February 06, 2004

beer slushies

One of the great things about this time of year is that it is the season for my favorite beers. Living in Dallas limits what you can partake of when one goes out and about, but we still try.

We are educating Dallastonians one bartender at a time.

We hit one of our favorite restaurants, the Melting Pot, as a Chirstmas treat last week when we had a baby-sitter. They actually have Guinness in the pub drought cans and we love it with the cheddar cheese fondue appetizer. We arrived early and ended up seated at the bar waiting . So, I ordered Bass and added what has become my standard directive in Texas: “and we would like that in room temperature glasses.”

The nice young lady was all in a funk over this rather ordinary request as they apparently did not have any glasses that were not encrusted with a layer of frost. I resisted caving in out of pity. “Do you have any Dixie cups?”, I asked, adding, “I’d rather drink beer from a Dixie cup that ruin it with a frosted mug.”

Now any one not from the Southern United States probably does not fully appreciate the pain I was putting this poor gal through. People down here just don’t have any appreciation for beers that are not thin, insipid and so bad in flavor as to demand being served slushy style. The nice thing to do, that is the Christmas Spirit thing to do, was to say, “That’s OK, I’ll just wait on it to warm up.”

But when it comes to beer, nice just isn’t me.

I think I lost my charitable spirit once a couple of years ago in an Italian restaurant that we frequented in part because they served Bass (good beer with a decent meal is very hard to come by down here). On the last of many trips to this place, we were served beers that were literally frozen. Can’t pour it out of the bottle frozen.

I wasn’t too upset about the frozen Bass and in fact was rather amused because I had lamented previously that they serve they Bass too cold, but we knew could wait for the bottle to warm up some by the time dinner was served. I went back up to the dude who served the beers and told him I needed a couple more beers as the two they served me were frozen. With a straight face, he said, “What’s the problem.” I replied that freezing ruins the beer and that I would like a beer that had been properly kept at an appropriate temperature. “But they are better that way!”, he responded, practically shouting.

I settled for a refund on my beer.

So the poor gal at the Melting Pot was dealing with a deep bitterness: she had no clue what was hitting her. All worked out well. I gave her a short lesson on beer temperature and she offered to prepare some glasses for us so that when we ordered our Guinness from the table, the glasses would be ready.

One bartender down, a few hundred thousand to go.

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