Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Snow Day on the LES
Some friends and I decided to spend our snow day bouncing around the Lower East Side. We started off at McSorleys Old Ale House, which is a neighborhood staple. The bar is known to be NYC oldest continually operated saloon. Its nice to visit, but don't expect too much as the bar only serves ONLY BEER...and only two types of beer--light and dark. Its pretty cool to see the history of the place as Abe Lincoln and John Lennon sat in the very same place for drinks. The walls are brown from age, the floors are dirty, the bartender is a sarcastic, but that doesn't keep people from pouring into this place.
I would definitely recommend checking out McSorley's if in the area, but don't make a special trip. Its more of a historic landmark than a good place for drinks.
Our next stop was to a place on the corner of Saint Marks which offered 5 shots for $10. I forget the name, but its not too important as I'm not going to recommend it. When offered a deal like that--one can be skeptical. I asked the bartender for 5 shots of assorted whiskey as we were trying to warm up from the brutal winter cold.
I can't speak of the other shots, but mine seemed to be watered down. I then noticed the red light background which prevented guests from seeing the color of the booze. The shots still packed a punch, but I believe them to be a bit watered down. I like deals, but I like deals that don't deceive customers. One of my friends argued that it was still a good deal even if a little watered down, but its the point of the matter.
So after our shots, we went to grab something to eat at A Penny Farthing Bar and Restaurant on 3rd Avenue. We were expecting some decent pub grub, but got more than we bargained for. My friend Jackie and I split the Grilled Cheese & Short Rib sandwich and Buffalo Mac n' Cheese. The Buffalo Mac n' Cheese was awesome, but the Grilled Cheese & Short Rib stole the show. The use of provolone was an excellent idea as the cheese didn't overpower the meat. The caramelized onions gave a great flavor to the tender beef sandwiched between deliciously toasted bread. The Buffalo Mac n' Cheese proved to be a great side dish. This wasn't your normal 'out of the box' Mac n' Cheese, but it was a combination of cheesey, creamy, crunchy, spicy goodness. Mike, my other friend, ordered a burger that he was quite happy with. I didn't get to taste it, but it looked like it was tastey.
I would recommend A Penny Farthing for some elevated pub grub. Its an inviting spot to grab a pint and some good food for sure.
I then left those friends to meet up with another friend, Christa. After a glass of wine at her apartment, we headed to Drop Off Service on Ave A (& 13th). The name comes from the older business which inhabited the space--a laundromat. This bar boasts an impressive line-up of beers from Arrogant Bastard Ale to traditional favorites such as Guinness. The bartender was friendly and helped Christa find a beer she liked. The bar had a decent crowd, but nothing crazy due to the snow. This allowed us to grab a both and have a normal conversation while enjoying some great beer. I would definitely recommend going to Drop Off Service especially if you want to try some good beers on tap.