A BBQ joint is not the standard venue for martini’s; but I was hungry and the day was losing steam, so I went to where I wanted to eat.
And was not disappointed.
Terrific BBQ. I had to wait a bit of time due to the excessive crowd but got a spot at the bar and ordered up. I drank a Watershed vodka martini and it was right. Not the best martini I’ve ever had, but more than adequate and it was was not ignored.
I had smoked pork belly with beans and cabbage and excellent bread and butter pickles. No complaints. I had a nice German weiss-beer with the meal and followed with a glass of Stagg whiskey. In honor of my friend Ashley Stagg who is to be married soon.
I got a late start on the night. I left the office at 4:30 but went for a run at the CCF gym. I decided to go downtown for dinner and FNM since I have not yet spent much time in the city proper. Big mistake. Rookie mistake. I had no idea that the Indians were playing. Turns out they sort of were and weren’t. They were meant to be in town, but the game was rained out. What I did not realize when I decided to go downtown was that Mabel’s BBQ was close to the stadium. Turns out the game got cancelled late in the afternoon—so all those masses of people flooded to the restaurants and bars instead of the stadium. So it was busy.
Parking just near the restaurant was $40, presumably due to the game. I drove about 10 blocks away and paid $10. I had my umbrella so was covered.
I assembled myself at the bar at Mabel’s and had a great meal. I sat next to a couple that might easily have been from Somerset. They were from the far west of the state. As they told it, as far west as you can go and still be in Ohio. They had driven 3 hours to Cleveland for their 6-year anniversary. They were going to the ‘Tribe’ game on their anniversary. Since the game was cancelled, they wound up next to me at Mabel’s. Interesting to me just because going to a ball game is not really an anniversary level activity in my book. But, to each his own. Nice folks. Jeans, hats, and lots of hair and flannel.
They also brought their own coolies and immediately wrapped their beers in them—hers said ‘drunk lives matter’. Which was sort of funny and sort of offensive.
The wife noted that in their small town, the bartenders were all female. The bartenders at Mabel’s were all male. She felt secure at Mabel’s because the female bartenders at home were ‘batting their eyes’ at her husband all the time. I looked at him and thought ‘huh’. Even acknowledging that I am persuaded in that direction, I didn’t see it. I thought at least one of the bartenders might have had some interest. They shared in common beards, flannel and a generally rough and tumble look. One of the bartenders rocked a man-bun as well.
After I paid my bill and was getting ready to leave, my bartender joined his index finger to his thumb in a circle with remaining 3 fingers pointing up and looked at me earnestly and said ‘was everything fantastic?’. I returned his focused stare and said “it was amazing”.
But they were good bartenders. Attentive and thoughtful if not a little mechanical and overly enthusiastic.
It was good. Not really,amazing, but good BBQ. His expectations might have been a little high.
Interesting how pervasive the televisions are in bars these days. Baseball and basketball games from around the country were on all the tv’s in the bar and restaurant. I noticed a cool commercial. A young girl appeared to break up a fight at school and then the scene morphed into to her taking a pass on the rugby pitch (which I Loved) and she went on to score a try. And then it morphed again and she was shooting a gun in some apparent overseas battle . Why not just stop with rugby. Why does it have to lead to killing and fighting.
One of the side dishes on the menu was Pigs ears. I paid it no attention but the couple next to me ordered them. They appeared to be actual deep fried, sliced pigs ears. They were ridiculously gross. Like the sort of thing one would eat only in an apocalypse. They offered me one but I politely passed and instead left. FNM was finished.
Lynn posted her martini from LA where she was attending the Turner Classic Film Festival. Surely a very cool event.