Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This Week's Excuse For Meat/Cheese/Onions/Bread

I know I already mentioned this yesterday, but I thought I'd give it the spotlight today, because... well, because I can. And because it's been a while since my last Excuse.

It used to be that if you asked me what my favorite bar was, I'd have an easy answer: the Parkway. Great selection, great atmosphere, friendly people, entertaining bartenders... a worthy replacement for NPCC, my beer vendor of choice for my two 21+ years at PLU. Truthfully, it's still my favorite bar, but The Red Hot is ALSO my favorite bar, which complicates the question a bit.

The Parkway is, at its heart, a regulars bar. If you keep going back you'll inevitably see the same group of people coming in after work day after day. In some bars this is a bad thing. A newbie walking into a neighborhood, blue-collar bar will often get the stink-eye and the cold shoulder from all the old-timers who don't want anyone invading their space. I've never run into that at the Parkway. People who are clearly regulars (the bartenders know them) that I've never seen will happily start up conversations about beer, sports, books, or anything else. Everyone just seems glad to be there, and glad to see others there as well. I have heard occasional complaints about it being too busy, which leads a few to go to other bars. But they never stay away for long (they must not, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to hear them complain).

As if the vibe and the beer weren't enough, the Parkway also serves up one of my favorite sandwiches in Tacoma (I suspect there may be a blog series on that topic in the future): the Parkway Cheese Steak. There are many variations of the Philly cheese steak to be found around town (often at teriyaki places for some reason), but the Parkway remains one of the simplest and best. Meat. Cheese. Onions. Mayonnaise. On bread (a hoagie roll, specifically). I suspect you could get mushrooms or peppers on it if that's your style, but it defaults to the most basic.

Since I know there are people out there who like sandwiches but don't go so much for the meat, I'll put in a quick plug for the Thai Veggie sandwich as well. I haven't had it, but I've seen it, smelled it, and watched other people enjoy it, and all signs point to tasty.

Aaaaaaaaanyway... I don't generally need an excuse to go, any more than I need an excuse for a hot dog. But tonight I have one: Boundary Bay Brewery Night. Boundary Bay is based up in Bellingham. My experience with their beers is pretty much limited to the IPA, but I'm sure that will change tonight. I've been to a few brewery nights at the Parkway, and they generally consist of at least half a dozen different beers from the featured brewery, plus the usual rotating assortment of good stuff. There also tend to be raffles for brewery merch, and just generally a lot of bartender shouting.

I'll be there with a bed full of cheese and mayo. And I'll be there early, because that place is going to get pretty dang full.


Anonymous said...

Apropos, but only marginally: Yogi Berra is reputed to have said of a popular restaurant, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Of course, every non sequitur ever uttered has been credited to Yogi.

We love our Parkway.

Anonymous said...

what time are you going to be there?

Anonymous said...

Damnit! I totally forgot about this. Is there any way to get on the Izenmania text reminders on such events?

izenmania said...

There is a way! Step one, though, involves me having your phone number! Otherwise the absolute best I can do is e-mailing you, which I didn't bother with because I figured that if it was an event you wanted to go to, you'd just remember it.

(p.s. Next up is the Barleywine Festival, April 12th, 2PM - 2AM. I don't know about you, but I am rather doomed by this.)

freelance said...

maybe there will be a brewery night when i'm down!

i really have to hit an actual brewery tour while i'm out here.