So, I finally got a chance to eat a meal at Conshohocken’s newest restaurant, 8 East. I have been following the closure of Toads and subsequent construction of 8 East for the better part of 3 years (has it been that long?!) and I’m relieved it is finally open.
My family, although scattered throughout the Delaware Valley, hit the perfect storm where everyone was in the area on Sunday evening. So, we decided to venture in for dinner. We had a large party of 6 adults and 1 child. Upon entering the restaurant, there was a bar on the left side that fit the same footprint as the former Toads bar. I spent many a night playing Megatouch at that bar. It’s current iteration is certainly an upgrade from Toads and I’m glad to see Megatouch is still present. The bar and downstairs dining area looks fresh and new, with about 75 percent of the stools and tables occupied. This is a good thing for a Sunday night and I was impressed.
Our party was quickly moved upstairs where there is another bar and more tables. This space is huge, with very tall ceilings and a nice sized bar. There were also some standing-only cocktail tables that seemed out of place. I think a pool table or something similar would be a better fit.
Service was fast and friendly. We were quickly seated and drinks were ordered. The menu has some nice items, but nothing that jumped off the page. Some good looking appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Bar food at its finest. This was worry number 1, is there room for a restaurant that simply serves “bar food”? With stalwarts Great American Pub and Flanigan’s Boathouse, 8 East better really bring it to get my beer, burger and fry business.
Most of my family ordered either a salad or a burger. I did as well, ordering the Southwest burger or as I believe it was called. This burger had avocados, jalapenos and spicy sauce, which I asked to be cooked medium.
We also ordered some wings for the table for appetizers. The apps came out pretty quickly and were eaten almost as fast. The wings were large and done well, with a nice sauce that was not too spicy and not too mild.
The entries arrived about 15 minutes later. A bit longer then I would have thought, but not the end of the world. Overall, the burger was just average. I’m a burger fan, I really enjoy them. I’ve had them all over the country and have had both very good ones and very bad ones.
8 East’s burger was average, at best. My bet is it was frozen, mistake number one. If you are going to charge $10 for a burger, it better be fresh and it better be great. For reference, Blackfish is almost right next door to 8 East and makes a great burger on the lunch menu. Price? $10. The salads that I saw my family enjoy looked fresh, well made and plentiful. They seemed to eat them with fervor. The burgers were not so good. I think the complete bill for the 6 of us (my child didn’t eat) was about $120, minus tip. $20 a person with drinks (non-alcoholic) is a bit much for salads and burgers.
Net result, a mediocre meal for a premium price. I might return to 8 East, but not in the immediate future. I’m going to give it some time to work out the kinks and try again. I’ll update this review when I return. The food at The Boathouse is of a higher quality, better taste and a more manageable price than 8 East. I have not eaten a meal at the GAP in many years, so can’t comment on it.