I asked for "assignments" three posts back and Josie asked about my favorite bars and bartenders. This one was way too easy. My all-time favorite bartender is Shep. He's the guy in the photo. He is a bartender at the Luxor's Nile Bar in Las Vegas. He always has something interesting to say and no matter how busy they are, you always feel special. Not only that, but he remembers me. That may not sound like much, but MILLIONS of people must pass through that hotel every year and no matter how far between my visits, he knows me. The most impressive thing he ever did was threaten an annoying guy with a baseball bat. The annoying guy and I were the only people at the bar. The guy just would not stop yelling weird stuff over to me. I didn't think that much about it, but suddenly Shep brandishes a baseball bat and says, "Get the hell out of my bar!" I was SO shocked because in my personal experience, in both Vegas and New Orleans, you just can't really get in trouble. I was so afraid some scary guy in a suit was going to show up and fire Shep, but it didn't happen. And as far as I know, he's still there.
My second favorite bartender is Marvin. He's a bartender at The Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. He not only makes the very best bloody mary ON EARTH, but he's just downright pleasant and friendly. We asked him to recommend a restaurant that the locals liked, that wasn't a touristy place and man did he send us to a good place. I wish I could tell you what it was, but it doesn't matter. Marvin still works there. Just tell him to send you to the loud boisterous place that he has recommended before. The only thing about the carousel bar is it is JUST THAT. Yes, it rotates, and to be quite honest I could only take it for so long, then I had to step off. But if you want a very friendly and knowledgeable bartender in New Orleans and you like bloody marys, stop into the Carousel Bar.
Part of the asssignment was just where I like to drink beer. My favorite places to drink beer are:
- Any place with a view of the sea, the sound, a bay, a river or a lake.
- Any bar with a feel of history. My very first bar was a classic old dark NYC bar when I was 16 and I once drank a beer in a VERY OLD bar in San Fransisco and just LOVED it.
- Places where you can sit outside and people watch, like Fifth street in the Gaslamp district of San Diego or a balcony on Bourbon Street. Or even an open bar in an airport.
- The bar/lobby of The Arlington in Hot Springs. The last time we went, we sat their for several hours and played Scrabble while a three-piece combo played. It was EXCELLENT.
- Any cabana bar at any beach (oh wait, maybe #1 covers that!)
- Piano bars - not the goofy ones, but the nice ones.
Well, I think that about covers it. I also like bartenders that perform magic for you. That's always fun. And tell good jokes. I LOVE to tell jokes in bars. Thanks, Josie for the fun assignment. I'll get around to that travelogue of Fort Worth.