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« Wednesday, February 17th, 2010—Bar 38 | Main | Monday, February 15th, 2010—Bar 36 »

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010—Bar 37

Day 37—Monday, February 15th


Alright, I’m in a much better mood tonight.
The Valentine’s Day massacre from last night is over and it’s time to start fresh on this, the 37th day of the bar crawl.

I thought every once in awhile I’d revisit a bar that I went to when I wrote my book, “99 Beers Off The Wall.” The book was a series of reviews of 99 bars that I went to over my seven day vacation from work, along with a travelogue in between about slogging around Manhattan, seven days in a row, drunk as a skunk. The book came out in 2002 and as you can imagine, some of the memories are foggy at best. Today I was flipping through it and found this “review” from the book.
I knew most people wouldn’t get that joke, it comes from a time when the Beatles were on a British comedy show, here’s the video:

Anyway, I got online and found out that this place is a little retro type lounge specializing in signature cocktails and seafood. In fact the New Yorker proclaims their lobster roll is the best in New York. Okay, I don’t have to work tonight, so let’s go there and see if we can repair the damage done from last night’s nightmare dining experience.

It's snowing outside...Hello Bongo!

Holy smokes, a big change from last night, I'm the only one in the joint so far, outside of the friendly bartender, John.

John serves up the first cocktail of the evening, a Bongo Gin Rickey. John is also an accomplished opera singer and voice teacher. His family runs this theater in Ohio: Huron Playhouse.

Wow, these drinks are potent, one sip and I go into patented spastic mode!

The front of the bar has comfortable couches and chairs to sit and enjoy cocktails and food.

The full bar at Bongo.

Here's the second drink of the evening. My garbled notes say this is a Bongo Bonfire, but checking the website, I don't see such a drink. These drinks are potent, maybe I shouldn't have had those four beers before I left!

More comfortable surroundings await you in the lounge area of the bar.

These fine and friendly folks came in from the snowy evening and joined me at the bar, From left: Bill, Jessica, Tiffany, Mike. and John. It turns out Bill is originally from Cinncinatti, so I entertained them with my tale of getting arrested in the Cinncinatti airport and spending an evening in the Boone County Jail.

The back room at Bongo.

I ordered the lobster roll and cole slaw to soak up some of the alcohol.

It was the best fucking lobster roll I've ever had. And the cole slaw was homemade, crunchy and delicious! This more than makes up for last night's dining disastor!

On to drink number three...I mentioned these drinks were potent, right? Goodnight everybody!


Bongo is fun little hidden, gem of a lounge and bar  on 10th street.
The atmosphere is laid back kitsch complete with retro mid-century furniture and a friendly vibe from both the clientle and the people that work there. It’s a small cozy place, perfect for a date or to hang out after work and unwind on the comfortable couches and chairs.

There’s a slew of custom cocktails to be had here (34 total), including a Ruby Grapefruit Martini, the Bongo Breeze, a Sakepolitan and the Bongo Crush. They are potent drinks, so you can order a mini. Personally I stuck with the regular size, it’s my job after all!

Bongo also has a full menu specializing in seafood delights. The New Yorker calls their lobster roll the best in New York City and I have to agree. Wonderful homemade cole slaw as well. Other treats to choose from include a raw bar featuring oysters, little neck clams and shrimp. Also on the menu is macaroni and cheese, codfish cakes, crab cake sandwich and a tuna burger.

And there’s no fat hairy legs! Hello, Bongo!

Bongo (Chelsea Location, the one I went to)
299 Tenth Avenue (between 27th and 28th Sts.)

West Village Location
395 West Street (corner of 10th St. and the Westside Highway)

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Reader Comments (9)

Your spastic mode looks kinda like crackhead Bob from the Howard Stern show. Cant wait to try one of Bongo's drinks so I can look like a celebrity too.

Nice rebound from last night! Looks like a cool place and the lobster roll looks mighty tasty! And the drinks look potent as hell! Loved that Beatles clip too!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Thank goodness, Bongo, because I always prefer my tuna burgers WITHOUT fat, hairy legs!

Speaking of double entendres, that lobster roll looks fab! And speaking of fab, I'd like to have some of that furniture in my living room! Can't wait to visit there when it's a bazillion degrees out and order one of those not-on-the-menu Bonfires. It looks refreshing!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Who was the interior decorator for the Bongo...George Jetson? I could just picture Jane Jetson in a tiny little see through nightie quaffing one of those Bongo Bonfires while waiting for the milkman to show up! Looks like a fun place with great food though...a nice way to get over your diner hell of last night!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

That ticket agent had it coming.....I cannot believe they smashed your phone

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris from BMW of Peoria

Sometimes you just have to go where the tuna is, hair, fat legs and all! Love this place! By the look on your face.......the drinks are potent! Not too crowded and the food looks fantastic! I would check it out!

I sooooo want half the furniture in this place! it would go sooo well with all my danish modern i collect!.. gooback with a truck and steal it for me Marty...

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Nice looking friendly people, a great bartender named John and beautiful drinks such as the Bongo Bonfire, what more could you ask for in a bar.

Great job!

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

Hey Damn !!! Anybody has noticed that????? Marty, you are an unthinking good photographer !!!!
I mean... THE YELLOW CAB !!!!! oh shit... I would have got a shot like this for my project !!!!
There's a big photography festival in Toulouse and I love as much yellow New York Taxi that I decided to participate to the festival. I got nice taxi shots and I will propose a theme "Yellow New York from the Pink City" I hope to be selected and get the exhibition ! I will let you know ! :)

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZioum Zioum The Chainsaw

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