True Blue Tavern: Good food...for a price

The house fries come with a choice of flavors, including sea salt and malt vinegar, truffle parm, gorgonzola buffalo and loaded baked potato. (Chris Hanna/The Daily Campus)

Living in the Nathan Hale Inn has its perks. You get to live in a hotel room with a TV, a nice bathroom and housekeeping, along with pool and gym access. One of the best (and most convenient things) about living in UConn’s own on-campus hotel, however, is the True Blue Tavern restaurant located adjacent to the lobby.

The True Blue Tavern is a bar-and-grill style restaurant with a variety of food ranging from burgers to sandwiches to tacos and so on. The restaurant also has an excellent selection of delectable desserts, including the brownie bowl, a mango cheesecake and a skillet cookie topped with ice cream and caramel.

On Tuesday afternoon’s snow day, the dining hall menus didn’t look too appealing and I didn’t want to walk to Storrs Center in the weather, so I took the lazy alternative and rode the elevator down to the tavern to try out a few new dishes. Having already enjoyed the restaurant’s classic burger and buffalo mac ‘n’ cheese, I went with the street tacos and a side of house fries.

The street tacos come with your choice of shredded beef, pork carnitas or sriracha salmon along with shredded lettuce, parsley, cilantro and shredded carrots, with a hint of lime. You get three tacos for a total of $12, which can be a bit expensive, but they are incredibly flavorful. I personally chose the pork carnitas, which went extremely well with the lime and tasted fantastic.

The house fries also come with a choice of flavors, including sea salt and malt vinegar, truffle parm, gorgonzola buffalo and loaded baked potato. For $6, which seems even more expensive relative to what you are getting, you actually get a boat load of fries. The quantity of fries you get might be equal in size to a small entrée, so the price may be worth it. I ended up choosing the gorgonzola buffalo fries and I don’t regret it one bit. As someone who loves buffalo chicken wraps a lot, the gorgonzola buffalo fries gave that same flavor and more, and were a really nice complement to the tacos.

In terms of entertainment, the True Blue Tavern has a trivia night much like Ted’s on the other side of campus, which takes place Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and offers prizes for winners. For of-age readers, the tavern also has a large selection of drinks to choose from and has a nice granite bar with several TVs to watch a game on and converse with other guests.

The street tacos come with your choice of shredded beef, pork carnitas (pictured above) or sriracha salmon along with shredded lettuce, parsley, cilantro and shredded carrots, with a hint of lime. (Chris Hanna/The Daily Campus)

On Tuesday nights, the True Blue Tavern features a live jazz band, which can be extremely relaxing and helps to de-stress at the end of the day. The restaurant also has a jukebox so customers can choose their favorite songs to play on the bar speakers. And of course, you might even run into some professors who like to chat with their colleagues at the bar at the end of the day.

All in all, I have to give the True Blue Tavern four stars out of five for a nice selection of food, great flavor and various forms of entertainment for customers. The slight deduction is for the prices of food, which can be a little high, especially for those on the college student’s budget, but don’t let that take away from what is a fantastic food option on campus.


Chris Hanna is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.hanna@uconn.edu. He tweets @realchrishann