Tatohead's Public House in Merion Village is the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the Tatohead's food truck. The menu is expanded but it still centers around potatoes and things mostly built on spuds.
The restaurant is located in the space that formerly housed Hal & Al's, a popular South Side vegan dive bar. A great deal of discussion was generated about how much of the new Tatohead's kitchen would continue to produce vegan items. While the menu is no longer exclusively vegan, there are vegan and vegetarian choices on the menu, and the staff accommodates most dietary restrictions.
The bar still focuses on craft beer. There are a few less beer taps than before, and a limited selection of bottles. Buckeye State breweries are well represented.
Some items have transitioned from Hal & Al's to the Tatohead's Public House menu. The vegan sauerkraut balls were on both menus, and the fried guacamole calls back to the fried avocados from the Hal's menu.
The standout appetizer, however, were the fried cheese curds. Made with lightly breaded Laurel Valley Creamery cheese curds served with horseradish ranch, these can be eaten like popcorn - very fatty popcorn. Eat a few order and get your daily allowance of cholesterol in one sitting.
The food truck choices of fries or tots in your choice of seasoning and sauce is available in a modified form in the restaurant. In addition, Sophie's pierogi can be piled with a variety of toppings. Vegetarian options include Mediterranean, with hummus, tzatziki, Sriracha, cilantro and tomato, and chili cheese, which can be made vegan with Daiya cheese.
There is also a veggie and vegan burger, served with fries. It can be customized with brioche or pretzel buns and choice of cheese, including vegan cheese.
The menu seems to undergo small changes at an irregular basis. It is still a work in progress.
The interior transition has been slow and steady. Fast food booths were tight and uncomfortable, with the bar high-tops and seats being far more agreeable. There are still a few couches. The latest decor updates included rock music themes with a potato references.
Prices are reasonable. There is real money saving potential that could be amplified by happy hour drinks.