Henninger’s Tavern (#45)

5 02 2011

Henninger’s was another one of those bars to which I had trouble convincing people to go.  No one had heard of it, even though the reviews I read suggested that it was a cool spot with pretty good food.  The List describes Henninger’s as “fiercely idiosyncratic,” and I think that’s pretty dead-on.  It’s in Upper Fells Point (whatever that means), and it’s basically a neighborhood bar.  It seemed to be mostly regulars and, by the end of the night, employees/owners/staff.

There is a lot to take in when you walk into Henninger’s- every available wall and surface is covered with kitsch.  But it’s not the same kind of kitsch as Paper Moon Diner, no plastic toys and dolls.  It’s more old-school, vintage, classy kitsch.  If there is such a thing.  My partner in crime on this evening immediately pointed out a picture of Jesus, the Pope, and John F. Kennedy above the bar.  He noticed that even before he noticed the plethora of naked lady pictures all over the walls.  I can’t really do it justice with words, so take a look at these:

Jesus is blocked out by the glare, but you can see the row of naked lady pictures at the top!

Um….  art?

Nurses For Sale and a reading nook?

Oh my!

The women’s bathroom- complete with leopard-print walls.

Henninger’s was cozy and eclectic, and I would definitely stop back in for a drink if I ever happened to be in the neighborhood.  But it was a little slow for a Friday night, and my friend and I decided to venture onward and see if we could make some Bad Decisions…

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Natty Boh!

5 02 2011

This week I made the long journey across the pond to Muggsy’s Bar in Federal Hill in an effort to find a critical mass of Maryland fans for the MD/Duke game.  The wound is too fresh for me to talk about the game, but the atmosphere was great.  The owner played the Maryland fight song during the commercial breaks, and gave out free shots to those of us that would sing along with him.  But as the game spiraled into disaster, the highlight of the night became the fact that they tapped the first keg of Natty Boh during the second half!  The official “tapping of the keg” was supposed to happen the next night, at Nacho Mama’s- so, whether it’s true or not, I felt like we were getting the first draft Bohs in the City!

I was super-stoked when I heard that Natty Boh was going to be on tap in Baltimore bars.  Yes, I know that it isn’t even brewed in Maryland, and I know that there are many delicious beers that actually are.  But to me, Natty Boh is more Baltimore than the word “Hon” or The Wire.  The “Natty Boh Guy” is everywhere, despite the fact that he looks exactly like the Pringles guy, but with one less eye.  I don’t usually like mustaches, but I have the hots for Mr. Boh- and I can see him from my bedroom window every night!  I feel like everyone in Baltimore has a story about the first time they saw him wink- I almost got into a car accident driving in circles trying to see him do it again.

I actually enjoy the beer, too.  Seriously.  It’s not that bad.  So it’s cool that it’s on tap, but I realize that I probably won’t switch over.  Because for a huge nerd like me, the best part about Boh is the puzzles under the caps (rebuses, to be exact).  When the bar is too dark (translation = I am too drunk) to solve the puzzles, I hoard the caps in my purse so I can do them the next day.  Nothing says “drinking problem” like finding 4 bottle caps in your purse the next morning.  It is my secret dream that my rebus-solving skills could be translated into some sort of income-generating endeavor.  Does anyone want to pay me to solve beer cap puzzles?  No?