I want you to think about your imagination, think back to when you were little, what were your dreams, what were your ambitions, what did you want to achieve? Did you dream of going to outer space, becoming a professional athlete, or opening the business of your choice? The fact of the reality is most people do not pursue their dreams. By no means do I mean that within reason anything is not possible. If you want something bad enough, you will strive to obtain it. With this thought in mind, what if you could create something with no restrictions, limitations, and exactly the way you envisioned? Talbot Reiber has done exactly this by turning his dream into a reality. Let us see why Talbot’s Taproom & Terrace in Mercer, PA has everyone in the Tri-State area saying you absolutely must try this place.
The Vision – It is one thing to take your career seriously and do the best job you can do. It is another to take it to the next level and do things exactly how you want to do it. This is Talbot Reiber’s vision, and he wasted no time putting this philosophy into action. His mission is he wants the artwork to pair with the lighting to pair with the food to coincide with the music to bring everything together to create the ultimate dining and social experience. He also wants everything made from scratch and absolutely nothing corporate. All meats, vegetables, sauces, etc. are made to order. Let us now get down to the nitty-gritty and explore this hidden gem.
The Food – The main takeaway regarding the menu is it focuses on creative dishes that are ever changing, while keeping traditional classics if you do not want to stray off the beaten path. As mentioned previously, every dish is made using only the freshest ingredients. Couple fresh ingredients with experienced, imaginative chefs, the result is amazing dishes and eye shockingly, reasonable prices. Let us dive into some of the menu items.
The Appetizers – The most sought out demanded item is the Pepperoni Balls. Locals argue that they are the best is the Keystone State. The chef spent countless hours on the dough recipe and through trial error, came as close as one could come to perfection. They are super flavorful yet surprisingly light. Who does not like a good chicken wing? Their wings are fresh, crispy, and feature a variety of sauces. One of their sauces, the Thai Chili seems to be a big hit. There are other appetizers as well.
The Entrees – The focus at Talbots is steak, seafood, sandwiches, and chef-driven creations. Talbot gives his chefs the go-light to create dishes as they please. To give you an example the “celebrate with fireworks” (captioned) features a beef osso Bucco coupled with a seared pork belly. It also includes a fire-roasted tomato Caprese risotto finished with an au jus reduction sauce. The pork belly when eaten by itself literally melts in your mouth. Take it up a notch and eat a piece of the pork belly with the beef and it gives a new element of depth of flavor with just the right amount of saltiness. Want surf and turf? Try the “refuse to lose” which includes prime sirloin, lobster tail, sea scallops, shrimp skewers, and finished with pineapple salsa, avocado, and Hawaiian barbecue. You will not be bored with this menu.
Other menu items – Talbots also has great sandwiches. You can get a great Rueben, Philly cheesesteak, and Cuban sandwich (captioned). One of the more interesting items on the menu is ramen noodles. What makes ramen noodles different from other wheat-based noodles is the combination of specific alkaline salts. With this concept in mind, Talbots features main dishes with ground pork, pork belly, and shredded chicken. Check out the “Mexicali blues and so fresh and so clean clean” ramen dishes. They are creative, to say the least! If you are more of a traditionalist, try their baby back ribs, chicken marsala, or avocado chicken. Finally, one of my favorite dishes, the ribeye steak. It is seared to create a rich, buttery crust, and finished with a chimichurri sauce. If you are not hungry at this point, that is on you!
The ambience – Upon entry, the artwork immediately catches your attention. Talbot Reiber hand-selected the artwork and did things exactly how he wanted to do it while not worrying about what anyone else was going to say. This is powerful. There is Yeti/Bigfoot on the back deck/terrace which is great for eating delicious food and drinking hand-selected, craft beer and cocktails. There is also a playground out back where children can play while customers wait to be seated. In the works are walking trails and an amphitheater for live entertainment. You really must see this place to see how unique it is.
Talbot’s Taproom & Terrace Final Take:
MERCER COUNTY RESTAURANT REDEFINES DINING EXPERIENCE WITH CREATIVE DISHES WHILE PROVIDING AN AMBIENCE THAT IS SECOND to NON
My final take – What I am so impressed with is how Talbots serves 5-star dishes with unbelievably reasonable prices. I have been a lot of places in my travels and dishes that are $25 here you will pay upwards of $50 at other establishments. Talbot Reiber believes that if you keep your employees happy, they are going to treat the customer right and everyone will be planning their next visit before their meal is finished. Bottom line, Talbot Reiber takes the term entrepreneur to another level. The main reason he does what he does is he talks to a lot of his customers and wants to make them happy. If they are happy and they tell him why they love a particular dish, it is the ultimate sense of fulfillment. That right there, says it all…