Divas Tapped Out with Mediocrity But Sometimes Average is Outstanding

**Lisa Kampeter photo** revisedThe Dining Divas

By Lisa Kampeter

It’s not uncommon for the Dining Divas to have supper together and not be wowed by the restaurant. Quite often, the Wise Choice Divas find dishes they love while the Too-Afraid-to-Try-Outside-the-Box Divas aren’t impressed with what they picked. It’s hit or miss. This month’s restaurant of choice may have been one of those. One that a few of us are excited to return to, a few of us that will stop in if it’s convenient, and a few of us that will keep on driving by. But for this Diva, it’s a restaurant I will never forget.

We met up at The Tap restaurant on Elm Street, just off Highway 370, in St. Charles. A couple Divas arrived early to be able to get us a large enough table. This is another one of those restaurants that don’t take reservations. I’ll say it again. Why not allow reservations? Many times, we choose not to go to a place for that reason solely.

This place is one of those places with beer tappers at the tables. From the looks of some participating tables, it’s a fun way to enjoy happy hour and beyond. We were able to take advantage of happy hour specials, and we were not sitting in the bar. This rarely happens to us. We were amazed. A few discounted cocktails are always a good thing.

Our waitress was attentive, patient, and friendly. She thoroughly shared with all of us specialty items from the menu and off. We ordered one of the house specialties, the Toasted Ravioli, and they were huge. Huge like Lombardo’s who has the best toasted ravs around, and good, but not as good as Lombardo’s.   We could have skipped the Nachos. The chips were soggy, and the cheese was thick and gummy.

When it was time to order our dinners, this is where the true disappointment set in. The Tap has a huge smoker out front. They claim it’s one of the largest, and “they know how to use it.” Unfortunately, they should have used it a little longer this day. The smoked barbecue brisket special that the waitress did a fabulous job of selling to us was all gone…at 6:30 in the evening. How does that happen? Isn’t dinnertime typically between 5:30 and 8?     Maybe they should have considered a different dinner special rather than one that would run out so early.

So many Divas were so excited to try the special that it wasn’t going to matter what they ordered instead. Regardless, their food would just be average.   Just okay.

The Chicken Modiga with broccoli, mushrooms, and provolone in a white wine lemon sauce was served over garlic mashed potatoes, and the plate was practically licked clean. The Crunchy Buffalo Chicken sandwich in a wing sauce and topped with cheddar and bacon hit the spot.

If you’re a little adventurous, try the Hawaiian Chicken sandwich that’s served with a spicy pineapple sauce, a slice of pineapple, and bacon jam. For the “most for your money” meal, get the Tap Mega B.L.T. sandwich. It’s made with regular bacon and candied bacon and topped with bacon jam, tabasco aioli, and, of course, lettuce and tomato. It’s so huge the Thrifty Diva was able to make two more meals out of it, and she loved it!

The Cobb Salad was just average, but the house dressing was amazing. It’s a white balsamic vinaigrette. The French Dip sandwich was average too as well as the Crispy Fried Chicken Salad. Sometimes average is okay, but many times it’s a disappointment, especially when you were excited for the special of the day.

This Diva night was far from average for me. It was to be another momentous evening. My life was changing again. After dinner, a few of us were heading to my house to shave my head. Although many of the Divas couldn’t believe I was shaving off my hair when I still had so much, they couldn’t tell just how thin it had gotten. And losing your hair is life-changing.

But that’s not why I’m going to remember the Divas at The Tap. The Mom Diva shared a story with us. The Daughter Diva had been in a severe car accident many years ago. She was in a coma, and they feared she’d not recover. A friend brought the Mom Diva water of Lourdes, the place in France where the future St. Bernadette had been visited by the Virgin Mary several times. While in the hospital, the Mom Diva prayed over her very injured daughter and blessed her with the water. I’m happy to say that today her daughter is a beautiful, thriving, young woman we’re proud to have as a Dining Diva.

This night, on the perfect bench outside of The Tap, the Dining Divas prayed over me and blessed me with water from Lourdes. It was a very powerful and comforting moment. And definitely, better than average. Outstanding.

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