Heeeyy. It’s been a while. I know, I’m sorry. Honestly I really haven’t gotten out anywhere new lately. It’s summer, it’s hot, and sadly when it’s hot out, I am not usually feeling the Bloody Mary. You have to admit, it feels like more of a winter drink, especially when you have summer cocktail menus filled with nice refreshing citrus-y drinks. But I still love you dear Bloody Mary.
In fact, I love you so much you get a two-fer!
My long-not-lost friend Adrienne (21 years of friendship we just realized! Gah, old!) was in town from Las Vegas for the month with her new baby and husband, so J and I took the opportunity to take them out to the revitalized Canalside area for some food and trivia. We decided on dinner at (716) as we had eaten from their truck but not the restaurant yet. (716) is a sports themed restaurant inside HarborCenter, the Pegula built state of the art, world class hockey center directly in front of the Sabres arena. Of course they had a few Sabres themed drinks, which Adrienne had to get, and a big menu of other delicious sounding non Sabres themed offerings as well. At first glance I didn’t even notice they had a Bloody Mary, and I ordered the Berry Basil Lemonade, which was delicious. Then I noticed they had a drink called Up North – a Bloody Mary. But like I said, it’s summer, and I just wasn’t feeling it.
However, after dinner and trivia (we dominated the 2nd game with 5000 points!), we parted ways and J and I headed back to (716) with a different friend and I felt obligated.
The drink was available as a Caesar as well, but bleeeech, no thanks.
Garnished with a pickled carrot, blue cheese stuffed celery and a Weber’s pepperoncini, and spiced up with Frank’s Hot Sauce it had a good tomato taste even if it was a bit watery. It had a good spice level and somehow managed to avoid having too much Frank’s taste. It was nothing special though, and with so many other drinks on the menu that sounded good, I’d go with something else next time.
The next day, after a quick trip to Sticky Lips in Rochester to see The Healing Committee, we headed back to Buffalo for some margaritas at Cantina Loco. Cantina Loco opened a few years ago in Allentown and is delicious! They have the best margaritas in Buffalo, and as we found out, a huge menu of other drinks as well, including the Atomic Mary.
Available with vodka or tequila (I go for vodka, always) for $8 in a pint glass, their house made mix was garnished with an olive and banana pepper ring, with a chili powder rim. It was fairly thin but had a ton of visible spice to it, and boy, was it spicy. It had a strange flavor that I can only call “burned celery” which I didn’t like, and there was virtually no tomato taste, as it was overwhelmed with the spice and celery taste. My initial reaction was that I didn’t like it. That I really didn’t like it. So much so that I didn’t think I’d be able to drink it. But it got better as I went on and I feel like maybe I am being unfair. Maybe because I had just had a margarita, and all I really wanted was another margarita, it was too much of a flavor shock. I really want to love Bloody Marys with a house made mix because they took the time and effort to make it, and not just use a bottle from the store. But I definitely would stick with one of the many margaritas they offer in the future.