I had avoided this joint all these years because I thought it was claimed by the hipsters. My visit Saturday proved otherwise, and made me feel pretty lame for prejudging a business I hadn't been to because of association.
We walked into this place in the early afternoon on a Saturday. First of all, I'm a little hungover and they're playing Black Sabbath. This shouldn't work, but it totally did. We started with a bloody mary and were asked if we wanted to make it ourselves. Awesome. We moved onto a couple of beers before discovering their cocktail list. This place is like Rickhouse or Comstock without the assholes in 1920s clothes! We had a fresh watermelon-mint concoction that was pretty damn refreshing.
In the middle of the day, some dude pushes a rickety old grill outside onto the corner of 16th and Guerrero and fires it up. Turns out their getting started on a $5 all-you-can-eat dogs and burgers thing on Saturdays.
I like a bar that feels like a goddamn bar, ya know. This place does, but then it has everything else that makes ya go to places ya might not dig. The incredible liquor selection (especially whiskey), good beers on top, great bartender, bloody mary station, good music, and mixed crowd of friendly patrons makes this a perfect bar in my book.
Final note: So last night I'm dropping deuce reading GQ (I didn't buy it) to find out this this joint is recognized as the 17th best bar in the country. Weird. Mind you, Comstock, Rickhouse, and some other bar made the brief list of 25, but all those places are new players on the pretentious speak-easy scene. Elixir has been around since the mid 1800s. They aren't pretending to be going through prohibition, they actually went through it.
Great sandwiches and drinks. The owners, Eric and the Chic, are down-to-earth people that take pride in their business and their community.
We stopped there on our way to Portland for a quick pint and a giggle and were surprisingly stoked on what a jem of a place this is. We split the tuna melt which was plenty for two people.
For a tavern in the middle of the state, this place is great!
I've known for some time now, that this is great place to have a cocktail or two. What became news to me upon my last visit is that they nail the food too. A buddy of mine swears by their coconut wings, but I couldn't pass up on the "YO-MAMA STYLE BURGER w/ Peanut Butter & Applewood Smoked Bacon."
I've been meaning to try this burger for months. I finally did so the other night. The flavors came together perfectly, and the burger was a solid pink all throughout. It's bigger than a slider and smaller than a pub burger you'd get elsewhere. For $6, it's a steal. Looking forward to having this again.
I went back the next day and had a couple of hors d'oeuvres. We weren't planning on eating there, but when I asked if we could get drink service at one of the outdoor tables, we were quickly seated and given menus.
We had the "baked avocado" and the bone marrow. While the crab was real fresh and the presentation quite nice, I just really wasn't all that impressed with the avocado creation.
Now the bone marrow, on the other hand, was pretty awesome. I totally understand why dogs gnaw on bones all day. I might even start doing it myself. To be fair, this was my first bone marrow experience. I have nothing to compare it to. None-the-less, I was pretty stoked on this item.
The cocktails were just as good as they were the night before. Looking forward to trying out their lunch.
Perfect hangover destination.
The bloody marys are good more often than not. You can order breakfast from next door and eat it at the bar. They even send over a waitress who takes your order and serves you.
It's an awesome one-stop on a Sunday morning.
Hands down, the Big Dog is the best $6 hot dog in the city.
Huge, flavorful, perfectly grilled, and accompanied with fresh onions, grilled onions, kraut, chilli and cheese, pickles, and pepperccinis.
Available after 4pm only. Try this dog (see my pic).
Huge improvement for SF Brewing Co, which seemed to take a nose-dive in service and quality in it's last few years of operation. The place looks way nicer inside. The tall booths were a nice alternative to the sticky tables.
We trusted the bartender to make our drinks, choosing only the Hangar One Buddha's hand as a base. Aside from the obvious fresh-squeezed citrus added to it (unnecessary) I'm 90% sure he added absinthe. Now I'm not opposed to absinthe, but I don't think it lends itself well to such an acidic drink. The first sip tasted a bit like NyQuil right after brushing your teeth. After that, it was less abrasive, but far from tasty.
I say order one of their suggested cocktails, I'm sure they are a bit more familiar with those flavor profiles.
Arrived just before midnight on a Saturday for a nightcap. No reservation was needed. The place was a little loungier than I'm used to and included a bored DJ staring at a laptop.
The bartenders seemed to be knowledgeable mixologists ready to answer any questions and make appropriate suggestions. Very nice guys.
Fresh ingredients and good service. Our drinks ranged from $10 to $12 each. They were all very good.
I'd go back, but only if I was in the area. It is in a weird location.
Stop by and have a pint. Then go out back and trip out on the Stand By Me alleyway (scene from when the gun goes off).
Stopped by in the daytime. Sure the place was a little weird, but the two bartender ladies were very nice.
After passing by this place for years, I finally went inside last week. I liked it enough that I returned last night.
Place feels more like a real bar than several places in the immediate area. Pretty good beer spread too.
The big plus here is that they have a surprisingly nice outdoor area in the back that seems protected from the wind (alley), cold (heater lamps) and rain (awning).
The kitchen is open until 10pm and puts out your typical over-priced mediocre burgers, apps, and a few salads. My cheese burger was pretty good, but not worth $13.
Oh boy, this place is weird. Sure, all Castor Valley bars are, but this one gets the win.
I'm not above dive bars by any means, the Waiting Room, however, took the plunge to a whole other world of dive bars.
Both times I went there, it smelled a bit like urine. And while I don't like to make assumptions based on appearances, I think it's a safe bet to say this a meth-head hang-out.
I might go back, but only because sometimes bad ideas lead to great stories.
**Bar Review Only**
Open daily from 4pm until the bartender wants to go home.
They charge tax on drinks, that always drives me nuts.
It's a nice place to have a pint or a glass of wine after work. You won't have to worry about it being too loud - there won't be anyone there.
I've been back here a few times since my bad experience with the schmuck who served us last year.
1. if you order from their menu, it's usually very good.
2. avoid Fridays if you're even slightly claustrophobic
3. if there's a wait staff, use them - you'll get your drink much faster
This is indeed one of those pretentious speakeasy-themed bars like B&B and Comstock, however, tolerating their silly outfits is a small price to pay for a good cocktail. The actual price is another story.
Hadn't been here since they opened. I was really unimpressed with their beer selection, their prices, and their food back then. On Friday, my wife and I thought we'd give them another chance for lunch. After all, it had been two and half years.
We waited a very long time for my food, and another 10 minutes for hers. Yup, they staggered the plates by 10 minutes. In their defense it wasn't on purpose, ya know, they did forget about hers. You can't expect them to remember everything.
We were never checked on after our order was taken, never offered refills of water, never apologized to, Our waitress appeared to be avoiding eye-contact with us whenever she'd come to the pass (which we were seated next to). We had to stop someone at random and ask for the bill. She then dropped it on our table without saying anything and walked away quickly. At this point she'd be getting more respect for us for just saying "fuck off, I'm busy". But no. Nothing. Did we somehow piss her off? Maybe she can't stand the sight of patient, hungry, thirsty, polite people. Most likely though, she was simply embarrassed by forgetting about us numerous times, figured her tip was already fucked (which it was), and saw us more as a distraction at this point. In short, she was terrible.
The food wasn't very good at all. I got the "barbecue brisket" that was on special. I'm pretty sure it was from one of those Lloyd's plastic tubs you get at the store. It was not barbecued, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't brisket.
Also, the sparse sprinkle of parsley isn't fooling anyone, but if that lazy-ass attempt at fancy presentation feels needed in order to pass this stuff off as a $12-$15 sandwich, right on.
This place sucks.
* * * Bar review only * * *
Terrible selection on beers and liquor. No bourbon at all, to the disappointment of my friend. My Grey Goose Martini had a dead fly in it. My wife's Kettle-One had some kind of metal in it. Had to ask for our change multiple times. One bartender made it clear that quality has gone downhill since corporate took over. Shift change, the next bartender made it clear that she didn't want to be there. Everything was a hassle. We got out of their quickly and went to Louie B's.
I hate this place more and more every time I come here.
The food's nothing memorable. I've eaten here 3 times in the past 6 years, and seriously, it's literally not memorable. But on to the bar...
I always let enough time pass after my previous visit (half a year or so) before returning to be even more let down. One time last year, the "bartender" tried to talk me out of ordering the drink I wanted, recommending a different brand of vodka. After we got through a retarded debate of opinion, he took my order and kept right on flirting with customers instead of making my goddamn drink - I had to reorder it! I ordered beers the rest of the night, waiting at least 5 minutes for each one - and it wasn't Guinness.
I returned for quiz night somewhat recently and this dude served our table. I gave him another chance although my face probably read "Jesus Christ, you've gotta be kidding me - how the F*&% are you still here?!?!"
Same deal but worse. Terrible, terrible server. At the end of the night he acted like he was doing us a favor by removing from the tab the beers he forgot to bring us. WTF?
"You know what I'm going to do? I'm gonna knock off those last few beers - cause you guys didn't get them. What do you think of that?"
"Well...I think...that's at best, reasonable," I said biting my tongue. Anything to get the hell outta there.
on the plus side:
-they have Smithwick's on tap (but it usually tastes off)
-they have a happy hour (but they charge tax on drinks)
-they have a pool table downstairs (if there's not some douchey insurance broker who's trying to impress some legal secretary with his pool skills)
I'm all mad now just thinking about this place, some of the jackasses that go there, and that one incompetent d1ckweed of a server/bartender. Obviously, it's not time to go back yet.