Monday, December 28, 2009

2 Down – 28 to Go

2 Down – 28 to Go

Finley Mahoney’s
3701 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613-4104

It was a good night in Bible Study. We read a god-forsaken essay about how Joseph was the ultimate symbol of love. A discussion I may write about later this week, but I would like to share that I came out looking like an asshole. As I said, it was a “good night,” and it was my group’s turn to clean the eating area. I did it in an expeditious manner and then sauntered off to Finley Mahoney’s for Irish Beer. What is this magical brew that intoxicates three quarters of Chicago during every Cubs game. It is interesting to ponder the improvement in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings if we were to ban Irish Beer. Would we be at full-employment?

I opened the door with trepidation (or maybe rigor mortis was beginning to set because the weather was fucking atrocious), would I become hooked. Would this be like mother’s milk to me. Would my church fellows have to stage an intervention to wean me off Finley Mahoney’s proverbial teat?

The first thing I noticed was how warm it was; in both, appearance, and temperature. I thought I stepped into Texas --- yes, Texas as decorated by Pottery Barn. Warm colors, dark hues, tall dark stools. It was a good looking place. As I entered it took me 30 seconds to find my group. We were a motley group of seven out of a total of 20-25 patrons. Most of them were at the bar, but I noticed three couples sitting at tables. I estimated that the place could comfortably sit 60-70. During game nights, when fire codes are mere formalities, I am sure a100 bodies have been jammed inside.

I sat down and attempted to strip 15 layers of clothing off my body when I was asked “so what do you have against kids.”

“Nothing, I just don’t think my friend should be dating a guy who has them.”

The inquisitor looked puzzled and unhappy, “But why.” I started to explain, and then I noticed, there was no server.

So I asked Craig, “what are you drinking.”

“Shlisist” he answered.

I had no idea what he was talking about. My god, was he already drunk? Is this the Irish Beer that has destroyed nations at work?

So I asked Ashley, and she said “Smithwick's.”

“Thanks.” She seemed cogent and alert as ever. But then I started to think, she could probably outdrink Craig and me combined.

The bartender ran over the specials, “$4 Harps, $4…, $4 … $4 Smithwick's, and $3 Jaegers. Do you want shots.”

“Oh, no thank you. I would like a Smithwick’s.”

“Cool, your server will bring it over.”

Well she kind of brought the Smithwick’s, apparently something happened to the keg, but she kindly informed me that the beer was free. Remembering that Sara told me to order something with potatoes, I ordered the “Tator Tots.” It was only yesterday when I remembered it should have been “Potato Soup.” Regardless, I was excited, the menu described the little spuds as mini little explosions in your mouth. To wit, the tator tots are supposed to be covered in cheese, bacon, chives, and some other delicious things (but I remember sour cream was not in the concoction). I was hoping to share these little goodies with the table. Develop some goodwill since I sullied Joseph’s good name. Of course the mental calculus was going on, who are the cool–craven ones who are sympathetic to my dogma. Who can I go to Joy’s with?

Much to my dismay, what came out were unadorned tator tots, with a ramekin of ketchup. What the fuck! I especially wanted Will’s approval since he is a cook at Bakin’ & Eggs. They were still crispy, delicious, and enjoyed all around; even sans carcinogenic pork. I hope they don’t hate me.

My free beer came, and I am not going to lie, it was amazing. I don’t drink much. When I go out, a few Amstel Lights (as suggested in Men’s Health) and that is good enough. Well, Smithwick’s kicks Amstel in the gonads, rips them out with its bare hands, and stuffs them with cream cheese before consumption. It was a tremendous beer. But I would like to note that Ashley P. thought the Pinot was unpalatable.

It is actually hard to gauge the value of the place. For a table of six (Eve left early and closed out her tab) the total came to $68-$69. From the itemized list there were 9 Smithwick’s, two pinot’s, another wine, and tator-tots ($4). I think we left $85, and we trudged down Broadway.

In a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best:

Value: N/A. My beer was comped, but normal tator-tots for $4 seems high, at the very least offer a curry aioli on the side.

Service: 3 (the server was friendly and efficient, and the comped Smithwick was unnecessary, but when a guy orders Tator Tot’s and there is a superior alternative, you should state “Would you like the Super Tots?”

Atmosphere: 4. I prefer it to the gay bars on the street over.

Hotness of clientele:

Women were a 5. My table may have skewed it a little, because the girls in my Bible Study are smoking.

Men --- well there were a group of heteros talking about abstinence. We looked over, I am not sure if the alternative was possible. But Craig and Will are adorable so I say from 0 to 3.

I know I broke my rule of not including my group, but my Bible Study group is that good looking.

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