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Reese's 1900: ‘Cheers’ comfort, top fare

Bar Atmosphere With Classy Dining Choices

The jovial greeting one receives after walking through the door would hearken one back to a certain popular NBC sitcom, based on a tavern. 

Reeses' 1900 wait staff happily greets each patron coming through the heavy, dark green door.   A big screen TV at the far wall of the bar always has the game.  University of Notre Dame football paraphernalia dominate its dark paneled walls, including a poster signed by famous alumnus Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger.   Unlike the legend of Rudy's improbable dream to play for Notre Dame, finding a great meal there is quite easy—albeit as unexpected.

The complimentary coleslaw—while tasty is too soggy-and pickle platter suggest modest meals.  Each table is small but has a quaint, old-fashioned lamp.  One may conjure up images of "Greasy Spoon" fare from an old-time bar. 

On a given day, however, any of a small handful of hearty soup selections, which change daily, quickly lay waste to those thoughts.   Order either a cup ($3.95) or crock ($4.95) of the split pea soup, which is thick and boasts tasty bits of ham. 

Patrons of tavern fare would be pleasantly surprised with the Sheppard's Pie ($9.50).  The mashed potato top serves as the perfect beginning to the ground beef and vegetables lying below—without a trace of oil from the meat to be found. 

Arguably the signature dish, the hamburger ($8.95) promises to satisfy even the ardent critic.  Other than bacon, the menu only boasts a choice of 4 cheeses—American, bleu, cheddar, and Swiss—as toppings.  However, the flavor of each hand-crafted patty more than compensates for limited garnishment choice.  The hand-formed patty, supremely juicy, is delivered on a virtually bone dry plate.   Flanking the burger on the plate, the crisp fries serve as the perfect complement, bereft of grease.   Be sure to save a flat pickle for a befitting crown on the patty. 

The Reuben ($13.95), served open faced on rye bread, may rival the hamburgers.  It arrives at the table with lean corn beef piled high, topped with melted Swiss cheese and sauerkraut.  Russian dressing is served on the side.

Dinner service experienced a minor hiccup.  An order of baked clams ($9.50) from the Daily Specials menu failed to arrive with the soup; often thought of as a faux pas, appetizers should not be served along with the main course.  After this author inquired about his wayward appetizer to the waiter without suggestion of any remedy, the owner came over to offer a fresh batch to be made at no charge.   

A surprising pick to finish the meal, rice pudding is the only dessert made fresh on the premises.  It can be served soupy and "sticky sweet," but this version is light and delicious. 

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