Petaluma has a new hot dog and craft beer specialist. Located in the Petaluma Hotel, behind Bank of America, Taps features about 40 draft beers on tap and a menu of specialty hot dogs and other food. I stopped there on Monday night during football on my way back to the City to grab a bite.
Besides the bar, the seating includes some small tables and I noticed a stack of kids’ booster chairs on the side. The alcohol-free side of the beverage list had six root beers.
I went with the “BLT” hot dog, $6.75, featuring a hot dog wrapped with a spiral of bacon then deep-fried. It’s dressed with crunchy lettuce, slices of tomato, and a squiggle of mayonnaise. This dog was cradled in warm and crusty French bread that wrapped up along the sides but was essentially open-face. This was not the “ripper” I’d hoped to find here, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Made with a skinless Kirkland brand all-beef dog, the deep-frying changes the texture of the meat to be coarser and a bit dryer, but not dried out. It also tasted smokier and saltier than a grilled Kirkland dog. The bacon does crisp up nicely with this treatment. I could have used a little more mayo and I did add some mustard from the caddy of squeeze bottles on the table. Garnishes were very fresh. The bread part was the right amount but I felt the crust was too firm and crunchy for the application.
Here’s the photo of the BLT.
Garlic fries were fine. Not great, but fried to a light golden brown with nice crispness. The garlic-parsley mince was flicked randomly onto the surface of the fries in big blobs. Ranch dressing was offered on the side.
Beer-wise, I asked about the casked Lagunitas Ruben and the Jets aged in a bourbon barrel and was offered a free taste. Deep and rich with chocolate malt and coffee flavors, but I needed something more refreshing to eat with a deep-fried dog. My waitress then suggested the house ale (made by Firestone) or the Trumer pilsner and brought free tastes of each. I went with the Trumer.
I did ask whether snappier dogs with casings were available. The Chicago dog and the Italian beef are sourced from Vienna Beef. Also, each of the hot dogs has a different roll selected for the combination. The specialty is chili cheese fries and I was told the chili is housemade.
I’d love to hear what other chowhounds think about this place. Beer is not a big interest of mine, but even I can tell that there’s something special going on here that beer lovers should be excited about.
Taps Restaurant and Tap Room
205 Kentucky Street (beneath the historic Petaluma Hotel)
Petaluma, CA, 94952
Phone: (707) 763-6700
Mon – Wed: 4:00pm- 10:00 pm
Thursday – Sat: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm (kitchen currently opens @ 11:30)
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