Monday, October 31, 2011

Tailpipes

Tailpipes is fairly new to the downtown dining scene, well, at least within the past couple of years. I love the concept of this restaurant: glamming up something ordinary. Tailpipes' main draw is that it's a cool, modern, gourmet take on burgers and shakes. Yep, burgers. Well, technically, you can get a few different things - like ground turkey, buffalo, chicken breast or a grilled marinated portabello cap.

It's located right on High Street, so park at your own risk. The restaurant has a classic car theme, with their specialty burgers named things like "Camaro," "Barracuda," and "Gran Torino" and, of course, the name of the actual restaurant: Tailpipes. The interior is like a classic diner, complete with old-school photos, a black and white checkered floor and diner lighting. They do have delivery, which is fantastic, too. They even deliver shakes!

You walk up to the front of the restaurant to order. There is a large blackboard behind the counter, but there are also some takeout menus, too. We grabbed a couple takeout menus, sat in a booth (they also have bar dining near the windows) and looked over our options.

This classic '50s diner feel, with its cool car-named sandwiches, is not antiquated with its food selections. The feature their specialty sandwiches, with awesome combinations of ingredients, as well as "classics," which are the typical burgers you can get anywhere. And they also have typical sandwich fare - like chicken sandwiches, appetizers, fries, etc. You can also "build a burger" with the exact ingredients you want. But if you want the true feel of this restaurant, you must try their "specialty sandwiches" and their shakes.



Some of their speciality sandwiches include the "GTO," which is spinach, roasted red peppers, feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce on a whole wheat bun. The "Mustang" includes slice roma tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil with balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta. Their "57 Chevy" consists of sliced ham, fried egg, grilled red onions, chipotle ketchup and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun. See how fun these are?

I opted for the "Charger," which has peanut butter, fried bananas, smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese and grilled red onions. I got all this on a ciabatta bun. Like I said, you can choose your actual meat. I really like their buffalo and ground turkey, but they were out, so I went for a regular burger. All the burgers come with fries, but there's nothing like their sweet potato fries, which are sweet and slightly salty.

I also ordered a "s'mores shake," which is exactly like what you'd think. They have all kinds beyond chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Things like maple bacon shake, peanut butter cup, Mexican chocolate chipotle, fruit pebbles, fluffer nutter - the list goes on. These creative dishes are super fun, and the flavors are mind-blowing.

After we ordered, we took our number to our table and awaited our meal. The inside is really like you're traveling back in time. The decor isn't modern and flashy, but it really tries to encapsulate the old-school feel. Our meals came out in small baskets. A heaping portion of sweet potato fries, with a small cup of sauce, and my burger was situated inside. I first took a bite of my sweet potato fry - still the salty/sweet and crispy fry I was expecting. The sauce that comes with it is their special fry sauce, which is a tangy, delicious spectacle.

I even grabbed my burger and dipped it in the sauce before taking my first bite. I was excited about the combination of all these flavors - banana and peanut butter? On a burger? Delicious. The salty burger, creamy peanut butter, sweet and crispy bananas made for a surprisingly delicious treat. The flavors balanced well between the salty and sweet, but wasn't overwhelming. The bacon and pepperjack cheese were sidetones, and of course the peanut butter is the main selling point here. Maybe it sounds crazy, but you'll never know until you try it. Don't play it safe and stick to a regular burger, try one of their gourmet ones. There is definitely some pre-meditation that goes into planning out these ingredients, and thank goodness, because they work well together.


My shake was an excellent addition. It was creamy and sweet, with a hint of that marshmallow flavor. Where else can you get a s'mores milkshake? Probably nowhere, so get it here. These flavors sound wonky, but they're fantastic together. Just try it. And if you don't want to deal with the parking, get it delivered - it's just as good.

For around $15, for a creative and fun meal with interesting flavors, you can't go wrong.

Grade: A
Tailpipes on Urbanspoon