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.
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 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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