Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Restaurant Reviews

PEACH WEEKENDER | BILL OF FARE

Fleetwood's might be known for craft beer, but the food is a winner too

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    Pulled pork nachos at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Smoked chicken pesto flatbread at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Smoked chicken pesto flatbread and bacon mac 'n' cheese from Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Turkey chopped salad at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Pulled pork nachos at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Bacon mac 'n' cheese at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Fleetwood’s Roast Turkey Club with a Kale Caesar side salad at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Pastrami and Rye at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Hungarian Beef with side of Fleetwood’s Housemade Chili at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

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    Roasted Tomato and Basil Flatbread at Fleetwood’s Tap Room.

Fleetwood’s Tap Room may be a destination for its rotating craft beer selections, but its food is also worth consideration.

The small but adequate menu features three main categories — appetizers, flatbreads, and sandwiches — with a few other items tossed in.

During a recent weekend lunch visit, we began our meal with the hickory-smoked pulled pork nachos ($11), and they were easily the star of the show. The appetizer featured a sizable portion of chips covered with large chunks of pork and just enough barbecue sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, jalapeno, and pickled onion. The onion added a nice layer of flavor, and the fresh jalapeno slices added plenty of kick. It’s the type of finger food that really should require a fork.

Fleetwood's Tap Room

★ ★ ★

Address: 28 N. St. Clair St.

Phone: 419-724-2337

Category: Casual

Menu: American pub fare

Hours: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Wheelchair access: Yes.

Average price: $$

Credit cards: MC, V, D, AE

Website: fleetwoodshensville.com

He paired the flatbread with a side of bacon mac ‘n’ cheese ($5), because, well, can you ever have too much cheese? The dish was as creamy as you would want it with thick-cut bacon that was more chewy than crispy.One diner selected the smoked-chicken pesto flatbread ($9), with Parmesan, pine nuts, fresh basil, fresh spinach, and garlic.

The crust was nice and crunchy, the pesto was evident, and the chicken came in large chunks that encouraged taking large bites rather than nibbling.

From the sandwich menu, which covers most of the basics, we chose the roast turkey club and the Hungarian beef.

The Hungarian beef ($12), described as slow braised with caramelized onions, roasted pepper, garlic, and Hungarian paprika, was piled on a crusty roll. Much appreciated were the short pieces of beef that aren't stripped from the roll when you take a bite.

The turkey club ($11) arrived as expected, with a generous serving of flavorful turkey, thick-cut smoked bacon, red onion, lettuce, tomato, cheddar, and bistro sauce. It was good, but a tad salty for my liking.

Both sandwiches were held together by a toothpick that speared two large green olives, which were a nice touch.

Sandwiches are served with chips and slaw, but we opted instead for the housemade chili ($1.50 as a side or $6 for a bowl) with the Hungarian beef and a kale Caesar salad ($2.25 as a side, $8 for a meal) with the turkey club. The chili was hearty and tasty, and the salad was surprisingly fresh with thick pieces of roasted tomatoes and plenty of Parmesan.

Finding something light and nutritious at any restaurant can be challenging, and that certainly is the case at Fleetwood’s, where “fun foods” rule.

On a second visit, the obvious choice for one companion was the turkey chopped salad ($12), and it proved to be a good one. Crisp, fresh romaine was topped with loads of healthful goodies: turkey, slices of hard-boiled egg, avocado, cucumber, and tomato. She asked the server to hold the red onion and to bring the rich bacon-buttermilk dressing on the side, and both requests were honored without issue.

We also had the roasted tomato and fresh mozzarella flatbread ($8), which again delivered a nice crust and a nice blend of fresh ingredients.

The pastrami and rye ($12) delivered on a classic, with tender pastrami, Havarti cheese, pickles, red onions, and Bulleit Rye-infused horseradish sauce. The rye bread and pastrami were grilled to perfection, and the pickles offered just enough bite. The accompanying chips were a bit bland, but the vinegar-based slaw was a pleasant surprise.

Service was at times spotty. On our first visit, we asked for silverware when the nachos came out, but, even with a mostly empty dining room, we were still waiting on that by the time the nachos were consumed, small plates picked up, and lunch dishes served. Still, our drinks were promptly refilled and dishes cleared in a timely fashion. Our second visit coincided with a new hire being trained and everything was spot on, and even with two servers, we never felt as if we were being pushed along.

As for the alcohol, Fleetwood’s has 48 varieties on tap, including five brewed in Toledo, some others in bottles and cans, and a large selection of whiskeys and bourbons. The beer is what makes the tap room a destination, but the food is satisfying and you shouldn’t leave hungry.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com.

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