Meat, Dead Animals and Decent Sized Portions
Small plates have been de rigueur for the last five years or so in contemporary metropolitan dining. This leaves guys my size with a massive dinner tab from ordering 35 precious sized portions to feel like a proper meal has been consumed.
And then there’s the pomp. Today restaurants are filled with hipster diners who are astounded by simple dishes with simple additions and clever names. Who knew you could take basic noodles, add cilantro, call it “Latin Vibe” and charge a fortune for an amount of food that would leave a dieting runway model wanting.
If you call for the bartender, you’ll get a glass of ice water from the bar back. They’re “mixlogists” you see. While I enthusiastically agree that mixing a good cocktail is an art form requiring skill and experience, the highfalutin name is a bit much.
Last night, quite by accident, I found an antidote to all of the current, trendy dining. It’s a country and western bar.
When Emily and I walked in, we got a few looks, but I was wearing my Justins so we made it to the bar without any trouble. The menu has all manner of recognizable food on it. Most of it un-appologetically from the meat category. The portions are good sized and prices are reasonable.
I ordered a bourbon from the tall, bald, serious looking man behind the bar. Emily ordered a glass of wine – which I thought would get us thrown out – but it was quite the opposite. The bar caries plenty of good vintages. It’s the close proximity to Nappa I was later told.
There was an awesome band performing Tom Petty covers. The longer we stayed, drinking, laughing and listening to the music, the warmer the regular clientele became toward us. The bartender eventually gave us his name. He was still serious, but in a nice way.
When the band finished playing, people started to pour out of the back of the bar where the bandstand and the dance floor are. A young woman in her late twenties, who was sweaty and out of breath from dancing, came crashing up to the bar. She ordered a drink and declared, “that’s the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on.” With that simple, descriptive phrase, I knew I was home.