It started as a nice, ladylike burger outing, and it ended with a last-call round of water at a neighborhood bar.
Here’s what happened in between.
The RI Food Fights Burger Blowout has been all kinds of fun. On this warm, beautiful Friday night, P and I wanted to get some burgers and then head outside somewhere for drinks. We had never been to G Pub, but we had heard that the burgers were very good. The place was quiet when wet met at about 6pm--likely a lull between the work and going out crowds.
We decided to have drinks and split the Brussels and (Beans) Bacon appetizer before our burgers, and there was much drama as we salivated over them and wished we had ordered double. Heavy on the bacon, and with a spiced honey glaze, these Brussels sprouts are reason alone to go back to G Pub.
Burger Blowout customers could choose from among two or three burger choices--but when I asked about adding a thing or substituting a thing, the bartender just said, No problem--order whatever you want--it’s all good for the Blowout. I ordered an Eiffel Tower burger. With mushrooms, carmelized onions, truffle mayo, gruyere, and yes, an Egg on Top, this selection includes everything that I like on a burger. I reluctantly asked them to hold the cheese and the bun. P got distracted by something or another (probably the little area with the jail-like bars) and the bartender took the liberty of deciding what she was going to get. This was okay, as he was like family by now. He ordered her the OG Burger--basic, with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Between the Brussels sprouts and me reading that G Pub burgers are made with a 50/50 mix of short rib and brisket, our expectations were high.
The burgers arrived before too long, and we got down to business. My Eiffel included the truffle mayo on the side. I liked it--the short rib/brisket blend made the meat stand out, and the burger was cooked medium rare, just as ordered. P thought the beef was a bit “gamey” tasting. I don’t think she is going to love any burger ever, as much as she loved the ones we had on our first trip out.
Antsy to get out of the basement and be outside, we left right after dinner. We checked out the G Pub’s rooftop bar, (entrance on the next block, into what looks like an office building, with a dress code sign near the elevator to the roof) where we found an adorable and unpretentious hostess and another terrific bartender. The views of the city from the rooftop are really beautiful, and it’s nice to have a rooftop hangout in our city. But it did not feel like home. It was all a bit young, and a bit posturing--possibly a Friday night thing.
This night had developed into a true G(eriatric) Thang.
After one drink I suggested that we head to the Wild Colonial. I had not been there for over twenty years, since that fateful night when a woman punched my friend CG. It was TOTALLY UNPROVOKED. Or maybe it was a little bit provoked. Maybe the intoxicated woman didn’t receive his innocent joke about her lost keys in the spirit with which he meant it.
But I digress.
I have great memories of jam-packed nights and Halloween parties and all sorts of shenanigans there--but when we got there, we found things a little bit quiet. P and I argued about whether we should stay, about whether we should play darts, about the rules of darts, and possibly also about Pizza-gate.
I tried to tell P, and also two young men who could have been our children, that I do not have any Darts Skills. They harangued me like the damned Cat in the Hat harangued those children, and they found out soon enough that I don’t lie about the lack of skills. Still, the young men and their partners indulged our steep learning curve and coached us well. These kids were truly lovely, and playing darts laughing with them was weirdly (or not weirdly) the highlight of my night.
Tired and homesick, we needed to stop at our neighborhood bar before going home. Like a favorite security blanket. I won’t share the name, lest it be unjustly associated with an elderly clientele. But it rhymes with The Ides. We arrived about thirty minutes before last call. All we wanted was some water and familiarity. The kitchen was closed, but our bartender was happy to bring P some kind of dessert (the second time this evening that a food decision was made for her).
Sometimes, burger quests lead you on unexpected journeys. It wasn’t exactly Heart of Darkness, but it was our journey nonetheless.
It was a G Thang.
G Pub’s rooftop bar entrance is on Dorrance St., and the basement pub entrance is on Orange St., just around the corner from where Challenges used to be.