Monday, July 16, 2007

Guillotine - A Correction

In yesterday's post I indicated that Joseph Ignace Guillotin invented the guillotine and subsequently was himself executed by one. As a fan of mine, Russell McBride, let me know, Bar Man was wrong on both accounts.

Joseph Ignace Guillotin did not invent the guillotine, though his name has forever been associated with the machine. Dr Guillotin did propose the use of a mechanical device to carry out the death penalty.

He did not die on the guillotine, he died from a carbuncle on his shoulder.

That is it, no more posting the historical equivalent of an urban legend. From now on I check my facts.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Belated Bastille Day

Well, today I tried again and met with some success. It wasn't exactly like the street fairs of yore, only two blocks were closed down and most of those were set up for the pentaque courts and, of course, a small guillotine. Pity poor Joseph-Ignace Guillotine who lost his own head on the device he designed.

The Courts and the Justice System

The action started right outside one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood, Bar Tabac. The closest you will come to an authentic French bistro right here in Brooklyn.

Bar Tabac

As you can see, I really was here for their Bastille Day celebration, 2007.

The Proof (isn't he a member of U2?)

I tucked into a typical French bistro meal of mussels, snails, and French fries (served with both catsup or ketchup and mayonnaise. Delicious, and delivered with a nice bread to sop up the sauce from the mussels.

Bar Man Tucking In

I had a Grimbergen draft which, unfortunately, came in a plastic glass. I guess that is because of the street fair. One good thing about Rudy going bye bye is that they are a lot more lenient about letting you drink at street fairs. I have nothing bad to say about Rudy; for an anal retentive, morally ambiguous (do as I say, not as I do, thrice married and adulterous) control freak he would make a good president. Ah, and he is really good at picking his close associates. I think it would have been cool to have Bernie Keric as our Secretary of Homeland Security.

But, I digress. Grimbergen is a Belgian beer that was first brewed in 1128 at the abbey that Saint Norbert of Xanten built for the Norbertine monks in Grimbergen. The beers are now brewed by Alken Maes brewery group. Not a bad beer at all. Dark and hearty.

I also had a beer outside just to celebrate my freedom to do so.

Ah, Free To Swill

I headed up the street a bit and outside of Boca Coca, a nice Peruvian restaurant and bar, they had a food stand. It looked and smelled great. And most certainly not your ordinary street food fare.

Peruvian Street Food

What caught my eye was the smoker. It was made out of an old oil drum and Martin, the fellow manning it, brought it over from Peru. He said he was cooking ribs and they would be ready in about an hour or so. He assured me that he would save some for me.

Martin Manning His Smoker

I figured I would head down to Angry Wade's for a pint or two while I waited and passed this place on the way.

A Trap

I would have passed this store by but for a Betty Boop lunch box with an alarm clock and a wristwatch inside. Pockets lighter by $24.99 I walked out with my prize.

Soon I was at Angry Wade's where I could get a reasonably priced beer. Even though I have numerous free drinks coming to me due to my wager with Wade that I could indeed have a drink in 1000 bars in a a year, I wasn't about to waste any when it was Happy Day and beers were only $2.50

Angry Wade's

I had a couple of beers, a Samuel Adams Summer Ale and a Blue Point Toasted Lager and admired my recent purchase.

Bar Man and Betty

Don't ask about the fan, but think Mysterious Chinese Woman, only $2.99, it's hot...well, you get the picture.

So, after about an hour I headed back eager to get the ribs that Martin was going to save for me. Well, guess what? Martin was nowhere to be found and this was all that was left of the ribs.

My Ribs

There were a couple of scraps left and I took those just to get a taste. They weren't bad, nice and crispy on the outside and still juicy. It would have been nice to actually have had a whole serving though. I shall return to Boca Coca and hunt Martin down and make him answer for this.

I stopped back at Brazen Head of a Chelsea Rye Stout to drown my grief over the missed ribs (and had a free bagel with salmon cream cheese and onions) and then headed on home.

All and all it was a most enjoyable day.