Each Monday, KPSU hosts Trivia Night at First National Taphouse—a relatively recent addition to the campus bar scene—hosted by the big homie Jake Sauvageau.
For those who like trivia, the night will never disappoint. But I’m not here to write about trivia. I’m here to write about food and chew bubblegum, and chewing bubblegum doesn’t easily translate into a column.
First National Taphouse is an interesting entity. Let’s be honest: It’s the closest thing to a free-standing airport bar that I’ve ever seen.
It’s interesting that an on-campus joint would pander to a yuppie-type crowd, but I guess between the profs, administrators (particularly given their recent pay raises) and trust-fund kids, there’s enough of a clientele to support a joint that serves potted crab as an appetizer.
Speaking of appetizers, there’s really no question that First National Taphouse has one of the best pre-course meals in the city. The colcannon skins are basically a gourmet version of traditional pub potato skins, with bacon jam and mascarpone taking the place of bacon bits and that weird, rubbery, yellow cheese that cheap restaurants use.
An elegant and simple appetizer available at the Taphouse is a simple grilled artichoke served with an excellent aioli (the fries come with that sauce, too). There’s also the aforementioned potted crab, which takes me back to my days on the East Coast. Okay, so I’ve never lived on the East Coast, but whatever.
The star of the appetizer menu by far, though, is the chicken wing confit. We’ve all had bad chicken wings. The gelatinous variety that places like Dominos and Pizza Hut serve aren’t fit for consumption, but they might do the trick if you’ve got a hankering for something that in no way resembles chicken, a wing or actual, edible food.
These wings are incredible, though. The carrot habanero glaze has that perfect spicy and not-too-sweet quality. Being completely honest, though, the idea that because they’re layered together like a house made of Lincoln Logs makes them a confit, as opposed to just another plate of wings, is pretty laughable.
They’re the best appetizer on campus, so head to KPSU Trivia Night on Monday, grab yourself an affordable bottle of beer from their small yet impressive bottle collection, and dig in.
Just know that the entire time you’ll feel like a pilot or stewardess could sit next to you at any moment. Is that a bad thing, though?