Friday, January 10, 2014

This Week Around Here: January 4th to 10th

The big news around here this week - besides the polar vortex and Dixon's current stomachache - was Kyle's birthday. Last Saturday was the big day, so we rounded up babysitters and headed out to Nickel Taphouse to celebrate:

Or, at least, most of us did. Alicia ended up staying home with the stomach flu, which makes me wonder if she and Dixon have been secretly hanging out. (Seriously, he's home from school and completely miserable right now.)

We chose Nickel Taphouse for a few reasons. 1. It's new. 2. We all like Birroteca and they share an owner. 3. It's ostensibly Buffalo-themed and Kyle is from Buffalo.

The Buffalo theme is not actually as strong as I'd imagine it would be. Really, it just boils down to the availability of beef on weck and a few cutesy drink names. There aren't even any wings on the menu, which seems like an interesting choice for a bar/restaurant with Buffalo roots.

So how was it? Ups and downs. The beer list is good, I had a great fig cocktail, and our waitress was super personable. There's a short but decent list of oysters available raw and a couple interesting roasted preparations (though some of them are underseasoned - but try the Carolina mustard). My beef on weck was good - the meat was lovely - but I wish it had come with fries, not chips, and I'm not sure the bun was actually soaked in au jus.

But the downs...the big one was the kitchen timing. Our entrees arrived over the course of 45 minutes - and I'm not even exaggerating. Many of the entrees are billed as "big enough for two" - you're meant to share - so my best guess is that the kitchen goes for a tapas-style, send it out when it's ready approach.

Which works at tapas places but I don't think it's a great fit for the Nickel Taphouse menu. Also, we weren't expecting everything to be so staggered and no one explained that we should expect it. It threw us off, greatly.

After dinner, we headed over to the Mt. Washington Tavern. I hadn't been back since the remodel and half the people with us - Kyle, Mary, Lindsay and Chad - aren't from Baltimore, so they'd never been at all.

Everyone was right to say that it looks great in there. It's gorgeous. But kind of weird, too. I loved MWT the way it was - I have so many really funny memories there from my twenties. It was kind of jarring to see it all polished and grown up. But they were busy, which is great.

In other news...really, the only other news I have is that my Facebook feed has been blowing up with links to this Buzzfeed list of disgusting vintage food. I hear you, everyone. It's gross. But so entertaining!

Happy weekend!

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