Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Food - Marvel Bar Marplot

Hmm... That doesn't work quite as well as "Marvel Movie Monday" did, does it?

I guess that's kind of appropriate, since the "Marvel" in question for this one is the Marvel Bar in Minneapolis. Of course, this also means that this is more of a "Friday Drink" post than a "Friday Food" post. Although... I probably ate more than I drank there.

But I get ahead of myself. And I haven't even explained how the Marplot fits in.

The Marvel Bar in Minneapolis is one of the most-talked-about bars in town these days. It's in the basement below The Bachelor Farmer (one of the most-talked-about restaurants in town these days), and has this kind of "in-crowd" chic going on.

And I have to admit that this is part of why I was excited to go. Christopher and I have been talking about it for a long time, and he went for the first time a while ago as an extension of another happy hour. But last Sunday was my first time - and I was pretty excited to go with Christopher and some friends.

Part of the in-crowd chic aspect is the fact that the entry door isn't marked, so if you don't know where you're going, you'll basically never get in. It's at the back of the building, kind of at the end of a parking lot, and it looks like a security door - complete with just a peephole. And the mystique carries through the entry foyer, which looks like you've come into a service entrance (which, really, you have), as you walk toward another unmarked door (which at least does look nicer than the service doors).

Inside there are big booths, as well as some armchairs and loveseats in the middle of the room, and stools along the bar. The wall behind the booths is glass and showcases the wines for the restaurant upstairs. The lighting is a little low, and it does have a bit of a swank vibe.

On the table, there were a couple of drink menus, as well as a very small "beaker" of Cheetos (the only food they serve - so don't go there hungry).

Christopher knew what he wanted, and our friends had gotten there earlier and already had drinks, so I tried to make sense of the menu. Unfortunately, as someone who does not drink a lot, I didn't know what some of the things were. (Yes, I know that "Gordon's" is a liquor brand, but that doesn't mean I know what kind. That kind of thing.) Since I didn't want to order blindly off the menu, when the waiter came over I asked for an Amaretto Sour.

Now I know that the Marvel Bar is known for making specialty drinks and tweaking recipes. I get that. And I've ordered Amaretto Sours in different places where they make their own Sour or whatever. But when I ordered, I found out that the Marvel Bar does not have any Amaretto.

Our waiter, trying to be helpful, says "But we can do something else. We could do something like a Walnut liqueur, instead." I said I'd think about.

He came back a moment or two later, and started to offer other suggestions, starting with "We could do a Brandy drink..." I cut him off, and explained that I'm not a fan of Brandy, so those would be out of the question. Instead, I said I thought I'd try the Walnut liqueur and Sour.

A while later (for some reason, even though the place was *not* busy, everything we ordered took a while), he showed up at the table with something in a cocktail glass. He says "It's peach, walnut liqueur, and brandy," and walks away.

Everyone at the table looks at me, and says "Didn't you say no brandy?" (Yes.)

I tried the drink - really hoping to like it. It was foul. I offered it around the table and everyone grimaced. If we'd had a spittoon, it would have been in full use.

The waiter came back. "What do you think?" Before I had a chance to say much more than "I really don't like it," Christopher said "He specifically said he doesn't like brandy, and this is a brandy drink."

The waiter honestly looked shocked at the response. He said "Well... What can I get you, then? We could try something else." I told him I'd just stick with water, because it was easier.

To give him credit, he did reply with "I don't want you to be disappointed, though." But, I have to admit that that sounded more like a "Well, you just don't understand what a good drink is, but I'll try again if you're going to complain."

At which point, I was kind of done, so I said "Too late." And he took my mostly-untouched drink and walked away.

We stayed for a while, though, and Christopher's second drink was an "Improv Whiskey drink" which he said was quite good - although he'd probably never order it again.

Even so... I don't think I'll ever be clamoring to go back there. I mean... I'm thrilled that so many people apparently want to go and have someone else make all of their decisions for them. But, for me, when I say that there is something I specifically do NOT want, and that's what I'm served - and then the response is shock when I don't like it... well... If a place doesn't want my opinion, I'm guessing they also don't want my business.

Of course, if people we know want to go there in future, I can always hang out, eat the Cheetos, and drink water. After all, that's a much cheaper night - and a guarantee that there will be a designated driver. But I'm pretty sure I won't be ordering any drinks.

**Oh, and I think that, in this situation, the bartender would be considered the Marplot (which was last Monday's word of the day).

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