Thought we’d try something a little different for this installment of Tasting Thomasville, and share some video from the recent Chamber of Commerce sponsored YEP! Bar Crawl. I’m leap-frogging over quite a few other restaurant visits, but I’ll get to them all in good time.
Would it surprise you to know that I’ve never done a bar crawl before this?
But as I am a YEP! member and as we like to try new things (within reason), we decided to give it a go!
(Direct link for feed readers: YEP! Bar Crawl, August 2015)
3 Tips for surviving a bar crawl in your (late) 30s
- Pace yourself (You’re not as young as you once were)
- Eat something (alcohol on an empty stomach is a baaaaad idea)
- Drink some water (the more non-alcoholic hydration you do, the less chance of you making a fool of yourself in front of a very small town)
In addition to the comments I have in the video, here’s some more info on each of the day’s 5 stops:
Relish, 107A S Broad St
Used to be Relish & Dash a combo kitchen and running store (go figure). Recently, though, the owners decided to retire, sold the business, and the new owners each took their halves and open separate shops. Probably for the best, really. The front of relish is full of kitchen gadgets, cookware, and certain gourmet goods. The back is fitted with a bar area that, when not packed to the gills, is pleasant, I’m sure. We grabbed a glass of Oh, Susina (a peach and grape wine) and retreated to wander around the front because it was just. too. packed. back there. Alas, we missed most of the talk from the Historical Society.
The Billiard Academy, 121 S Broad St
We grabbed bottled of water from the bar and our chili dogs and headed to the stone tables outside. I just couldn’t take the stale smoke smell in there* so we spent very little time in there. The chili dogs really were tasty: nothing fancy, but good, reliable hot dogs on a soft white bun topped with mustard, chili, and (for Todd) onions. Some things don’t have to be complicated, you know?
Sweet Grass Dairy, 123 S Broad St
We have, of course, visited their delectable shop before on several occasions (see my Tasting Thomasville post from January) and are big fans! They recently moved down the street a bit into a new space that affords them a proper bar (but no deli counter, though the cheeses are available to purchase to take home, still, you just have to ask) and this was our first visit since then. We opted for American Innovators Cheese Board (featuring Big John’s Cajun, Psychedillic, Belle Honey Chevre, and Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar) and opted to add a meat, in this case the smoked duck. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about that duck! It looked like thick-sliced turkey bacon, smelled like the best cookout ever, and was just so rich and good.
Todd ordered the Watermelon Margarita (which was super-tart, not what I was expecting when I took a sip) and I had a couple of Ginger Crisp martinis (Gera vodka, lemon juice, ginger liqueur, lavender bitters). I could go for one of those Crisps right about now. Or any time, really.
The Plaza Bar, 217 S Broad St
Between the heat and the wine and the martinis, yes, I was feeling a little sleepy by this stop, and the dim lighting in the bar certainly didn’t wake me up any. But a couple at a nearby table had ordered a platter of fried seafood and it smelled so good that we started getting hungry again, even after the cheese plate from Sweet Grass. We split a plate of fried oysters and it was just enough to satisfy any seafood cravings we had. This was a very different experience from when we wandered into The Plaza during a past Victorian Christmas and had a lackluster dinner, and I’d be willing to go back and give them another try after this more successful visit.
Bacchus Wine Bar, 229 W Jackson St
Todd and I attended a wine-tasting dinner on Valentine’s Day (that will be written up in a future Tasting Thomasville installment) and I’ve attended another YEP mixer here, but this is the first time we’ve had a chance to try the sushi that they added to the menu at the beginning of the year. We got the Bacchus Roll (tuna, avocado, cucumber, carrots, scallions, and masago topped with spicy lump crab meat) and an order of their Chicken Nachos. Now, the nachos were a bit of a puzzle to eat as they came in a square bowl with the cheesey bits on the bottom, below the chips, with the meat, etc. on top. Asking for a side plate to shift some of it might not be a bad idea. It’s pretty (and tasty), just not practical. The sushi presentation was for more normal and, for their signature roll, I was certainly happy with it.
Overall, we enjoyed the bar crawl. It provided a great setting for a fun date night, and while we were home around 9pm, we don’t feel like we short-changed ourselves for the night in any way. We had an reason to stop and try the chili dogs at the Billiard Academy, gave The Plaza another try, and got to revisit a few “old” favorites. Not a bad outing at all!
*For what it’s worth, I have A1AT deficiency, a genetic disorder that, among other things, leaves my lungs more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke than the average pair and dramatically increases my risk of emphesema and COPD. I’m under doctor’s orders to avoid cigarette smoke and other inhaled irritants as much as possible, so it’s not just a personal preference.