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« Friday, December 3rd, 2010—Bar 327 | Main | Wednesday, December 1st, 2010—Bar 325 »

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010—Bar 326

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.)

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Reader Comments (32)

The quality of your prose goes up 500% when you're pre homicidal over something like those guys on the escalator, Marty. And that horny Viking Goddess bust gives me mental images of having sex while Richard Wagner (Hitler's favorite band) stirs up a little Die Valkyrie on the stereo at full volume.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

"when a fat woman who smelled like beef stew and linoleum "

Made my day -

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBoston365Fan

Can you please tell us how you really feel about people running down stairs. Telling that story probably got your blood pressure up a little. SJ is one hot girl,,,she can prepare a sampler for me anytime. I agree the chandeliers were cool.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

I love non piss water beer.. but we already know I am a beer snob...
This place looks awesome
i have a friend who says life is too short to drink cheap beer.
he'd love this place..

I love the escalator story
escalators need only go up...
going down one is a waste of fricken time and money..
everyone should get off their asses and stop relying on them ...i feel the same way about walkways at airports...
then again special moments like this remind everyone that Gidget clearly really is a bitch:)
hard to fake this bitchiness:)

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Boston365Fan: I'll never forget that smell. I'll carry it around with me forever like a duffel bag of hopelessness.

@Gidget: It really strips my gears to see people running on the electric airport walkways at airports too. I need a Valium now. Anybody got anything?

December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

That escalator rant was worth the price of admission today! LMFAO! And I agree with Al, S.J. is definitely up there on the bartender babe list! Nice crawling and writing today!

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly


Your rant was funny as hell about the subway.

This place looks like a bigger upscale version of the Burp Castle. Would love to hit this place next time the BBC invades NYC.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerry


Thanks for putting my 20 bucks to good use. A Chimay and a flight of other quality brews -- I definitely approve !

Plus, I get a bonus homicidal rant as well. Made my day. Party on, Marty.

--Bruce Davis

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Davis

@Terry: I think this place would get the BBC approval rating and thanks for reminding me about the Burp Castle, I need to stop there before this crawl is over.

@Bruce Davis: Glad to get your approval and thanks again for the donation!

December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers


This place looks great ... and like Terry said ... the BBC will go there ... maybe in 2 weeks ! I see Valhalla has Bitburger ! I had that in Germany and it's wonderful :) I kept on saying during our last Trip that I wanted to find a place with Bitburger ... but we never got to a German place :(

The Pony Bar is another good place in Hell's Kitchen for craft beer ... their beer is on taps and it's all American beer. They only have Bud & Bud Light in bottles. It's a small place that I think you'd like.

Also ... you'd love the DC subway system .... imagine every stop being like a Penn Station -- people are much stupider down here :(

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Great stop!
What a selection!
(and an "Around the World" too)
I love the decor and the symmetry of the Viking Goddess' Horns and Boobs.

I was praying those pricks got their fucking shoelaces caught in the escalator
and there would have been a follow up picture of them laying in a heap at the bottom.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@GENE: Every time I go by the Pony Bar it's too packed to do the crawl in there. I'm looking forward to the return of the BBC!

@"Boris": That would've been one picture I would've loved to have taken!

December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Burp Castle! That place was, um, very unique. I like Valhalla better. I felt bad talking above a whisper at the Burp, but this place looks like it's got a really friendly vibe (hence, your "friendly vibe" comment) and plenty of chatter. Plus, those flights are terrific! Nice pours for each of 'em and five, not the usual three. So, yes, I would gladly visit Valhalla in Hell's Kitchen. Thanks for the tip!

P.S. Nice rack on the goddess. Reminds me of Sharon Stone.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Oh, and "I'll never forget that smell. I'll carry it around with me forever like a duffel bag of hopelessness"? I'm going to bet my bottom dollar that line shows up in a Coen Brothers movie one of these days. It. Is. Classic.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Bifferoonie: Thanks, glad you liked the line! I'd have them put it on my tombstone but I'm going to be cremated. Quick, someone queue up The Crazy World of Arthur Brown!

December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365: Holy shit , Marty....(sorry, I mean Travis Bickle)....I think you just scared the shit out of me.
What's the rent like out in Bumblefuck, New Jersey?

@Biff: Ha ha ha "Reminds me of Sharon Stone"....is that because it's meant to resemble some kind of rock carving? I'n my head it is, so I say to you, Biff, NICE PUN!

@Terry and Gene: I didn't go to Burp Castle while we were there. I'm pretty sure you guys went to the Hop Devil Grill in the East Village. Not anything like Valhalla but tonnes of craft beers there too.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

Ahoy Clacky......When you coming back?

Your Eagles play the Texans tonight.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

I love the look of this place! Being part Swede, I always love a good Viking legend...

And I remember reading that "bitch on the escalator" story in one of your earlier works (Maybe "99 Beers?") Anyway, when she said "I have a train to catch," you should have said, "You're too late--the cattle train has already pulled out."

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

@Clacky: You talkin' to me? I don't know what the rent is there and I hope I never have to find out. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to go get a mohawk and save Jodie Foster.

@Aaron: Good comeback! I wrote about that on on a blog on MySpace the night it happened.

December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Clacky: Sharon Stone's cleavage is between a rock and a hard place! TO PUNS! Also, good luck to your Eagles tonight - I took 'em! That said...GO BROWNS!

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff


December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Terry: Not sure when I'll be back, old mate. Hopefully it's sooner rather than later. I'm keen to get out to one of your cook outs or go to a game and tailgate. Should be a good contest tonight but being in Australia I won't get to watch it a)because they don't air the Thursday games and b) I'll have to be at work. I'll be watching the Ravens and Steelers on Monday (your sunday). That will be a mighty battle....but sorry, Terry I've backed the Steelers on the pick sheet this week. Go Eagles!

@Biff: Sharon Stones Cleavage? Don't you mean TWO PUNS? Boom Boom!! I've joined the BBC's weekly picks. You'd be happy to know that I've picked the Browns over the Dolphins.

@365: Dude. Get a Mohawk for the 365th!! The locals at the last stop would really appreciate it.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

@Clacky: It's a tempting idea!

December 2, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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