The Judge's Bench
Taps: 17 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by HarryPotHead:
3.7/5 rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Stopped in on a Sunday afternoon with the wife to check the place out... I had heard about their great beer selection and had to see for myself. They open at 1 on Sunday's and we got there around 1:30 so there was only one other person in the place at the time so we basically had the place to ourselves...I have to think that this place would get more traffic if it was located two or three blocks down the hill closer to the heart of Elicott City's beautiful historic district. Unfortunately it is on the fringe of the town which could be a blessing or a curse depending on the circumstances...
None the less the beer selection was fantastic!! Literally something for everyone and lots of it too!! Offerings on tap were handwritten on a chalk board along with ABV % and I was told that the offerings are always changing. I was like a kid in a candy store! I was unfamilliar with most of what was on tap so I ordered a 4 glass sampler. All were top notch without a bad apple in the bunch. I then asked to see the bottled list and was blown away with the selection...although my first request was "not available" my next two were on hand.
While we chilled at the bar we ordered some chicken nachos while we watched the Cowboys get beat up by the Browns. The menu offerings were not as impressive as the beer selection...typical stuff, but I like pub food (who doesn't?) so it was no biggie. Unfortunately the nachos sucked! Cold cheese goop...the kind pumped from the metal container 7-11 style, stale chips, and dry chicken crumbles with a few olives and even less jalapeños. For the price I was expecting way more in quality and size. Taco bells nachos would have been more satisfying! The bar tender asked how they were and I politely said I had better...I wasn't going to sugar coat it. Hell, if he can't take constructive criticism then that's his fault and I work hard for my money too...so be it.
Long story short. I liked the place. The atmosphere was cool and the beers were top shelf. I'd like to head back on a Friday night, when the place was more lively to see how the vibe is with a few more people in the place. Definitely worth checking out if your are heading to Ellicott City.
11-25-2012 00:50:20 | More by HarryPotHead
More User Reviews:
1.7/5 rDev -60%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 1 | $$
Bad food...Bad Service... Bad Management. What more do you want. On Friday night, at approximately 7:30 pm, I took my wife and two friends to the Judges Bench for drinks and food. After arriving, we found a table quite easily. The Bench was not crowded at the time. My guest and I went to the bar to order drinks and get menus. We returned to the bar between 7:45 and 7:50 to place our food order. At 9:00 I went to the bar to ask about our food and was told there was only one person working and loads of orders were in and we would get our food in the order it was requested. I was also told it was taking longer because I wanted my burgers well done.
I commented that I have never ordered a well done burger in my life so there was a misunderstanding. The waitress was not happy to hear that, commented so and I replied “so who is it, me our you” that made the mistake. She then offered to redo the burgers but that they would have to be thawed out first. But rather than wait any longer, we took our order that arrived “after the music had started”.
The burgers were way too well done, burnt on the bottom but we threw on some sauce and chowed down. Not long after, I went to the bar to sign my credit card tab and decided that a service tip wasn’t warranted. I've never, ever had to wait longer than an hour for my food...tip for what? Before leaving, the manager confronted me, in front of my guest. And asked what the problem was, and stated that “we make our living here on tips”. I asked him to step out the front door, which he did, and I explained what I have previously noted in this review.
He bullied up and told me to either tip him here and now or never come back. NO tip and could care less about going back.
11-07-2011 22:10:37 | More by SeattleStan
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
My favorite bar outside of the city (DC/Baltimore) in the metro area. 17 rotating taps (all American craft with occasional German or Belgian) and maybe 50 bottles. Tap prices are reasonably priced, mostly 16oz pours, with acceptable glassware. Bottle prices are great, usually about 1 or 2 dollars above typical retail price and are a dollar off during happy hour. The people and staff and very friendly esp. the owner and it rarely gets really crowded. There is even a free lot right across the street.
06-07-2011 18:49:59 | More by
The Judge's Bench in Ellicott City, MD
93 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.