Day 326—Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Another donation rolled in yesterday from Philadelphia, PA. Bruce Davis sent in a generous donation of twenty bucks along with this message: “Hey, Marty, I want you to take this 20 bucks and buy a few quality micro-brews with it. None of that piss-water Corona with my 20 smackers allowed! Love your site! Keep it going, even beyond 365, please.” Ha ha ha! I Iike a man who doesn’t mince words! Mucho thanks, Bruce and there’ll be no Corona or Budweiser tonight in your honor!
Taking on Bruce’s challenge I Googled NYC craft beer bars and I noticed a bar called, Valhalla. So I checked them out and they have a decent review in New York magazine and they have a shitload of craft beers on tap and in bottles. So it’s off we go in search of some non piss-water beer!
I’m on the escalator at Penn Station and these two fuckers have pushed their way past me as they run down the escalator. This is one of my biggest pet fucking peeves. People running and/or walking down the escalator at Penn Station. I know people are in a hurry here, it’s a train station in the heart of Manhattan and people are going to be running around and acting nuts. But if you want to run to catch your train and you’re running late, here’s a little clue...
Run down the fucking STAIRS! That’s what they’re there for! But nooo, everybody’s got to run down the escalator instead of the stairs. The escalator is for lazy people like me that really don’t give a flying fuck where they’re going or when they’re going to end up there. This is my 326th bar, do you really think I’m in a hurry to get there? Fuck no, so just let me relax on the escalator and run down the stairs to catch your stupid-ass train to Bumblefuck, New Jersey and leave me the fuck alone. My worst time on the escalator was one night a couple years ago when a fat woman who smelled like beef stew and linoleum with tons of bags shoved me aside and said, “Hello? I’m trying to get to my train!” And she screamed it in my ear that I have tinnitus in. I’m almost deaf in that ear, but loud noises really irritate it and her screaming into it really made it ring. I jumped away and she ran past me and it really pissed me off. Normally I can let things go, but sometimes when I get pissed I go a little nuts, so I ran after her and started screaming at her, yelling, “Hello, the stairs are for running down...Hello, you shouldn’t be running on the escalator... Hellooo, Hellllooooo...” She was running from me and people were staring at me like I was a complete lunatic and I ended up collapsing in laughter near Auntie Anne’s Pretzel stand. Oh, the fun one can have in Penn Station! Anyway, back to the bar crawl.
Okay, fast forward from my subway ride and walk to tonight's destination, Valhalla. Let's check it out.
Nice and dark in here. It's a little crowded, but there's a few spots at the bar. Let's go snag one.
And the beautifula and friendly bartender, S.J. serves up a bottle of Chimay.
Okay, Bruce, this non piss-water beer is for you! Cheers!
Here's some of the beers on tap and the bottles above show the monster selection in here.
And there's even more on the other side of the bar.
The tables up front have a nice street-side view.
Wooden picnic tables line the walls and lend themselves to the Nordic style of the place.
Chris and Catherine were enjoying beers at a table behind the bar and wished me well on my 365 journey.
A horny Viking goddess hangs over the bar and blesses all beer drinkers.
Jelena and Thiago were chilling out at the bar. Thiago told me he had read about the 365 blog in the Daily News back in March.
The wrought iron chandeliers provide the dim light in the bar.
I decided to try one of the flight samplers of beer and here's S.J. preparing it.
And here it is, I got the Around The World flight. This included Blue Point Pumpkin from America, Uniborne Apple Ale from Canada (Hi Lex!), Bitburger Pilsner from Germany, Fullers London Pride from the U.K. and Cautier Blonde from Belgium. Quite a trip! (And S.J. kindly wrote all the beers down, so she gets a co-writing credit for this post.)
And the flight is over, so crew prepare for landing at 16th Street. Goodnight, everybody!
In Scandinavian mythology, Valhalla is a hall where there’s an ongoing party for dead Viking warriors and it’s ruled over by the god Odin. In Hell’s Kitchen it’s a bar where it’s ruled over by a bartender. The bar is dark, lit up only by dim wrought iron chandeliers and candles and the walls are wooden and a few wall mountings pay homage to its Viking namesake. Picnic tables line the walls and while the bar has a friendly vibe, people tend to stick to their own groups, sampling beer and enjoying the chill vibe in the bar.
There’s a multiple page menu to peruse and decide which type of beer you want to sample. Flight menus also offer several types of beer in five ounce sampling mugs. There’s a full bar in addition to the massive beer selection and an impressive amount of single malts. There’s also a small food menu including a Vahalla dog, chicken wurst, German frites, potato salad and Bavarian pretzels.
815 Ninth Ave. (@54th St.)