Independence roadtrip - Friday July 1st part six
Published on July 20th, 2011 @ 08:25:00 am , using 1059 words, 21209 views
Armed with some interesting directions, we head out to Stella's Lounge.
To get to it, we walk past Hopcat.
We, well, we get a bit turned around and lost. Jon knows where it is, sort of, and I'm floundering but frankly when you have blue hair people notice you, so when I flounder I try to do it with purpose and style.
"She says its down an alley"
We peer down this rather *large* alley. All along the side of one building is a Little Shop of Horrors-esque mural of plant life taking things over. I didn't get a photo of that as I was kender distracted by:
Classic Arcade games. A pile of skulls on the outside of the building. It's black and looks inviting and dark. This is looking very good indeed.
We enter, and hear:
Yes, The Ramones Beat on the Brat. "Oh yeah, Oh yeah, uh-OH!"
This is looking and feeling great! Nice and dark, with a long bar. We slide up to it.
Clearly fate has brought us here, and I'm getting really Nacho-Night happy. We both order 21 year Bushmill's and settle in to study the menu and the decor.
The decor: The bar has encased in acrylic concert tickets. Bauhaus. Love and Rockets. The Ramones. The Doors. Pretty much any interesting band that fits the vibe has a concert ticket on the bar.
On a board to the back left of the bar are all sorts of interesting vintage/psuedo vintage flyers announcing all sorts of interesting concerts. To the left of that were what seemed like 20+ interesting video games. All operational - and a board over the machines listed high scores. There's some sort of contest regarding scores that the whiskey made it a little bleary to remember. But they're very keen on their video games and pin ball machines.
The jukebox is playing a steady stream of dark wave/garage punk-rock-things/classic weird rock and other things that basically mirror the deconstructed nitty-gritty parts of Jon and I's music library. Morrissey comes on. Bam, it changes. Bartender would have none of it while he was on duty ;). Jon and I nod - we like M and The Smiths but the whining has to go. Especially when we're sipping on good whiskey.
We make our food selections and choose the D&B to start with - fried pickles and olives. *happy sigh* I already knew the joys of fried pickles thanks to our friend Danyel, but I never knew deep fried olives were an option. I highly recommend them.. Just go ahead and buy some olives, batter those suckers and deep fry them. You will thank me.
The main course was their Stella Blue Stuffed Burger. We separated it from the bun and forked it down. *eyelids flutter* Yes its as good as it sounds like it would be, if you love blue cheese and bacon.
Have I mentioned before that it would be pretty much impossible for me to be whatever-weight-I'm-at-right-now if I lived in Grand Rapids? They have some sweet food here.
Most of the menu is vegan. Not vegetarian, but vegan. And, important!, vegan in a way that's tasty to carnivores. The meat menu is called Pet Cemetary. Really if you want a good giggle you must check out their menu linked above on their website. Great names. Good food!
I haven't mentioned their beers yet. Well, they have 6 taps, I think one that day was a Founder's we'd had the day before and I just wasn't feeling the rest. The bartender chatted with us for a bit and found out we, like many other making the pilgrimage to Grand Rapids, were there for the beer.
"Oh! We also own Pyramid Scheme! They have a ton by Shorts Brewing on tap, you ever tried their beer?" We shook our heads "You *have* to go there next, it's just down a side alley"
We linger a bit to soak in the atomosphere more. We'll be back here for the food next time we're in Grand Rapids. It's not gourmet high-class food, but it's our kind of food.
The Pyramid Scheme
We duck down the alley and get to Pyramid Scheme.
We walk in. Lots of taps. Mostly a huge room with movable tables and around, hm, 5+ pinball machines in the right hand corner. Ahh, pins. As much as we love them though, we never did end up playing one there!
The bar has a *ton* of shorts beers on tap. When the bartender hears we're beer-touring, he says:
"You ever tried Short's Key Lime Pie?"
Nooo, we hadn't. He got us a sample.
Though we brew what I'd call 'weirdo beers', we don't generally seek out intense novelty beers. We tried this one. Yes, it does actually have every single Key Lime Pie ingredient in it. I wouldn't drink this with food, and I wasn't in the mood for it right at that moment - but it was very well done.
He lines us up a few more samples and I settle on The Magician by Shorts. It's a very nice Irish Red Ale. I take notes on it. You may have noticed that I'm not linking to Beer Advocate right now. Well, that's because my red notebook has gone AWOL again. I really need to put a belled collar on it or something.
Jon's not really into any of the beers, so I'm somewhat self-consciously drinking The Magician alone and chatting with the bartender. I've got my Three Floyds workshirt on, because I'm part of the cult and like their tainted Kool-Aid. He asks if I work for them, and I state that no, I don't, but wouldn't that be fun!?
He hasn't been to The Mothership so we tell him to get his butt to Three Floyds already since he loves their beers. We talk about IPA's for awhile.
We are, at this point, pretty much guaranteed to get to Short's Brewing Company soon. Well, as 'soon' as a trip to the very north of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan can be planned out =)
We wander back to the parking structure, pay the fee and head back to the hotel for a little regrouping before we figure out what to do next...