Midtown Yacht Club (#46)

22 01 2011

So, after a long hiatus, I am finally back on the bar circuit.  I have actually been ready to start up again for a few weeks, but I had trouble convincing people to go with me to a place called “Midtown Yacht Club,” no matter how much I insisted that the name was ironic.  And when I walked into the bar and saw at least three different customers drinking Natty Boh in a can, I knew I would feel at home.  The few people I know who were familiar with the Yacht Club, had already told me about the peanut shells on the floor.  Most establishments that used to do the peanut thing have long since stopped, due to the fear of being sued by a felled customer (Important Life Rule: Lawyers Suck the Fun out of Everything).   But Midtown Yacht Club obviously doesn’t care, and that is fantastic.

Midtown Yacht Club is tucked away on a side street in Mt. Vernon, and the Happy Hour crowd was a diverse mix of chill people who probably all work close by.  If this bar was walking distance from anywhere I worked, it would certainly be in my heavy rotation.  I met a couple of regulars, including a woman who arrived there by segway (oh, how I wanted to ask her to take it for a spin).  I ordered a Loose Cannon draft, before realizing that it was $6.00, and immediately wished I had just ordered a can of Boh.  (Another Important Life Rule: Order what the Regulars Order- They Know Something You Don’t).  I later switched to Woodchuck Cider, which they have on draft (with a cute little apple for the tap handle).

The best way to describe the experience was comfortable.  The bar food was decent, the service was pleasant, the music was never too loud.  We even got a bell ring for our tip, which I love.  Overall, I was pleasantly surprised that the Yacht Club wasn’t filled with collar-popping dudes named Blake in boat shoes, but instead was a little hidden Baltimore treasure.  I read in The List that the name wasn’t always ironic, and I am now very curious as to the history of the place.  Either way, I just read that they have a meat-lovers Sunday brunch, so I will definitely be back.

Next up: Henninger’s in Upper Fells, described by the Baltimore Sun as “fiercely idiosyncratic.”  Can’t wait.


#47- Holy Frijoles

22 01 2011

Wayyy back in the first weekend of November, I visited bar #47, a Mexican restaurant and bar in Hampden called Holy Frijoles.  We went up early to check out “First Fridays” in Hampden, an event for which many of the stores on The Avenue stay open later and provide free food, alcohol and music.  I pretty much detest shopping, but I must admit that adding food, booze and a DJ definitely increases the appeal.  We developed a buzz at Doubledutch, and thoroughly enjoyed the free guacamole and weird tequila-beer drink they were serving at Red Tree.

Finally we headed over to Holy Frijoles.  I have actually been here before, and it was pretty much as I remembered- delicious cucumber margaritas, decent food and mediocre hipper-than-thou service.  And just when I was thinking the night would be devoid of any memorable story whatsoever, I ran into our tour guide from the Joe Squared trip, who promptly accused me of stalking him (possible).  We hung out with him and his friends for a bit, while Holy Frijoles slowly cleared out (a sure sign that it leans the way of restaurant over bar).

It would have been fun to sing karaoke at Cafe Hon next door, but we were pretty much ready to get back to the neighborhood bars that we know and love.  Yes, this blog is about getting outside of my comfort zone and trying new things, but sometimes you really do just want to go where everybody knows your name…  and where home is walking (stumbling) distance.