Paddy O’Shea’s (map): Headed there after last Sunday’s pub quiz and played “you bought the last drink, let me get the next one” with Paul “Sparkle P” Pennay for a few hours. Manager Karl Long decided to do an impromptu quiz by playing music and giving beers to people who guessed not the singer (easy), but the song title (harder). He then amazed us with his ability to coordinate Bon Jovi videos and songs (I always figured him as a Def Leppard guy).
Danger Doyle’s (map): The staff is still struggling, but this is becoming a regular stop for sports. Caught a World Cup qualifier on Saturday night and except for 1) the outrageously drunk guy who kept swinging back and forth in front of the TV while holding onto a bar rail and 2) some incredibly foul-mouthed England supporters, it did us well. (And my answer to the waitress who brought my bottle of beer and asked if I wanted it opened: “No, I thought I would age it a few years.” Actually, I just said: “Yes.”)
Cappuccino (map): This place is now based in the ex-Cross Club space and provides exactly what we didn’t need in Sanlitun South – annoying bar touts. Oh, and loud cheesy music audible from the street. “Mister, bar, drink” and the distant sounds of off-key Theresa Deng tunes are not marketing tools that appeal to me.
Dropped by Tim’s Texas BBQ (map) last Friday and enjoyed a heaping pile of “macho nachos” that came with side bowls of spiced beef and salsa. By the way, iced tea refills are free. (Note: I will soon have a post from The Village Grouch on the top-five iced tea spots in Beijing.)
On the way, I noticed that the Mexican Wave (map) has a weekday happy hour: local draft for RMB10 from 2 PM to 6 PM. Just in case you want to spend that money you saved by haggling at the Silk Market.
Also stopped at Enoteca (map): Cozy seats by the window and chairs along the extended bar. The owners import most of the wines, which limits choice and quality, but the menu does include a dozen bottles in the RMB98 to RMB120 range and a half-dozen more at RMB121 to RMB150. It might be fun to gather a group and try the four rose wines, from France, Spain, and Argentina, which go for RMB98 to RMB170. And as 8 Songs mentioned a few days, it would be nice if this place had a few beer options as it would help draw groups that include wine and non-wine drinkers.
Tun (map): The Friday ladies night insanity continued, with more than 50 people spilling outside and another 50 coming up the street as I left. Expect a crowd increasingly from the college student demographic. And I would add they are being worked to the point of exhaustion by their teachers given that I spotted a couple of them curled up in balls on the sidewalk.
Nanjie (map): DJ Chunky played his last gig there on Friday night. This mixing monk waxed his junk, played his funk, and, um, got real drunk, laying down sets so tightly wound, they were the musical equivalent of White and Strunk. OK, I will stop rhyming now before someone takes me out with a sniper’s rifle…
Like Tun, this place seethed with people: upstairs, downstairs, and out front. It also featured a flair bartending show that included a guy: juggling three bowling pins while balancing a Hennessey bottle, with a flaming wick, on his forehead; spitting out two-meter alcohol-fueled flames; lighting a pyramid of glasses on fire; etc.
I am often slow to make decisions, but I quickly made one that night: I don’t want my tomb to read: “Died in Nanjie after flair bartending accident.” Well, unless DJ Chunky is playing Yes. Then I might reconsider.
Union (map) and Le Petit Gourmand (map): I am putting these together because they have become two of my default stops. At Union, it is the eggs Benedict (RMB52) or omelets (RMB48) with the bottomless coffee (RMB20), while at Le Petit Gourmand the value deal is the chicken sandwich with fries and salad (RMB35). Note to Union staff: No need to ask if I need a refill on the coffee if I have only consumed 5 percent of what is in the mug.
A few other quick notes…
- The Rickshaw (map): I believe this place after 2 AM would be a contender in any contest that sought the highest blood-alcohol levels of patrons.
- Kro’s Nest (map): I would like a Twitter update when Kro is there because service quality increases about 300 percent – give or take 50 percent- at such times.
- Luga’s Villa (map): On the other hand, the staff here gets drinks to your table pronto and the free chips, salsa, and guacamole are a nice touch.
- The Irish Volunteer (map): I can’t say the food will ever win more than one Michelin star, but the service and the willingness to show the NHL playoffs gets high scores.
- Finally, the Stone Boat has a full slate of music gigs coming up. More details shortly…