Tap and Burger Ups the Culinary Ante

The four Tap and Burger locations have always been where folks can hang out, drink above-average beer, enjoy a game and eat a more than dependable burger. But since James Beard-nominee and season 15 Top Chef contestant Carrie Baird took over as the Culinary Director for the American Wing of the Culinary Creative Group, Tap has become a real dining destination.

Baird collaborates with Tap’s Executive Chef Chet Henderson, with both chefs shaping the list around seasonality, minor tweaks and the occasional play on a trending dish. Henderson recently introduced The Steakhouse ($24.50), which sees a half-pound wagyu patty covered with all the classic toppings — plentiful Swiss cheese, shrettuce, tomato, crispy onion and a generous dollop of housemade steak sauce. All of Tap’s burgers are robust, but The Steakhouse is the only one with that probably-two-meal heft.

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READ: Top Chef Carrie Baird on Her Departure From Bar Dough

While plenty of formidable large plates remain, Baird has been gradually populating the menu with items built with grazing in mind. The Sausage Party ($23), with a kielbasa and a cheesy jalapeno from Wright Way Sausage Company, is a good place to start. From there, the rotating flatbread ($13) — currently topped with plenty of caramelized onion, chopped bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, chili honey, parsley and garlic aioli — is a must. “Even if it’s not a real pizza, it eats like a pizza,” said Baird. Classics like the cauliflower wings ($12) and the Shroom Luva’s Burger ($15.50) appear to be here to stay.

“Come June, we’ll lean into the hot part of summer. We’re coming into my favorite eating season,” smiled Baird. The chef continues to have a lot up her sleeve, with Fox and The Hen, a breakfast joint, and Red Tops Rendezvous, a pizza place, set to open this summer under her direction.

Tap and Burger has four locations.

Highland Tap and Burger is located at 2219 West 32nd Ave., Denver. It is open Monday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. – 12 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Sloan’s Lake Tap and Burger is located at 1565 North Raleigh St. #100, Denver. It is open Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Tap and Burger Belleview Station is located at 4910 South Newport St., Denver. It is open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Tap and Burger Westminster is located at 8810 Westminster Blvd., Westminster. It is open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

All photography courtesy of Colleen O’Toole.

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