Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“The Hong Kong has recently gone through a remodel – the floors are a little less sticky, but the vibe remains the same.”
Neighborhood: Faneuil Hall
Address: 65 Chatham Street
Date of Visit: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Bartender Name: Bill
The Hong Kong has been one of our favorite watering holes since grad school. In search of some karaoke, Valerie and her friends wandered in here one night after the movies and the rest is history. Even though it may be considered a “dive bar” or a “hole in the wall” the HK (as we affectionately call it now) became a regular Thursday night hang out, complete with test tube shots, meat on a stick (TERIYAKI), karaoke stage names (shout-out to Jill and Gerty!), and copious amounts of alcohol. As such, it was the last stop in Val’s birthday celebrations.
The Hong Kong has recently gone through a remodel – the floors are a little less sticky, but the vibe remains the same. There are two floors – the first being where the karaoke magic happens (nightly!) and the second being more of a dance club scene. There is definitely a good number of regulars, and the rest of the crowd is a good mix of college students, young professionals, and even some older folks now and again. They sell food here, but mostly we just see people eating the Teriyaki on a stick ($1 for chicken, $2 for beef). The place is small but homey, and can get pretty crowded on Thursdays and weekends. They have a $5 cover on Saturdays and Sundays.
Valerie & Eric’s Drink of Choice: Scorpion Bowl
Ingredients: Not sure we want to know…but it’s described as a”secret family recipe of alcohol and juices.”
Review: The tag-line of the Hong Kong is “Home of the Scorpion Bowl,” so there was really nothing else we could order. For starters…you need two people to even order one of these babies. It comes with two straws, multiple cherries on top, and a nice little festive umbrella. The drink is yummy, fruity, and delicious. It’s easy to suck down (minus the brain freeze) and will definitely loosen you up a bit for dancing or karaoke. One time I asked the bartender what was in the Scoripon Bowl (I had a gluten free friend with me) and he shook his head and said he had no idea. That makes me a bit nervous, but I’ve never had a scorpion bowl I didn’t like…except for the next morning.
Valerie’s Drink of Non– Choice: Special Birthday Shot (I think it was called Jose Hot Chicken)
Ingredients: Tequila, Hot Sauce, Raw Egg
Cost: Free for the price of heart burn and possible salmonella posioning
Review: Eric made the mistake (or was it?!?!) of telling the bartender that it was Valerie’s birthday, and as such he made the HK’s special birthday shot. He went through the whole story of how the shot is made – first filling a shot glass up about half way with tequila, then adding a few shakes of hot sauce. Then he asked if I was a tough woman, to which I obviously replied yes (poor foresight on my part) and so he doubled the amount of hot sauce. Then, out of his pocket came a whole egg and my stomach dropped. He cracked the egg into the shot glass and handed over the concoction. I’m still not entirely sure how I got that thing down, but I closed my eyes, plugged my nose and took it in one gulp, egg yolk and all. Thankfully, it stayed down. Unfortunately, my mouth was on fire. The cure….White Russians. Oh, and for those of you worried about me consuming a raw egg, I guess alcohol kills salmonella (who knew?) and I didn’t get sick. Note to all of those planning on going to the Hong Kong to celebrate a birthday- keep it to yourself!
Cheers: (I’d give it negative cheers if I could)
Honestly…they have everything (and no, it’s not on a menu).