09 May 2009

side bar

Before embarking on the Saturday Trader Joe's shopping hassle, I popped into Side Bar with Alvarez. He promised that the spot made the best Bloody Mary in town. We settled into a few wooden stools at the bar. The ceilings are high, the floors are a wood suited for a country home. The British bartender donned Diesel jeans just a little too small. I grew to like her as she offered a smile and prompt service.

We had no choice but to request a few Bloodies.The good word from the chef is that most bartenders fail on the Bloody Mary front because they focus on the alcohol, getting through that hangover. The secret is to treat it like food. His mix is appropriately described as Gazpacho.

The vegetables and tomatoes are pureed into a refreshing chunky mix. I found myself wrapped in a deeply satisfying state. The flavor is pure, simple. We decided to order a few things on the menu to soak up last night's mess. We shared the Mescalin Greens Salad with White Balsamic and Tomatoes. It appeared to be a bit oily, but I enjoyed the basic elements and found it to be a good choice with the Sliders. We ordered four total to share. Side Bar offers three different versions- available to mix and match on your platter. We tried them all. Among the choices: Goat Cheese Stuffed Lamb Burger with Mint Ketchup, Smoked Burger with Guacamole and Chipotle Ketchup and Cheddar Burger. The sliders are some of the largest I've seen. The patties are thick and probably about the size of what the average burger should be.

The beef and lamb were of excellent quality, although I would have liked the beef to have been cooked a little longer. They were definitely leaning towards medium-rare. In the center of the platter a wonderful little Cole Slaw dressed up the spread. Although it was only a side dish, I found it be be quite tasty- a hint of vinegar and excitement from pickled red peppers. Certainly a great way to dress up a common salad.

15th St at Irving.

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