Fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch dishes enhanced with house-made sauces and seasonings aren’t exactly what one would consider “pub grub,” unless you’re Nicol Potter and Daniel Schreiner, owners of Town Square Pub N Grub.
For almost five years, Potter and Schreiner have teamed to bring pub grub, and the overall pub experience, to a higher level – where freshness and variety rules the menu.
“We try to take each ingredient to another level,” Schreiner said. He describes Town Square Pub N Grub’s menu as upscale bar food. “We make everything ourselves – from our seasoning blends to our sauces to hand breading our chicken strips and fish.”
“Prepared fresh daily” also is the mantra of Town Square’s chefs, who refuse to cut corners or take short cuts. Don’t even think about frozen pre-prepped foods or a microwave – neither can be found in the Town Square kitchen where prep is as important as the cooking.
Here, jumbo chicken tenderloin strips are allowed time to slowly marinate in a buttermilk bath, ensuring that they boast both moistness and flavor. Potatoes are hand sliced for chips that are marinated for 24 hours in salt water to enhance their taste and texture. Even the onion straws take a soak in beer before being hand dredged in seasoned flour and crispy fried.
Top ground beef and rib eye are blended together to create Town Square’s famous half-pound, seasoned burgers, including its signature top seller, the Prairie Burger.
Topped with three cheeses, smoked bacon, grilled onions and a fried egg, the Prairie Burger is not to be missed. Trailing a close second in popularity is the Jammin’ Jalapeno Burger. A bodacious burger layered with pepper cheese, bacon, pickled jalapenos, onion straws, lettuce and tomato – and finished with its own special sauce.
“The Jammin’ Sauce is sweet and savory – a creation one of the cooks came up with. It has about 20 different ingredients in it,” Schreiner said, explaining how sauces have become a trademark at Town Square. Customer favorites also include Korean-stlye barbecue sauce and Asian ketchup along with a host of dipping sauces and dressings.
The restaurant’s smoky cilantro aioli smothers its grilled Chaotic Chicken Philly, an eclectic mix of spicy cheese, peppers, tomato and red onion stacked on a toasted hoagie. Another tasty sauce, made especially for the fried pickle chips, is a zesty mayo-based dunk sauce laced with cumin, chili powder and lemon.
When asked what drives Town Square’s creativity, Schreiner said: “You can’t rest on your laurels. You have to be able to come up with something new. We recently added The Napper.”
The Napper is a Goliath sandwich combining a half pound burger and two hot sauce-tossed chicken tenders with blue cheese crumbles, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. It’s a full meal on a Kaiser bun.
Town Square also offers Blackened Fish and Korean Tacos and a top-notch grilled cheese, sporting six slices of American, Swiss and provolone on sourdough.
“People love our grilled cheese,” said Potter, whose chefs don’t stop with just a single version. “We do all kinds of grilled cheese. We do a buffalo grilled cheese or a Philly and nacho grilled cheese.”
If the menu wasn’t special enough Potter recommends keeping an eye out for specials, such as Monday night’s steak plate, an eight-ounce New York Strip with Fries for $10.95.
“We try to step it up on the weekends,” said Potter, referring to even more off the menu specials. “We’ll do shrimp scampi dinners, salmon and steak dinners. We do all kinds of different things – pot roast, meatloaf and a tequila-and-lime-marinated shrimp burrito.”
At the end of the meal, check out Town Square’s desserts where Crown Candy’s ice cream is the star.
“Crown makes us flavors that you don’t get in their shop, like white chocolate cashew marshmallow, which was to die for,” smiled Potter. She recommends the menu’s Say Hello To Heaven dessert that features Crown’s flavor of the month with a brownie and chocolate chip cookie combo, whipped cream and toffee sprinkles.
Town Square Pub N Grub
7843 Hw.y N • Dardenne Prairie • www.townsquarepubn-grub.com • (636) 625-4800
Hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-midnight, Sunday; Happy hour: 3-6 p.m., Monday-Friday