One surprising place to grab some hot food: Wiley’s

Largely known as a weekend hotspot for dancing and debauchery, Wiley’s Tavern is not the first (second or third) place that comes to mind for dinning. But it does have a softer, more “age-appropriate” side as well.

I’m reminded of that from time to time when I end up there for happy hour. The after work crowd is significantly different than the after 9 p.m. crowd, and it actually feels a different place entirely.

A large menu of bar food staples hides a few fun twists worth checking out. The first is the WhiskeyTips: marinated steak with a great bourbon flavor, sliced medium thick and cooked a spot-on medium-rare. Why would you order chislic? Definitely recommend.

The second is a pizza I’ve ordered multiple times, the Pepperoni and Cream Cheese. The key here (at least in the past) had been the pats of cream cheese UNDERNEATH the pepperoni. It melts in a glorious way and yet is still a kind of cooling influence on the pie. I love it. The most recent version, however, was not served this way, but rather with the cheese as a topping. I’m hoping this was just because I ordered a personal size, or maybe just a mistake, because it is much better the other way.

Lastly was the house chili, served here atop the Chili Burger, made with plenty of buffalo, spice and crispy onions to make this a must-order. The burger and bun were fine, but the chili great, hearty and warming. And that was back when the temperature was ABOVE 20 degrees. With this week’s horridness (which I’m admittedly missing for the warmer climes of my Alaska vacation!), I couldn’t recommend this more.

And while I hesitate to say I’m too old for Wiley’s on a Saturday night (keep the dream alive!), I will say we all could do much worse than Wildy’s on a random Tuesday after work.

For some chili and a beer.