Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blind Tigers And Apples

Well, you know what they say, even a blind tiger can find an apple once in awhile. Or something like that. I never get those things right. But anyway, last night was very serendipitous, even by my standards.

A Mysterious Chinese Sister-In-Law, the one who often travels with the Mysterious Chinese Woman and me and whose house I often visit for family get-togethers, invited the Mysterious Chinese Woman and me to have dinner with her at a restaurant she somehow discovered. She hadn't been there before so I an not sure how she found out about it. I will have to ask her.

The restaurant, Braeburn, is in the West Village, one of my favorite neighborhoods to wander around in and home to many a fine bar. I got there a bit early and decided to pop into one of my favorite bars, Blind Tiger.

I have posted about this place before and if you are ever in the neighborhood be sure to stop in. A really great neighborhood bar with a large selection of beers. It is on the corner of Bleeker and Jones. Jones is just one block long though, so just walk along Bleeker until you find it. It is a nice walk and a lot of interesting bars and restaurants along the way.

I had a Gordon IPA that was very good. It was very hoppy but had enough malt so that it wasn't overpoweringly bitter. They also had a Green Flash IPA on draft and I suggested that they combine the two to make a Flash Gordon. This drew a blank stare from the bartender who had never heard of Flash Gordon, but I got a laugh from the guys sitting next to me.

Bar Man And Gordon

After finishing up my brew the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I headed to Braeburn on Perry Street.


Braeburn is a type of apple and the restaurant takes its name from them. Apples are also featured in their decor. Well, at least there are a couple of baskets of apples up front. The Mysterious Sister-In-Law wasn't there yet so I moseyed over to the bar. What immediately hit me was the smell of fresh limes being squeezed. This is always a good sign so I asked the bartender, Tracy, what she made with fresh fruit. She said her margaritas were good so I said "Show me." And show me she did. She whipped up one of the best margaritas I have ever had.

Tracy Whipping One Up

Bar Man About To Drink One Down

Well Bar Man likes nothing better than chatting about drinks with a bartender who really knows how to make them. And here is where the serendipity comes into play. It turns out that Tracy is not just an excellent bartender and very knowledgeable about drinks, she is also the co-author of two drinking related books. One is "The Perfect Manhattan," a novel about the bar scene in, well, Manhattan.

The other book is "Cocktail Therapy" and has a number of cocktail recipes, each designed to address a specific crisis you may have experienced. A fight with your mother, try a Mother's Little Helper, two ounces of dark rum, three ounces of apple cider, a pinch of cloves. Throw the ingredients into a mug and pop it into the microwave to heat it up.

Tracy works at Braeburn on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I hope she is still there when I get back from Mexico. I will be sure to pop in again and, hopefully, have a chance to chat. I got there just when the place opened so I only had her to myself for about 15 minutes before it got busy.

Tracy has a website but when I went to visit it I got a warning about it being an attack site so I passed. Hopefully someone just corrupted her site and she will fix the problem. If that happens I will share the address with you.

After my delicious margarita I joined my companions for what turned out to be a most excellent meal. I shall post about that tomorrow though, but trust me, it was great.