Uncommon bars, uncommon bar foods
Beer drinking has shaped American food history since the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, instead of Virginia, because they’d run out of ale. Uniquely American foods, from porterhouse steaks to Buffalo wings, have been invented in taverns. Today bar food is an industry, fueled by sports bar growth and the beer drinker’s unbridled desire to deep-fry everything edible. Some places, like the Chicken Coop, preview the latest industrial products seeking to become the next jalapeno popper. For the most part though, bar food is boringly similar — frozen pizza, chips and dips, heavily breaded fried things and grilled sandwiches. So hoping to find something different, I visited two bars that have carved unique niches in the local scene.
If Fatboyz were a TV show it would be a hybrid of “Sons of Anarchy” and “Modern Family.” This suburban biker bar has a full kitchen that caters to families with daily lunch and dinner specials (kids eat free on Tuesday) plus more on Bike Nights. That kitchen mixes typical fare with invention: A predictable spinach-artichoke dip was served with focaccia instead of chips. Good hot wings could be ordered with homemade sauces on the side (mild, hot, BBQ, Asian Sweet Chili, house, ranch or blue cheese.) Cheese sticks and cream cheese poppers will not disappoint, or surprise anyone. Hog wings, a dish that has somehow not yet become a pork state icon, is the bar’s attention grabber. Pork was braised on the bone and finished in a deep fryer, producing a crisp yet tender treat similar to authentic carnitas....Read More>>”