baltimoresun.com

October 12, 2010

Review: Amedeo's in Little Italy

After a long, self-imposed hiatus, Midnight Sun contributor Owl Meat is back with Tipsy Tuesdays.

Psst ... I found an oasis among the dining hubbub of Little Italy. Don't tell anyone.

Osteria da Amedeo popped up on my radar a few months ago. It's referred to as a wine bar, but it isn't really. it's an osteria, an Italian tavern that serves simple food and wine.

So much of Amedeo's charm is about what it is not. Not an oenophile snobfest. No oo'ing, cooing, or gurgling over Chateau Loutre Songeuse. If you wanna get your Jäger on with your brahs, go someplace else.

Wanna troll the skankosphere? Not here. Wanna slip into an appletini-induced coma? Nope. It's a normal bar that feels complementary to the LI scene, one where there are no gimmicks, forced vibe, or cliché decorations.

When fellow Little Italians recommended it, I asked, "that place where Pepino's was?" That was the last osteria in the neighborhood. I put it off because I couldn't see how they could do much with that dive bar.

But I dropped by and was blown away by the transformation. Then I did something selfish - I kept it to myself. For a while.

Continue reading "Review: Amedeo's in Little Italy" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:58 AM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

July 20, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: BP Lounge's Happy Hour Menu

it's hard to tell if she's enjoying that taco or not. what do you  think?

Here's Midnight Sun columnist Owl Meat with another installment of his weekly Tipsy Tuesdays:

Last week's BP Bar cocktail menu was a smashing good success. Now that our little misunderstanding with the ocean has been (hopefully) cleared up, we want to celebrate with a new happy hour food menu.

We put our corporate chef Ramsay Gordon to task to whip up some victuals for your prodigious American bellies appetites.

We Brits had to create an empire to get a decent meal. Here at the BP Lounge all you have to do is ask, no violent oppression needed. Seriously, please stop assaulting the servers.

Here's the menu ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: BP Lounge's Happy Hour Menu" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:50 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

July 13, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: If BP had a bar ...

who is the man behind the mask? is there a man behind the mask at  all? MINDFREAK!What? Did you think Owl Meat was gone? Nah, he was just on a brief hiatus, doing his Owly thing. He's back now -- and slicker than ever.

Oil pun!

In light of the whole BP potentially stopping the oil spill thing (about freaking time, guys), Owl Meat has put together a list of the Top Ten Cocktails at the BP Cafe.

Feel free to submit your own, folks.

Without further delay, here they are ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: If BP had a bar ..." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:33 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

June 16, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Wednesdays: Rock of Stages

rock of ages? no, rock of stages!

Owl Meat's column, which typically runs on Tuesdays, was delayed due to Internet errors. That said, I'd pay to see Kayne West's Broadway musical, "Stroke My Ego," if it existed. What about you? Owl Meat has a few hilarious ideas of his own. Owl Meat? Are you there? Oh, here he is:

Rock music and musical theater seem about as compatible as corn and lima beans – the latter being succotash and the former sucky trash.

The exception is the most awesome musical ever: Sir Mix-a-Lot's Pirates of Penzance.

The music of rebellion has become glitter-mulch for super-fabulous Broadway spectacles. Blech.

"Rock of Ages starring Constantine Maroulis and the music of Journey, Whitesnake, and Night Ranger" (pictured, top) is funny. Pathetic, kitschy, and funny. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Wednesdays: Rock of Stages" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:50 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

June 8, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Earth Bar

who wants a shot of ... THE WORLD?!?!?!

Since I'm still snowed in with post-vacation work, I'm going to skip the usual intro and let Owl Meat Gravy do his thing with today's column:

I had a dream about the best bar ever:

•    The French make the wine (and Cognac and Champagne, but not beer).

•    The Spanish make the bar snacks. ¡Tapas! ¡Olé! Death to American tapas!

•    The English mop the floors and clean the toilets. Drool, Britannia drool. (NSFW)

•    The Scots make the whisky.

•    The Irish tell the jokes.

•    The Germans do the accounting.

•    The bartenders are monkeys. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Earth Bar" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:39 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

June 1, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Lacrossed

LAX

I wonder what groups smelled better after their respective events: The black T-shirted Death Metal Festers or the lacrosse champions? Here's Owl Meat with this week's column:

This weekend Baltimore hosted two national events: Maryland Death Fest and the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships.

I surmise that the intersection of the two groups was tiny. How many people were struggling with the choice of lacrosse versus head-banging with Eyehategod, Jucifer, and Autopsy?

On my way to our Falls Rd/Hamden dive bar crawl on Friday night, I spied some hot weather Goths, the sweetest goths ever. On Saturday afternoon, I saw groups of black-clad death metal fans roaming the Inner Harbor. Despite some spiked dog collars, they were neither growling nor biting. They were just hanging out and enjoying the sights.

On Saturday night I headed out for some beer and conversation. As they say in minute 29 of every VH1 Behind the Music, "And that's when trouble started." Cue ominous music and break for commercial ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Lacrossed" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:51 PM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 25, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: I'd buy that for a dollar!

a bull and bear share a sandwich. punny!

Today's column by Owl Meat Gravy made me think of that awesome variety show on "Robocop", where the host's catchphrase is "I'd buy that for a dollar!" I would! Would you? Here's professor Owl Meat, with a dissertation about bar-cenomics:

What if drinks were priced like stocks? What if prices varied by demand from minute to minute? Today's Tipsy Tuesday goes all Wall Street on your assets. Greed is good, but bier ist besser.

Sam Adams' stock (SAM) ranged from $27 to $63 in the last year. A bottle of Samuel Adams' beer, however, has been $5.25 all year at one local watering hole.

Exchange Bar recently opened in the Financial District in Manhattan. They set their prices according to demand, like stocks. The bar has a stock ticker-style display above the bar that shows the current prices of food and drinks ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: I'd buy that for a dollar!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:03 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 18, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Hops vs. gruit

Here is Owl Meat with a Midnight Sun report on hops, gruit and the history of beer ingredients:

Some like it hot. I like it hotter.

I am a flavor ninja. I like my Thai food spicy enough to make muscle men cry. I like Scotch so peaty that it reminds me of lawn fertilizer.

For beer I'll take the hoppiest you've got. It's not about extremes; it's more about adventure. That's not to say I don't have a gentle side. A basket of puppies, blueberry scones, and a gentle summer rain can be sublime.

Hops, hops, hops. Ever wonder what beer would be like without hops? Probably boring. One evil hop-less path is to add nasty artificial flavors to get Mike's Hard Lemonade and other gut-busting fauxenbraus.

The ancient non-hops path is gruit ale, a millennia-old hop-less brew. It was brewed with herbs said to be stimulants, aphrodisiacs, narcotics, and hallucinogens. Bazinga! ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Hops vs. gruit" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:07 PM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 4, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The world's worst bar names

This post doesn't even need an intro. Here's Owl Meat Gravy with another hilarious installment:

We've discussed good and bad bar names in the past.

My faves are Rub-A-Dub Club, The Awesome Zone, ZombieBar, and Xtreme Cilantro. One of my bartender friends named Kyle, a Michigan native and Detroit Red Wings fan, wants to open a bar with three of his friends. The proposed name: Quad Wingers.

Oooo, exquisitely bad name.

Quad Wingers is laughably bad, but there are worse names. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the world's worst bar names. Savor ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The world's worst bar names" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:17 AM | | Comments (42)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 27, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Tired of fake nice? Come to Rudey's!

rudey's

If Rudey's existed, I think I'd be a regular. What's Rudey's, you ask? Read on, as Owl Meat takes us there.

Tired of robot corporate service? Sick of false pleasantries? Come to Rudey's, where you will be treated like the miserable dog you are.

I hate fake nice service. Genuine nice is great, but fake nice makes my skin crawl. Think hotel bars. I'm talking to you, Harbor East Marriott.

That's where Rudey's comes in. Rudey's is the bar where you and your bartender can be all man-gressive and get yer ya yas out. Think of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Good product, efficient service, and no fluffing your ego. Unlike the Soup Nazi, you get to dish it out too. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Tired of fake nice? Come to Rudey's!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:02 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 20, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Barguments

satan created dinosaurs, you know. it's true!Years ago, we fooled around with various barguments, and even gave away a couple free copies of the book "Barguments." In this week's column, Owl Meat resurrects the tasty topic. Take it away, Owly:

Satan created dinosaurs. I heard that in a bar, so it's a fact. I learned it from our designated driver. Welcome to my world.

Today's topic: barguments. Arguments in a bar can be elucidating, maddening, and hilarious. I did an informal survey of the imbibulous and selected my favorite topics.

So, the dinosaur thing. I was working in the U.S. Virgin Islands setting up a multi-island network and doing a little BPR, you know, business process re-engineering. I had a small contingent of stateside people, useless islanders, and revolving consultants ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Barguments" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:41 AM | | Comments (42)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 13, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: High Five Day

kitty high five style. me-ow owwwww!

What does high-fiving have to do with nightlife or local entertainment? Nothing. And everything. Read on, as Owl Meat takes us on a cultural adventure:

Rejoice, bro-hams! Thursday is National High Five Day. Up high! For real. Come on, brosephs! Drats, the interweb has left me hangin'.

The 1980s were the Golden Age of the high five, the celebration of awesome low-brow moments via ritual male bonding. High fives now are half-hearted and perfunctory.

Back then there were rules. A slow response to an "up high" could yield the "too slow" fake out that turns into a hair smoother. The low five or down low was an optional sequel. I've been told there is a pivoting high/low combo move.

The high five, like the "whoop" or "woo" yelp, was a dude activity. Gender equality has diluted their macho value ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: High Five Day" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:15 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 6, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Music math

I was never good at math. But music math? It's all starting to add up now. Here's Owl Meat:

Breaking news -- Scientists prove that Coldplay is boring

A survey of British hotel guests asked what music people played to fall asleep. Coldplay came in No. 1. The first time I heard Coldplay, I thought, "That sounds familiar. It's like Catherine Wheel and Radiohead had a boring baby."

That bit of mental algebra inspired today's diversion: Music Math. The rules are simple: There are no rules or wrong answers. I'll start off with a few of my own, which I hope will amuse you, but I'm expecting a certain amount teeth gnashing.

Coldplay = Radiohead + Catherine Wheel + tryptophan - exciting

Van Morrison = God + Jameson's

Jay-Z = Henry Kissinger + Bill Cosby ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Music math" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:20 AM | | Comments (63)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

March 30, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: What are the best breakup songs?

i can't tell whether this dude is happy or sad. or angry. what do you think?A personal confession: One time after a nasty breakup in college, I played "It Makes No Difference" by the Band on loops, hundreds of times. That song's a gut-wrencher. Today, Owl Meat tackles breakup songs in all their guilt, rage and glory:

Breakup songs come in different varieties. I think they can be categorized by the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Maybe you could speed things up by matching your music to the stages. I blame my lingering emotional dysfunction on improper musical programming after my last breakup. Yeah, that's it.

There is so much material that I wouldn't dare suggest the best. It's a very personal choice. Right now, I'm about as happy as I get, so I'm having a hard time coming up with examples.

Oh happy day. I don't need to access my own emotional history, because allmusic.com will do it for me. So paralyzed by grief that you can't connect any music to your mood? Allmusic.com to the rescue with their "mood" function ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: What are the best breakup songs?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:34 AM | | Comments (63)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

March 23, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Cursed!

this is a voodoo doll. does it work? you be the judge.

Wow. Just ... wow. I'm going to let Owl Meat tell this story. It almost needs no introduction. Here's Owl Meat:

Phil Collins caused my gruesome death. Indirectly, but still. (As if "Sussudio" wasn't sufficient torture already.)

Let me explain. I was at the bar of a restaurant having a very mellow time. The bar was nearly empty with just two women next to me. They were trying to get the bartender to change the radio until they found something they liked.

I was surprised that this bartender would do it. They were yelling through me across the bar as the bartender changed from Big Hits, Hit Tracks, Classic Rock, or whatever those banal XM "stations" are called.

They switched back and forth between English, Romani (I think) and a mix of both. The topic seemed to be Phil Collins. They were repeating over and over that he was Australian. With the best of friendly intentions, I glanced up from my netbook and said, "I think Phil Collins is English." That was all. The manager was standing next to me and we started talking.

About two minutes later they paid their check, stood up and starting screaming at me ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Cursed!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:15 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

March 16, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The real St. Patrick

st. patrick as a wee baby. a wee laddy. After last week's look at Johnny Appleseed, I was ready and rearin' to read about the real St. Patrick. And Owl Meat's column didn't let me down. I think a career as a history prof. wouldn't be too far-fetched for old Owly at this point:

Did you know that Saint Patrick was Italian? It's a fact.

Well, it's a Little Italy fact. 'Tis a tall tale told by neighborhood doyens. This week in Tipsy History we explore this and other blarney surrounding the patron saint of amateur binge drinking, I mean Ireland.

The legend fed to youngsters is that St. Patrick was an Irish priest who brought Christianity to the godless Emerald Isle. As an encore he drove out all the snakes. That's nice, almost magically delicious, but quite wrong.

Hop in Mr. McGravy's Wayback Machine as we travel to the Fifth Century A.D., when Caesar was the Roman emperor, not a salad ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The real St. Patrick" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:09 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

March 9, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Johnny Appleseed

look mommy, it's johnny appleseed!

If you asked my friends, they'd tell you I'm something of a history buff. But I've never fully researched the tale of Johny Appleseed. Owl Meat Gravy to the rescue!

In what I think is one of his better guest posts, Owl Meat delves deep into the core of the man, the myth, the legend:

If you wander around Baltimore wearing a pot as a hat and spreading your seeds, you're a promiscuous crackhead. In the Nineteenth Century you would be Johnny Appleseed.

I am pleased to present the first Tipsy Tuesday Unsung Hero – Johnny Appleseed.

The myth that we teach children is that Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) travelled across the land planting apple trees from seeds. Mmm... apples: wholesome, delicious, and nutritious. The apple is a symbol of the Righteous American Way: Apple-cheeked (chaste yet fertile), apple pie (true American), and Satan's sin-candy. Strike that last one ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Johnny Appleseed" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

March 2, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Post-bar nosh

max's empanadasWe don't cover food that much on Midnight Sun (it's usually Dining@Large territory), but today, I'd like to make an exception.

Too often, I've ended up gorging myself on greasy Maria D's pizza post-bar. Or, I'll come home and make a bag of Pop Secret Homestyle and stuff my face until I look like a chipmunk.

Owl Meat, it seems, prefers hot bread pockets filled with rich, steamy meats. Now you got me all excited. Here's Owl Meat:

Your hollow leg is overflowing and it's time to skedaddle homeward. But now your belly has gone all Tasmanian devil, flailing about for grub. What to do?

Post-drinking food decisions are the worst. Anything will do.

Owl Meat Rule #82: The later a place is open, the worse the food is. I won't drop any names, but you know what I mean. This seems particularly true for Chinese food and pizza.

I live in Little Italy, which has a dearth of places to get food quickly and none that are open late. That changed a few weeks ago when Max's Empanadas opened on High Street near Sabatino's. (Reviewed here by Richard Gorelick.)  ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Post-bar nosh" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:19 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 23, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Seeing red

sake time!And here I just thought some people got embarrassed when they drank. In this week's guest column, Owl Meat examines the red-faced drinking phenomenon. Just like in poker, having a flush can work to one's advantage. Owl Meat? Are you there? Ah, here he is:

I had a Korean friend whose face would flush red when he drank alcohol. Other than being a fun party trick, I never gave it much thought. I knew that it was common with some Asians and not dangerous.

Then I read an interesting article in New Scientist on the topic. It turns out that this phenomenon is, in fact, a very advantageous piece of recently evolved physiology. 

A genetic study shows that the reaction is from a genetic mutation that occurred about 10,000 years ago.

Coincidentally, it occurred at a time when east Asians were learning to cultivate rice and ferment it into alcoholic beverages ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Seeing red " »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:11 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 16, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Odd drinking accessories

the beer blaster

The funny thing is, Amie bought me whiskey rocks for my birthday a couple months ago. I've used them a couple times. They're not bad, although the first couple times I used them, they lent an odd smell to the scotch.

Here's Owl Meat with a guest column about a few zany drinking accessories: 

Here is an interesting collection of goofy bar accessories, including molds to make ice in a variety of shapes. The most intriguing and silly product is whiskey stones. They are little cubes of soapstone that you put in your drink to keep it cold without diluting it.

I don't think I would like drinking whiskey literally on the rocks and neither would my dentist.

The skull and crossbones ice cube trays are essential if you want to drink like a pirate. Arrrr. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Odd drinking accessories" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 11, 2010

No vocals? No problem.

this man is playing a xylophone

Is music without any words any good? I don't see how that's possible. Hee hee.

In this guest column, Owl Meat takes a look at some of the more memorable instrumental tunes from the past few decades:

There is a lot of instrumental music out there, but very few songs break through as hits. It helps if they have a catchword like "tequila" or are linked to something visual, like the opening of Hawaii Five-0, a Pee Wee Herman dance, or hillbilly sodomy.

Here are my wildly subjective highlights:

Most awesome: Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" (1973). Add the visual of a giant albino wearing an early 1970s keyboard synthesizer and it's frothy with awesome.

Goofiest: "Hocus Pocus" by Focus (1971) – Yodeling Dutch dude, gleeful screaming, ah aaaah aaaah aaaaaaaaahhhhhh ...

Continue reading "No vocals? No problem." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 9, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The hair of the dog

girl bites dog

There's an old saying that goes, "Some days, you get to bite the dog, and some days the dog gets to bite you." At least, I think that's how it goes.

Either way, here's Owl Meat with a guest column on the intriguing history and science behind another old saying, "the hair of the dog."

We've all heard the expression "hair of the dog," meaning taking a drink to cure a hangover. The whole phrase is "the hair of the dog that bit you." It has an interesting history.

As a hangover cure, the hair of the dog metaphor dates back to Shakespeare's time. The original literal usage referred a very ill-conceived cure for rabies.

From the  Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898): "In Scotland it is a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound will prevent evil consequences.

Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine next morning to soothe the nerves. 'If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail in the morning.'" ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The hair of the dog" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 8, 2010

The anti-Valentine's Day post

the anti-valentine's day candyIn today's column, guest poster Owl Meat lashes out against the V-Day industry. Give in to your anger, Owl Meat:

Romance and love are great, but Valentine's Day is fake and should be scorned.

All Hallmark holidays should be mocked, dishonored and set on fire. In that spirit, I invite everyone to submit any events or places that are having anything like an anti-Valentine's Day event, promotion, or inclination.

I got the idea at Bad Decisions during Zombie Survival Happy Hour recently when someone proposed it, but I don't know if the idea got any traction. Hint, hint. ...

Continue reading "The anti-Valentine's Day post" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 6, 2010

We <3 bacon

bakon vodka

I can't get enough of bacon. Baconbaconbaconbacon. We've discussed it quite a bit on Midnight Sun. Now, let's discuss it some more. Here's Owl Meat with a roundup of several scrumptious-sounding bacon delights.

When did bacon become a religion? Bacon vodka, bacon ice cream, bacon chocolate, bacon chewing gum. Bacon bacon bacon.

Bakon Vodka has some recipes that sound a little perverse but a little awesome too. Bakon vodka in a bloody Mary sounds good. Bakon vodka and scotch? That sounds good too. A bacon vodka chocolate martini? Yeah! 

In other bacon news, this bacon kills terrorists.

If only bacon could drive you to the liquor store. Your wish has been granted. Here's an article about a car that runs on bacon grease ...

Continue reading "We <3 bacon" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:00 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 4, 2010

Cocktails with toys and other odd drink accessories

Lego my Fun Snacks!

I've always been torn over the little paper umbrellas that come in South of the Border drinks. They look nice and all, but it's hard to drink around them, and I'm never sure what to do with them after I pluck them out of my drink. I tried eating one once but that didn't go down well.

In this guest column, Owl Meat has some pretty wild ideas about cocktail accessories. Dig it:

Once, I was at a quirky bar in Tucson that had some inventive drinks. One of them was called a Choking Hazard. It had a small plastic toy in it.

Another one had Lego candy in it. Lego candy? Do kids need more incentives to eat their toys? Talk about a choking hazard.

I remember candy coins being popular when I was young. Also a sketchy idea, but nothing beats candy cigarettes for pernicious influence.

I don't think they make candy cigarettes anymore, but there is still some demand. Consider the incredibly stupid fad of kids "smoking" Smarties candies. They crush the candy into dust and roll it up into a big fattie, inhaling and puffing out the dust that resembles smoke.

This place in Arizona was clearly trying to maximize the hipster cred vibe, but I wonder if drinks aren't getting a little too precious? Or maybe not enough? What is the weirdest drink accessory you have seen? ...

Continue reading "Cocktails with toys and other odd drink accessories" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

February 2, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Hitting on the bartender

this photo is super freaky.In today's column, Owl Meat draws a clever comparison between a classic TV show and the classic, tragic art of hitting on the server.

Dining@Large also discussed a similar topic a little while ago. But Owl Meat's take is as fresh as ever. Are you ready, Owl Meat? I think he's ready. Here goes:

Flirting with the bartender is usually a harmless play. Petty sensual tourism. But when it goes too far, it becomes a squall of tawdry tragicomedy.

Mixing business, pleasure and alcohol in an asymmetric social clime is fraught with danger. The more the customer spends, the drunker he gets and the more his game suffers. To compensate, he ramps up the action.

Then the weather starts getting rough and your tiny ship is tossed. If not for the courage of your favorite brew, your Minnow would be lost. Your Minnow would be lost. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Hitting on the bartender" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

January 26, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The great divide

riiiiiiiiiiiip goes the relationship

What's worse when you break up -- dividing up the friends or the bars and restaurants? I used to think friends, but now I'm not so sure. Owl Meat, do your thang:

When you part ways and your other becomes insignificant, the division of assets looms darkly. There is a harsh parceling seldom uttered – your broken social scene. How to we divide up your bars, restaurants, and other haunts?

Unless you wrangle the chupacabra of breakups, the mutual breakup, you have bar terrain to divide. Deal with it.

Rule 1: You get the bars and restaurants you brought with you.
Rule 2: There is no Rule 2.
Rule 3: Nobody talks about Fight Club ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The great divide" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:16 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

January 12, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Breaking up at a restaurant/bar

breaking up in public can be messy businessI've never actually ended a relationship in a public place. I hate the idea of sitting down at a table and going through the motions with someone while all the time I know I want to call it off. In today's column, Owl Meat meditates on the idea of breaking up at a restaurant or bar.

We need to talk.

It's the linguistic four horsemen of relationships. The sadistic slow burn that often precedes the swirly-gurgly rending of your heart in the InSinkErator of love. "We need to talk at dinner," is even more ominous.

Breaking up in a bar or restaurant is a high-wire act. It's commonplace in movies and on TV, but does it occur in real life that often?

I'm not talking about the spontaneous rift or drunken squall. I mean the polite, premeditated relationship conclusion. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Breaking up at a restaurant/bar" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:52 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

January 5, 2010

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The road map to first dates

first date! first date! I hope, for the sake of the people involved, that the conversation near the end of Owl Meat's column didn't actually happen. But knowing this city, I have a feeling it did. Which makes it pretty freaking awesome. Read on, Midnight Sunners:

First dates are a cauldron of prospects that include the good, the bad, and the fugly.

The tentacles of expectation grip the throat of possibility as hormones, alcohol and anxiety bubble up in this awkward stew. They are also entertaining to watch in a bar or restaurant. Tragedy is when you fall down a manhole. Comedy is when someone else does.

These days people meet online through Facebook, Twitter, dating sites, or even a blog like this. It's high-tech retro Victorian. People get to know each other through writing like characters in a Jane Austen novel ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The road map to first dates" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

December 29, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: New Year's Eve horror stories

new year's octopusIn today's column, Owl Meat Gravy is dead on the mark. High expectations and beaucoup booze can -- and often do -- spell disaster. And few holidays have such high expectations as New Year's Eve. Take it away, Mr. Gravy:

There is something about New Year's Eve that attracts disaster like gravity loves anvils.

It's not impossible to have a good time on New Year's Eve, but you have a better chance of funning it up on any given Thursday.

Why not think of New Year's Eve as an ironic funeral for the year that was? Bury last year's missteps and misfortunes in a reckless haze of low expectations and random mayhem. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: New Year's Eve horror stories" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

December 22, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Office holiday parties

office parties Back when I worked at the college newspaper, we would have occasional parties after the work was finished for the night. We'd sneak a keg into the office, set up some beer pong and such. I always kept my head down at work and didn't goof off. But I went all-out for these parties.

I would show up wearing a kimono, or in a farmer's hat with a jug of moonshine. Everybody got a kick out of it. I don't think everybody would get a kick out of it if I did that at a Baltimore Sun holiday party. Either way, it's not an option -- there isn't an official Baltimore Sun holiday party.

In today's column (and, I think, one of his best so far), Owl Meat discusses the horrible, hazardous office holiday party. Here goes:

Nothing good can come from an office Christmas party.

With alcohol, it's a tinderbox of professional ruination. Without liquid spirits, it's a fluorescent prison of bad sweaters and forced cheer. Ho ho, no no. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Office holiday parties" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:38 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

December 15, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Bar tunes

music in barsAfter a two-week vacation, Owl Meat is back in business, with this post about music in bars. Bring it on, OMG:

Good non-live music is a rare commodity in Baltimore bars.

There are a bazillion great songs available via CD, iPod, or even XM radio. But noooooo I have to hear Journey's "Open Arms" for the millionth time. Die Mr. Robato, die!

Down with lazy music programming. Enough "classic" rock and '70s and '80s hits. That was the music I hated in the '80s and now my ears are imprisoned by it.

I think too many bars program the music to not offend anyone, which really pleases no one, and offends me. It take that back. It pleases people who bore me ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Bar tunes" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (30)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

November 24, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Outrageous occupations

interesting jobs

When I'm out drinking, I rarely ask strangers what they do for a living, because I don't want them asking me the same thing. I've had too many people turn to the bartender or owner and blow my cover by saying something like, 'Hey, you should meet so and so.'

This week, Owl Meat writes about out-of-the-ordinary folks with out-of-the-ordinary jobs. One of the most interesting people I've ever met out was Kupkake, but I don't know what he did for a living. Here's Owl Meat:

Unless you have an interesting job, leave it at work. We don't want to hear about it at the bar. We have our own jobs that we are trying to forget about.

I used to be that guy. I went out after work to rehash the tedium of the day with co-workers (read, captive employees). I am reformed. You will no longer be able to listen to a scintillating dissertation on business process re-engineering, two stage probit analysis, or why Mark Obitz is a total jerk.

I paid my penance listening to a bazillion jerks burble on and on about real estate. And stocks. And how you were in the weeds tonight and they left you eight on a hundred ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Outrageous occupations" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

November 18, 2009

Owl Meat's (belated) Tipsy Tuesday: Music + movies = awesome

rockinit.jpg_

It might not be Tuesday anymore, but "Owl Meat's Tipsy Wednesdays" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Better late than never, right?

Here, Midnight Sun guest columnist Owl Meat Gravy takes us on a tour through some of the best music movies out there. Are you ready? I am. Let's go:

Movies: great.

Music: great.

Movies about music: awesome.

Below is a baker's dozen of music movies that bubble up in my brain now and then. I'm not saying these are the best movies ever, just some that are stuck in my gray matter ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's (belated) Tipsy Tuesday: Music + movies = awesome" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:01 AM | | Comments (53)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

November 10, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Dos and don'ts of being a regular

regularsIf I had to guess, I'd say I'm a regular at a couple South Baltimore bars, just because I live in the neighborhood. I'm not a fixture -- I'm a firefly, as Owl Meat would put it.

Here, Owl Meat reveals the ways to be the best bar regular:

I am guilty of extreme bar monogamy.

I tend to stay in relationships long after it's time to pay the tab and move on.

There is a slippery slope where the bar regular slides from rock star to family, lickety-split. "Family" sounds great. Wrong. It means short tempers, grudges, and drunken shouting matches, well, at least in my experience.

As one who has committed the bar sin of being too regular, I offer some humble advice on being an awesome bar regular ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Dos and don'ts of being a regular" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:47 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

November 3, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: What famous figure would you drink with?

Owl Meat Gravy has come up with a great bar discussion topic. Personally, I'd love to have a beer with George Martin or David Bowie. Take it away, Owlie:

I have a test that I call the Tony Danza test. It basically divides people into whether or not you would like to have a beer with them.

Tony Danza? Sure. Do I imagine that I would have a lot to talk to him about? No, but he he seems beer-worthy. It doesn't have to be a beer. It could be anything.
 
Hillary Clinton? Pass. Bill Clinton? Hell yeah. Keith Richards? You bet. Charlie Watts? No.
 
Today's game goes like this: Name someone alive or dead that you would like to hang out with and what you would do. I think dead people are the more interesting choice, but it's up to you.

Here are some examples that I collected from random people, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: What famous figure would you drink with?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:05 AM | | Comments (50)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

October 27, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: A hairy situation

furriesThis week, Owl Meat has somehow stumbled upon a particularly wacky group of people called Furries (it takes one to know one, Owly). Here, OMG exposes the underbelly of this hairy subset:

This week, lions and tigers and bears roam with impunity. Want to thump melons at Safeway as a costumed carnal carnivore? Meow. In a month? Nah, that would be weird.

But in the world of Furries, it's Halloween every day.

Furries are adults who dress up as stuffed/plush animals. This sub-culture has their own animation, music, conventions and literature. There are dozens of conventions and events all over the world. The largest, Anthrocon, attracted nearly 4,000 attendees this year ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: A hairy situation" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:50 AM | | Comments (45)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

October 20, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Square hop, anyone?

square hopI must say, I was a little puzzled at first by OMG's column about the origins of hip-hop. Then I read it some more, and started chuckling. Square dancing begot hip-hop? Who knew? Here goes:

Yo yo, Notorious O.M.G. on the blizzy, y'all.

Lemme lay you down some epic truth-swerve: Rap was invented by white people – really, really white people.

Say whaaaat?
 
It's all about the beats and movin' your feets. When I hear some skinky thribby-throb, I gotta throw down some supa-phresh rhymes, like farmer's market fresh ... and call me some square. That's right. Square dance calling is  hip-hop's baby-daddy.

That's some gnarly gristle to gnaw on – rap was spawned by calico dress-wearing, tractor-dancing, barn varmint, not so modest yahoos ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Square hop, anyone?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:28 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

October 13, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: I'll never drink that again.

ouch!Oh man. Owl Meat's guest column brings back some rather nasty memories of bad tequila circa freshman year of college. I was soured on it for years. Here's Owl Meat:

Is there a drink that you over-indulged in years ago that still makes you queasy? Some youthful ill-advised binge splurge whose smell can still turn you green?
 
For me that blunder was Southern Comfort: peachy seductress, Kentucky succubus. Sweet, fruity, and powerful like a Skittles Crown Vic. In the folly of youth we gravitate toward alcohol that is sweet and strong – a formula for ignominious defeat. SoCo deserves a special place in the Bad Ideas Hall of Fame for me along with, well, you know who you are.
 
On a trip to the beach with two friends, I bought my first legal liquor after I crossed the border from Pennsylvania to Maryland. I don't recall what else we bought, but I remember dastardly SoCo, the Snidely Smiley Whiplash of liquors.

In my mind it was a macho drink. Oh so wrong ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: I'll never drink that again." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (41)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

October 6, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The tipping point

tipping

You know, the more I think about it, the more I like Owl Meat's suggestion for a new tipping system. Take it away, Mr. OMG:

Tipping in America is an epic fail.

It foments tension where there should be digestion. It's demeaning to workers. It has whiffs of blackmail and bribery. It's a chance for cheapskates to stiff someone. Good and bad service are often rewarded similarly because of social pressure or mandatory service charges.

Americans tip about 42 billion dollars a year in the food industry. Tipping is supposed to improve service, but research shows otherwise:

"this common wisdom might be wrong. Empirical evidence suggests that tips are hardly affected by service quality."

Here at the Owl Meat Drink, er, Think Tank we propose a new system: free market tipping. The concept is simple ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The tipping point" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:38 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

September 29, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: 'Toy Story' meets 'Barfly'

bar warsWhat happens after last call? Owl Meat has a few ideas. Here he is:

This was inspired by witnessing an older man order a Pink Squirrel for himself at a bar. Sometimes we judge people by what they drink, sometimes unfairly. Seriously dude, a Pink Squirrel? Sadly, I had to tell the bartender how to make it (light cream, white crème de cacao, crème de noyaux).

Jim Beam: Whatcha doin' here, Pink Squirrel?

Pink Squirrel: Someone finally ordered me last night. I've been so lonely, Jimmy.

Jack Daniels: Put a cork in it. No one wants to hear your belly-aching, you has-been girlie drink. Back in your corner ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: 'Toy Story' meets 'Barfly'" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:13 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

September 22, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Which mascot wins?

omtt1.jpgI couldn't help but chuckle at some of the delicious- and repulsive-sounding meals that Owl Meat came up with for this week's Tipsy Tuesdays. Football + grilled mascot = awesome.

Here's OMG:

My sports expertise runs the gamut from A to B. That's why I invented a system for picking winners using mascots.

Red Sox versus White Sox? Red Sox win because when you wash them together the White Sox turn pink.

New Jersey Devils versus Penguins? Penguins don't believe in God and therefore not the Devil. Penguins win on an existential level. Play this with a sports fanatic and watch his head explode.
 
This week I adapted the game for tailgating. I crossed "Top Chef" with "Lord of the Flies" to create Top Mascot Tailgate Chef, where mascots go head to head ... on the grill. May the tastier mascot win ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Which mascot wins?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:51 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

September 15, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: A look at drinking laws

pony beerThis week, Owl Meat did some digging and came up with a rather interesting topic: The law on drinking. Personally, I fought the law, and the law won. Owl Meat might have more luck. Here he is:

Twenty five years ago, Americans landed on college campuses and waded into the freedom and responsibility of adulthood. In most states, they had liberty to sip the frothy freedom of a cold beer or other adult libation.

But former Tinseltown party dude Ronald Reagan was about to harsh everyone's buzz. Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984.

Oh snap! The party was over and frat boys wept like purple doves.
 
Despite the name of the law, there is no national minimum drinking age nor is there one in Maryland. Dazed and confused?  I was too. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: A look at drinking laws" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:25 AM | | Comments (51)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

September 8, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Natty Boh in Panama

soberana I had no idea how wild Panama was until I read this week's guest column by Owl Meat. Wow. I've learned something today: Don't go to Panama. Here's OMG: 

Because I was stuck in Panama City, Panama, I considered  forgoing this week's post. Then circumstance and isthmus weirdness intervened to blow a chunk of Charm City my way in the Land of Unpleasantly Hot Living.  
 
When you've got mad tech skillz, opportunities sometimes plop into your lap. It helps to be genuinely uninterested in any such opportunities.

In a country where businessmen have armed body guards the rules are topsy-turvy. That's why I wear a plastic watch to disguise my American thousandaire status. Despite my reluctance to throw in with shady bankers and ex-black ops wannabes, I will still hang out with anybody with a good story and a drink. ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Natty Boh in Panama" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:57 AM | | Comments (36)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

September 1, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The asparagus drip

asparagus drip

Even if this is true, I don't think I'm going to be wringing asparagus stalks into my mouth the morning after a bender. Owl Meat, however, sounds quite pumped:

News flash – asparagus may cure your hangover. Really. According to new research, minerals and amino acids in asparagus leaves and shoots may actually ease the symptoms of a hangover and protect your liver from the toxins associated with alcohol and its metabolism.
 
“Cellular toxicities were significantly alleviated in response to treatment with the extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots,” said lead researcher B.Y. Kim, in a news release from the Institute of Food Technologists. “These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells.”
 
This could be huge. I'm not aware of any scientific studies that have shown anything to be effective at curing a hangover. Most focus on prevention. Plus every Dr. Obvious says, "Well, you knoooooow, the best cure is to not drink too much in the first place." ...

Continue reading "Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The asparagus drip" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:47 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

August 18, 2009

Tipsy Tuesdays: 21 signs you're a bad customer

bad customers

I'm glad OMG turned this topic around to confront the customers. It's only fair. And for the record, I've definitely heard of people snapping their fingers at servers. I even had a roommate who didn't mind tapping his own beers. I told him it was a great way to get his wrist broken by an angry bouncer, but he never seemed to get caught. Here's OMG:

We covered signs that you might be a bad bartender. It's only fair that this week we look into signs that you might be a bad customer.

Where to even start?

1. You semi-joke, "Spill some in the glass this time."

2. You try to come behind the bar. Oh, no you di'int.

3. Two words: bachelorette party.

4. You complain that your Long Island Iced Tea isn't strong enough.

5. You snap your fingers to get the bartender's attention.

6. You have made this threat, "Hey, you want a good tip?"

7. When you pay your bill, you say, "Hey, I'm a little short today. I'll tip you next time." No you won't. ...

Continue reading "Tipsy Tuesdays: 21 signs you're a bad customer" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:54 AM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

August 11, 2009

Tipsy Tuesdays: Breaking the seal

popping the cork, breaking the sealMy, my, I've certainly regretted breaking the seal too early. Take it away, Owl Meat:

Here at Tipsy Tuesdays, we strive to enlighten and elevate, so I bring you today's topic: Breaking the seal.

This is the idea that after you relieve yourself for the first time while drinking alcohol you have to do it frequently.

Bartender Kyle at Chiaparelli's reminded me of the concept, but I knew it to be intuitively true, as I have often strategically suppressed my micturition urges. This is no trivial matter for anyone doing a mental cost-benefit analysis at a ball game, concert, or other public event.
 
While sipping an avocatini I went all caveman and considered whether there was some evolutionary benefit to this behavior. If this is a real biological process, why would it be rewarded? ...

Continue reading "Tipsy Tuesdays: Breaking the seal" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:33 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

August 4, 2009

Tipsy Tuesdays: Pukes and Staggers

pukes and staggersI've played (and won, of course) my fair share of drinking games. But I've never heard of Pukes and Staggers. That's probably a good thing. Owl Meat has all the details:

Invent cool drinking game ... check. Create prototype .. check. Come up with an awesome name ... not so much.

I get it. It almost rhymes with Chutes and Ladders, a game that my grandfather may have played. I think if you need a board game to get your drink on, you may have an imagination problem.
 
Here is the manufacturer's blurb:

Have you ever tried to drink a beer upside-down, reveal an embarrassing story about yourself, or mix together every drink in the room? With Pukes and Staggers you can be entertained while you drink. Perform several tasks, drink in the most unusual ways, and have the most fun you've ever had playing a drinking game ...

Continue reading "Tipsy Tuesdays: Pukes and Staggers" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:30 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

July 28, 2009

Tipsy Tuesday: You know you're a bad bartender when ...

bartender%20goofy%20too.jpgThis week, Owl Meat Gravy tackles one of the saddest (but truest) parts of Baltimore's nightlife scene: the service. I'm actually not surprised that most of these examples are based on real life experiences. Take it away, OMG:

How do you know if you're a bad bartender? Here are 19 examples I have observed:

1. You pick fruit flies out of a drink and then serve it. Extra points if you use your fingers.

2. You hate making frozen drinks, so you put a fork in the blender and destroy it.

3. You badger me to help you study for your biology test. More drinks, fewer flash cards.

4. You ask a customer if he wants to do a shot with you and then charge him for both drinks.

5. You whine about your problems. Hey, I had a tough day; I don't care that your girlfriend did a guy behind the Royal Farms in Highlandtown.

6. When someone asks for a Makers Mark neat you say, "Do you mean straight up?" Extra points for, "What?" ...

Continue reading "Tipsy Tuesday: You know you're a bad bartender when ..." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:38 AM | | Comments (38)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

July 22, 2009

A few new bells and whistles

I took a little time yesterday and tried my darndest to sort out some of the digital mess that is Midnight Sun. Was I successful? Meh. But hopefully I made things a little easier to find ...

Continue reading "A few new bells and whistles" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:31 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

July 21, 2009

Introducing Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays

lemon + truck + beerLadies and gentlemen, I'd like you to give a warm round of applause to Owl Meat Gravy, who, for the forseeable future, will be writing a weekly column called Tipsy Tuesdays.

You may remember him from such columns as Funtastic Thursdays and various guest blogs while I was away. Now, please put your hands together, for OMG!

I don't like fruit in my beer. I don't want to taste a raspberry wheat beer, a peach ale or a prune IPA. Of course a lemon slice in a good wheat beer is fine, so I'm not exactly a purist. That brings us to today's topic – shandies.

A shandy is beer with ginger ale, ginger beer, lemonade, or other soft drink. It was originally called a shandygaff in England. There is a long tradition of mixing beer with fruit and other things there ...

Continue reading "Introducing Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:44 AM | | Comments (36)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 25, 2009

I don't like Moon-days

moondaysTake it away, guest poster Owl Meat:

An article in The Guardian reports that the English have lost their minds regarding wine and are nuttier than Donovan riding a lovecoaster powered by unicorn tears:

The idea that the taste of wine changes with the lunar calendar is gaining credibility among the UK's major retailers, who believe the day, and even hour, on which wine is drunk alters its taste. Tesco and its rival Marks & Spencer, which sell about a third of all wine drunk in Britain, now invite critics to taste their ranges only at times when the biodynamic calendar suggests they will show at their best.

Many scientists have little time for biodynamic wine, pointing out that the movement's guru, Rudolf Steiner, claimed to have conceived the concept after consulting telepathically with spirits beyond the realm of the material world. Among his other works are claims that the human race is as old as the Earth and descended from creatures with jelly-like bodies, and a belief that men's passions seep into the Earth's interior, where they trigger earthquakes and volcanoes.


Well pour me a Pinot Noir, smack my butt and call me Krakatoa. I can understand that there is a certain lunatic fringe who will buy into anything, but the idea that major retailers are encouraging people to not drink wine ever is bonkers ...

Continue reading "I don't like Moon-days" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (36)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 23, 2009

Japanese beer for kids

kidsbeer.jpgI had to read this guest post from Owl Meat Gravy twice, I was so shocked this even exists:

Kidsbeer! Kidsbeer! Kidsbeer!
 
The Tomomasu company of Japan once made a non-alcoholic drink for kids chock full of the guarana (twice the caffeine of coffee), with enough kick to have the little ones running up the walls.

It didn't sell very well, so they put it in a brown bottle and changed the name to Kidsbeer.

Whoosh ... turning your kid into a kinder-meth-head is much more attractive when it seems like you're getting them drunk. All the chore-doing benefits of kiddie Red Bull combined with the gateway drug priming for later alcoholism.

Kidsbeer! And I thought Shirley Temples were weird. Why not rename this an Amy Winehouse?
 
Note: The photo above is from the company's actual ads ...

Continue reading "Japanese beer for kids" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Drink-ology, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 22, 2009

Comfort cocktails

comfort cocktails

I don't know if I'd be a big fan of some of these drinks guest poster Owl Meat has cooked up for us, but they sound pretty funny:

Mom.

Mom.

Moooooooooooooooooooooooom ... get me a Sunny D ... and Grey Goose? On the rocks.
 
Attention swizzlers, guzzlers and dribblers, here's a new trend – comfort cocktails.  Like comfort food, they use flavors and ingredients from childhood to recreate mom's tasty refreshments ... plus a little kick from Aunt Ethyl.
 
Amicci's bar in Little Italy has a drink called a Grown-Up Grape Soda: Three Olives grape vodka, Grape Pucker, and Sprite. It is ridiculously popular ... with men.

People must see something greater than the sum of its parts. I witnessed a burly bearded man order one and rock a sly grin like he was being smothered by puppy kisses. Yikes ...

Continue reading "Comfort cocktails" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 20, 2009

Marlbrau

marlbrau

After reading this guest post by Owl Meat Gravy, all I have to say is, yuck: 

Oh baby, you are the total package.

I'm talking about beer and cigarettes together. And not like the time that I took a swig from a bottle of Carlsberg Elephant that someone was using as an ashtray. If only you could combine them in one delicious synaptic cocktail.
 
Good news?

Those crafty Germans have created NicoShot beer which contains 3 milligrams of nicotine alkaloids. NicoShot is brewed like regular beer, with a tobacco-leaf extract added at the end of the brewing process.

Sounds terrible! Nothing says fine German brewing like maker Nautilus GmbH Laboratoriumsbedarf.

You can almost taste the bedarf ...

Continue reading "Marlbrau" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 19, 2009

Huff, huff huffing on heaven's door

huffing.jpg

This. Is. Amazing. Owl Meat Gravy comes through big time with this one, folks. As soon as I get back, I'm hitting up MICA:

Until now I couldn't think of anything I wanted to thank the English for except Mr. Thomas' fork-split muffins and Dame Judi Dench.

As my grandfather Liam O'Hanlon's skeleton spins furiously in his grave, I must add another tip of my derby to the English.  
 
Sam Bompas and Harry Parr have opened a new "architectural exhibit" in London called Alcoholic Architecture.

It's a bar. You are advised to wear protective clothing here. Raise your hands if you have a hazmat suit in your closet.

The bar serves no drinks, because the air is literally your buzz. They vaporize massive amounts of gin into the air ...

Continue reading "Huff, huff huffing on heaven's door" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (27)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 18, 2009

Baltimore shot etiquette

shotetiquette.jpg

Owl Meat Gravy starts this guest post with a confession that could get him in lots of trouble. And for the record, I've always been curious about this shot-taking tradition myself:

First let me say that I'm not from here, even though I have lived here quite a while on and off. I don't like steamed crabs (yeah, yeah, yeah) or Natty Bo.

In my defense, I did drink National Premium when I was in college here (once). Does that count? No?  OK.

After college and graduate school, I figured that all the ways that made me superficially different from Baltimore people were exposed. Wrong 'em, boyo.
 
In the past couple of years, I've gotten to know a lot of people who grew up in Baltimore. Being a thirsty creature of the night, I know them from local watering holes.

I recently noticed something that may have been there all the time, but eluded my occasionally blurry vision. Put simply: I have a problem and need help.  
 
Shots! Shots! Shots! Wanna do a shot? Uh, OK. It seems rude to answer otherwise and if I say "no" then the question of my man-parts is on the table. Ugh, I'm too old for this. Nah. So lately I've noticed that everybody clinks glasses, then taps them on the bar, and then drinks. It freaks me out ...

Continue reading "Baltimore shot etiquette" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (38)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 16, 2009

The creepiest drink ever

creepiestdrink.jpgHere is Owl Meat Gravy with a rather spooky guest post:

The setting: Asunción, Paraguay October 1995. Last night in a food court in the Brazilian jungle waiting for the bus to Asunción. Strangers danced the lambada, while weary travelers chomped down on greasy fast food.

I arrived at the Central Bus Terminal in Asunción the next day. I saw families of bowl-cut blondes in denim overalls, straw hats, and calico print shirts. What the ...? Apparently there are scads of Mennonites and Amish in Paraguay.
 
After finding a hotel, I settled into the outdoor cafe of a much better old hotel. I was dressed poorly and felt tired and dirty. For this story you need to know that people often think I am German, based on my appearance and name. I am not.

I settled into the stabby rattan chair and asked the waiter for a whiskey, something local. I know, Paraguay whiskey? I was exhausted.

The waiter said in Spanish that I didn't want that and he would bring me a nice whiskey for very little guarani ($) ...

Continue reading "The creepiest drink ever" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:00 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 15, 2009

Pocketshots: My new squeeze

pocket shots

And just like that, I'm off on my honeymoon. Whoosh! Don't worry, though -- I've left you some great guest posts from some delightful guest commenters. Remember Owl Meat Gravy? Here he is:

I was sitting at my desk squirting Purell directly into my mouth on Monday morning when I caught my reflection in the computer monitor.  "What am I doing?" I said to myself. 

Like a message from God, a voice inside me said, "This would be better if it tasted like tequila instead of potpourri." If only there was a way to sanitize my hands and get my gel swerve crankin' too.  Reason number 637 of why America is great: PocketShots.  
 
PocketShots are 50 ml (1.7 oz.) squeeze packets of alcohol gel preferred by discerning ladies in ill-fitting tube tops everywhere. The container looks like the worst (best) tiny IV bag ever. They contain 80 proof alcohol as gin, vodka, rum, tequila or "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged Four Years."...


Continue reading "Pocketshots: My new squeeze" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Drink-ology, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays, Random stuff
        

May 5, 2009

Drink like a viking

viking.jpg

Editor's note: Ever heard of akvavit? Me neither, until I read this piece, by Owl Meat Gravy:

Akvavit and I go way back. Maybe the berserker in me loves it.

Unlike other spirits, such as whiskey and tequila, there are no personal akvavit stories ending with, "And that's why I can't blink anymore." Someone once said that it's like having a shot of rye bread. That's not a bad thing.

Akvavit or aquavit is 80 proof vodka infused with herbs such as caraway seeds, anise, dill, fennel and coriander.

You can make it yourself using vodka and your choice of aromatic herbs, but getting the right combination is tricky ...

Continue reading "Drink like a viking" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 2, 2009

The sidecar: Unsafe at any speed

sidecar

And now, a personal confession from Midnight Sun guest poster Owl Meat Gravy:

When I was a wee lad in the Keystone state, I remember eating in mom and pop taverns with my parents.

The most memorable thing (other than "shrimp-in-a-basket")? The classic cocktail place mats.

I studied these exotic drinks since I was old enough to read. I never saw adults drink them other than in old movies. The Grasshopper, Gin Rickey, Manhattan, Mai Tai, Singapore Sling, Old Fashioned, and the Sidecar.

It just so happens that in this month's issue of Happening Dude magazine, it says that the Sidecar is the hot new drink for the coolaratti.

Properly constructed, this drink should be made with cognac or brandy, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice. The problem is that most bartenders will look at you funny, check their Old Mr. Boston book, and make it with brandy, triple sec and (ugh) sour mix ...

Continue reading "The sidecar: Unsafe at any speed" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:30 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

May 1, 2009

What do the Somali pirates drink?

piratetime.jpgAnd now, dear readers, Owl Meat wonders just what's in the gullets of those Somali pirates we all know and hate:

Flashback to third grade ... the future promised personal jet packs, moving sidewalks and robot maids. No luck there. 

But even an imaginative tyke like me didn't anticipate ... Future Pirates! And here we are, ankle-deep into a new century and the villains of the moment arrrr ... Somali pirates.

Arrr ... pirates.

In yore-like days, pirates roamed the seas in tricked-out square-riggers fueled by greed, rotten meat and grog.

The British Royal Navy kept these grog-swogglers in check with, as Winston Churchill said apocryphally, "Rum, sodomy and the lash."
 
What fuels modern Somali pirates with their souped-up dinghies, GPS's and Bat Rope conveyance systems?

Continue reading "What do the Somali pirates drink?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (29)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 29, 2009

"Two Jaeger bombs and a sippy cup, please"

kidbeer.jpg

Midnight Sun guest writer Owl Meat takes another look at kids and drinking in this hilarious post:

I think it's illegal for children to sit at a bar in Baltimore.

Nevertheless, I have been afflicted with the progeny of lazy parents who abandon their ill-fitting accessories at a restaurant bar to watch TV and inflict DDT-like buzz-kill on the adults there.

When the parents are particularly obnoxious, I might say to them, "I don't drink at your playground. Don't bring your kids to my bar."

You can't mess with the kids, though. However annoying, they are blameless.

But you can teach them some things that will keep their parents busy later. Here is a starter list of kinder-conversation starters ...

Continue reading ""Two Jaeger bombs and a sippy cup, please"" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (34)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 27, 2009

Kiddie cocktails

girl drink

This, dear readers, is Owl Meat Gravy's second guest post on Midnight Sun. Enjoy:

Apparently they used to sell candy cigarettes years ago (before the liberals ruined the world).

Ah, think about it: Coming home after a hard half-day at kindergarten, putting your little feet up and dragging deep on a candy Pall Mall. Yeah, puffing out a swirl of powdered sugar. That's living.

Recently I saw a gruff older man (reminiscent of the psychotic father from American Beauty) order a root beer at a bar.

Rebuffed, he barked out, "A Shirley Temple then!" I had to look. Standing behind him was a twitchy boy, maybe 13. I could read his mind: "I hate you, Dad, I hate you, Dad, I hate you, Dad."

Why would he do that? Get the poor kid a soda, not an emasculating trip to the 1930s.
 
So what's the deal with kiddie cocktails?  As far as I can tell they haven't changed in 50 years ...  

Continue reading "Kiddie cocktails" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        

April 25, 2009

Ice, ice, baby

ice cubesFrom the fingertips of Midnight Sun guest poster Owl Meat Gravy comes the first in a series of off-kilter bar and drink observations.

You may remember Owl Meat from such blogs as Dining@Large, where he is a regular commenter and contributor. In my absence, he'll be regularly writing for Midnight Sun too. Here goes:

I have a problem, and its name is Ice. No, not Rob Van Winkle. We're cool now.

My problem is the American obsession with ice. We love technology so much that we use it fix things that aren't broken. Like beer. Someone even invented a device that will make your beer super-cold in twenty seconds.

I know several people that put ice in their beer. Light beer. Is this a Baltimore thing or some kind of mental pathology?

I don't want to get all judge-y, but drinking Coors Light from a big glass of ice seems like a hate crime ...

Continue reading "Ice, ice, baby" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:30 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays
        
Keep reading
Recent entries
Archives
Categories
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with baltimoresun.com's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected