Named after tap handles in beer bars, Black Tap, the first California branch for the brand soft-opened at the end of April in Downtown Disney. While you can get boozy with draft options and sangria on tap, Black Tap actually has a handful of family-friendly reasons to go check it out. Let us count the ways.
Say It With Us: Churro Choco Taco CrazyShake
Oh, yeah. Our picture says it all. The first major shake update in two years, this coincidentally launched worldwide a few days before Cinco de Mayo. Its rundown of ingredients is as follows: Vanilla frosted rim adorned with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch shake, two churros, a Choco Taco, whipped cream, dulce de leche, and finally more CTC. If you don’t make a mess, you’re doing it wrong. Pro tip: Expect dessert to arrive at your table before anything else.
Thank You, Next: The Greg Norman
Up until our visit, the only thing we knew about Mr. Norman was that he was a pro golfer. Well, he’s also into beef: signature, Australian Wagyu beef. It’s this premium meat that’s helped Black Tap crush the NYC Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash three years in a row. A griddled, half-pound patty is the base for blue cheese and arugula on a fluffy potato bun. Tomato and lettuce are on the side; fries and pickle are included with all burgers. Per owner Chris Barish, “The blue cheese balances out the richness of the Wagyu beef to create this truly delectable burger. It’s one of our best sellers.” There’s one more component we left out, but that’s because it deserves its own paragraph.
Get Your Buttermilk-Dill On
Found alongside two salads, their signature wings, fried pickles and Greg Norman is the condiment we didn’t know we needed. Made in-house, the buttermilk-dill is a creamy, herbaceous good time in a ramekin. We even dunked our fries in some. Speaking of foods we dip, their fried Brussels are fantastic if you’re more of a flaky sprout fan. Servers often refer to this sauce as “crack”, due to its addictive nature. We think they’re on to something.
Pump Up the Jam
Throwing it back to the 80s and 90s, music is a deliberate component at Black Tap. All their to-go boxes and bags are decked out with a boombox motif. The funky, retro feel of the murals are courtesy of local artist Jason Woodside. The vibe all around is so nostalgic, don’t be surprised if you breakout in a karaoke session at your table. We did.
You’ve Been (Quick) Served
Anaheim is unique to the brand for one special attribute that makes sense at Downtown Disney. Other branches conduct a full-service dining experience; BT Anaheim is presented as a quick service restaurant (plus). This means folks don’t worry about waiting for the check. After you order and pay up front, the pager acts as a GPS for your table location in the 200-seat dining space and patio. Roaming servers are available to answer questions and bring waters to your table. Only need a shake to-go? Not a problem! A to-go window is next to the patio entrance. The line outside moves at a reasonable pace, meaning you can get in, get out and get on with your visit.
When we inquired with Barish about further California expansion, he remarked, “Right now our focus is on Black Tap Anaheim– it’s been so exciting to open, and lines have been out the door every day since we opened. We do hope to open future locations in California, so stay tuned!” We’re simply glad there’s another solid option downtown.
Black Tap is located at 1540 S. Disneyland Dr., Ste. 101, (657) 276-2498; www.blacktapnyc.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.