As soon as I knew Elise was in the air for the first leg of her 24 hours of travel I was caught off guard by a rapid onset of moping.
I don’t usually mope when Elise is on vacation. Not right away, at least. Typically I spend a day or two delighting in my pseudo-bachelorhood, and by the end of day three I get bored and start to tidy things in anticipation of Elise’s eventual return. So, I was entirely surprised yesterday when the delight never began.
Maybe it’s because she’s nearly half the world away rather than in a known location like New Jersey or California. Or, maybe bachelorhood just isn’t as delightful as it used to be. In any event, as of three o’clock yesterday afternoon I was officially moping, which made it a perfect time for our friend Melon to send me an email to ask if I wanted to go to happy hour.
Between my need to drown my mopes in cocktails and the general never-ending stream of conversation that Melon and I effortlessly sustain, happy hour turned into a six-hour upscale bar crawl, which I periodically documented on film.
It was at this point that we established our one-drink-per-bar rule, and crossed the street to Tria @ 123 S 18th St. Tria had a great wine list with very aptly categorized and described selections. I had a pinot noir with hints of strawberry and rhubarb. Now ever-so-slightly tipsy, we decided to initiate all subsequent center city bar crawls at Tria.
I don’t know how any Center City bar crawl could be complete without a visit to the Midtown Continental @ 1801 Chestnut St. We sat on the peculiarly stubby stools at the bar and nursed our martinis through a long and increasingly deep conversation.
At this point pleasantly inebriated, we headed to Alfa at 1709 Walnut St. Alfa had my favorite decor of the night, as well as our favorite waitress, but my rose martini smelled like dish detergent and their hummus and baba ganoush were bland. However, Our spirit were up, which leads me to believe we’ll give Alfa a second chance some other time.
Next we hit Monk’s Cafe @ 264 S 16th St. Per usual, Monk’s was crowded and armed with rude-to-the-max wait staff, both tolerable because they have the best selection of beers in the city. We split a bottle of one of my top drinks, Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic.
We ended up circling the same block a few times before settling on Tequila’s @ 1602 Locust St. Neither Melon or I thought very highly of Tequila’s when we ate there last November – it features plenty of over-expensive and under-impressive mexican food – but it had a fantastic drink menu.
Imagine our chagrin when after they sat us outside under giant metal air warmers we were informed that said list no longer exists. Strike one. Next, I was harassed by a waiter because I wanted a rum in my mojito rather than tequila, after which said waiter spilled Melon’s sangria over our entire table (and my camera) while trying to show off. Strike two. My mojito wound up great, but sangria-conneuseur Melon rebuffed her drink after one sip, which was a final strike for Tequila’s.
We were a little bummed to be ending with a poor showing, and almost headed to McGillin’s for some soul-soothing karoake, but decided to save that for our next crawl.
Speaking of our next crawl, we need five more bars to visit after our kickoff at Tria! Suggestions welcomed.