Saturday, September 4, 2010

Double Dare: Black Bear Saloon

We suffer for our art. Does that mean anything anymore? Jealous of the starving artist, we dined at Black Bear. What is Black Bear to New Haven? Is it a haven for UFC fans who feel marginalized by both cable providers and bars that ban the brawls from being broadcast? For those who can't accept being thirty, does it allows a Cinderella enchantment to feel fully alive again? On weekends Black Bear's function is to provide vodka and Redbulls to Quinnipiac, Yale, Southern and Albertus student alike, uniting all backgrounds of young twenty-somethings to celebrate hours of bacchanalian pleasure to the full degree. Black Bear is whatever you want it to be. On this day, to Hans and Mendez along with other hungry patrons, it was a place to dine.

As we arrived the sidewalk tables where being removed in preparation for Hurricane Earl. All we had seen of it were a few showers in the afternoon. For the last few days the Hot 93. 7 weather report called for "Revelations Light," as Hurricane Earl crawled up the coast. For a food blogger, the rising of the dead is just a minor inconvenience. Like for Godot, we all waited, but Earl never showed. As we entered the night entertainment started to introduce himself. Never seeing the guitar man whose repertoire included Third Eye Blind and The Violent Femmes, we could only make assumptions as to his physical appearance. He was probably in his early thirties, judging by his affinity for '90s music. Probably slightly chubby based on his inability to hit the high notes. All in all he is a working artist and we respect him for it. Envy him if at Black Bear he was starving...

The bloggers looked at a gift certificate which was folded in Hans' pocket, a print out from Spend 35 dollars and 25 of these dollars are taken off. That's a 10 dollar dinner. Alcohol was not included. The bloggers looked over the menu. The menu lacks most basic food group but meat. They ordered chicken nugget Sliders and two burgers, the Bacon Bleu and Southwesterner. These items come to 28.97. With tax, 30.72. Why these items? The idea of a sandwich made out of a chicken nugget is straight from the "Things that Kept me up Late at Night when I was in Fifth Grade" playbook: While the burgers we ordered were simply by chance. Are thirteen different types of peanut butter in the grocery store really definitive of options? The nugget sliders were served with bacon and cheddar cheese. Heck, the side of tater tots seemed odd enough to work.

The sliders came out soon after ordering. The bun was steamed and the chicken barely hatched. The cheddar melted on the bacon but not onto the chicken. It was tasty and had flavor, which we would soon find out is a rarity at Black Bear. If Black Bear dedicated more of their menu to cheap pub fare like this, we would see the popularity. The side of tater tots brought elementary school flashbacks to the blogger's mind.

The burgers came out faster than one could say "Big Meech." If Prime 16's burger is heaven, Black Bear's is hell, with Tucker Max as your cell mate. This restaurant uses glue and newspaper fed cows for meat. Hans and Mendez thought their taste buds were broken but, no, Black Bear's burger lacks any taste. Swamp Thing must have cooked the French Fries. Deep fried food reaches a new low here. However, when a majority of America's population thinks their President is a Muslim, we can see how other patrons enjoyed this food.

While the food was disappointing, the service was great (Mendez's opinion). She was the kind of woman you would want to take home to meet your mother for Sunday dinner, provided she stayed out of the kitchen. The rest of the staff seemed listless despite the 90's nostalgia. Hans and Mendez asked for her opinion about the "yummiest" dessert. They were sold out of her favorite, some Reese's Pieces whosiewhatsit. They received the Double Chocolate Fudge Cake, still cool from the refrigerator. The dessert qualified the boys for the coupon. If you can find these magical coupons, do so before eating here.

Now, you may be asking yourself, or talking to the computer screen. "C'mon Hans and Mendez, that's not the real Black Bear. Black Bear is 'men's shirts, short skirts.'" It's young naive women and the meat heads who court them. We answer that one corner of the Bermuda Triangle is no different than the other. Hans and Mendez have seen night life and they have had proctologist exams. No need to mix the two together.

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