Happy Hour: Gallo's Tap Room
Tucked away in a strip mall along Bethel Road, Gallo's Tap Room is a bit hard to find if you don't know it's there.
But the truth is, most everyone on the Northwest Side knows about this gem. Owned and operated by two brothers and a cousin, the friendly neighborhood place focuses on quality.
Inside, a large wood-block bar sits below an antler chandelier, and there are plenty of high-top tables and a couple of booths. Outside, there's a small patio with a half-dozen tables.
It's a popular haunt for the gameday crowd, with plenty of flat-screens and a private party room. But even in the dog days of summer, with no (American) football to watch, Gallo's keeps a steady crowd happy with its tremendous selection of craft beers and quite possibly the best bar food in town.
The b ooze:
I'm not sure if I was more impressed by the well-stocked beer coolers - including the likes of Unibroue's La Fin du Monde and Rogue's Double Dead Guy Ale - or the list of Jameson whiskeys. I have a soft spot for this Irish spirit, and I've never seen a place serving five vintages - quite impressive.
Now back to that stellar beer selection: more than two dozen excellent craft bottles, plus your common foreign and domestic varieties. I recommend taking advantage of Wednesday's $3 crafts and imports special.
The draft selection constantly changes, with Bell's Two Hearted and Peroni always available. I tried the Southern Tier Brewing Company's Choklat Stout, and it went perfectly with my wings.
The f ood:
Gallo's doesn't do food specials during happy hour, but that's OK because everything rings up at less than $8. Well-liked sandwiches include the Angus Burger and the Piasan, piled with Genoa salami, capicola and sopressata. Both are great with a smattering of homemade mayo and a side of apple coleslaw.
The wings, though, are the best grub at Gallo's - by far. These crispy yet tender mini-masterpieces are some of the best in town. The Teriyaki Wasabi variety is the standout, but if you're looking for some heat, try the excellent Cockfight wings.
Monday: $12 domestic buckets
Tuesday: $2 domestic pounders
Wednesday: $3 craft and import beers
Thursday: $2 domestic pounders
Friday: $2 16-oz. domestic drafts, $2.50 22-oz. domestic drafts, $3 select shots
Saturday: Gameday and seasonal specials
Sunday: $1.50 16-oz. domestic drafts, $2.50 22-oz. domestic drafts
Gallo's Tap Room
5019 Olentangy River Rd., Northwest Side
11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday
$.75-$1 off everything