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July 18, 2018
Fire & Flavor: Summer Sizzles At Federal Taphouse
Federal Taphouse is adding the fire and sizzle to your summer season. With more than 100 beers on tap and a brilliant wood fire pizza oven, this is a destination prime for the season.
This Fig Table feature has all the details you need to know before stopping by this delicious foodie spot in downtown Lancaster, PA.
The Look: Warm & Welcoming
Right when you walk into Federal Taphouse, you feel the welcoming atmosphere.
“Our open concept makes it easy for large parties to gather,” said Todd Sharp, General Manager of the Federal Taphouse. “Our private event space is a great place for parties and receptions as well.”
It’s all about creating an environment that feels good.
“We have a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service, and a great place for people to come and unwind.”
A large bar wraps around the back wall, where countless beer and drink specials are listed. The wood fire pizza oven is a staple close to the center near the back, where customers can view the flames baking each pizza to perfection. There is also outdoor seating right outside the large windows bordering the side of the restaurant.
There are plans in the works to make it an even greater dining experience.
“Looking forward, I am excited about the renovations that will be coming that will give us an even more relaxed and inviting look,” added Todd.
The Menu: Fire & Flavor
“Coming on board with Federal Taphouse I was most excited to join a restaurant that truly values quality and putting out the best possible product for our guests,” said Todd. “I think you can find something for everyone on our menu.”
Check out the appetizers on the menu, including the very popular Devils On Horseback (bleu cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates), delicious Crab Mac And Cheese (lump crab, cheddar, fontina, parmesan, Old Bay seasoning), and Blackened Shrimp Egg Rolls (cabbage, bell peppers, celery leaf, red onion, grilled shrimp, cajun ranch). Plus, the hand cut duck fat French fries are incredible. Get them regular, or choose one of the special versions like Poutine (fresh cheddar curds, gravy on top of the fries).
Other menu items include tacos like the House Cured Pork Belly Tacos (chipotle barbecue sauce, coleslaw, pickled jalapeño) and the vegetarian-friendly Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower Tacos (romaine-carrot slaw, house buffalo sauce, bleu cheese dressing), a variety of greens and salads, like the popular Caesar or the delicious Avocado Toast, and sandwiches like the Taphouse Burger (aged cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, barbecue onion) and Shrimp Po’ Boy (flash-fried shrimp, chipotle remoulade, cabbage slaw, toasted Italian roll).
And of course the wood fired pizza is a must-try. Choose flavors like Bacon And Garlic (roasted garlic Alfredo, bacon, spinach, wild mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, mozzarella, parmesan) 3 Little Pigs (red sauce, smoked pork belly, house ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, provolone), and Margherita (red sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil).
With the option of pairing one of over 100 beers available, it’s hard to imagine a better destination for summer flavor.
“Over the summer we host a wide variety of inspired beers along with our seasonal menu,” added Todd. “We bring back favorites like our Sweet Corn Pizza and new hits like our Greens and Berries salad.”
Seth Basom, Executive Chef at Federal Taphouse, walked us through the process of creating the delicious Summer Sweet Corn pizza from start to finish.
Chef Basom starts with a freshly house made pizza dough that is crafted on a daily basis. Then, he adds a base of creamed spinach mixed with some other spices and herbs. The addition of freshly shaved sweet corn gives it that unique summer feel, as does the scratch made tomato jam.
Bacon is added for a rich, smoky flavor before being fired in the authentic wood fire pizza oven!
After baking, the pizza is finally topped off with freshly grated ricotta salata cheese, cut in slices, and served.
The Fig team was very excited to try the Summer Sweet Corn pizza!
It was outstanding. We were able to taste all of the unique flavor combinations specifically featured on this specialty pizza. The creamy sauce was a delicious foundation to the crunchy bite of bacon, the tangy tomato jam, and the crisp, fresh sweet corn. The ricotta salata cheese provided the perfect touch to really push this pizza to the top.
Check out the menu for even more wood fire pizza options.
Inside The Kitchen With Chef Seth Basom
Seth Basom, Executive Chef, brings his experience and skill to the Federal Taphouse.
“We like to stay seasonal here and switch up the menu twice a year,” said Seth. “This allows us to keep the ingredients seasonal and fresh. We always jump at the chance to get local ingredients and produce from the Lancaster area.”
Before he was firing pizzas in the authentic pizza oven at Federal Taphouse, he was going to school for something completely different at Millersville University.
“I just needed a job to pay rent during college, so I started working at a local restaurant,” said Seth. “Then I realized I was better at cooking than what I was attending school for, so I changed focus and began teaching myself in the cooking field.”
Since then, Seth has worked at Loxley’s, eventually working his way up to sous chef, and then came to Federal Taphouse three years ago—now leading the team as Executive Chef.
“It’s a competitive career and I like that,” said Seth. “I like that cooking is something new every single day. It’s fun to be able to challenge myself every day, every week, every month.”
"I like that cooking is something new every single day. It’s fun to be able to challenge myself every day, every week, every month."
Even before his time pursuing a culinary career, Seth was hard at work learning to cook.
“At age 7 I learned how to cook eggs,” said Seth. “Each of my parents would cook me different kinds and teach me how. To this day I eat eggs all the time—even in the middle of the night. They are my favorite.”
Seth has continued to blend his passion for flavors with his dedication to curating a diverse menu at Federal Taphouse.
“I really like Latin flavors,” Seth added. “When I travel I like to dive into the local food scene and what’s good there—so when I return, I can usually add some of those flavors to what I’m making.”
Innovation is key when keeping a menu fresh and exciting.
“What’s really nice about working at Federal Taphouse is that I have the creative freedom to create the menu and the specials,” said Seth. “We can basically create whatever we like and figure out what can be a success.”
He also enjoys the fiery side of the restaurant.
“We get to play with fire a bit,” said Seth with a laugh. “We have a wood fire pizza oven and a cold fire grill that definitely helps add more flavor to every dish. I never thought I’d know to to make pizzas—but since starting here, it’s cool to see what I can do with them.”
Seth looks forward to further enhancing the menu any chance he gets, and encourages the community to stop in and try some of his epic culinary creations. He often has weekends specials—so make sure to follow the Federal Taphouse Instagram for up-to-date dishes!
Plan Your Visit
What are you waiting for? Check out this sizzling summer destination offering over 100 options for beer, cocktails & other beverages, and a fantastic array pizzas, appetizers, dinners, salads, and fries.
Here’s our quick review guide:
- Location: Federal Taphouse – 201 N. Queen Street Lancaster, PA.
- Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30am-11pm, Friday/Saturday 11:30am-2am, closed Sunday 10:30am-11PM
- Menu: Wood fired pizza, burgers, appetizers, fries, salads, dinners, brunch, beer, cocktails.
- More Info: Check out the website!