The Chimes Restaurant & Oyster Bar
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Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kensuthe:
3.38/5 rDev -13.3%
Atmosphere - The Chimes is one of the better options for beer in Baton Rouge. Located right at the north gates of the campus of Louisiana State University, there is a decided college atmosphere. Depending on the day of the week and the time of day of your visit, you may encounter a family atmosphere or you may run into a crowded bar scene. Most of the space feels decidedly more like a restaurant than a bar, and you will find many people seated around tables eating and talking at all times of day. Be prepared to wait up to an hour for a table if you go during more crowded times, especially if you are with a large group. But hey, you can always pass the time at the bar while you wait. Live music events are held next door at the Varsity Theatre on some nights, and this can cause your wait time (and the noise level) to be higher than normal. Do not confuse the original Chimes next to the LSU campus with The Chimes East location in another part of Baton Rouge. The original Chimes has a better bar scene and a better beer selection, and should be the location of choice for anyone taking a trip to the area. For repeat visitors, the Chimes offers a Beers Around The World experience where you must drink a set amount of beers from a set amount of countries. With a plaster, wood, and exposed brick décor throughout most of the restaurant, the plaques filled with several decades worth of names of worldly drinkers covering the walls adds a nice touch.
Quality - The quality is not bad compared to other bars in Louisiana, but it does not hold up well when compared to more beer-centric locations throughout the country. The bar does not stock a large variety of glassware, and you should expect to get a pint glass (if anything) when ordering any of the variety of bottled beers. Many of the kegs do not see a high enough turnover, so you can't expect a fresh beer every time. It seems like there is not much emphasis put on cleaning the lines from the kegs to the taps, and it's not unheard of to find some type of debris floating in your glass.
Service - The Chimes is definitely a restaurant first and a bar second. Food orders seem to take precedence over drink orders, especially when sitting at a table or booth. Many of the waiting staff (and, occasionally, some of the bar staff) do not know very much about beer, but that is the exception and not the rule. All draft beers are served in pint glasses regardless of style, and you will either receive a pint glass or no glass at all when ordering a bottle. You can always ask for another type of glass if you want to simulate a chalice or flute, but you may need to explain why to your server. The staff often seems harried and hurried, and there is usually not much time for chatting. If you are reading this review on BeerAdvocate, then there is a good chance that you will know more about the available beers than your server, so I recommend that you recommend your own beers to yourself instead of asking for help. Also, if you want to do the Beers Around The World, you're rolling the dice as to whether your list of completed beers will be lost after having spent several hundred dollars.
Selection - The draft selection is between 20 and 30 beers, and there are between 100 and 200 bottles to choose from. However, if you'd visited the Chimes even as recently as a few years ago, expect to be disappointed at the smaller list of choices available now, especially the beers from Belgium. There are beers on the menu from close to 30 countries, but just because something is on the menu does not mean that it is available behind the bar. This can get to be pretty aggravating, especially if you are trying to do the Beers Around The World. The beer menu is not updated regularly, but it was finally updated semi-recently to reflect the reduced selection. There are also rotating taps for Abita and Rogue (although the latter doesn't seem to rotate much), and a sometimes-repetitive beer of the month to choose from.
Food - This is where the Chimes can shine. With a variety of south Louisiana options ranging from red beans and rice to a fried seafood platter (and alligator strips, crab cakes, veggie burgers, salads, raw oysters, and duck and sausage gumbo placed in between), there are abundant options for those who are hungry. There are oversized deserts, too, if you're feeling quite the glutton. The quality of the dishes is not always superb, but the Chimes isn't supposed to be a five star restaurant. There are nightly specials and soup du jour, and the Sunday Brunch is definitely a nice treat if you can get a table before they stop serving.
Value - While not as inexpensive as it once was, the price for the location is definitely not that bad. You could wind up dropping a decent amount of cash, depending on the length of your stay and whether you order food or not. It's not the cheapest restaurant and bar in the world, but it's still a good value and worth a visit.
03-26-2008 21:30:20 | More by kensuthe
More User Reviews:
4.5/5 rDev +15.4%
I've been to The Chimes quite a few times over the years. There's a great tap and bottle selection and the staff is very helpful and willing to suggest beer for you. The food is good, but there are better food selections in BR. What you come here for is the experience. The prices are reasonable and if you are looking for a good selection of local brews or solid American craft fare like Stone Arrogant Bastard or a good import selection, you will be well served. Plus the servers I've had are well educated on beer styles. Definitely stop here if you are in Baton Rouge.
09-15-2012 18:48:43 | More by acevenom
3.88/5 rDev -0.5%
Not a bad place to go when in Baton Rouge. The beer selection is decent. They have about 49 beers on tap. When you have that many on tap it becomes more about quantity over quality but the list was good. I was a bit disappointed in the fact that they beer list wasn't updated and didn't reflect that they had local brewery Tin Roof on tap. That and they didn't have Bayou Teche on tap at all. The food was pretty good and the service was good. I could see this place getting rowdy during football games, It was packed at lunchtime on a Monday. Overall nice place to get some beer and grub!
08-15-2011 21:29:07 | More by Beerbuddha
3.95/5 rDev +1.3%
Definitely an LSU staple, and one of the better places to go for imported beers.
Atmosphere - One of the best parts of the Chimes. College students, parents, recent grads, and fans of LSU come to the Chimes to watch games, just get a meal, get a drink, or to start Around the World, a system of trying beers with a mild reward at the end.
Quality - The quality of food has never disappointed, and the beers on tap are quite good always. The first problem you will have will likely be the wait time, as the Chimes is often crowded.
Service - Some servers are truly fantastic, very knowledgeable about the beers and food, but others are truly just there for the job. Hope for one of the servers who has worked here a long time, and you will not be disappointed.
S - Food selection is pretty basic, with a few LA staples taking center stage. Seafood is generally above average and the alligator is quite good. The tap lines take the cake for selection in Baton Rouge though. Largest lineup I have seen in BR. Bottles are also well represented, but leaves a little to be desired.
F - Food is good, but not quite as good as the price would lead you to believe. Seafood is where its at. The brunch menu is also the best damn thing that is served, so get there at 10 on a Sunday for some incredible food.
V - Again, a bit pricey for food, but about spot on for the beers. Definitely worth a stop if youre in town!
04-05-2011 00:34:08 | More by ksmi116
3.5/5 rDev -10.3%
Whilst visiting my dear friend in Baton Rouge, we had to make the obligatory stop here at his favored haunt. A midget child who actually later appeared to act as an adult helped us to our seats. Is she 19 or 11? It is a strange world out here.
Cool bar, some drunk LSU profs and students..alright!
They had a bunch of taps, with much of it being mundane and kind've crappy with a few exceptions. Plenty of representation from the LA breweries, at least, with some good stuff. Some. NOLA's IPA was delicious, the Tin Roof's was abhorrent. Dah well, whatcha gonna do.
The waitress took good care of us and the food was pretty damn good. Had my first taste of the Gulf style oysters. Gotta say, a fun way to eat them, but I am still much more accustomed to the Pac-NW selection. Damn you, Puget Sound!
Get some better beer, folks! At least it's on the up and up, yeah? Probably wouldn't've had the same selection there 3-4 years ago, so I can't complain too much I suppose.
03-23-2011 23:23:35 | More by dragonWhale
The Chimes Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Baton Rouge, LA
89 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.