On my laptop is a list of more than 500 Berks County restaurants. Every week, it’s my responsibility to look through the list and find a new place to try and review for the blog.
Except this week.
This week, I left it to Julie to find us a place on-the-fly as we drove back from a trip to the Philly suburbs.
After searching review sites for a few minutes, she suggested the Liberty Taproom. It was an interesting choice. Two non-beer drinkers heading to the Mount Penn area to try the multi-time Best in Berks winner for best beer selection.
Neither of us had ever seen the Liberty Taproom before, inside or out. So we were in the dark (literally, which is why I couldn’t get a picture of the building’s exterior) until we stepped inside.
Despite it being, first and foremost, a bar, we were surprised by the number of families. It was definitely a family friendly place, even on a busy Saturday evening.
It was also loud. With only a partial wall separating the bar from the “dining room,” voices carried and the noise level was high. Add to it the live music that started at 6 and conversations got louder. It wasn’t overbearing, but it was noticeable.
The menu is all pub food, with a beer and drink menu that equaled the size of the food menu. Among the options were pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, wings and oversized pretzels.
We started with an order of wings, tossed in Liberty’s Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce.
I discovered Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce years ago with a homemade recipe. I love the extra sweetness (and the addition of Dr. Pepper’s 23 flavors). It worked especially well with Liberty’s meaty, breaded wings.
These were definitely among the best in Berks.
In the car on our way to dinner, Julie and I were talking about the best burgers that we’ve had around the county, including those at the nearby Frank and Diannah’s Arbor Inn.
There was no doubt I was going to get a burger. And once I saw the duck confit burger, there was no doubt which one it would be.
Liberty’s duck confit burger features a patty cooked in duck fat, topped with duck sausage, smoked gouda, “haystack” onions, lettuce and tomato.
It was quite a burger.
First, the burger itself was cooked to a perfect medium-well, just the slightest remnant of pink in the center.
Then there was the duck sausage. I was not expecting that. It was richer than pork sausage, with a much brighter flavor. The gouda added a sweetness, especially in bites that didn’t include the sausage (which were few).
Haystack onions are Liberty’s take on fried onion strings. Loaded high atop the burger, the onions were ever present, just the way I like them on my burgers.
On the side, I had a cup of fries. With such a heavy burger, I didn’t mind the smaller portion of fries. They were good, the thick-cut type though nothing outstanding.
Feeling the need for something slightly lighter, Julie built her own sandwich with grilled chicken as the base.
She topped it with gouda, lettuce, tomato, haystack onions and mayo.
The chicken breast was hefty, definitely just as robust as my half-pound burger. Not having it on mine, the mayo really stood out on her sandwich.
Along with her sandwich, Julie splurged on a side of sweet potato fries (with caramel dipping sauce). I thought they were much better than the regular fries, but that may have been the caramel talking.
That was all we could handle for the night, leaving with a bill of $40 for a very satisfying meal.
Maybe I should let Julie pick the next restaurant, too.
The Liberty Taproom
237 N. Prospect St
Reading, PA 19606