Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dive Bar Date Night

There aren't many things I love more than my dog and my husband.   See that?  Husband?  Yup, we tied the knot two weeks ago today, on the beach in Santa Monica, California!  So he gets upgraded from "bf" to "hubby" going forward :)
Focus, Tammy.

Okay, so we know I also love beer and deep fried food.  And you know who always has lots of that?  Dive bars.  The hole-in-the-wall, run down, neighbourhood strip mall type of place.   I am so excited when we check out a new place that M found, over in his old stompin' grounds.

Bally's Bar and Grill.  It is everything you expect from a dive bar, including the neon beer signs and the questionable entrance way.  Perfect for our Date Night :)

The area isn't bad, it's right on 14th street just north of the Bankview area, but the clientele is a bit less than desirable.  Works for us though, we're there for draft beer and deep fried cheese.  The other guests of the bar are just for our entertainment!  We like to count the mullets, make fun of cut off t-shirts and guess the age of the raggedy bartender.  Good fun I tell ya, but right now I need to take it all in.   The Flames are on TV and the nightly event is Karaoke at 9pm.  Sounds like a pretty fun night out!  A horrible lay out though I have to admit.  A lot of seats at the bar, a bunch of pool tables, and an upstairs level that has some arcade games and the karaoke set-up.  So we're left with a small group of tables a little squished together, but it will do.  Saturday night food specials (which are rare) is "most appy's 7 bucks".   Wicked deal!  I, presumably, get the Potato Skins, and M goes outside the box a bit with the "Chips with Apricot Aioli".    Ooohh fancy.

My skins are perfect... just what you expect when you order deep fried potato and cheese :D  Yummy.  And M's chips are awesome.   He cleaned the plate, devoured them.   He really loved them.  Or maybe he was just very hungry?   Nope, I've confirmed he loved them.   He actually keeps talking about them, even though we ate there three months ago!

Because we were doing a bit of a pub crawl, we had to move on from Bally's before the hockey game ended and before the karaoke began (shucks) so no clue how great the late night crowd is... I'd be willing to bet it's a bit questionable.  If you happen to be in the area and need a cold one, stop in.  You won't regret it.

However, heading down 14th street to Mugs Pub & Grill, you'd probably regret it.  Keep in mind this is Dive Bar Date Night so we are fully prepared for hilarity.  From the outside it looks just right, but inside you begin to question your decision.  The U-shaped bar in the middle holds some of the
sketchier people we've come across and the giant mirrors on the walls give the illusion of it being a much bigger place.  But also, they are deceiving because you don't notice that its a mirror until you run face first into it.  Damnit.

We were looking for a quiet-ish place to have some wings and a pint, and at 930pm on a Saturday night we were one of three tables in the bar.  No worries about too noisy here.    Our server takes a while to come over, and is seemingly quite nonchalant about her job.  Doesn't exactly know the answers to our questions (about parking in the lot out front/towing issues) and takes her sweet time bringing us our beers.  To her credit (?) she claimed she was new, but in this city, servers are a dime a dozen.  And I don't think Mugs is a decent enough place to keep staff long term.

Oh  I love beer in Honeycomb Mugs.   Not.   I don't know why, or what it is, I just hate them.  It's not 1989 anymore people, buy new glassware!   So our wings come, they're cheap and small, just right for this kind of dive bar.  But they're just gross really.   M has been adventurous tonight and also ordered a French Onion Soup.  Brave, I tell ya.   Surprisingly, he really likes it.   I don't think it's the best he's ever had, but he ate it all.  Couldn't have been horrible then!  We decide we can't handle the trashy atmosphere anymore and need to get out of here.  We settle up as fast as we can, but keep in mind our server is slow as all get out, so just paying the bill is a bit painful.

Overall, Date Night is a great success!   We found a new dive bar that isn't worth it, and one that totally is!  It won't be our last adventure to the Dive Bar theme, there's a hundred more in this city!  Can't wait to discover the next best one.  Right now Bally's is in the lead, cheap bear and apricot aioli!  Stop, you're making me hungry!!

Ballys Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Mugs Pub on Urbanspoon

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