Wednesday, May 03, 2006

2A - A Bloody Good TIme

About seven years ago I despised spinach. I mean I hated it. I hated
the taste, the texture and even the fact that it was good for me. And
by hated it I mean "Screw Popeye and screw that Bluto-Beating-Pipe-
Smoking-Olive-Oil-Screwing junk he used to eat!" Then something
changed. Whether it was the constant nagging of my mother, or my
cholesterol filled arteries, I decided to give the green garbage a
try. At first my taste buds kept telling me to put down the leaf and
pickup the fry, but I kept eating it. And guess what? Not only did I come
to like this "prince of vegetables", but now it is an integral part of
my daily diet.

So who gives a shit, right?

Well this taught me two things: That the body needs some green
every once in awhile and that you can train your taste buds to like
anything. While that first lesson goes less practiced than my
heart would like, the second lesson has become an elemental rule in how
I approach food. Over the years I have trained myself to enjoy
peppers, onions, mustard, tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire
sauce, Tabasco sauce, olives and (does anyone see where this is
going?) celery.

Upon my Freshman year of college I did what most collegiate boys did,
and that was break up with my longtime lover, vodka, and jump right
into bed with a new (and still ongoing) lover, whiskey. In fact, I
was so hurt by vodka's "love-me-at-night-leave-me-for-dead-in-the-morning"
attitude that I didn't return to its fiery embrace till years after
graduation. That return, however, did eventually come when I decided
to start drinking Bloody Mary's.

I decided that if I was going to drink in the morning it was going to count for something.
Since I enjoy being employed, drinking in the morning would have to reserved for the
weekend. I had grown tired of mimosas, and being unable to afford
straight champagne, I decided to switch over to the bad boy of
morning cocktails. Like all other taste bud training sessions, it
took a lot of hard work and many a drawn out brunches to make my mouth
realize that a spicy and thick tomato drink was the perfect
compliment to a large dish of Eggs Florentine.

In fact, I trained so hard that eventually I could no longer contain my cravings
for this luscious lycopene liquor to brunch alone. Much to the dismay
of many bartenders, I began ordering my drink of choice at night.
Anytime I spied bottles of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce on the bar, I
pleaded with the barkeep to make me a fresh drink.

Most of the time, however, to get a fresh Bloody Mary made post
brunch/happy hour takes a lot of begging and pleading, which was
definitely the case at 2A last night. I had come off a long day at
work and missed happy hour by a good hour. By the time I met the Mrs.
and her friends, the 2-for1 drink sign had been put away and the
nightly regulars were already settling into their pints of Stella and
their shots of whiskey.

As I helped myself to a fresh batch of popcorn, I noticed that my two
favorite sauce bottles were poorly stashed behind a row of cheap
vodka bottles. As soon as I saw them, I saddled up to the bar and
waited patiently to be served by my soon to be favorite bartender,
Mee-Hall (sorry for the terrible spelling). As if she knew my true
intentions, she served everyone at the bar before she came over to
take my order. With a bit of begging and the promise of a good tip
she promised to deliver a fresh drink: and deliver she did. Mee-Hall
served up a perfect mixture of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces,
lemon, lime and olive juice, a liberal spoonful of horseradish and a
wonderful dash of pepper. To any fan of this drink, I recommend you
stake out this bartender out and do/say you whatever it takes to get
served 16 oz of true, Bloody pleasure.

2A is located at the corner of Avenue A and Second Street in New York City.

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