Wednesday, 28 August 2013
August 19, 2013
173/821) Shake Shack in Manhattan's Theatre district, East 44th Street at 8th Avenue: Old Brown Dog Ale by Smuttynose Brewing of New Hampshire, U.S.A.: **; this was in a bottle; pours chestnut; nutty mocha flavours; my wife was crazy about this one;
174/822) Shake Shack, Manhattan: ShackMeister Ale by Brooklyn Brewery of New York, U.S.A.: *1/2; a grainy, English style mild ale with a sweet finish;
The SmokeShack burger might be the best hamburger I have ever eaten.
175/823) Beecher's Handmade Cheese, East 20th Street near Broadway in the Flatiron district of Manhattan: Finestkind IPA by Smuttynose Brewing of New Hampshire, U.S.A.: *1/2:; this was served in a bottle; dry, bitter, herbal, with rooty hop notes;
Beecher's makes about as good a grilled cheese sandwich as I have experienced. Their macaroni and cheese comes highly recommended, though I cannot personally attest to it.
Would you believe they do not recycle glass in New York City? I would never have imagined had I not been told twice in one day to just throw it in the garbage.
Speaking of cheese, I happened across a place called the Vintner Café on 9th Avenue between East 46th and 47 Streets. They had a cooler at the front with a terrific selection of beer, and an incredible selection of cheese at the back. It is just a tiny little place. It is easy to see why people love New York. Here are four reasons:
176/824) McSorley's Old Ale House, East 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue: Draft Ale by McSorley's Ale House, U.S.A.: **; sweet maltiness; an old school English style ale;
177/825) McSorley's Old Ale House: Draft Porter by McSorley's Old Ale House, U.S.A.: **; mocha-ish sweetness; like the above it's not overly complex and, yes, I am probably adding an extra half star to both in deference to my surroundings;
Visiting McSorley's was at the top of my list when I knew we were going to New York City. McSorley's was established in 1854 meaning it has endured the Civil War, the depression and prohibition. Women were not allowed inside until a law suit in the 1970s or so and even then the fine print didn't say they had to build a second loo so for a number of years they didn't. I gather things were rather informal for a time. My wife couldn't imagine why a woman would want to visit but she was a good sport about the whole evening.
NYU is nearby and the place was packed with tables of boisterous students singing loudly. Our waiter came by and offered us a table closer to the front but we declined. It was a kind gesture, though.
They only have the dark and the pale and $5.50 gets you two glasses.
McSorley's is smaller than I had imagined but the interior did not disappoint. The floors were covered with sawdust and it would not surprise me to learn that the bar and furnishings were originals. I didn't chance the gent's room but it couldn't have been worse than Jack's a couple of nights ago.
Of course the lighting was not great but my wife did get a few snaps: