First discovery of Bacon!

A big group of us rented a house in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks for Memorial Day in 2013, planning to do some hiking, cookouts, fires, etc. Being May and all. Only it rained for the first 3 days…I mean, r.a.i.n.e.d. Monsoon. The Ausable River, which the house was on, flooded and part of the street was impassable. It was also cold (it snowed 4 feet on Whiteface Mountain!). So we were generally unprepared for the weather, including pants and jackets for some of us. I tagged along with Jenn one day as she went in to Lake Placid to buy pants and we discovered The Breakfast Club, and more importantly their menu of Bloody Marys in the window. We detoured in and I discovered the #1 Bloody Mary on my list to this day.

breakfast club menu

I really wanted the Fire Mary since I like mine spicy but how could I resist my first opportunity to get a Bacon Mary?? The bartender overheard my dilemma and suggested a marriage. The Fire Mary with bacon vodka and the bacon garnish. Heaven!

Breakfast Club

I may be a weird Bloody Mary lover as I can’t stand celery or olives, they are wasted garnish on me, but give me that bacon! It was a nice crispy well cooked slice sticking out of the mason jar, with a great spice level. Oh my god, it was good.

We went back to the house for the night, but the next day brought another trip to the Breakfast Club with the group, because we (I) had to try more of the menu. Between the group we ended up trying the Mexican and Asian (and maybe the Smokey too) as well but nothing compared to the Bacon+Fire. Top ten! Top 5! #1!

Breakfast Club

Vegas

Even though it wasn’t our first vacation after the quest began (that would be New Orleans, where I had my first Bloody Mary with a pickled green bean garnish) the tasty Bloody Mary quest really hit its stride when Jason and I went to Vegas. It was about a year after this new mission began, and where better to search than Vegas? We headed out west to attend my old friend Adrienne’s wedding, and spent a nice few days hanging out with my oldest friend Eric, Adrienne and her husband-to-be, and another friend who happened to be stationed at the air base at the time.

Again, since I didn’t think this was going to be “a thing” I don’t really have reviews of these early drinks, but I do have photos! Not good ones, but photos!

First up, Rush Lounge at the Golden Nugget.

Rush Lounge

Then, a chain, but that was the only place to eat, out where Adrienne lived…Buffalo Wild Wings…and somewhat sadly, I remember it being pretty good.

Buffalo Wild Wings

I mean, come on, it has a giant pickle!

Next, Jerry’s Nugget. Way off strip, I actually don’t even know where it is…Henderson? Laughlin? Ok not that far, but it is FAR, and we only went there because we had free play coupons we were cashing in everywhere. This was by far the worst one, basically tomato water, very small, thankfully it was free. (And I can say now, it had more garnish than my upcoming NYC Bloody!)

Jerry's Nugget

The PBR Rockhouse at the Planet Hollywood Casino. It looks like a pink fruity drink here, but it’s definitely a Bloody Mary. You can see some spice down at the bottom.

PBR bar

#5, the Goretorium. Definite points for the best atmosphere, but beyond that, I have no idea what it tasted like.

Goretorium

And the last, Hennessey’s, an Irish Pub, which I think advertised the best one in Vegas. But I don’t remember!

Hennessey's

Crisps!

Bloody Mary Crisps

Besides Bloody Marys I have a thing for strange flavored potato chips. I found these while on vacation in the UK in 2011, which is actually before my Bloody Mary search began. They just sounded interesting at the time. These were at the Lovibonds brewery in Henley-on-Thames which my friends took me to while I was visiting for the night. My facebook post said they were very good but honestly I don’t remember.

Let’s start with the first

One fateful night out sometime in early 2012, tired of my standard vodka soda, I needed a new drink. My adult palate unable to handle sweet drinks anymore I had to steer away from the old standard juice and pop drinks, but where was I to go? And there rose the Blood Mary.

Might as well start off with the one that started it all. I believe I was out with Jason and Melissa one Tuesday at Essex Street Pub in Buffalo. Melissa might have even ordered the Bloody Mary first, spurring this whole thing on. It looked good, so I gave it a shot. I know this wasn’t my first one ever, but it has become the most memorable.

I have a bit of a thing for spicy food, so I asked our usual bartender Roxy to spice it up, and she delivered. Since I never anticipated this becoming “a thing” I have no photo to post of this monumental life changing event, and there isn’t really one needed for Roxy’s bloody from Essex St as its appearance is very standard. Your classic pint glass with no fancy garnish, usually just a small lemon or lime wedge if any. At the time Essex was using some sort of store bought Bloody mix but Roxy spiced it up with her own add ins, including Worcestershire sauce, Frank’s Hot Sauce, celery salt, pepper, and horseradish (and maybe a bit of pickle juice if I remember right), making this one of the best Bloodys I’ve ever had, and one of the best in Buffalo (they’ve since changed to plain tomato juice which loses some flavor even with add ins). Even to this day, Roxy’s Bloody remains in my top ten, and is better, by far, than many of the more expensive ones I’ve had, and from more of the fancier snootier places I’ve had them at (just wait til the one I had in NYC!) I have ordered them there with other bartenders, and they have been alright, but different, so I usually only get them with Roxy.

I did end up finding a photo of one of Roxy’s Bloodys from January 2013ish, where we added some pastrami from Jason’s sandwich haha.

Essex Street Pub

Essex has a great menu full of non-typical bar food. Sure you’ll find chicken wings, but they aren’t your usual fried wings, and the rest of the menu is creative finger foods and sandwiches. I recommend the PLT – pastrami lettuce and tomato, but it’s not your usual deli pastrami, it’s thick cut and fried like bacon. So good.

Check them out if you’re in Buffalo http://www.essexstreetpub.com/

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