Ah yes, I have experienced this before — A new food joint opens up, becomes the talk of the town, and then I realize I’ve missed the opening and the the place is just bang up, and I ought to get over there in a hurry. So I took a ride to Square One Pub, shared a meal and this is how it was:
The first thing I noticed was that the front lot of Logan Square was packed. I heard that Square One’s neighbor and also recently-opened Wild Ginger 3 has been doing well, so I assumed some of the spaces must be filled with their patrons, and I had to hunt for a spot.
It turns out that plenty of those cars were there for the pub. The place was jammed on the Thursday we arrived at just past 6 p.m. My companion and I were greeted and seated promptly, and a server came over right away to offer up a drink. She explained that happy hour and its half-priced appetizers had just ended (happy hour is 4-6 p.m., with additional specials during sporting events).
Square One Pub is aptly named, as the newly-renovated interior space is well-crafted and decorated with hard wood flooring and high-top tables around its periphery. A nice, full-size bar is the centerpiece, and there are high-end beverage signs and plenty of high-definition TVs placed at convenient intervals around the main room. Seating for a more quiet meal was available in a side room as well. The pub theme continued on the menu.
Deciding quickly that the best way to test a pub menu was to order only traditional pub fare, my companion and I chose Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese carrots and celery ($9) to start, and moved on to a Pub Burger ($9, but $12 after adding cheese and bacon, plus converting fries to onion rings) and pub classic Fish and Chips ($12). The burger and fish came out in short order, but the wings were forgotten. I counted our server working seven tables, while two bartenders were keeping a packed bar at bay. A new restaurant that’s understaffed in not unusual. This growing pain should be addressed quickly. When we were leaving, the side room was full of diners with blank faces and near nothing on the tables, craning their necks to get the staff’s attention.
Our server apologized, and we told her we would eat backwards, and dug in. The large burger was fantastic and cooked just right, but swapping out the fries accompanying one entre for six medium-sized onion rings plus a buck wasn’t a great idea — the french fries were excellent, and I politely shared what I couldn’t have finished anyway. The fish was a near-perfectly breaded and seasoned filet of cod that was silky and delicious. The tartar sauce was on-target and the slaw was fresh and tasty.
Out came the wings, and while they were large and fairly-portioned, numbering about ten altogether, they were just absolutely too hot. My glasses steamed up, and my companion, who has the iron stomach of one younger than I, was left waving his hand in front of his mouth to fan down the flames. Take heed of these meaty, savory, but fiery-sauced wings.
Altogether, the experience was not at all bad, and I will return to Square One and recommend it based on the food, ambiance and friendly staff.
Our meal was $47.92 with tip and one Stella Artois.
Square One Pub is located at 15 Market Place in the front section of Logan Square in New Hope; (215) 862-2730.
(The Mystery Critic likes to keep his identity secret so that he can review anonymously and candidly. MC says he’ll start using his real name sometime soon, but rest assured, this foodie is unaffiliated with and receives no compensation from any restaurant reviewed.)