This is a review of a place I already love, but don’t get too excited—that usually means I ask for a set of keys, drink all your beer and then throw an endless house warming party for myself. This pub already evokes both a resounding Hear! Hear!, as well as a simultaneous what the hell were you people thinking! I am either off my bipolar meds again, or watching Colbert’s “Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger.” Stay tuned for a glorious rant, done out of love.
I already like this place, a lot, and I’m an east coaster so for most restaurant reviews I immediately turn into a bitchy kvetchie, hard to please New Yawker. I immediately liked the layout as well as their mixed drinks, particularly their rhubarb old fashioned, but complaints are inevitable because, let’s face it, they’re funnier.
The Pork Shank Redemption: It’s wonderful. It’s really just called the pork shank, but I was just listening to Morgan Freeman narrate something on YouTube so…
The Chicken Avocado thingie: You don’t call it this, but I misplaced the menu I stole. Great sandwich, but I agree with Cokie McGrath on this one, it could use some better buns (but, hey, so could Cokie…).
The Branding Iron: A steak, mashed potato thingie. I asked for medium, it was well, but otherwise tasty!
The Chicken and Gnocchi: I loved it, but somehow this made the bad list as well. Stay tuned.
The Hummus and Falafel salad: This is wonderful! But the hummus is sold separately…WTF?! I will leave this in the good column if you promise to merge them together into a package deal. Yes, I added the hummus part to the title, but remember:
“One is the loneliest falafel that you’ll ever do.”
—Three Dolma Night
[“I’ve never been to Spanakopita” joke omitted by the editor.]
The acoustics are lousy. It’s not a concert hall so it isn’t a big deal, but it’s worth mentioning. I don’t know how to fix the acoustics, try to invite more librarians or dining mimes. Just a thought.
The gnocchi of the chicken and gnocchi makes the bad list too. I loved the gnocchi, but five? Really? Five gnocchi? My grandmother told stories from the great depression where you could get six gnocchi, free! …with each purchase of a carrot. The gnocchi were delicious, but they’re not scallops for Christ’s sake, they’re little balls of fried dough…balls of fried fucking dough! …and not of the cash variety.
[“Let’s make Gnocchi” joke deemed inappropriate by the editor]
The beer selection…it’s sooo Scottsdale. If you’re not familiar with Scottsdale Arizona, it’s sooo Hamptons. If you’re not familiar with either of these, you should really get out more. Let me ‘splain. Flagstaff takes its beer seriously and we take our coffee seriously…and you have brought us neither!
You must understand, Flagstaff has one fatal flaw: places that serve good food generally don’t serve good beer and vice versa. We have a myriad of wonderful beer bars, wine bars, and coffee shops, but they’re all strangely devoid of sustenance. Aside from the occasional muffin, I could starve at most of my favorite haunts. To sit down with a nice steak and a kick ass ale is not easy to do, unless you employ the Zano sneak the shit in method (STSIM).
One year before this place opened I prayed each night to the porcelain gods, hoping beyond hope that an establishment would open that serves BOTH fine food and ale. Then I walked over to the tap system and I wept a little. The only IPA on tap was Lagunitas, which is not up to Flagstaff standards. It’s the Budweiser of IPAs, the King of Blahs. Seriously? Lagunitas? If this shit showed up in India via camel, the British troops would have sent it the hell back complete with a rude hump-day joke. They also went with two styles from Borderlands in Tucson, a place I tried to hit during my latest Tucson beer review here. The brewery choice isn’t the problem, it’s the styles: a honey kolsch, a citrusy pilsner, and a sweet porter? That’s fine if you have twenty taps, but six?
Oh, and your service is already in need of an intervention. I’ve notified Mr. Ramsay by posing as your manager…uh, and I called him dick, so batten down the hatches. To put bad service into perspective, Flagstaff is where several pioneers are still waiting somewhere for their sliders. Actually they just opened so I’m just giving them a hard time. I’m sure it’ll all work out and I’ve never personally had a problem. But, then again, I take off an article of clothing every five minutes that I have to wait, so I get prompt service everywhere I go. It’s like magic…because the alternative is anything butt.
The 2nd A-Menument:
I ate here again before posting, and they have already implemented a lot of my suggestions! Okay, probably a coincidence, but cool nevertheless. They’ve already stolen James from Cuvee, one of the best chefs in town, and the falafel salad now comes with hummus! No shit. I didn’t even post this yet… that’s the kind of Zen, Dr. Who-like fictional prowess that I wield! And I spoke with Tyler, the beer manager, and they already have a better IPA on tap, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. The Brits could have colonized the whole world with this shit…uh, okay, maybe not. The McMillian is also starting to get reserve Belgian bottles of gloriousness in stock and there’s already talk of expanding the tap system and a tap takeover. So far I’ve spoken to Tyler, AJ, Bobby, and James and these guys rock and this place is going to be a fixture in Flagstaff. So now I can fully endorse this place…uh, if you could just lift the whole ‘I’m banned thing’. Look, the waitress incident was not my fault and the men’s room faucet was like that when I found it. And I’m very sorry about the missing painting, but on the plus side it looks great over my mantel.
|I’m looking right at the camera, but does that stop me? Never!