Little Barn

1050 Post Rd EWestport, CT 06880 • (203) 557-8501 • littlebarnct.com

I dig the roadhouse vibe of this place, but unlike the Patrick Swayze movie, this one dispenses with the bikers and the topless women and replaces them with a setting that’s civil enough to take the kids. Service is also kid-friendly and attentive. Making it a solid go-to for a family dinner with the young’uns.

I partook in the Shroom Burger, which I have to say was very good. Everything you would want, but nothing more than you might expect. Served with decent helping of sweet potato fries that’ll hit the spot.

The fish tacos were messy as all get out and lacking in the salsa/heat department, but the fish was perfectly cooked, so at least there’s that. Not the place I would go for Tex-Mex though when you’ve got Bar Taco just up the road.

For beer, I tried the Mama’s Yella Pils, a Czech inspired pilsner that could use a little more inspiration, because it ain’t no Urquell or Staropramen.

Hit and miss for certain, but I’m definitely a fan… in the right context.

Tavern 29

47 East 29th St. New York, NY 10016 • (212) 685-4422tavern29.com

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This place is three stories of bad. And while it has a nice rooftop bar wedged between two mid-rises (pictured), you can almost feel the impending doom looming over you, because there is virtually no plausible reason why this place should remain in business come 2016, save the house pilsner, which is actually pretty decent. Beyond that it is crapapalooza in terms of food. We’re talking so shockingly bad that I am shocked to see that it raked in four stars on Yelp (higher than Dirty French!). I take that back. I would’ve been shocked had I not already realized that Yelp reviews are absolutely worthless.

And speaking of worthless, don’t waste the energy in your jaw muscles to chew on this stuff. I’ve honestly had better in school cafeterias. From the salsa & chips to the ziti to the dry chicken, to the beef with onions and mushrooms to the veggie spring rolls to the crostinis to an atrocious shrimp cocktail, Tavern 29 managed to string together more misses than a blind man trying to thread a needle with his feet.

But as mother tried to raise me, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, so I will try to counter-balance all of my vitriol with a compliment (even if it’s of the backhanded variety), their dinner rolls are actually pretty decent, but I believe they are pre-packaged, tasting like a dead-ringer for King’s Hawaiian.

And dead is the operative word here folks. As in what this place should be to anyone with a self-respecting digestive system.

1 tooth

Burp Castle

41 E 7th St. New York, NY 10003(212) 982-4576burpcastlenyc.wordpress.com

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The only way to describe this place is one part Disney, one part Trappist monk brewery and should you venture inside, you will quickly see why. Scratch that. You can see pretty clearly from the sidewalk, because the facade is a medieval castle. Think Excalibur Casino in Vegas, but only one story high and about 1000 square feet inside. Fortunately the decor is not as garish as Excalibur, but still most definitely themed with servers dressed as “brewist monks” in fully cloaked pageantry and Renaissance-style murals on the walls (pictured) that depict a rather un-Disney-like scene, more like Caligula, with the aforementioned monks gallivanting about with topless nymphs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it is, however, worth noting.

Also worth noting is that this is not the place to go if you want to get pissed. These monks like it mellow, so should you get too boisterous prepare to be shushed.

As for the beer itself, it’s very, very good. It kind of has to be for this place to still be around for over twenty years. And true to the Trappist way, they engage in a healthy worship of beer, stocking the place with interesting selections on draft that tend to rotate from time to time. But even with the rotation, you’re always sure to find the staples, like lager, pilsner, tripel, stout, wheat, etc… What you won’t find, however, is the same ole, same ole bar experience.

3 teeth

The Fish Church

Rosenlundsgatan, Gothenburg 411 25, Sweden • 031-13 82 34
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I love places like this. Off the beaten path. Odd. Little nooks that never seem to make on anyone’s top ten list. These are the gems that shine every bit as bright as the likes of Michelin stars IMFO (In My Ferocious Opinion).

This is why I loved Gabriel’s in the Fish Church so much. Located upstairs in an old church turned fish market right by the water. The décor is more bar than restaurant, but somehow that only seemed to add to its charm. And being that it’s located in a fish market, only added to its fish cred.

So, on to things edible. First up were the shrimp baskets, and while they were obviously fresh, I found them to be miniscule, making the work to meat ratio very unfavorable. Served with heads on them, which only added to the laborious task of shelling what ended up looking like a normal shrimp left in the dryer way too long. Fortunately it was served with a delicious, smoky tartar sauce. Unfortunately there was no cocktail option, so my spicy side had to sit this one out.

The half crabs were also quite the challenge to eat, having to jab a fork in them so hard I felt like Gemma from Sons of Anarchy using a poultry fork to – Spoiler Alert for Season 6 Finale!

And while the oysters were much easier than the other two, they were also not as flavorful as I would’ve liked. Granted I would’ve liked some friggin’ spicy cocktail sauce, but apparently that’s not how Goteborg rolls.

So after all of these misses you’re probably wondering what in the hell I liked about this place? Well, the cod entrée was spectacular! Served with potatoes, vegetables, egg and a white wine sauce. The phenomenally fresh fish blended into the bowl of ingredients like Girl Talk mixing up tracks on All Day.

Another nice surprise was the local pilsner. Quite smooth and much better than the local ale. Trust me.

Sadly, the church closed on a down note with their odd attempt at a deconstructed chocolate cake which tasted more like it was scooped out of a construction site. And what’s especially unforgiveable about this is that they only had one dessert on the menu. I’m sorry, but if you’re only going to put one option on a menu than the least you can do is nail it!

But oh the cod. I will never forget the cod. And the location. Okay and the beer. Our server was very nice as well, but so was everyone in Sweden. I think it’s like a federal law or something. Granted he did forget our fish soup, which I hear is quite something. Oh well, maybe next time.

3 teeth