Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“The establishment is right on the cusp of dive, but also features a dining area and a menu of mostly-fried food.”
Address: 52 Gainsborough Street
Date of Visit: Wednesday December 21, 2011
Bartender Name: Unknown
Our House East is a confused college dive tucked away on Gainsborough Street just a few blocks from our humble abode. The establishment is right on the cusp of dive, but also features a dining area and a menu of mostly-fried food, which offsets it from some of the other dives in the area (there is no pizza through a hole in the wall a-la Punter’s Pub). The bar does feature some dive-bar type games such as Big Buck Hunter, and specials on cheap beer on various evenings (as well as Beer Pong tournements – or Beruit if you’re picky about names). They also have a large “function room” which becomes a dance area on the weekends, and $1 burger specials during Sunday night NFL games. The bar area was fairly quiet when we visited, mainly on account of Valerie needed to visit the ladies room (which was somewhat gross by the way) on the way home from Trivia, but the folks in the bar were friendly and chatted us up when the opportunity arose. Overall, not the worst place to swing in for a beer! The bartender, who was clearly new to the gig, “couldn’t put his hands on a menu,” but did suggest the specialty drink for Valerie. Also, the receipt we were given wasn’t itemized, but the total was $15 so we averaged the price for each drink to be $7.50. Overall, not the worst place to swing in for a beer!
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Peppermint Mocha Martini
Review: Mocha n. 1. A rich pungent Arabian coffee. 2. Coffee of high quality. 3. A coffee beverage flavored with milk, sugar, and cocoa. 4. A flavoring made of coffee mixed with chocolate.
All of these definitions include the word “coffee” and yet this drink tasted nothing of it. However, it was tasty, reminding me of a York Peppermint Patty. Although it looks like a mudslide, a la the chocolate drizzled inside (which was distinctly Hershey’s syrup), the martini was a welcome refreshment on a warmer winter evening. I’m not quite sure what else was in it other than the chocolate syrup, but it was strong and a great size for the price. I would recommend this drink, but I would also recommend changing its name!
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Old Fashioned
Ingredients: Traditional making = bourbon, bitters, simple syrup, orange, cherry
Review: Okay, so it was really unfair to ask a bartender who looked as if he was twelve (but maybe is a first- or second-year student) to make me an Old-Fashioned, especially in a bar where he is probably more used to pouring straight shots and pints of beer. I view the Old-Fashioned as a standby, and a true test of a bartenders skill and cocktail knowledge. The cocktail is well-known enough to be on most craft cocktail lists, but also somewhat elusive among the youth of our great nation; thus, it is an excellent gauge of aptitude.
There were about four major problems with the drink I received at Our House, which I will list in chronological order:
I will give the bartender a ton of credit, though, for pretty much doing everything else right. The flavor was there, although masked by the cherry. He made sure to use the perfect amount of bitters, and at least asked for some feedback. On the way out (much to Val’s embarrassment), myself, the bartender, and another customer had a lengthy conversation about the art of the Old-Fashioned, and I am confident my young drink-pouring jedi will get it right the next time.
Cheers: (improvement expected!)
Wine Prices: A few people at a table near us were drinking wine, but we have no clue what kinds Our House has or what the prices may be….fail.
Beer Prices: The following taken from various signs around the bar…Miller Lite bottles for $3.75, draught $3.95, Coors Light bottles $4.00, Miller High Life pitchers $7.95, Miller Lite pitchers $13.95. Sam Adams, Coors, Miller, and Budweiser available on tap as well.
Other: The bartender alluded to a drink menu, but we’re not really sure one exists. They do have a “full bar” (Bacardi and the like being their top shelf liquors), and offer occasional specialty drinks, like the one that Valerie ordered.