Outpost: Can I Get a Yee Haw?

Can I Get a Yee Haw?

As a bar, Outpost is a solid choice. It's western-style but doesn't fall into being themey or kitschy. But they defend their western theme furiously. A sign on the jukebox alerts people that playing any song not in the list of approved genres (country and western) is done at one's own peril. Someone tried to be ironic and selected Justin Bieber; that lasted 20 seconds, tops. We never saw him again.

It's got a beer selection that covers all the bases, and a small wine list that must be some kind of joke. Who goes to a western bar to drink wine? You go to drink beer from a mason jar or a glass boot or the terrifyingly large 'beer tower' which is equivalent to about seven bottles. Daily drink specials abound, but even without the specials, prices are excellent for Hollywood.

Don't go if you want to have any kind of conversation: when it's crowded, Outpost is very loud. When it's not crowded, they still crank the stereo up to a point where you're better off just picking any of the dozen plus tv screens and cheering along to whatever game you decide to watch. It's an excellent sports bar for people who don't want to be the sort of people who go to sports bars.

Outpost also serves food, some of which is good in its own right. The pulled pork fries were tangy, juicy and came with enough sauce to flavor both the pork and the excellently crisp fries below. The corn fritters tasted mostly like fried dough, sweetened by the corn and with just a kick of spice from the teensy bit of sauce that came with. (a sauce I'd love to see more of, it was just the acidity and spice that would've cut right through that initial fried taste) Also of note is the house burger. I wasn't sure that a patty that thin could be juicy, but the Outpost burger stood up to that test quite well.

Some of the menu options aren't quite as good. Outpost also sells turkey chili fries, which arrive in an unappetizing mess. Personally, I view turkey chili as a sort of blasphemy, but the large chunks of turkey came out as a surprisingly good fit for the chili, but on the whole they were dry and stringy. The chili itself had a wonderful smoky chipotle flavor, but the consistency was closer to what happens when you leave soup out overnight.

The chicken club sandwich was cooked to perfection but lacked seasoning to really make it stand out. I checked; they didn't even add salt or pepper to the chicken. The crispy bacon added a little flavor, but if your bite was baconless, you could tell something was missing to make it a great sandwich.

But by and large the worst dish of all was the loaded texas toast grilled cheese. You have to travel through what feels like a nautical mile of dry, salty toasted bread to get to the filling within. A filling that was heavy on tomato, not on cheese. I don't think I ate more than three bites, because in a choice between eating that sandwich and getting a papercut, I'd pick the papercut. At least with a papercut, it's over quickly and you can say that it “wasn't that bad”

Outpost is loud, it's fun, and the drink specials border on the ridiculous. But this is an establishment where you can completely discount all of those perks and still find good reasons to attend in a handful of dishes on the menu, especially that pulled pork. Come with friends, come to drink and come hungry – just leave your Bieber fever at home.

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