Tuesday, July 29, 2008

San Diego bar- Hamilton Tavern

Tap--- tap--tap___ Telegraph white__ served on tap- tap____
Like Ahab in search of his white whale,
I was Rehab in search of my white ale.

I had heard of this rarity, this Telegraph white, but was not prepared for a smoky glass of liquid barbeque. This hickory switch (up) stung my senses and branded beer its own food group, which seemed to be the norm at Hamilton’s Tavern*.

*Makings of a modern day beer hall:
1) Beer tap studded ceilings
2) Belgian craft beers, local and microbrews
3) Over 130 bottles, along with unlikely tap features like, Port Party Pants
4) Pool tables, fuse ball tables, darts and shuffleboard
5) Greasy bar treats

Food orders were placed through a window manned by the surly, female chow-slinger who reminded me of a speakeasy bouncer that had just received the wrong password.

It was worth her glowering:

Beer soup- Learn it, live it, love it. You might leave ten pounds heavier if you actually treated it like a bowl of Campbell’s with its heavy cheddar and beer base, but it’s a fry’s best friend and random spoonfuls washed down my burger like an oyster shooter’s beefy cousin. The bowl was bigger then my head, bigger than Frankenstein’s head, bigger than Great Grape Ape’s head….Four of us shared a bowl and still didn’t come close to finishing.

Burgers- I debated between the Hamilton (avocado, bacon, manchengo, onion jam and house bbq sauce- yum!) and l’america burger (cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle), so I went with the choice that would make Uncle Sam proud (and I felt obligated since it looked like his long lost brother was sipping an Anchorsteam in the corner.)

L’ America was a two handed burger, but didn’t have an insurmountable wall of meat (1/2 lb.) All bites were balanced with precise burger to bun ratios and its distinct char easily made it one of the best in town.

Wings- I was thrilled with the wings, but my standards are different than most. I like them petite and crunchy (no disgusting, wobble skin), so they might be too small for some, but for my needs they were first rate (battered in Wahoo wheat beer and homemade wing sauce.)

6) Jukebox- Wow, when was the last time I heard, “Stairway to Heaven?” Probably when it turned 100,000 on the odometer of my eardrums, just as, “Shook me all night long” had left the party sometime during high school. But their comfortable lyrics were like sliding into a favorite T-shirt that had been pushed to the back of the drawer and by the end we were howling a rousing rendition of, “Stand by your man.”

Come early if you want a table (only four in total, along with two booths by the pool tables) and dogs seem to be welcome patrons.

Call me Ishmael…For I will regale this tale to the masses.
Call me a cab… I might be at Port Party Pants for a while.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

loved it, just loved it