Chelsea: A Happy Hour at Tank House

Story time, guys. Every day on my lunch hour, I take myself on a walk. Usually to get a tea at one of the myriad Starbucks locations within walking distance from my office, but occasionally I just walk for the sake of walking and seeing what I can see. One day, I decided to deviate from my usual route and meandered around for a while. As I came out of Peet’s Coffee, mango sunrise tea in hand, I see across the street (cue angelic chorus)….a huge meat smoker.

What you may not know about me (yet) is that Southern barbecue is my jam. In spite of being California, born and bred, deep down in my little soul, I know that I belong somewhere in the Deep South where I can eat my weight in smoked meat any old time I want. Keeping that in mind, seeing that smoker on my walk had my interest piqued. I decided to cross the street and check it out.

Lo and behold, that smoker sits on the back patio of Tank House, a sweet little spot in Midtown that I highly recommend checking out.

Tucked in on J St, Tank House is a little barbecue joint with a great beer selection and some of the best tater tots that I’ve ever eaten. Not that I’m a huge tater tot person, but when you’ve heard as much about a place’s tater tots and how phenomenal they are, you have to at least try them. And I most certainly did.

Before I go to a new restaurant, I always preview a place’s menu; prior to showing up to Tank House, I had done the same and I had my heart set on their “Tiki Tots” from the Happy Hour menu. Tiki Tots are what sounds like a heavenly combination of Tank House’s tater tots, pulled pork with “Polynesian” sauce and pineapple. I was all sorts of sold on this combination…until I walked in the door. 

On the specials menu that fateful Tuesday afternoon were Bahn Mi Tots. Tater tots, pulled pork, jalapeños, cucumber, and carrot (can you hear the angels again?) all topped off with a house made sriracha.

Now, I’m fairly certain that I’ve discussed my love of Bahn Mi on this blog before, but just in case you’re new here, here’s what you need to know: Bahn Mi is my favorite food. A traditional Vietnamese dish, Bahn Mi is a combination of marinated meat, pickled veggies, jalapeños, and a spicy mayo combo. The contrast of the savory flavor of the meat and the crisp freshness of the pickled veggies is the absolute best thing ever, in my opinion.  

If I see Bahn Mi on a menu, I am going to order it. No matter where I am, if there is Bahn Mi, I’m going to try it.

Thusly, when I walked into Tank House and saw the specials board, I knew exactly what I would be ordering. I was not disappointed in the least. It was everything that I love about a classic Bahn Mi  with the pulled pork and crisp veggies and the added bonus of delicious tater tot goodness.

I paired it with an Attamont Blueberry Mint White beer (at least that's what the menu said) and it was a great pairing. With the spiciness of the Sriracha and jalapeños, I was able to actually taste the berry and herbal notes for once, rather than a mouthful of hops and fermentation. 

The business during happy hour definitely picked up as I was sitting there, so I would imagine that their regular menu offers a pretty good lineup, even if you aren't ordering some extra special tots. Later in the week, I had mentioned my experience and one of my coworkers told me that the Dirty Tots on the menu were a must try. Another coworker went to lunch at Tank House, expressly to try the Bahn Mi Tots, later dubbing them, "Tots of the year". They're really that good. 

All in all, for a wannabe Southern kid like me, Tank House is a great spot to grab a beer and some barbecue and then people watch to my heart's content. I can't wait to head back and try out the rest of the menu; there's some brisket on the menu that I just have to get my hands on. 

Cheers, y'all.