We have so many new restaurants and bars in our neighborhood that we can't keep up. There's Campo on Broadway and 113th (used to be Pertutti), Community Food and Juice (so so), Wondee Siam V on Amsterdam, Bar 106 on Amsterdam, Kebab and Curry just returned to 105 and Amsterdam after a short stint as Mofongo Depot, Tropical Sensation (thumbs up, on Amsterdam and 107) and maybe a couple others that I've forgotton. Last night we stopped in at the Pourhouse, which is on Amsterdam and 108th street.
We had high hopes for the Pourhouse. Greg and I are looking for a good neighborhood watering hole--one with big TVs, decent food, and Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, which just came to NYC. When you have no television and are eating out of to-go boxes, the idea of a beer and a big screen is uplifting. We've tried out a few other bars--the Lion's Head on 109 and Amsterdam is a bit too bare bones and the seats are uncomfortable, plus we always pine for our friend Tom, who is in England, when we're there. Cannon's on 107 and B'way is just too sketchy and no good, Bistro Ten 18 is too fancy and there's no television, and we heard Mario left, so the bar won't be as much fun. Sip is too-too and the drinks cost too much. 1020 pulls in too many college kids. Anyhow, what got our hopes up about the Pourhouse was an email exchange that I had with the owner. He assured me that they had ordered the Leinie's and that it was available. Last night, however, it was NOT available.
We bravely soldiered on with our meal. The Pourhouse means to attract a wild college crowd, which makes you wonder about their business plan---the Columbia student body doesn't get that wild. They do study up at Columbia. The Puerto Rican contingent isn't exactly going for it, either. It was doing solid business, but it's not exactly the jello shot crowd.
Greg and I studied the beer menu, which looks impressive, but really isn't. It's pretty predictable--major name brands. If you're a beer guy like Greg, nothing on there is surprising. Meanwhile, I really couldn't recover from the loss of my Leinie's and the waitress asking me four times for my drink order didn't help. She gave me a case of test anxiety. I ordered a Stella out of desperation, which was nice and cold. The chill, unfortunately, extended to my food. I placed what I thought was a safe order--a cheesesteak--and Greg ordered fish and chips.
My cheesesteak was cold--not cold as in just out of the refrigerator, which would have been reassuring, but cold as in it had been sitting out. I was afraid to eat it. This is how you get food poisoning. Not only that - look at the picture - the meat didn't even fill half of the bun. Plus, my french fries were cold. (Did the waitress hate me?) Greg had two measly pieces of fried fish, and his french fries were warm, so I had them for dinner. Did I mention that I was starving?
In the end we were relieved to cross the Pourhouse off of our list. With so many options in our neighborhood, we're bound to find the place that's right for us.