Date of Last Visit: Thursday, Nov 4, 2010
The Victim: Me
The Damage: $25
The Background: I cannot lie. Read my tag line. I don’t cook. I defrost. I zap. I boil. I refrigerate. I unwrap.
I do not cook.
So when I read that Bangers & Lace was opening up very close to one of my El stops–the “El” being the underground/subway for my British readers–I thought “Perfect! Dinner on my way home!”
So tonight I stopped in. It’s a pleasant, spacious space and I imagine it will remain so…when it’s empty. I liked the tin ceiling and the lighting and the bar stools. Ah…and the hooks under the bar for your belongings! Bangers & Lace is not a bad place for the solo diner. But I imagine this place on a Friday or Saturday night and I get a little worried about its level of packedness. (But then, I’d be happy for the owners and their success.)
Bangers & Lace if chock full of staff when I enter. I can’t even tell who’s talking to me, there are so many people behind the bar and around the bar. They are all looking at me expectantly. I hope I did not disappoint.
My server at the bar is Eldridge and he’s fantastic. I miss American servers. Yes, chatty servers. I miss them. Because tonight I am here by myself and later is starts to pour rain and it’s nice to be able to exchange idle chit chat with someone, while you’re waiting to pass the time.
Bangers & Lace is a bar menu, for the most part. Full of, well, bangers. I opted for the Sheboygan (as in Wisconsin) veal bratwurst which included melted gouda, sauerkraut, black currants, and house-made beer mustard. I liked the mustard. I didn’t notice he currants until I went back and read the menu online later, but that doesn’t bother me. I liked the sauerkraut, but wondered if they made it themselves or if it came from a bucket because the mustard was described as house-made but the sauerkraut was not. (Yes, in America, you can buy buckets of sauerkraut. Big buckets. As if you’re paving your driveway.) The sandwich all came together very nicely with that melted gouda, and it was a good manageable size too…not a huge American honker of a sandwich. The veal sausage–perhaps the most important part–was tender and mild and had nice occasional snap. In short, for $8, I was pleased. (In fact, nearly everything on the menu is under $10…very pleasing.)
The disappointment? The tiny gherkins. Not vinegar-y enough for me! Not snappy enough either.
Now on the side, I did ask for the ham roasted peanuts. I thought they’d arrive first, but they came with my meal. That was fine because I was by myself and didn’t really care. I had nowhere to be. The peanuts are like honey roasted peanuts…but only they’re ham roasted, with a dusty hammy crust. Yes. You read that right. The first few were very good. They were warm. Warm peanuts and ham dust are good. But after about a dozen or so…I was tired. I concentrated on my brat instead.
The Beers: With this all, I tried two beers from Bangers’ very impressive beer selection; I tried the Allagash White, which very much reminded me of a Hoegaarden, and the Widdershins, which was hoppy and citrusy and reminded me of one of the higher in alcohol Chimays. (But don’t quote me on that because my Chimay memory is fuzzy.) I don’t think I’d do the Widdershins again because it was a bit too much for me, but I would definitely try the Allagash again. In summer. When it feels more right.
Throughout it all, bar staff were attentive and friendly. It was only their third night. Let’s hope they keep it up.
The Verdict: Fun. Nice. A good value. I’d go back.
P.S. Don’t forget! I’m giving away a $75 voucher to Cookware.com! Read more and it could be yours!