Booze at Coney Island – Whaaaat?

Omar and I decided to look for some trivia on a Sunday night that we were looking for something to do. We found a live game being played at “Jimmy’s Tavern” on Van Dyke in Warren, I know the location, but did not remember a bar there. Well come to find out that is because the bar is behind, owned by and part of National Coney Island. You can order drinks at Coney Island or Coney food at the bar. That’s right. Mind BLOWN! Jimmy’s also has their “tavern menu” which is supposed to be slightly more upscale than National.

This night, we didn’t plan on eating, just enjoying a beer and some trivia. The beer menu is vast, with a wide array of ales, porters, stouts and fruited beers. Omar is enjoying their PB & J’ale’y beer from Elk Brweing Company. 5% apv, It has a nutty flavor, mingled with a sweet fruited taste. Not my jam – pun intended.

I have been ordering the Erik the Red beer from Dragonmead Brewery. Also 5% apv, it is copper in color with overtones of caramel, malt and hops.

The trivia was fun, and we are happy to say we won second place in game 1 and first place in game 2. Happy to walk away with $40 in gift cards for our next trip!

The next visit was the following Sunday as we felt like playing trivia again, This time we decided to eat since we had the gift cards. I ordered the “tavern nachos” off the tavern menu and Omar ordered wings and tavern fries which are waffle fries covered with melted cheese bacon and scallions. The nachos said they were fresh made in house with melted cheese and even the coney island chili. What I received, however, was stale chips, with hamburger meat, that gross cheese goo melted over it with some black olives. They were not good and a far far cry from the menu’s description, I sent them back which is something I almost never do, but these were basically inedible. The bartender was quite surprised to see I was served the National Coney Island nachos and not the “tavern menu” nachos. She quickly apologized and the correct nachos were brought out soon after. These were worlds better, with totally different chips, real melted cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and coney island chili, Very good, but very large. Too much for me to eat! The wings were average, and the tavern fries good, but not mind blowing.

The food is average, and the National Coney Island food is exactly what you expect. The bartenders are friendly, trivia fun and beer menu extensive. I would recommend a visit, on either side. Jimmy’s Tavern and enjoy a beer, a Hani and a baby greek salad or on the Coney Island side, enjoying a nice alcoholic beverage with your Coney Island dinner.

Didn’t go too far-a to eat at O’Mara’s

O’Mara’s in Berkley is a place that Omar and I have been meaning to go. It has been a Berkley icon for many years and has consistently good reviews. The opportunity had just never presented itself. Luckily, we seem to go to lunch a lot at work, and we decided to celebrate our owner/ceo’s birthday there.

The place was more than accommodating to the large group of almost 20 people. They had our table ready, water all around and more than happy to give us all separate bills. The waitress was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. The lunch menu was vast, with an array of salads, sandwiches and even main courses, with interesting items such as Salmon in a beggars wallet: Atlantic salmon filet wrapped in thinly sliced potatoes and leeks, topped with a jumbo prawn and house horseradish marmalade sauce. I saw this served on the way out and it looked delicious.

I opted for soup and salad, which is a go-to selection of mine. Partly because when I see French Onion Soup on a menu, I can’t refuse, and it is a great indicator on how good the rest of the menu is going to be. I ordered the soup paired with a Maurice Salad. A Maurice Salad is something I don’t get very often as most restaurants don’t typically have as an option. Maurice Salad originated at Hudson’s and I can remember it on the menu when I was a child. A Maurice Salad has sweet pickles hidden amongst a bed of mixed greens, hard-boiled eggs, roasted turkey, sweet ham and tangy Swiss cheese, all drenched in a creamy mayo-based dressing with vinegar, dijon mustard, and other super secret stuff. O’Mara’s dressing had what seemed like chunks of blue cheese, which doesn’t belong and I am allergic too. Otherwise, very good. The salad however needed more sweet pickles. Its funny, I usually hate sweet pickles, but they just fit and need ample supply of in a good Maurice. The turkey, ham and cheese were plentiful.

The French Onion Soup was very good. A beefy, onion infused broth with caramelized onions, baguette toast and melted Gruyere cheese (that is an awesome swiss cheese if you didn’t know).

Everyone else had nothing but good things to say about their food.

One most important thing to mention is their bread. Warm, chewy rolls, covered in poppy seeds. So good, you simply cannot get enough of it. The waitress even commented “I will bring you all more bread, we know its very popular” and it is!!

I am excited to take Omar back and go there for dinner. I think the great reviews are deserved and look forward to writing our own! If you are in the Berkley area I recommend you stop in!!

‘Cause I’m Happy… Happy Hour at Eddie V’s

I know we already did an Eddie V’s review but I feel it deserves a follow up as it has now become one of our favorite go-to places on a Friday night.  We love the bar at Eddie V’s.Bright and airy, with a glass wall that totally opens to a comfortable patio with couches and fire pits. The bar has a great atmosphere but fills up very quickly. The happy hour/lounge menu is very limited, and you cannot order from the dinner menu until 5.

The happy hour menu is more than adequate for Omar. It has both east coast and west coast oysters, served with a trio of sauces. He also enjoys the calamari, served on a bed of rice noodles with a Kung Pao style sauce. Most items on the lounge menu are served early, but not at a discounted happy hour price. I have tried some things on the “small bites” menu, like the asian filet served on small brioche buns. My go to favorites are the crab corn chowder. Smooth, creamy, with chunks of potato, corn, bacon and large lumps of crab. I am telling you I just can’t get enough of this soup. 90 degrees outside and I am still ordering soup. I also opt for a salad typically. The main dishes at Eddie V’s are mostly ala carte, expensive and small. I just feel the soup/salad and bread is a better bang for the buck. The bread is amazing. They don’t always bring it, so make sure you ask for it. Warm sourdough, served with softened butter topped with sea salt.

The drinks are far superior to any other restaurant we have been to. The bar is immaculate, with fresh fruits, herbs and garnishes. The drinks are unusual, from 24 carat gold sugar rimmed martini glasses, infused ice cubes and glasses set upside down on smoldering wood for their smoked old fashioned.

My new favorite drink is a Bullet Sour. Bullet Bourbon, sour mix, honey and filthy cherry juice. The drink is amazing, but you can only have a couple. The sour mix just gets to be too much after a while. The cosmos are amazing, fruity, light, with just the right hint of ice crystals.

The bartenders all deserve a shout out as they are all attentive and friendly. Kim, Nikki, Steve and Colin. Occasionally you will see Joe, who stands in occasionally. We have already told you about Colin in previous posts, but Kim and Nikki are both super friendly and fun and just make the evening more enjoyable.

As we stated in our last post “I Wont Tease – Our Review of Eddie V’s” this is definitely a place to go. Go early, as the the place really fills up. And go on a Friday night and look for us!