SIDEBAR Spring 2017 - 24


Restaurant Review
By Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq.


y current practice finds me in Conshohocken regularly
during work-day hours. With a full slate of family
commitments at night and on the weekends at the other end
of Route 422, I don't find myself considering a trek back to the
Borough for evening entertainment. I was glad when SIDEBAR
co-Chair Gary Friedlander suggested that we meet at Jasper's
Backyard one recent chilly Thursday night for a restaurant review.
After grabbing the last parking spot on the block, I found
the reception area to be small, and separated from the restaurant
and downstairs bar by dark curtains, adding some level of
anticipation to view what really lies behind. Once the curtains
were pulled, I was happy to see that, despite its name, there was
plenty of warm and inviting space to sit
indoors at Jasper's on this particularly
cold evening. Two levels of freshlyremodeled restaurant space framed
with rich barnwood walls surrounding
a glowing fireplace drew me in. Large
iron chandeliers hang overhead, and
there are two indoor bars serving
patrons waiting for a table or eager to
try the carefully-considered selection of
local and micro beers and spirits. The
cocktail menu also included a number
of inspired and original concoctions.
We were seated upstairs, giving
us a view of the entire space and a
painted wall telling the story of the Jasper name and its role in
local lore. As a fan of local history, looking around the restaurant
it is clear the owners are proud of the Borough and their place in
it. A review of the menu shows a similar thoughtfulness, mixing
a number of tried and true favorites with fresh and creative
ingredient twists. Don't let the wings and burgers throw you - this
is not your average bar food place.
To start, I did opt for a plate of chicken wings, mostly because I
arrived earlier than Gary and it was clear from everyone at the bar


that the wings had to be tried. The Backyard Wings ($12) were
zesty and intoxicating, cooked with paprika and a sharp savory
blue cheese finish baked into the sauce. The happy hour crowd
was right - they were memorable and delicious. Gary picked the
Black'n Blue Tuna to start ($14). Served rare and smoky-Cajun
encrusted, the tuna stood out both on its own and with the
sweet-spicy yellow mustard painting the balance of the plate.
For dinner, and sticking with the tavern theme, Gary ordered
Jasper's East Side Burger ($13). That was good, because Gary
pointed it out on our walk upstairs, and if he didn't try it, I
would have. With fire-roasted chile, homemade guacamole,
grilled red onion and Monterey Jack cheese, Gary described the
burger as delicious with its multiple constituent parts blended
perfectly. It must have been good because the conversation came
to a standstill as he ate it. Of course, no burger
in this neighborhood is complete without a
fresh Conshohocken roll.
I chose the pulled brisket tacos ($14). Served
3 on soft corn tortillas, the best surprise was the
flavor combination of beef, jicama and pickled
golden beets, which yielded a rich apple flavor
that complemented the pulled brisket. No salsa
in these tacos - balsamic soy vinaigrette and
goat cheese crumbles took its place with style.
We also split an order of the recently-popular
oven-roasted brussel sprouts ($8), baked in
olive oil, Nueske's bacon from Wisconsin and
onions, which were delicious. Other notable
menu items included the seared tuna & noodle
entrée ($26), grilled shrimp BLT ($13), and the
Conshy crab fries with lump crab and Mornay sauce ($16). Any
protein on the menu can be substituted with tofu, and entrees are
only available after 5 pm.
In addition to dining inside, the star of Jasper's Backyard is
its outdoor patio under the lights. As winter turns to spring, ask
to sit outside, but only until 11 pm. Check live music and beer
event schedules, and be sure to make a reservation. Free valet
parking is also available. This is a spot in our County which I'll be
glad to head out of my way to visit again. I hope you will, too.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Spring 2017

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