The American Pub fills a woefully underrepresented niche as a spot for late-night carb-loading. In addition to its well-stocked bar, the pub intends to be known for its pizza, available by the pan until 2 a.m. nightly, and by the slice from the walk-up window until 4 a.m. on weekends. Situated a few blocks back from West 7th at the corner of Bledsoe and Foch Streets, the joint is well-positioned to attract anyone not quite ready to call it a night.
[box_info]The American Pub, 2800 Bledsoe St. Ste 200, FW. 817-439-9443. 11am-2am daily. Walk-up window open until 4am Thu-Sun. All major credit cards accepted.[/box_info]
For the diurnal crowd, the pub serves lunch on a pleasant indoor/outdoor patio with plenty of shade. Ceiling fans keep a brisk breeze flowing, and if you’re lucky, the numerous outdoor television sets will be turned off.
My guests and I came for lunch on a recent weekday at noon to find the place practically deserted. A single person played host, server, and barkeep, but she was as friendly and attentive as her diverse duties allowed.
It was more than a little disappointing to find the pub’s interior dominated by the bar. There’s no food better suited to the drama of an open kitchen than pizza, and hiding the ovens in the back was a missed opportunity.
My guests and I found that a single house salad, a cheerful mix of fresh greens dressed with vinaigrette, was plenty to share. We were glad to have something to tide us over while we waited for our lunch. Our pizzas took a little more than 30 minutes to arrive, and that’s asking a lot from anyone trying to get back to the office in an hour. A busier kitchen can often get food out faster, and one hopes that will be the case at The American Pub as its luncheon business increases.
The pizza, billed as New York style, was more bready than any pizza I’ve had in New York, but the pie had a crackery edge and delicate crumb that spoke to a good, hot oven.
The Buffalo chicken pizza was everything you love (or hate) about Buffalo chicken wings, minus the mess. Tender chunks of breaded chicken breast were generously soaked in a piquant pepper sauce, tossed with sliced jalapeños, and finished with the clever addition of fresh celery leaves. A bit of bleu cheese would have sealed the deal, but we made do with a side of ranch dressing for dipping.
I tend to pass on barbecue pizza, as a rule, but I’m glad I tried the pub’s Pulled Pork Heaven. The apple-braised pork shoulder was as good as any I’ve had, tender without being stewed in sauce. It reminded me of perfect carnitas. The sweetness of red onions set against the twang of the sauce made an unexpectedly pleasant combination.
The basil mascarpone pesto was the star of the Green Peace pie, a dish that’s as assertive as its namesake and ready to cause as much trouble, particularly when you’re trying to split six pieces four ways. With olives, artichoke hearts, and roasted peppers, there was nothing subtle about this pizza. Crisp, roasted Brussels sprout leaves crowned the top like a wreath.
The New York White was the standout favorite with my crew, with a creamy house-made ricotta cheese set against crushed red pepper and garlic. It’s too bad there weren’t any leftovers, because this was the kind of pie you’d love to have for breakfast the next day.
I can’t tell you how the late-night concept is going to work out; my 4 a.m. nights are a thing of the past. But if the kitchen can goose the serve time on its pies, the pub is working with a quality product that should have broad appeal.
[box_info]The American Pub
House salad $7
10” Buffalo chicken pizza $13
10” Greenpeace pizza $12
10” New York white pizza $11
10” Pulled pork pizza $13[/box_info]