Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bar #47 Pacer's Restaurant (Deceased)

This week's bar faces the strongest opposition that I have seen so far. When announced that I was going here for this week's bar I had multiple negative comments with a slew of likes on them. Looking up reviews of the bar gives an odd split of very negative and positive reviews. My friends and I still ventured in to this week's bar ready for anything. Is bar #47 the worst bar in Lakewood or is Pacers Restaurant on pace for the best.

The first thing you see when you get to Pacers is a gigantic patio. It's in fact the largest one in Lakewood. So, if today's blog entices you to visit, then do it while it's warm enough to enjoy the giant outdoor space. The second thing we noticed was the entrance is a revolving door, always a good decision for drunk people. Of course the entrance is for the entire office building and not just the bar.

Upon entering the bar you are greeted by the hostess and a long room. The bar is split in four parts. The quarter you're in is just entrance area and bar seating. You can circle around the bar for more seating at the bar and play a variety of games like pool, darts and corn hole. There is of course the large patio area, that we chose against to hide from the insect hordes. The downside to living next to a Great Lake is it's also a great buzzy insect incubator. Lastly there is a bunch of seating at tables and booths ending with a large projection TV. The whole restaurant has a horse racing theme, which explains their name.

Just to get this part out of the way the service was good. They were friendly, answered my questions and put up with the my minor obnoxious ordering quirks that have slowly grown through this blog.

I ordered a Southern Tier Pumkin Ale. It had its own glass and they put cinnamon around the rim. Pumpkin is the primary flavor to the beer with a background taste of mild ale and a dusting of seasoning. I prefer a pumpkin ale to taste like pumpkin, not as an ingredient to be hidden. So I approve of the beer and will drink more of it once it's no longer summer.

Now onto food! There's free fresh popcorn. I ordered the garlic and chili wings both saucy and crispy. This didn't please me, they are very small and the crispiness eliminated almost all meatiness leaving them a bit tough. I also ordered the self proclaimed “America's Best Ribs.” They are not the best ribs in America. They are quite good. The sauce was solid, not standing out but enjoyable. The ribs were tender and meaty. Kelly ordered the quesadilla with very low expectations but they were good, being both light and non-greasy. Their ranch sauce/dressing was highly recommended. They also offer food, some nights, till 1 am.

Jonn doesn't like spicy foods for the most part. You may remember from a previous blog that he still tried the ghost pepper sauce and extremely regretted it. Jonn has been trying fight back against things that make him unhappy. He has a fear of heights but has been climbing mountains, very tall buildings and even trapezing. This is the reason that he tried the undead sauce, just because he doesn't like most hot things doesn't necessarily mean he won't like this one. The counter argument was presented: I don't like being hit in the face with a ball peen hammer. I'm not going to try getting hit by other hammers to see if I'll like a different one. The moral to our story is that there is a difference between facing new things and your fears and doing things that will make you unhappy in different ways.

Today's tip on women: Guys, when women have a cold with puffy eyes, and a runny nose. No matter how much “you don't mind”, they do not feel sexy. They also probably won't want your oozing face near theirs if you're the sick one. Tell them they're beautiful and give them some chicken soup because you know you're going to be a whiney jerk when you catch it from her.

Pacer's can stand as much as a restaurant with a bar as a bar with food. They have your normal bar activities including trivia, karaoke and free wifi. There's no problem just drinking during your visit. Pacer's has a large food selection levels and received mostly good reviews by the five of us. The beer selection is passable giving multiple options no matter what your beer taste is. The pricing is above dive bar but you can eat a meal for under $10. We left bar #47, Pacer's Restaurant, happy and so can you.

14600 Detroit Ave

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August Events

Hi everyone here is a quick event blog between blogs.

First off, last weekend was the Car Kulture Show. There were thousands of people and hundreds of hot rods, classic cars, motorcycles and just about anything else with wheels that you'd hope to find. There was also music, photo booth van, food all over the place. However, I was with my wife and her folks so I was lazy.  Here are a handful of pictures I took and some links to see more.
Pictures from the Observer.

This Saturday we have two other big events.

First is the Pillars of Lakewood Wing Crawl this Saturday from 1pm - 7pm. People will be going to 13 different bars and restaurants and trying two different types of wings from each. The event is basically sold out but there may be a handful left at a couple bars. It's a good event that gives you a chance to check out a bunch of our Lakewood businesses and see what type of wings you like the best.

Check out my blog from last years wing crawl here! BLOG

Last but not least is the LKWD Music Fest at Mahall's. Mahall's: “The LKWD Music Fest began in 2012 because we (the Mahall’s team) wanted to have a summer block party with music, food and friends in Lakewood.” Basically, there is a ton of great music, food and community fun going all day long. You should go. There is no logical reason not to. You can hear music outside and/or inside with the air conditioning. You will want to eat food at some point and you can use this to fulfill that need. You might be deaf and full from the wing crawl, then you can go bowling to work off that weight and get a drink mixed with their mixers made in the bar. So, I'll see you there.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bar #46 West End Tavern

This weeks bar fits into a peculiar place on the list. It's the bar that you have no logical reason for never going to. It looks nice and inviting. There doesn't seem to be anything irritating about it. For some reason you've never been there. Hell, I went to 44 bars before and I can't tell you why. Bar #45 is the West End Tavern; it's time to find out if it was worth the wait.

West End Tavern is a classy looking bar. It feels like the bar your grandfather would have gone to meet his buddies after work. There's is lot of wood between the floors, bar, booths, tables and chairs. The chairs are all tall at the tables. The booths barely fit 4 people. There is a flair of the newer bars with the multicolored painted tin ceiling and chalkboard with the different beer options listed. The West End Tavern was clean except under two of the patrons.
They have all the standard beer options along with some interesting exceptions. The West End Tavern ups its classiness by carrying a selection of wine that expands past simply asking what color you would like. I went with Bass Ales off the tap this evening. It's an old school beer with a mild and clean beer without the skunkiness, tinniness, or old man beer taste that comes with most of the hipster beers.
Johnny went with a Pilsner Urque from Plzen in the Czech Republic. It's a higher quality pilsner worth trying for pilsner lovers and may talk their nay sayers into changing their minds.

The West End Tavern shows off a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches leaning towards their burger options. I decided to get their patty melt. The meat quality was good and it was cooked properly without the worry of medium meaning something other than its proper description. I also went with the sweet potato fries. They were good as well.
My achievement for the evening was the impossible segue. The topic of cancer had come up because a dog that used to come to my dog daycare had died of it a couple months back. Normally there would be no way out of this topic without the awkward long pause or the luck of food showing up. I chose a different route, “Speaking of cancer, it's been a long time since I've had crab legs!” There was almost a breeze as everybody let out a breath of relief as the anxiety levels dropped. Note, you can't make a cancer joke unless you are the person most affected by it in the conversation. Otherwise everyone will get crabby with you.

The service, once we got menus, showed up as often as we wanted and was polite. She did her job without warranting any complaint from us. Also boobs. At this point, that is all that any of us can remember of her. This isn't because of their actual size, but it probably helped. She was neither plain nor bad looking. She was showing the maximum amount of cleavage possible without changing the designation of the bar. I'm not complaining. I'm sure it normally helps in the tip department. However, if someone asked me how the service was that night, my answer would be, boobs.

The West End Tavern is a nice bar. It's a nice, classy looking tavern with a fresh, nostalgic feel. The service, food and beer selection were fine. I finally enjoyed my visit to bar #45, West End Tavern, and so can you. Also, boobs.

18514 Detroit Ave

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bar #45 Eddy & Iggy's (Deceased)

Theme, every bar opens with one in mind. Beyond the obvious putting together a place where people drink alcohol, enjoy themselves, and spend enough money to make a profit, most bars open with a vision of what will set them apart from the masses. Some owners decide I'm going to make a place for people to watch sports. Others want a bar with great food. Yet other owners want a bar where people will get drunk on cheap booze. Regardless they all see their ideas as unique and usually personal to what they, themselves want from a bar. This week's bar opened with an obvious purpose but had to fall back to one of the cornerstones of running a popular business: the customer is always right. Bar # 45 is Eddy and Iggy's.
Earlier in the day I had a conversation with Johnny about where we were going for tonight's bar. It came down to me saying, “Not the Iggy's on Madison with the little neon sign; Eddy and Iggy's across from the Beck Center.” He quickly wrote down, “The Iggy's bar (unknown word) on Madison.” I have a habit of showing up a little late but this week I made sure I was on time. As you probably guessed I beat him there.
The inside of Eddy and Iggy's is a light yellow with an old style tin ceiling. There are lights and plasma TVs all over the place forcing you into a state artificial entertained euphoria. The walls are covered in St. Edwards and St. Ignatius sports items. That's why they are called Eddy and Iggy's, just in case you hadn't put that together yet. They even have a sign showing all of both schools championships and the winner of their football game that year, signified through the title of Holy War Winner. The bar crowd, though sparse tonight, was primarily there to watch the Indians game. There are also long rows of unique beer tap handles above the front windows.

Eddy and Iggy's produce their own beers. They have a huge lineup of beer options brewed through a third party brewery. Monday is growler day if you want to want to take some home with you at a discount. I was going to at least sample them all during my visit. Turns out their brewery has been expanding lately and hasn't had the space to brew the bar's beers, leaving me with only stouts. Honestly, I don't really like stouts. I can drink them, say why one is better than another and appreciate a good one but I'll rarely want one. Instead I ordered Great Lakes Brewery's Oktoberfest. It's crisp with a bit of fizz and tastes of fall spices. There isn't much actual beer taste to it, but GLB's Oktoberfest is still enjoyable to drink.
Well, Johnny still hadn't arrived so I ordered some food. I went with their Sweet and Spicy Tiger Sauce Wings because with that name how can you wrong. One way you can is by not having wings with bones. I went with their boneless variety instead. They were good and a little crunchy. The sauce is a bit spicy and smokey. They are a pleasing choice. They are also small and an order will not constitute a meal. Also, it's a little pricey for the amount of food.

Johnny finally called me from Iggy's. He didn't seem remember our actual conversation but it turns out the mystery word was “not” and wasn't “is”. Unfortunately, he road his bike. Johnny then had to ride back home and get his car.

Shortly after I finished eating he finally arrived and ordered his own wings (plane) and Oktoberfest. I decided I need more food and got funnel cake. It tasted good but was a little tough/chewy.
For second beer I went with Hala Kahiki Pineapple Beer. It's brewed by Rivertowne Pourhouse out of the zombie capital of the world, Monroeville, Pa. It tastes like pineapples, goes down smooth but wasn't too sweet. In other words, since this beer is highly drinkable and not a light beer, you will drink it quickly many times over and become drunk far quicker than you had planned.
Johnny order Eddy & Iggy's Black Storm. It's a complex stout with the characteristic sweetness mixed with a duel coffee and chocolate bitter taste.  It stays interesting from start to finish.  It's tap is a black bear.
They have pay phone recharging machine. You plug your phone in and then lock the door and charge your phone. The back panel of the machine was unlocked. It also, tells you what music is playing and I assume gives the option of changing it.
Mike was eventually our bartender. He was attentive and helpful on a slow night. He works here once a week. He can talk a lot about Iron Maiden, beer and baseball.
Eddy and Iggy's was originally and still somewhat is a high school alumni sports bar for St. Eds and St. Ignatius High School. They wore the catholic school girl or boys school uniforms for the first 6 months. Quickly it became apparent that besides fall Friday nights the crowd was younger than expected and didn't understand the choice in wardrobe. The bar now caters mainly to 20 somethings. They have karaoke every night. Many nights people from the Beck Center make their way over to up the quality level of singing a peg. You can play Pac Man on a 101” projection system. I didn't realize this so I didn't get to try it out.

They have a patio with tables, chairs and whatnot.

I'll probably be heading back because I didn't do any of their fun stuff: karaoke, bar brewed beer, wings with bones, corn hole, beer pong, burgers (They're supposed to have good burgers but I didn't get one. The only person I know that's gotten one, said that hers was frozen in the center. How was yours, let me know? It's good to have a consensus.), giant projection video game, charging. Subtracting all the extra stuff and coming in while they're slow (the weekends are packed,) I enjoyed myself at Eddy and Iggy's. The bartenders were friendly and attentive. I liked the beers I drank and their options. The food has its ups and downs but was tasty. Eddy and Iggy's has so much awesome going on that I still need to try that I have to go back and so should you. It is also my 45th bar.

17900 Detroit Ave
Website  <---Check this out.  They have a lot of helpful E&I info.