Somewhere Restaurant and Bar features a cozy pub feel and hearty food. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

I wasn’t sure what to expect at Somewhere Restaurant and Bar, the companion bar and eatery for the popular Nowhere Bar in the Highlands. I’d been to Nowhere for drinks and enjoyed the friendly vibe at the bar and dance club, but had yet to step into Somewhere until recently.

It struck me as part bar, part pub, with a blend of wood accents and modern décor, along with a few quirks such as multitudes of pennies tiling the frames of two bay doors leading out onto the firepit-warmed patio area. A modern-looking bar fills one wall, and a stage sits at the far end of the space.

My girlfriend and I stopped in for an early dinner recently, and the place hadn’t yet started buzzing. We found a seat along one wall, and the bartender/server soon brought us menus and took our drink orders.

Pretzels and beer cheese | Photo by Kevin Gibson

The menu is made up of pretty standard pub fare: appetizers like beer cheese, smoked wings and nachos, and entrées such as burgers, flatbreads, sandwiches and salads.

If you want to step it up a notch, you can get into an entrée such as salmon and asparagus, steak frites, crab cakes and angel hair pasta.

We opted to start off with an order of pretzels and beer cheese, the latter of which is made with Fat Tire ale and Wisconsin cheese. The pretzels came out quickly, numbering three, along with a cup of the house-made cheese.

The soft pretzels were only lightly salted, with a nice flavor and texture. The cheese was thin-bodied and nothing special, but it had a light sharpness to make up for a lack of discernable spice. It was an enjoyable enough start to the meal, but the amount of cheese was off balance to the accompanying pretzels, at least for the $9 price tag.

For dinner, Cynthia ordered al pastor tacos from the dinner menu, while I couldn’t resist the Somewhere Signature Burger. We had only stopped munching on the pretzels a few minutes before our meals arrived, which was perfect timing.

The pork tacos were a lovely sight, the three of them placed in separate taco holders. They were stuffed with nicely marinated pork with roasted pineapple, as well as cilantro, red cabbage and topped with a unique, jalapeno-raspberry sauce.

Cynthia first offered me a chunk of pork, and it was impressively flavorful. The way it was roasted, at first bite we thought it tasted like beef, but we soon learned it was just an illusion.

Pork tacos | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Blended with the vegetables and the delicious sauce, the taco as a whole was impressive as well, fresh-tasting and cohesive in its flavor combinations.

Cynthia, who had donated platelets earlier in the day and was looking for a hearty meal to help right the ship, said, “I think this is going to create a lot of new platelets. It’s platelet fuel.”

My dinner featured a behemoth of a hamburger topped with cheddar, caramelized onions, romaine, thick dill pickle slices, two strips of thick country bacon and a sunny-side-fried egg. The burger itself, cooked just a tad over the medium rare I had ordered, was probably an inch thick and juicy.

As in, really juicy. And it was one of the messiest meals I’ve had in a while, as the many textures slipped and slid between the two halves of pretzel bun. With the first bite, naturally, the egg yolk exploded and left orange streaks down my hands and pooled into the basket that held the burger.

Truthfully, I could barely get my jaws around the thing, and struggled to keep it all together, but that made it no less delicious. And it didn’t hurt that tater tots, which I had as a side, taste good when dipped in yolk.

Incidentally, the “side” order of tots that came with the sandwich looked equivalent to an entire bag you’d get in a supermarket. We took home more than I could eat, although I did take down the burger. I couldn’t possibly leave any of it behind.

Somewhere Signature Burger | Photo by Kevin Gibson

My one complaint was after we’d starting eating, when we found ourselves needing drink refills, we realized the bartender had disappeared. When she returned a couple of minutes later, we couldn’t get her attention.

I finally got up and left my burger for a moment to retrieve drinks for us. But that was the only service misstep during our meal, which overall was quite enjoyable.

If you go, be aware of some of the daily specials at Somewhere, such as $10 burgers on Wednesdays and 50-cent wings on Thursdays. During University of Louisville basketball games, you can get 25-cent wings and $1.50 domestic beers.

Somewhere Restaurant and Bar, located at 1133 1/2 Bardstown Road, is open 5-10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 5-11 p.m. on Friday; 5 p.m.-2:30 a.m. on Saturday; and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday.