( #JosePistolas, #Nachos )
Bartender Buddy | Image Credit: Me
Its no secret that I love Jose Pistolas in Center City. Great bar, great food, great staff. When I see other bars and pubs getting recognition, I often wonder why Joses doesn’t get any press. So this article made me pretty happy…
Over the weekend, our friends gathered to celebrate Allison’s (and her twin sister Andrea’s) birthday. Since we frequented a few new establishments, I figured I would roll it all together in a blog post.
As usual, we started our night with Jose Pistolas. I told everyone to meet us there between 6:30 PM and 8 PM. The bar had a few specials on the menu and I was very pleased with their new beef brisket sandwich (I know the cook does a great job with slow cooked meat and doesn’t take any short cuts). I was sort of hopping that they would have Troegs Mad Elf on tap, but not yet. I know I am repeating myself, but I really do love this bar. We had a section to ourselves, the food is always good, the drinks are always interesting, and the bartenders are good people. By 8:00, the whole crew had assembled: Nate, Theresa, Sean, Kamran, Hiro, and Tee. We would be meeting Andrea at the next bar and it was time to go.
[Jolly’s Piano Bar]
Thankfully, it was a warm and dry night for November which made the 8 block walk to Jolly’s Piano Bar pleasant. Allison had mentioned this place a few weeks ago because she read an article about their grand opening – it sounded like a fun place to bring girls on their birthday. When we arrived, I was immediately troubled about how narrow the building was. When we walked in, I was shocked by how many people were packed into this place.
The sound was terrible – the pianos were packed in the back section of the bar and there was very little seating. The sound coming from the pianos and their speaker system were conflicting with each other, so the music – sitting at the bar – sounded distorted. I had called a few days earlier and spoke to a gentlemen about bringing a large party into the bar; he said it might be a little tight be we would make do. He was so wrong. After 15 minutes, Sean and I took a walk to scout other bars in the area (my sister in law requested we stay close to where she parked her car – which in retrospect should have been a non-issue since I knew I was going to walk her back anyway).
We covered a few blocks in a circle and identified bars that could handle our group. We decided we should attempt a Sushi/Saki bar called Fuji Mountain.
Sean and I were informed that this place had 4 floors of bars and it didn’t look all that busy. Perfect. We ran back to Jollys to give the group a choice. They agreed. We walked into Fuji Mountain and immediately walked up the stairs. We found an empty lounge with karaoke equipment. I knew this was too good to be true, so I went back down to find a manager. The room was booked for the night.
The manager told me he could get us a table in 20 minutes. The group came back down and sat at the sushi bar. We attempted to order drinks and we were told we would have to do that at the bar upstairs which was crowded with a private party (of squids). I started getting pissed off and went outside with Kamran (all of the bars were super hot – I guess since the weather was so unexpectedly nice, some places might have had the heat on). While outside, we were making faces at the group inside (they were sitting at the window). A customer walked out of the restaurant and accused me of urinating on the building. Since I wasn’t (which was quite clear – since my penis wasn’t exposed), I quickly went on the offensive and knocked her off of her high horse. He husband looked appropriately embarrassed for her.
Inside, the group was still without drink and we were not at a table where we could order. It was time to abort this plan. I thanked the manager for his effort and we left.
We walked two blocks down to Devil’s Alley which looked like it had enough space. By this point Theresa had invited a few friends to join us so we had to snag a few more tables. Not a problem at this place. Long story short – our waitress was terrible. She managed to bring two rounds of drinks in the 90 minutes we were there. Nate and I had to go back and forth to the bar to get drinks.
By this point, Allison had her fill of drinking (she attempted to take down Jose’s beef brisket sandwich all by herself and couldn’t handle it, that ruined her for the night), her sister was getting ready to go home, and the rest of the crew looked like they could stay or go. After walking Andrea back to her car, Nate and I decided to cut our loses at Devil’s Alley and head home to finish drinking there. Sean opted to join us since he was celebrating his announcement with Theresa.
On the train, Allison and I were hoping we would run into the crazy law clerk who we had run into a few times before, but alas we did not see him on this evening. We ended the night watching Crank 2, all of us trying to not fall asleep on the couch.
I felt that this night was a bit of a cluster-fuck and since I planned it, it is on my shoulders – I am going to have to do better next year. But I appreciate every coming out to help me celebrate my wife and Andrea’s birthdays. I am reviewing the tape and I will bring my A-game next time.