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Entries in Lower East Side (19)

Tuesday
Jul132010

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010—Bar 184

Day 184—Monday, July 12th, 2010
Painkiller

This morning I was happily awakened with the PayPal bell ringing joyfully once again. Darleya who pens the entertaining review blog, Stuffed Ashes sent in ten dollars to buy me a drink. Thanks Darleya! I encourage everyone to check out her blog here: Stuffed Ashes.

Alright, Saturday I went to Knuckles Tiki Bar in Long Island and tonight I thought I’d check out the newest tiki bar in the city, Painkiller. Are you ready to get tikitized? I know Tiki Bar Susie is, let’s go.

There's no glitzy sign hanging outside, just look for the tiki bar emblazoned doors and you're here. And here we are.

Lots of bamboo and a nice bar with some seats available. I'm officially hau`oli!

Co-owner and master bartender Giuseppe expertly crafts the signature drink of the house, The Painkiller. Giuseppe is a third generation bartender and takes pride in his work and cocktails.

The tiki bar is open!

The Painkiller is delicious and a decent reliever of pain as well.

Valentin was on duty as well. He tends bar, is the bar back and does a little of everything here at Painkiller.

Some tiki knick-knacks and bric-a-brac behind the bar.

There's comfortable booths in the back room.

And that's exactly where Jim and Christina were enjoying some tiki cocktails.

Original tiki artwork hangs on the bamboo walls.

A vintage ad for Ballantine Ale with Ernest Hemmingway hangs on the front wall. Ballantine Ale is available at the bar along with Brooklyn Lager and Red Stripe on occasion.

Here's tiki drink number two: the Missionary's Downfall. It was very refreshing and green.

Topless tiki beauties adorn the top of the glass bar.

Chris and Loretta were chilling out at the front of the bar.

Tiki gods line the bamboo walls.

Hello there, tiki god.

Brian lives across the street and is a semi-regular at the bar.

I love the Painkiller logo.

Giusppe and Valentin work together to mix a batch of Island inspired cocktails.

I asked Brian for a potent drink for my last cocktail and he mixed me up a 151 Swizzle that did the trick. It was time to say aloha after this drink.

Giuseppe poured shots of Zaya rum as a parting gift and let me keep the skull shotglass. Thanks for a great night, Giuseppe, cheers and goodnight, everybody.

Review
Being that Manhattan is an Island, you’d think there’d be more tiki bars here. I like tiki bars so the very first bar I hit on this bar crawl was Otto’s Shrunken Head and it was a welcome oasis back in the winter and in the early days of this bar crawl. Well in May a brand new tiki bar opened its doors and the name of this island hideaway is Painkiller. There’s no flashy sign outside, just look for the doors that say, “Tiki Bar” and you’re here. Inside you’ll find a bar covered with tropical beauties and walls that are brick and bamboo. Original tiki art hangs on the wall alongside graffiti tags to remind you that the island you’re drinking on is Manhattan. The front room is narrow and leads to a more spacious backroom with comfortable booths and tiki gods on the walls. The bartenders are friendly and happy to help you with your drink choices.

And the drinks are crafted with care here. Co-owners Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato are believers in quality cocktails and all the juices are squeezed fresh daily and the syrups and creams are homemade. Giuseppe was manning the bar the night I was there and laughingly told me, “If you’re not using fresh juices, you’re an asshole.”

All the drinks are carefully concocted, Guiseppe was on duty the night I was there and he looked a little like a mad scientist behind the bar carefully pouring jiggers and shots into glasses of chopped ice and meticulously topping them off with garnishes, shavings and umbrellas. It’s a show unto itself just watching the man at work. There’s a large variety of drinks including frozen concoctions, Maii Tais, Swizzles, Daiquiris and Zombie and Scorpion Punch Bowls. There’s no food, but rumors of free hot dogs in the future loom largely.

Stop by Painkiller for a little Island relaxation on the island of Manhattan. Okole maluna and Mahalo nui.

Painkiller
49 Essex St. (between Grand & Hester Sts.)
212-777-8454

Wednesday
Jun302010

Wednesday. June 30th, 2010—Bar 171

Day 171—Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
The Library

Okay, first off, I want to thank bar owner and sometime commentator, Kim, owner of Kim’s Place in Parkston, South Dakota for buying some of the 365 merchandise from the 365 Bars Store that "Boris" set up and maintains. And she not only purchased the items but sent in some photos of her modeling the merchandise as well, check it out below. “Boris’s” 365 logo never looked so good!

I asked Kim via email to describe her bar and here’s what she said:

My bar is not hard to find if you can find your way to Parkston, South Dakota.  I'm dead center in the middle of town on Main Street.  I have a group on Facebook and here it is: Kim’s Place facebook page. I have Happy Hour Mon-Fri from the opening to 7 pm, with drink specials and discounts. I don't have a grill but I do cook up a great Tombstone Pizza or will microwave you a delicious "Dakota Tom's" Sandwich. We have pool and darts along with the occasional Beer Pong or Tippy Cup games going on.  Also Karaoke, DJ or even a live band from time to time. Touch Tunes music system where you can cue up just about anything your ears are aching to hear!  The atmosphere is typical small town friendly with the "Cheers" attitude where everybody knows your name.  If you’re a local and drink the same thing all the time, typically your beer/drink will be waiting by the time you get to the bar (because I'm that good)!  If you are an out of towner be prepared as the locals are friendly (and nosey)! ;)  Weeknights are mostly low key, but more often than not the most fun.  Weekends are crazy and fun as Kim’s has the reputation for the best shots, speciality drinks (Kim's Koolaide, Long Island Iced Tea and Bloody Mary are notably the best in the area so I've been told) and the coldest beer in town. 
 
Also would like to add as the Sturgis Motorcylce Rally is coming up in August that my bar is a favorite of bikers from as far as the Jersey Shore and Long Island. Bikers that get off the main interstates, and want a scenic ride thru South Dakota drive Hwy 44 which goes thru Parkston. I open early during these couple weeks just to cater to the bikers and for those that choose to spend the night in Parkston they've come back year after year.


Thanks Kim, sounds like a top-notch tavern!

Okay and speaking of taverns, on to tonight’s bar. Tonight we’re going to a library, a library with not only books, but booze. The Library is a bar in the East Village that I thought I’d donate two of my books to the bar. Might as well let them collect dust there instead of in my  apartment! Put on your thinking caps and let’s make tracks to The Library.

Here we are, this looks like my kind of library.

There's a couple seats at the bar, so let's check out a beer or four at The Library.

The background lighting is red and it turned bartender Linnea into a red portrait. I tried another take.

And this one came out red as well. What can I tell you, the Library is a red bar.

And to prove the point, the other bartender on duty (I forgot to write your name down, if you're reading this leave it in the comments section and I'll correct it) came up red as well!

There's a variety of themes going on here, from Halloween to Christmas to spinning globes.

Lots of beers available for your drinking pleasure.

Here's Marise who was seated next to me. She bartends uptown and I'll be stopping by her bar soon. Stay tuned!

My two books I'm donating to the library.

Linnea and Marise pose with the books.

Some of the other books available for check-out at The Library.

Here's Saucy, who was enjoying a little sauce at the bar.

There's candle lit tables in the back and a movie screen that plays B-movies and an occasional Kung Fu flick.

There's also booths. Here's Patrick and Alex enjoying a beer in the back of The Library.

Gumballs!

There's not only graffiti in the bathrooms, it starts on the doors in this joint.

Okay, time to get back to the bar.

Here's Thomas and Early at the bar enjoying beers.

And my books are officially installed onto a shelf at The Library. Huzzah! Goodnight, everybody!

Review
There’s no whispering in this library. In fact when the jukebox is cranking out Iggy Pop, Misfits and Dead Kennedy tunes, you’ll find yourself shouting out for your next can of Rolling Rock to the friendly bartender on duty. This library does have bookshelves lined with books (including mine!), but if you don’t feel like reading out of a book, there’s plenty of graffiti on the walls to peruse. The front of the bar houses a horseshoe bar and there’s candle lit tables in the back and booths as well. The back wall has a screen that plays B-list movies. Plastic skulls and Christmas tree lights adorn the walls and ceilings.

There’s a full bar available with bottled beers featuring: Heineken, Red Stripe, Stella and Newcastle. Budweiser, Blue Moon, Stella and Guinness are available on tap and if your wallet’s a little slim, Natural Light, Rolling Rock and Busch are available for just three bucks a can. There’s a daily Happy Hour that runs from 5pm to 8pm for with two-for-one drinks.

The only card you need at this library is your I.D. card, check it out.

The Library
7 Ave. A (near Houston)
212-375-1352

Monday
Jun282010

Monday, June 28th, 2010—Bar 169

Day 169—Sunday, June 27th, 2010
Sala (Originally headed for Hecho en Dumbo)

Okay, tonight I feel like a little Mexican. But then I got up off my knees, took off my sombrero and felt like myself again. (rimshot) Thanks, everybody! I’ll be here all week! But seriously folks, it’s time for the Sunday dinner here at the bar crawl and I’ve been craving Mexican food. I found a place online in the Bowery that looks great called, Hecho en Dumbo. ¡Déjenos tan hacen como cabina franca y golpean el camino de mierda!

And it's another beautiful night in New York City on the old bar crawl.

I'm stuck behind these two slow walkers. HATE the slow walkers!

Here's one of my favorite pizza places. Sadly they don't have a bar, so we won't be going here.

Been there, done that. Amsterdam Billiards, not the woman, get your minds out of the gutter people!

Okay, here we are at the Bowery on the Lower East Side.

And here's the bar. Let's check it out.

Motherfucker, it's packed in here and no seats at the bar.

Back on the street and time to improvise.

This place was right around the corner.

I thought the Elvis head in the window would bring me luck, but sadly it didn't. I went in ordered a Red Stripe and the bartender was a nice guy and was curious about the bar crawl, but he informed me I couldn't take flash photos in the place. Shit. Time to move on. Goodbye Elvis and thank ya, thank ya very much.

Okay, this place looks nice, let's check it out.

I like the big wooden doors.

Wow, very nice inside! Let's see if photography is allowed in here.

It is and the beautiful and friendly bartender Melissa poses for a photo while serving me a beer.

Here's the back dining room and kitchen. The place has a real rustic, Spanish feel to it.

Here's the bar area.

And here's the open kitchen.

There's also tables and chairs up front with a nice view of the street outside.

Melissa at work at the bar.

And Melissa serves up dinner. I had the Magret De Pato from the Tosta selections. It's grilled sliced duck breast with balsamic shallot served on toast.

Wow, it looks great!

Time to dig in for another Sunday dinner on the crawl.

Delicious! Thanks for the great service, Melissa! ¡Buonas noches, todos!

Review
When you enter Sala you instantly leave the Bowery on New York’s lower East Side and enter a little slice of Spain. From the exposed brick to the candle lit tables to the rustic brick archways, this place is charming, relaxing and has an overall warm feeling to it. The bar is large and there’s several tables in the front area. The back room is the comfortable dining area with an open kitchen, rustic iron lanterns, an open kitchen and a tiled roof overhead.

There’s a full bar with a good selection of beer, wine and sangria. The menu is Spanish Tapas and some of the selections include: Tortilla Espanola which is an egg, potato and onion omelet, Plato Fiambre Espanol which consists of serrano ham, chorizo,. salchichon, manchego cheese and Plato De Quesos, a selection of four distinct spanish cheese served with quiche and almonds. There’s seven tosta (toast) selections including: Brie Fundido which is baked brie over choice of serrano ham or wild mushrooms, Gambas Ajo Blanco offers sauteed shrimp over garlic almond puree with grilled scallions and Hojas De Lomo which is adobo marinated pork loin over gruyere cheese with piquillo peppers. Happy Hour runs from 4pm to 7pm at the bar, Monday through Friday and there’s free Sangria with every Paella purchase on Sunday.

Sala is Spanish for living room and they make you feel right at home in this Spanish bar and eatery. ¡Aclamaciones!

Sala
344 Bowery (@Great Jones St.)
212-979-6606