Monday, October 21, 2013

Shoo-Fly: The Scuttlebutt

We went to the new Spike Gjerde joint, Shoo-Fly, for a drink on Saturday night. It was early - just after six - and we had Kyle and Mary with us.

I thought it was great. The space looks fantastic - reclaimed wood and American flags abound - and I found everyone behind and around the bar helpful and cheerful. The customers were cheerful, too - there was a lot of happy chatting. Also, someone told me they liked my hair AND my dress.

The drinks menu is interesting. There are a couple house cocktails available - but they're not described at all on the menu. Just the names are listed - and that doesn't give you much clue as to their contents. I have heard that as a complaint about the dinner menu, as well. It seems a little annoying to me, since it means you have to ask your waiter or bartender to describe everything, but it's not a dealbreaker.

As it turned out, we asked the bartender for advice anyway. Shoo-Fly makes a bunch of its own sodas and bitters (obvs.). On the drinks menu, they have a mix-and-match section - pair this booze with this soda and this bitter, etc. It's short but slightly overwhelming.

Right out of the gate, the bartender said he's been loving bourbon with the coffee soda, so I bit (that's what's pictured). I loved it - it was sweet with just a little bitter edge (not much). Like a grown-up bourbon and coke...with a paper straw (side note: paper straws are adorable but they're terrible as actual straws).

Cooper asked for a recommendation with gin and ended up with ginger soda and orange bitters. Kyle went vodka, ginger soda and basil. Everyone liked their own choice the best...and isn't that how it should be?

Now, I've heard some complaints from people. The wait can be long (though everyone expected that). The menus lack description. The first Saturday night they were open, they ran out of red wine (ouch). Service isn't always as attentive as it should be (though that was not our experience). They don't have olives or don't think about a dirty martini.

Some of those problems will likely shake themselves out (the wine and the service, especially). Other things, people will learn to accept as a quirk of the place (the drink garnishes).

As for me, I can't wait to actually eat there. We saw the best-looking bowl of fries topped with a sunny-side up egg. Just gorgeous. And on the menu, there is something called the "scrappledelphia." Have I mentioned that I love scrapple?

At any rate, I'm thrilled that Shoo-Fly is up and running. Welcome to the neighborhood, Gjerdes. We hope you like it here!

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