SO, here we go. Starting with three major Fairmount Ave. spots, our bloody mary tour is off to a great start. These drinks weigh heavily on stomach and head if crafted poorly, however you have to take the good with the bad. Fairmount is the first stop and each bar brought its own flavor. I can tell this tour will be a good one.
Now this place was hard to give an F to. Really, it was. I work here and I LOVE the staff... but really, the Bloody Mary they have here is TERRIBLE. After hearing that the Mary mix was made fresh & in-house every day, I was really excited. But, unfortunately, this mix is made with NO love whatsoever. None. A little passion could go a long way. Even though the ingredients are all present and accounted for this drink was was WAY too spicy (and I love heat), beyond that the final product was clumpy as shit. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about Extra-Pulp-Country-Stand-Whiny-Kids-Hate-It orange juice, but this "drink" was straight beef stew. I am cringing thinking back on this glass of tomato crap I was served. So, just like I chewed on their Mary, they can chew on my F.
Final Grade: F
Bottom Line: FAIL.
This one knocked it clean out of the park. From your first sip, you know that there is something VERY special and unique about this drink. BACON INFUSED VODKA!!! Yessir. These crazy geniuses just found a way to combine my two favorite goto hangover cures into one, beautiful masterpiece. The bacon vodka provides a wonderful smokey taste that perfectly compliments the heat tabasco and horseradish so dutifully employ. Adding to this drink's appeal is the secrecy behind its ingredients. Aside from the bacon-infused vodka, the other primary taste factor is a mysterious mix of spices who's identities are kept under lock and key. Combining familiar tastes with mysterious modifiers made the London Grill's Bloody Mary my favorite of the batch. Maybe it has something to do with being so close to the Eastern State Penitentiary, plenty of homegrown blood to go around.
Since this place won, I'm going to give you all some x-tra DEETS on this wonderful establishment. Very very well put together, cosmetically friendly, and the service is wonderful. The bartender (Kate) was super friendly and was knowledgeable to the point that I legitimately learned something from her, go in yourself and ask why there are 'ladies entrances' at the bars around the neighborhood. It's actually a lot nastier than you think.
Sat-Sun 11-2:30 They do a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and this IS as good as it sounds. Expect to spend between 5-9 bucks on a drink or entree. 5-15 bones total for a simple brunch. Also expect to have a great time.
Final Grade: A
Bottom Line: Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your pigs... Bacon infused vodka will blow your little rowhome down.
Bishops won Donnie's vote as best in show. And when we went back to take some photos I almost agreed with him, but eff that.... this is America. The drink itself is very easy to drink... spice kept to a minimum and the tomato factor was great. It was tomat-tastic (*facepalm*). Really filling and beyond tasty, I was shocked to see they were using bottom shelf vodka it was so good. Now this joint would tell me nothing, the mix is legit made by the owner/GM before any of the employees even get there. So the bartenders come in and gracing the fridge is a barrel o' mary, waiting for them. Mix = SECRET, however my taste buds told me a FEW things. Mainly that the horseradish is piled high in this mix, and it is done wonderfully... not overwhelming but balanced well to bring out the heart of the drink. I found this secret demeanor strangely attractive and if their mix was a lady I would probably hit on it. Garnished with a slice of lemon and a slice of lime, this drink was just super.
Final Grade: B+
Bottom Line: Delivering HARD, this is the classic Bloody Mary.
But fuck it, I drink vodka out of plastic handles.