Tag Archives: bars

The Hairy Lemon

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife and I went on a little food and bar crawl this past weekend, and The Hairy Lemon was our first stop for a bite. We tried two flavors of wings: spicy orange and ginger sauce, and mango habanero. We liked the mango habanero better, but neither were particularly as spicy as we had hoped.

We also tried their tots. These were nice, but just needed a hint of salt. A nice dipping sauce came with them.

I’d definitely go back to try the burger, and to hang for some UFC fights. It’s a big sports bar with tons of TVs, a pool table, a giant Connect Four game, etc.

28 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009

Haswell Green’s

having gone to Haswell Green’s several times for cocktails over the years, I finally made it over there to try the food. I have to say: the burger matches the quality of the cocktails: AWESOME!

It’s a double smash patty burger on a potato bun with pickles, cheese and special sauce. Very simple, but really well executed. Go give it a shot. I actually think this might be my favorite burger in that part of town. Better than Black Tap, all the steakhouses nearby, and any other bar or fast food joint slinging burgers for theater patrons.

The boneless wings pork+veal meatballs are decent as well.

But make sure you try some of their cocktails. Really nicely crafted.

240 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019


A friend of mine’s cousin is the chef here at Beetlehouse, a Tim Burton themed bar/restaurant in the East Village, that delivers quality in both the food/drink and atmosphere/decor departments.

You’ll feel like you stepped onto a movie set when you walk in.

The bar is incredible. I really hope NYC starts allowing people to actually sit at them again soon.

They mix up some really nice cocktails, many of which come to the table bubbling and smoking like magic potions!

This place is definitely for the Burton fans. They even have hired actors walking around the dining room and performing, giving you a show along with your meal.

They currently have a $50 price fix menu, where you get an app, an entree and dessert. We started with the pork belly and the Fanta sesame wings. Wild flavor! They even have root beer and Pop Rocks flavored wings.

Between those two, we preferred the pork belly. It was just so tender and flavorful. It even comes plated up on a bed of tasty grits, like a composed entree!

For entrees, we had the filet mignon and the burger.

Both were cooked perfectly, as you can see below:

Between these two, we preferred the burger. I generally don’t love egg on a burger, but I went with the way it was presented on the menu and it really worked! Delicious. The fries were perfect by the way. Highly recommended.

Dessert was the same for both of us – a pudding of sorts, with crumbled chocolate cake, whipped cream, and Nerds candy. I fucking loved it, and ate both mine and my wife’s.

This place is a blast. The menu is basically bar food that has a fun twist, so don’t expect something like Per Se. We felt that both the wings and the filet could have benefitted from a hit of salt, but otherwise all good. I’d definitely go back for the pork belly and the burger. They also have some topped french fry appetizer items that I want to try, now that I know the fries are absolutely perfect.

308 E 6th St
New York, NY 10003

Aufschnitt Meats

These Aufschnitt meat bars are really good.

I tried a few flavors at a trade show and was hooked. This pineapple one is killer. If you see these, pick some up! You won’t be disappointed.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar

I love this spot. It barely has electric, as it is one of the oldest structures in the country, built in the 1700’s and used as a blacksmith shop before it became a piano bar.

I love old shit, especially old timey bars and restaurants. Hence Tux-Con. Drop into this place for a drink, or even just to walk through and take a look around, if you’re ever in New Orleans.

941 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Gebhard’s Beer Culture

Gebhard’s is a beer connoisseur’s dream bar. Their bottle menu is five or six pages long, printed in tiny 8-point font (perhaps even smaller), and organized by style. Their tap selection is pretty stellar as well. When I was there, I tried a flight of four different brews from Brooklyn. A pilsner, a saison, a sour fruit beer and a stout (pictured below from front to back, or right to left).


All were pretty great, but the stars of this joint, for me, were these White Castle style sliders.


They’re made with Schweid & Sons ground beef, topped with cheese, steamed minced onions, and a dijon-based sauce that will knock your socks off. These little things were awesome, so it’s no surprise that renowned and respected burger expert Rev Ciancio (formerly of Burger Conquest) is promoting these things. It’s safe to say that these are my favorite sliders.


I highly recommend getting up there to try them out for yourselves. The tots were perfectly crisp as well, and, if sliders aren’t your thing, then you can go with the full sized burger.

228 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10023

Key West

I just posted a shitload of reviews for various restaurants we tried in Key West, but this page is more about the bars and other fun stuff you can find there.

Hog’s Breath: This is a great dive bar with live music and their own proprietary brew. Located in “old town” it truly has a pirate, old timey feel. A definite must-see place if you’re in Key West.



Sloppy Joe’s: this is where we watched the ball drop on NYE.



Captain Tony’s: a very old structure that’s been the home of Sloppy Joe’s in the past.


Margaritaville: the original location of Jimmy Buffett’s lost shaker of salt, where you will find yourself “wasting away again” with a nice frozen margarita…



Chocolate dipped Key Lime Pie on a stick: Try one – excellent! Some are not as good as others, but this “Kermit” one is fantastic.


Willy T’s: This place has money all over the walls for some strange reason, and great live music.


Rick’s: A great upstairs bar that’s set up like a mini village or boardwalk of various watering holes. Tons of fun.



Irish Kevin’s: A good Irish bar with live music. Our friend Kevin, who is Irish, was legit in this place.



Conch Shack: Why not? There are many good seafood shacks in town. We didn’t get a chance to try this one, otherwise I would have written a full review of it.


Unnamed Daiquiri Shack Places: Drink while walking. Do it – they make fresh shit at a lot of these places, and have some local beers as well. Take a look at this bottle of Key West Sunset Ale that I didn’t try for some stupid reason:


The Walgreens Theater: An old theater on Duval Street was converted into a Walgreens. Pretty neat.



Tropic Cinema: There’s an actual movie theater on Eaton Street with a statue of Marilyn Monroe blowing her skirt up. Worth a stroll-by.


Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A fun diversion from alcohol for an hour.




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Southernmost Point: Here, you are 90 miles from Cuba. Take a pic with all the tourists who wait on line to get a shot.


The Smallest Bar in Key West: Very small. Drink a pull and move along down Duval Street.


Key West Cemetery: Go during the day, unless you plan to break in and raise the dead at night. I jogged through on a morning run, and then snapped a few photos at night as we walked by.




Chickens and Roosters: These guys are everywhere in Key West, running all over the place unfettered and unchecked. I guess you can call them “free range.”


Leather Master: Bring out the gimp!


Butterfly House: This is a great place to bring a broad. It’s a greenhouse filled with butterflies, birds and even a flamingo or two (which I suppose are also birds).

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Garden of Eden: On the top floor of The Bull bar on Duval, there’s a weird nudist colony of sorts. Go ahead up if you like seeing weird flapjack titties and flaccid dongs.


Art Galleries: Like Lahaina in Hawaii, Duval Street in Key West is full of cool art studios, photo galleries and stores. We liked some of the octopus sculptures and steampunk skulls.



Tree Stump Octopus: I can not remember exactly where this is, but it MAY be Catherine Street.


Epic Meat Bars

My wife’s uncle told me about these snack bars near the checkout at Whole Foods, so I picked up one of each flavor that I could find: turkey with almond and cherry; lamb with currant and mint; uncured bacon and pork; beef with habanero and cherry; and bison with bacon and cranberry.


I first tried the uncured bacon and pork bar. It was similar to a spam type thing. It had a smoked pork flavor, but it was a bit salty and I wasn’t overwhelmed with joy.

Next was the Beef with habanero and cherry. This description had promise. I was expecting some heat from the habanero but it was a bit flat. Also, unfortunately, the texture of this bar was a bit grainy. I suppose if I had approached it with the expectation of a soft, moist beef jerky, then I might have been happier with it.

The lamb bar was really good. It wasn’t gamey or heavy. It was light, had a good flavor and was satisfying.

Then I tried the turkey bar. This was nice and smoky. It has a slight grainy texture, but it was very enjoyable. The smoke, combined with the sweetness and vibrant cranberry, made for a dynamic flavor combination.

Last was the bison. The bacon was subtle, and a very nice addition to the bar. The sweetness of the cranberry again made for a juicy flavor pop. This bar wasn’t grainy at all, so I think i tended up being my favorite.

One thing I did notice with these bars (all but the turkey) is that every so often you get a bite of rubbery cartilage bits that are unsavory. I guess it is to be expected with a sausage-like product.

The Happiest Hour

This place has been getting some traction with the foodies, burger lovers and bar-goers of NYC lately. The joint is somewhat set up like a tiki bar or a surf bar, only rather than a wooden shack, it has fancy wallpaper and some skylights. In the back there is a dining area, but the bar is the more fun place to drop your ass for a drink or a quick burger.


First let me start with the bar and drinks. The cocktails are a mix of exotic fruit flavors and old-fashioned, stiff, speakeasy drinks. Some of them are even served in tiki mugs, like this frozen slushee of the day, which was called Bad Medicine or Painkiller or something of that sort.


I’m not sure if “The Happiest Hour” even has a happy hour special, but they certainly fucking should with a name like that.


My wife and a friend of ours met there at 7:30, which is usually at the back end of, or just after, the typical happy hour times of NYC, but I didn’t see any signage or menu items listed for specials. The cheapest item to drink that contains alcohol is this 12oz can of Narragansett for $4.


Draft beers are on the small and expensive side, at $8 for what looks like a 10oz glass, maybe 12oz if filled to the absolute top. Fuck that bullshit. I stuck with the cans of Narragansett, because I’m not a wasteful asshole, and I actually happen to enjoy piss beer from time to time.


In any event, if you’re here after dark and are looking for an even greater selection of interesting and expensive cocktails (averaging $16 per drink), then go down into the basement to S&S (Slowly Shirley), which is owned and operated by the same crew, serves up some of the same bar snacks (some of which are slightly more expensive down there, too), but sports a massive cocktail list of some of the most awesome concoctions you will ever come across.



This place is Mad Men/Magic City meets The Brady Bunch in Hawaii. The menu is similarly styled as upstairs, but there’s a lot more to choose from, and some really incredible mixes of things you’d never expect to play nice together, like mezcal and beets, or scotch and cucumber.

Okay so now that all of that bullshit is out of the way, let’s get down to the meat of this review: the food.

I ordered The Happiest Burger, which consisted of two 4oz patties, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, confit onions and special sauce, all between a nice potato bun.


I must say that the hype is well-placed. The burger is excellent, and easily slides into my top ten in the city. I didn’t quite taste the onion or special sauce, but that was only because they were generous with the cheese, which I like. The bun was fantastic – nice and simple, soft and strong. The lettuce gave it a good crunch, and the tomato supplied some juice, but without anything dripping all over the plate or my shirt. It was cooked a little bit too much, as you can see from the cut below, but not unacceptable:


The fries were equally awesome. These were shoestring style, very crisp and nicely seasoned.


That bowl size is the $6 side order, as opposed to the $4 smaller size that you can get with your burger. Since there were three of us, we shared the one bowl instead of each getting our own fries. That freed up our bellies to try a couple of other items.

We tried the buffalo cucumbers, with watermelon, poppy seeds and mint, as well as the smoked fish dip.


The first thing I will say about these items is that they are incredibly overpriced and tiny. These small cups of approximately 3oz of food are $6 and $10 each, respectively, for the cucumber and fish dip. That’s fucking dumb. The cucumber thing was good; spicy and refreshing, though very watery. But the fish dip was a fail. First, there wasn’t much fish in it, and what was there tasted a bit too canned, even with the addition of fresh fennel and celery. For $10 I’d rather just get one of their other burgers, or go buy a cheese grater and take it to my erect cock. Fucking rip off.

My wife got the Grilled Cheese Bikini, which contained both fontina and American cheeses, and came with a side of tomato “soup.” I say “soup” in quotes because it was more like shitty marinara tomato “sauce,” served in the same small cup as the apps/snacks. That was a big bummer, but at least the grilled cheese was tasty as fuck. It was buttery, crunchy and had lots of gooey cheese. Nice execution. One thing I noticed was the flake salt that they used to finish it once it came off the grill. That added an awesome flavor pop and crunch to the bread.


I think that about covers it. So we have an interesting review here: Some really great highs (burger, grilled cheese, cocktails), but some incredibly deep lows (pricing, tomato soup, sides). Oddly enough, the burger is fairly priced at $12, considering it is far and away the best menu item that I tried. I would like to try the fried chicken sandwich next time if I go back. Anyway, now you can go there armed with the knowledge necessary to ensure a pleasant and satisfying dining experience. You’re fucking welcome.

121 W. 10th St.
New York, NY 10011