Angels Trumpet Ale House Comes In With a Toot

Categories: First Taste

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Laura Hahnefeld
Get This: Seasonal "Pop Tart"
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

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Restaurant: Angels Trumpet Ale House
Location: 810 North Second Street
Open: Less than a week
Eats: Beer and bar bites
Price: Between $11 and $30 per person

See also: Here's the Menu for Angels Trumpet Ale House Opening Soon in Downtown Phoenix (Think Crispy Spam Sliders and Seasonal "Pop Tarts")

Downtown got itself a brand new suds-focused bar and restaurant last week.

Amen.

Located just south of Roosevelt and across the street from FilmBar, Angels Trumpet Ale House, owned by ex-real estate and property managers Mat and Sharry Englehorn, opened last week with 31 frequently rotated craft brews on tap, a 3,000-square-foot patio, and eats from chef Xane Brody.

Highly anticipated by hops-heads and the downtown set alike, the bar and restaurant certainly has the potential to be what its fans desire, but due to some initial hitches -- mainly having to do with the food -- Angels Trumpet Ale House (ATAH) is more toot than blare.

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The 810 Sandwich with housemade slaw
Chef Brody's lunch and dinner menu features snacks, flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches. The dishes are an eclectic lot, with some descriptions that seem unnecessarily contrived or confusing for those who simply want a snack with their brew like avocado mash (guacamole), "fresh tortilla stuffed with..." (just call it a burrito), and buns (burgers/sandwiches). Even the specials board had a new moniker: Seasonal Callouts.

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Spud tacos
For starters, three spud tacos ($7.50) are twice the surprise in that they arrive larger than what you might think and are more or less empanadas. Unfortunately, they are filled with more chihuahua cheese than "spud" (sweet potato mash) and roasted corn. And given their greasiness, probably best enjoyed after several beers.

Preparation problems got in the way of The 810 Sandwich ($8.50), made with smoked turkey, peppery bacon, guacamole, pickled red onions, and adobo sauce. Over-toasted bread made for a too-dry housing for ingredients, overcooked bacon didn't help, and too much smokey adobo sauce effectively demolished any other flavors that might be had -- including the pickled red onions, which, like my side of pickled jalapeños, were barely there.

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The Chet
On the Southwestern side, a burrito called The Chet ($8.50), met a similar fate as The 810. Although I loved its spicy chorizo, overcooked fries, too little roasted corn and grilled chile peppers, and an overload of chihuahua cheese and adobo sauce put this classic snack into sub-par territory in a hurry. And it was served lukewarm and the distinct look of something sitting too long under a heat lamp.

Coming through in a big way at the end were ATAH's seasonal "Pop Tarts" ($4), two warm and wonderfully flaky pastries filled with the day's flavor (a lovely mix of strawberry and rhubarb) and topped with a delectably sweet vanilla glaze.

The interior of ATAH has a lot going for it: a sprawling patio, a long bar covered in white tile, and blocky wood tables and chairs surrounded by pleasing green walls and lots of windows. The large single room, concrete floors, and '80s soundtrack, however, make it very loud. On my visit, nearly everyone avoided the center of the restaurant, where tables and chairs were placed very close together, preferring instead to take a seat at the bar or at one of the bistro-type tables by a window.

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Thankfully, the craft beer selection at ATAH is, for now, the best reason to stop by. A large chalkboard over the bar spells out a nice collection of rotating brews from national and local favorites to popular ales from around the globe available as single orders or as try-it flights.

There's still some work to do if Angels Trumpet Ale House wants to become the hangout for craft beers and bar food that downtown residents so desperately want. And as with any new instrument, sometimes the first few notes can come out sour, but with some practice, folks will be humming along to Angels Trumpet in no time.


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Location Info

Angels Trumpet Ale House

810 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music


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17 comments
billrouse
billrouse

What can I say?  Angels Trumpet is shaping up to be THE best craft beer venue in Phoenix!  Here's an idea for the acoustics "problem": have an egg carton party where everyone brings egg cartons (a very effective noise absorber) and glues them to the walls and ceiling!

JTimmons
JTimmons

I think worrying about how the name their menu items is sort of petty and sounds like someone just looking for something not to like. 

 

No problem with the concept of a "First Look" as long as it is clear, and as long as a commitment is made to write a full review within the first couple of months after the grand opening.  Otherwise, you are just screwing over people who put two years of their life into building and opening a restaurant by trashing them during a soft opening period and not giving them a chance to show what they can do after the opening kinks are worked out.  That would make the New Times no better than the Yelpers who think they are some sort of professional critics.

thatnikid
thatnikid

First, this write-up wasn't all that negative. Laura was blunt about not really liking the food, but she also pointed out Angels Trumpet's strengths (awesome beer selection, great setting and patio). I went there on Saturday, and aside from it being too loud at points (the conversations and '80s music just ricochet off the brick walls), I loved it. Try one of the flat breads next time. We had a super-tasty meat melange (salami, pepperoni, sausage, roasted tomato). The Nutty Brewnette beer was one of the best nut browns I've ever had, and I loved that the local brewer just happened to be sitting at the bar that day.

Chris Mead
Chris Mead

This place was worth every gallon of gas it took for me to get there from north Phoenix!! As a Hop-Head, I was delighted by the one-rate beer sampler!! The Grilled Cheese sandwich was YUMM-Mazing!!! The only thing that struck me as odd was the one dude behind the bar that looked about as out of place there as a bottle of Keystone!! From 45 minutes away, these guys can still count me among their new "regulars"!!

meslinger6
meslinger6

I enjoyed the Ale House!  It was an opening, I thought they were organized and friendly!

kerrymelcher
kerrymelcher

Headed there tonight - thanks for the first taste review-- very excited!!!

DeathToJack
DeathToJack

I don't think an article should ever be written about a restaurant before they have even had their Grand Opening. Whether it is on yelp, on a food blog or in a paper. For those food writers out there that have never worked in a restaurant at opening this time during a SOFT OPENING is the time to figure out what menu items work, what doesn't, flesh out the good and the bad and generally test everything. By placing an article like this on the net it potentially can scar a restaurant that is not ready. I understand the need in this day and age to be first and be controversial but what ever happened to the idea that discretion is the better part of valor. Give a restaurant at least a week or two before you give it a bad, or for that matter a good, review!

Adrianne LeMieux
Adrianne LeMieux

Oh and I also like how she has to pick apart the way the food is described and named and listed on the menu. When you spend you life savings, time and heart to open YOUR OWN PLACE you can name a sandwich and list a salad any freakin way you want too. This article is such BS in some many ways. Guess I'll never be taking Chow Bella's advice on a place again. Totally wrong on this one.

Vincenz Vincent
Vincenz Vincent

This place is probably the best thing Phoenix has seen in a long time....Chow Bella your showing your ignorance....

Chow Bella
Chow Bella

"First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours)."

Adrianne LeMieux
Adrianne LeMieux

I love how NT can come into a place that just opened, order 3 things and then write a "food" article bashing a place like they've tried the entire menu. Craft beer people already love the place, the foods freaking awesome and the place maybe loud but that can be fixed. You can never tell how "loud" a place will be until its jammed with people. That's a good sign if you ask me. People who read this "article" should try it out for themselves...maybe have an open mind, try more than 3 things before bashing an entire menu and establishment. Good luck Angels Trumpet. I plan to spend a lot of time there.

juju
juju

Seems a little ridiculous to throw up a review like this only a few days after the place opened...and that goes double for the clowns on Yelp that just seem to want to rip a place without considering they're facing their very first weekend.  As for my experience: the beer selection is great, the food was very good (and there are plenty of menu items I can't wait to go back and try), and the service was surprisingly good considering how brand spanking new the place was

vflat
vflat

I think the place is awesome....and I think the new times sucks.....

manicsocratic
manicsocratic

I think it's important to note that this is all classified under "Soft Opening". ATAH even said on their FaceBook that they wouldn't be considered ready for Grand Opening status until the middle of September. We're all lab rats for them at at the moment. I can't wait to go back and see if they put some polish on what's shaping up to be an excellent place. I've been here twice already and I can't wait to go back.

laura.hahnefeld
laura.hahnefeld

 @juju Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As a reminder, First Taste, as the column's name implies, is not a full-blown review, but a peek inside restaurants that have just opened -- and we do one nearly every week.

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