Why: Caps N' Taps opened in May in Historic Downtown Camas. On the landscape of restaurants, it doesn't fit into any particular category. With just five menu items to choose from, all of which are prepared by K Syrah, food flavors are limited and provided to accompany the 20 rotating beers on tap, 100 specialty bottled brews and local wines. If patrons want to enjoy a full meal at Caps N' Taps, they are welcome to bring in food from any of the local restaurants, provided beverages are purchased in house.
Atmosphere: Rich earthy paint colors are combined with wood and accented with black, giving the space a comfortable, masculine personality. Several different lighting elements, such as track lighting and light fixtures, add variety and interest to the space. Ceiling fans bring a sense of pub awareness, and large screen TVs provide entertainment. There are barstools at the bar, and the floor is filled in with tables and chairs, both standard height as well as the taller bistro-style chairs.
What I tried: I sampled the chips and salsa, the pub mix and the buffalo chicken dip.
The chips were made from white corn and cut in rectangles, just like the kind you might buy at your local grocery store. Both the chips and salsa and the buffalo chicken dip were served with the same type of chips. I thought the chips were well-suited for the salsa, which was bursting with fresh garden flavors — namely tomato and onion. But the dip, which incorporated small bits of chicken in a richly flavored cheese dip that had a hint of buffalo wing flavor, would have been better matched with fresh bread.
The pub mix combined Chex, mini pretzels and mixed nuts with the essence of beer and chipotle flavors and just a touch of sweetness.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: If none of the above sounds substantial enough, you might give the Italian Platter a try. The platter combines provolone pesto torte slices, assorted cheeses, cured meat and olives, and is served with crostini. If you have a sweet tooth that needs satisfying, a brownie is on the menu. If only a meal will suffice, there are a variety of restaurants within a short walking distance where you may pick up a meal to go and bring it on over to Caps N' Taps to enjoy with a glass of local brew.
Other observations: I found Caps N' Taps a relaxing place with good, friendly service — one I will certainly return to.
Cost: Food items cost $4 to $13.
Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday; 3 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Where: 337 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas.
Health score: Caps N' Taps received a score of 0 on June 4. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.