, but they do pump in the local favs, as well as general craft/micro favs and uncommons from all over the world. The staff is almost always friendly and on the ball, and pretty in tune with the beer scene. If there's anything I can complain about here, it's that more than once I've had a bartender (it's a girl who will remain nameless) that has absentmindedly served me the wrong beer. Otherwise, I don't have a problem, and Scott is one of my favorite bartenders anywhere.
Food is very good as well. Multiple mac&cheese options? Obviously I'm getting that. Other offerings include some really yummy salads, comfort foods, but best of all, I'd say at least 50% of the items on the menu are made with beer as an ingredient, from the Sly Fox fish and chips, to the rauchbier burger. You know these guys are serious. Weekly specials are typical excellent as well, with the occasional creative burger (caramel apple burger?) or mac&cheese (pepperoni?) special.
I go here anywhere between 2-10 times a month, and it's always a pleasure. Better start using that treadmill more.
08-29-2011 14:52:39 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
First time guest at TJ's today. Very clean place. Well decorated, music that you don't have to s team over, digital taplists, 26 beers on tap...this place is fantastic. Touch Tunes, beautiful neons and beer signage, and some nice LCD TV's add to a nice scene. They had some really unique offerings including Dogfish Bead Red & Black, and Sierra Nevada Hop Smack. Bottle selection is minimal. Oh yeah, the bartender was absolutely gorgeous. I definitely plan on putting TJ's into my rotation of frequented establishments.
08-20-2011 18:16:12 |
More by Retail1LO
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Awesome place! Visited 7/20/11 with fjl77.
This was my second time here: they have great selection and friendly service. We had two hearted l, nogne-o #500, $3 bp tongue bucklers, cw illuminations and bp navigators to name a few. I love the digital draft list that automatically updates during happy hour for keg kicker specials. Awesome idea and helps with freshness which has never been an issue. I Had the fried peanut butter and jelly which was absolutely rediculous but I just had to try. it's only 15 minutes away so I'll be back many times.
07-21-2011 23:06:37 |
More by SpillyBeers
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TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli, PA