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TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
35 Paoli Plz
phone: (610) 725-0100
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
TJ's is basically one of the greatest bar/restaurants on planet Earth. This is the place I frequent either the most or the second most because of their fantastic tap-lists, delicious food, unbelievable service, and clean comfortable atmosphere.
I only started coming to TJ's probably a year ago and in that time we've gone out to dinner there upwards of 25 times, for full meals and beer. They do a great job of getting beers from all over the country in and on tap, they have a great happy hour as well . What really stands out to me though, is that they go out of their way to make sure they have a variety of local brew on tap mixed with the national stuff. There are always six or seven great local brews to go with the almsot twenty others. The food believe it or not is as delicious as everything on tap. They make a great rauchbier burger, and everyone I have ever gone with has praised their (fresh, homemade) crab cakes, and shepherd's pie.
The staff there is always knowledgable and attentive. Pretty much everything there is perfect. If TJ's were ever to close or go away I would be beyond devestated. Every decent establishment could take notes from TJ's.
09-16-2010 07:02:01 |
More by KYFriedChildren
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Transcribed from undated notes, probably early-to-mid June 2009.
This was my third and last stop of the day as I would transition off of SEPTA's R5 line and back onto Amtrak to return to Lancaster when I finished. In retrospect, I have no idea why it had taken me so long to get here. I had spoken to one of the co-owners, Jeff, at many fests previously and they have a sign on the rear of the building near the roof that is visible from the train. I must have been an idiot. Sure, because I'm not now, right? Ha!
Theirs was a wide storefront in the west end of the Paoli Stores Plaza, accessed on foot to the west of the train station from the eastbound platform and up the steps and over the bridge from the westbound platform. Do NOT cross the tracks! Even I am not THAT stupid. Also, be very cognizant of the southbound traffic when crossing the road from the train station into the plaza. Oncoming northbound traffic is easy to watch, but the southies have to crest the bridge and are not visible until they have done so. I AM too stupid/lazy to walk down to the light, but you should be aware of the danger inherent in such a decision.
Entering, the m.d.s. was slightly to the right, followed by the bar area with the restaurant area to the left. I think that in all of my visits, the only time I was in the restaurant was on this occasion so that I could take complete notes.
Along the front wall, on the bar side, were four (4) interconnected coolers filled with bottles for take-away, fronted by a couple of really comfy sofas. The center of the bar area was filled with high tables and chairs. The bar, which ran along the back wall, was an elongated "U" shape topped by mica-flecked dark marble or granite. The back bar was on two levels, the top with two (2) two-doored coolers divided by liquor bottles. Above each of the shelves of liquor bottles were backboards listing "Featured Drafts". The lower back bar was used mostly for glassware but there was also a three-doored cooler in the centerline. Speaking of the centerline, to the extreme left of the bar area and through a portal past the satellite jukebox were the lavs.
On the left-facing side of the house, past the m.d.s, was a waiting area with a group of leather couches and chairs. Beyond that was the restaurant area with its standard restaurant tables and chairs. The remarkable thing on that side of the building, to me, was all of the exposed brick archways which gave it a very medieval feel.
Beer: Somehow, I forgot to quantify how many taps and bottles, but they really keep their website up to date, plus they regularly Tweet about their rotating draft selection. You should do your homework, rather than taking my word for it.
Food: Gourmet Mac 'n' Cheese that is NOT to be missed. It is a staple of my diet when I visit, which is fairly frequently now that I know where it is located.
08-19-2010 23:29:55 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stop here on Tuesday evening for some drinks and food with friends. We had a rather large party (about 14 people), and we took up an entire back room. Service was very good considering the size of our party.
We were seated in front of the draft list which was extensive, and on top of that there was an even bigger list of bottles. Two kegs kicked while we were there, and no time was wasted in announcing and tapping the new kegs. The new kegs were on the list litteraly minutes after the old kegs kicked.
Food was a bit on the high side price wise, but the quality more than made up for that. Beers were reasonable, and the selection was superb. I highly recomend.
07-28-2010 12:54:03 |
More by spartanfan
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
TJ's is an interesting spot for sure. The bar is a decent size with the current tap lists written on giant chalk boards. They are a little hard to read with the lights turned down but I managed. The menu is a good size. I had the buffalo chicken mac n cheese and it was great. I also tried some of the boneless chicken wings and they were very good as well. While the food was good, the beer list was even better. Had a RR registration and Consecration. Where else can you drink those in the same place? The service was very good as well. They came to check on us every time our drinks got low. Overall a quality spot for sure. I will return for more very soon.
06-28-2010 22:48:55 |
More by orangesol
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This is a very comfortable place that clearly cares about craft beer and its customers. The manager (Jeff?) is visible and approachable. Scott may be the best bartender in the area. While not all are as knowledgeable and friendly as he, most are very hard workers (they hustle!) and competent. Food is ok to good (go for the specials). Beer selection though is great (over 20 taps plus hand pulled) and their special events are awesome. I don't live close but the people here and the selection is more than worth the trek.
06-16-2010 23:58:18 |
More by regspeir
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I've been here for events with a lot of people present, and for dinner when almost no one else was there. I thoroughly enjoy myself every time I've been here. There's a decent sized bar area, with flat screen TV's, a number of tables and some couches, but they also have tables and booths on the restaurant side. Huge selection of twenty-six taps, all craft brews with great style diversity. Fairly decent selection of bottled beer available for making mix six packs as well. Service has always been good, no complaints there, and the food is good and keeps improving. I highly suggest the mahi tacos. This place is easily my favorite local beer bar.
04-13-2010 21:38:32 |
More by garuda
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited TJ's for the first time this past weekend for the Cask Event and an in person trade with callmemickey. Medium sized front room offers a nice bar that seats 20-30 people, an island of 2 person tables, and a bunch of other tables. Back room is all table seating so this place really can house lots of people. Bar had a solid number of taps and thanks to our timing, lots of cask selections. I went with the Stone Ruination on cask and enjoyed it. The service seemed decent enough and the food menu was interesting. A very good blend btw standard pub fare and cuisine a la bier. Rauchbier smoked bbq sauced bacon burger....mmmm! Prices weren't cheap but were reasonable for the caliber of the food. EVERYBODY was eating the slider burgers btw.
03-09-2010 04:42:28 |
More by koopa
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Came to TJ's for their "all cask, all day" event a little late and was surprised to see all the firkin's still flowing, nice! This place is a little difficult to get to if your using the highways but I'm sure there is a easier way.
Located in a strip mall type setting TJ's is in the heart of a lot of upscale type places surrounding it, well we are in Paoli here. Once inside there is a bar area to the right and a normal dining area to the left, very TND'ish. The bar area is not very bright which makes it easier on the eyes. TJ's blurs the lines with what type of bar it actually is, I get some sports bar, mixed with beer bar, mixed with a fine dining vibe with the attached eating room. Good beer drinkers with BMC drinkers packed together.
The quality is up there, my beer tasted wonderful off of the firkins and the few times i've been here before, the beer off tap (younger, KBS) was also clean. Clean glassware and clean surroundings. Good sized pours for the price and no short pours which is always welcomed.
The service was top-notch, there were two tenders working a pretty crowded room and I never had a issue with getting another pour. (well I was in the middle of the bar and the firkins were not blocking me so that may be it.) Water was constantly filled and if I needed anything I asked and it came. The bartenders seemed cool enough and they knew about the beer they were pouring so that always gets a thumbs up.
I don't get up here that often because of the distance but I'm always on their website and from the looks of that TJ's has a wonderful and rotating selection off the tap. Chances are if it's a good beer and registered in the state TJ's will have it on at some point. I had Younger and KBS here before but off of the firkins I had a Whiskey aged Sea Monster, Coronado Red Devil and a Ola Dubh 12 and they were delicious. The bottle selection is not as extensive as some other area bars but there are a few selections for a lot of styles which is fine by me.
The food was good but it was a little expensive for the portions given, almost NYC prices here. I had some chicken and fries and that seemed to compat the plus 10% beers I was drinking a bit. I really enjoyed my food and what they were bringing out of the kitchen I was ready to grab off the plate and eat, it was so tempting. A good sized menu with alot to offer.
TJ's is a kick ass "drinkery"...
03-07-2010 16:31:11 |
More by onix1agr
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Once i saw that they had both Russian Rivers Pliny the Elder and Bell's Hopslam on tap simultaneously there was no way i was going to pass it up.
Located in a stripmall type place its unassuming from the outside. Once i was in i grabbed a seat at the very nice bar and ordered a Pliny. (my first ever) I ordered a second Pliny and then a fresh Hopslam. Does it get any better then this? Two flat screen TVs are on either side of the bar and i was watching sports center. SOme sort of trivia game was going on at the the time and there good music playing in between questions.
Overall TJ's has one of the widest selections of beers on tap i have ever seen. Their bottle selection is also quite large. I will definitely go back again. In fact i've already recommended it to a few people who have gone and loved it as well!
Check out their website and you'll be astonished at the tap list. I know i was.
01-28-2010 19:43:14 |
More by BigMike
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Atmostphere: TJ's is great little place set in a strip mall in suburban Philadelphia (paoli to be specific). Its got a great long bar and a decent number of high-tops and low-tops in the bar area. Nice flat screen tvs which are almost always tuned into the various sporting networks. Its a bit of an odd feel for a bar because it seems so clean, and doesn't have that worn-in feel that I love about city bars. Its not a bad thing per-se, just a comment. Perhaps the only thing about the vibe here is turning the music off and putting the tv volume on low instead. I don't particularly care for the music selections that people make on the juke box here... kinda poppy and mainstream.
Quality: The quality of a drinking experience at TJs is top notch... just look at my comments concerning service/selection/food
Service: Jeff and his bartenders run a tight ship here. Quick and pleasant to deal with. Always willing to let you get a small sample of a brew and are good at sharing their advice with those who don't know what they want.
Selection: At any given moment some other Philly beer bar might have a more rare beer on than TJs (all though TJs does get their share of sought after brews) but what makes TJs the best selection in town is the variety of great brews always on tap (without sacrificing freshness -- everything turns over fairly quickly -- you can follow the progress on their website or twitter). The tap list is never dominated by one style over another. There is a nice balance between the hoppy and the malty and often two or three of the more popular styles. Two casks and often a nitro beer going. They've also made a commitment to serve super-fresh local beer, so there will be five or so local beers on at any time. At the end of the day, there is always a beer I am in the mood for here.
They also fill growlers (buy one of theirs or bring your own). Nearly everything is available for a fill and the prices are reasonable.
Food: The food is solid... its not pushing the boundaries of fine cuisine, but thats not why you go to a beer bar. The burgers are very good, the onion rings are nice, and my fiancee enjoys their soups. The brownie sundae is rich and decadent too.
01-16-2010 14:20:10 |
More by callmemickey
TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli, PA