Monday, January 05, 2009

Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery

Type: Upscale Pub Grub
Location: 279 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ, 07922

We've been to Trap Rock several times, and have sampled both the dinner and lunch menus. The lunch menu is essentially the same as the dinner menu, with a few less options, costing anywhere from the same, to a couple of dollars less per entree. If you go during late afternoon, there's a limited bar menu, that nonetheless has some really tasty options.

The Trap Rock burger and BBQ pulled pork sandwich are aces. Both come with fries, made on the premesis, served in a cute little copper-clad bucket lined with an unbleached coffee filter, and about four forkfuls of cole slaw. The crab quesadilla is also really good. The grilled cheese has gruyere and tomato, but ask for it without the carmelized onions, if like me, you think onions have no place on a grilled cheese sandwich. These, and many more items, are available on both the lunch and dinner menus. The prices for items on the lunch/pub menus range from about $10 - $17.

Dinner is where it can get pricey, if you order appetizers, an entree, and side dishes to go with your wonderful beer (brewed right there in the restaurant) or wine. Entrees range in the mid-high $20s for fish, lamb, pork, beef, or duck breast, and in the lowish $30s for steak. Appetizers are in the same price range as the lunch menu.

The good news is that a dinner "appetizer" is plenty of food for anyone who either has a small-ish stomach capacity, or isn't really that hungry. I would recommend the Tasting Trio of chicken satay, chili-lime shrimp, and mini crab cakes, with all the requisite dipping sauces. The Lobster Spring Roll is another good option, but I'm not sure what they're trying to do with the trio of dipping sauces: the chili-lime, spicy mustard, and a pickled ginger viniagrette. From either Mexican or Thai (can't figure out which), to Chinese, to Japanese . . . it's an odd combination.

Pros: reliable food; on site parking; on-site brewery visible from most tables or booths
Cons: parking can get tight after 7pm on a Friday or Saturday; a bit pricey for pub grub

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