You Want a Cheese Steak with That Beer?

Bar Food as Fine Dining

Don't you want to go where everyone greets you with a smile?

My husband Mike and I went out to dinner last night and Mike got to choose the restaurant. For those of you who know him it will come as no surprise that he chose Tierney’s Tavern, a neighborhood bar in the town of Montclair, NJ. Tierney’s is that quintessential Irish bar where everyone knows your face, if not your name. It has really cold beer, according to Mike. And surprise! It has great fried food, particularly the burgers. Locals, from what we hear, get into heated discussions about Tierney’s burgers versus burgers at the upstart new burger joints in town. Tierney’s wins, hands down.

We were lucky enough to get a parking space AND seats at the bar last night. The TV behind us was tuned into a baseball game; the TVs to our right and left were tuned into a hockey game. Mike and I tuned into each other.

We ordered our food immediately and got it almost as quickly. It’s like they knew we were coming. Mike ordered the cheese steak and French fries.

“Just cheese and steak,” he says to the bartender. Mike hates onions and peppers and all that good stuff I love.

Mike had already taken a bite by the time I whipped out my camera!

I ordered the pastrami on rye with swiss, Russian dressing, and a side of cole slaw. Do you see where I’m going with this? When my sandwich arrived, I took the slaw and put it on the sandwich. The pastrami was so lean and thinly sliced it could have passed through the eye of a needle. The slaw was not too sweet, not too tart. A perfect balance. The bread was fresh and chewy. Yum!

Okay. Okay. I took a bite too! I couldn't wait!

A favorite at Tierney's Tavern.

Mike ordered a Pabst on tap. Not the most chichi beer, you say? Maybe not, but the bartender at

Tierney's still uses an 'eyeball pour,' and it's generous.

Tierney’s said they go through kegs of Pabst every week; it’s one of their most popular beers.

I ordered my usual, a glass of pinot grigio. What is very UNusual about the pinot grigio at Tierney’s is the amount you get in your wine glass. Around NJ it’s become pretty common practice to use an exact measure, not an ‘eyeball pour,’ to dispense wine. Take a look at the glass of wine I got at Tierney’s. You better watch out!

If you’d like to be treated like a regular at Tierney’s, take a click to their web site ( for their address. And check out the performance schedule. Some of our good friends play in the bands at Tierney’s. Tell them we sent you.


Filed under bar food, Wine

3 responses to “You Want a Cheese Steak with That Beer?

  1. great memories of jazz and burgers at Tierney’s with Tom Buck!!

  2. Loryl

    Was it Pabst Blue Ribbon? If it was…it comes from Milwaukee 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s