Fillmore’s Tavern

Another blog-as-I-eat post!

I had a lovely lazy weekend with some wonderful and dear friends after my graduation last week, and decided to extend my weekend to today. Luckily I’m not scheduled to work today!

I decided to take a walk and wound up here at Fillmore’s Tavern a few miles from my house. Apparently they are known for their buffalo wings, so that was the first thing on my order.

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These wings are crisp, juicy, and delightfully sticky. I’m really enjoying these but I feel like Fillmore’s shouldn’t call these buffalo wings. I came in expecting hot, spicy and slightly vinegary wings and got something completely different. The sauce is sweet, like there’s a hint of teriyaki or barbecue sauce in there. It’s not particularly spicy either which is nice for anyone who doesn’t care for spicy food. As tasty as these morsels are, they are not buffalo wings.

Some lively members of the local electricians union are sitting across from me, and one of them keeps staring at me, and not in an appreciative way. Maybe I have a booger hanging from my nose? I feel a little self-conscious because now that I’m looking around, I see that I am the only female in the restaurant.

My main course: shepherd’s pie!

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I love shepherd’s pie. Purists will argue that true shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb, which this one does. And while I dislike lamb, I’m always game to try it in case I change my mind about this meat. But I didn’t like it. There’s a weird tanginess that doesn’t appeal to me at all, and this tanginess extends to the dish’s cap of mashed potatoes. It tastes as if the meat has gone off but I don’t know if it’s supposed to taste like that. I ate about half of it before pushing it away.

With spinach and mashed potatoes on the side:

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This is pretty good. The spinach is properly wilted with a hint of garlic and I think nutmeg. No sliminess here. The mashed potatoes are slightly stiffer and more buttery than the stuff on the shepherd’s pie with none of that tanginess.

As to service, the busboy did more work and paid more attention to me than my server. In fact, when I was seated, the waitress didn’t come back for ten to fifteen minutes. I was actually contemplating leaving when a different server came to take my drink order, then disappeared for another ten minutes. The busboy brought my food while my server was busy chatting and flirting with the electricians across the way. I had to ask the busboy for my bill, which was when the server came back. I was really put off by this as I’m generally not one who needs a lot of attention when dining out but I do expect a modicum of service. I think my meal took over 90 minutes from the moment I stepped in to the moment I paid my bill. Don’t get me wrong, I love lingering over my meals but I don’t like to be ignored or forced to linger.

The pricing structure at Fillmore’s Tavern is strange. You know how most places price their dishes to the nearest $0.25? Fillmore’s charges $0.83 per wing (I wish I’d thought to ask if I could order just three or four wings instead of the 10-piece appetizer). Why wouldn’t you charge a less math-intensive price like $0.85? I suppose it makes book keeping easier on them once tax is added but I think this is a little dumb. Or maybe I’m dumb for not wanting to do the math.

Overall, Fillmore’s seems like an okay place to go and I’m glad I finally checked them out. I don’t know if I’ll be back given the service issues and the fear that I’ll be driving the porcelain bus over the next couple of days thanks to the funny-tasting shepherd’s pie.

Fillmore’s Tavern
166-02 65th Ave
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365

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