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Restaurant review: Mom-and-pop-style restaurant Red Door Tavern offers authentic, flavorful food

Joel Thomas / Lantern reporter

If you walk through the red door of Red Door Tavern, don’t expect to leave without a full stomach and a smile on your face.

Red Door Tavern, located at 1736 W. 5th Ave., is a small, mom-and-pop-style restaurant that serves mostly traditional American dishes. The menu in this Grandview neighborhood joint consists of mostly burgers and sandwiches with a few steak, chicken and pasta options.

Among the first things I noticed when I walked in was the décor, which seemed to have a pre-Industrial Revolution theme to it. There are a lot of outdated farming tools hanging from the walls accompanied by multiple pictures from the time period.

Red Door Tavern does have a full bar, but it is separated from the dining area of the restaurant. I forgot there even was a bar there and was fully immersed in the pleasant, small restaurant atmosphere.

Almost immediately after my friend and I seated ourselves, a waitress was there to serve us. Throughout the meal, our waitress was extremely pleasant and even stopped to talk to us for a couple minutes, which I found to be rare when compared to most campus-area restaurants.

After several minutes scanning the menu, I decided on the honey chipotle BBQ chicken with loaded mashed potatoes and a side salad. I was a little skeptical at first since this meal cost $13, which is more than I would normally pay for dinner, but the picture of the meal convinced me it just too good to pass up. After a short wait for the food, my hunger got the better of me so I skipped the salad and went straight for the main course.

The honey chipotle BBQ sauce had an interesting taste that combined the spiciness of chipotle sauce with the sweetness of honey. The loaded mashed potatoes had real bits of bacon in them, which is something most restaurants don’t do. The whole meal tasted authentic and full of flavor.

The biggest surprise of the meal came when I decided to eat the salad because I was still a bit hungry after the main course. I poured my cup of ranch dressing on the large salad and after taking one bite, I realized it was the best ranch dressing I have had in a long time. I made a remark about it to the waitress and she proudly informed me that they make their own ranch dressing, along with all their other sauces and dressings.

After my friend finished his $8 bacon cheeseburger and fries, which he was also satisfied with, I left the waitress a very generous tip and walked right back out the big red door.

Grade: A

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