Monday, October 18, 2010

Behold! The Anchor Restaurant

If a bar napkin could be worthy of sympathy, this napkin in particular: saturated and mangled, would be a candidate for warm words and long hugs. Mendez rested his first, second, third and last Old Fashioned on this napkin, which like Mendez became more and more saturated with Bourbon as the night went on. Hans glanced at him. "Stop staring, for crying out loud, blink," He snapped, but it was no use.

The Mermaid Room, our beloved Anchor's weekend basement dry bar, is a great place to enjoy a cocktail responsibly or otherwise. The cocktail of choice that evening was a forgotten "old peoples" drink, mixed perfectly by the Mermaid Rooms bartender/ manager/ disc-jockey/ and creative director Ben Zemke. Most recently known as the manager of the late great Blue Peal, he brings with him the je ne sais quoi and mighty cocktails which have built his reputation. Hans and Mendez predict and are in serious anticipation for a Mermaid Room cocktail list to be drafted, but as of now this is only speculation and desire of the sincerest design. The Old Fashioned was both smooth and spicy from the angostura bitters, potent from the hundred proof Old Granddad bourbon, with just the right amount of carbonation to lighten the load of this very flavorful libation.

Friends, countrymen, barflies- while we wish to praise the magical hands of Ben Zemke (found Friday and Saturday nights!) we've come to praise the Anchor as a whole. Heck, Eric who works upstairs can serve a mean cocktail as well. We like to think of the Mermaid Room as like a woman's hand; soft and lovely, but nothing without the rest of the body which it belongs too. The woman's beauty, of course, making the hand so desirable.

The Anchor's strange charm is hard to rival in New Haven. The booths are beaten, the jukebox barely functional, and the bathrooms are handicap inaccessible. For the bloggers it is their home away from cave. The food hits the spot, and is more delicious as the night rages on.

The Anchor is where the blogger's celebrated all sorts of great occasions: 21st birthdays, brisses, Groundhog's Day, etc. For others of the public, it is a place to celebrate living. Any point of the day, at least before 7, single men line the bar calling for shots watching talk shows. At night the same men watch baseball playoffs. During the afternoon God's gift to men, Janet, serves and entertains with her sailor's mouth. The bloggers are fans of both her humor and enthusiasm for Jameson shots.

The Anchor's kitchen is open until midnight. The food is typical bar fare and averages around nine dollars. There are club sandwiches and other deep fried specialties. The exception is their meatloaf plate. As named on the menu it is, "The Best Meatloaf." We agree. Lean and served with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, it is the kind of homemade meal that can make a dreary Monday feel like the best day ever, or a boozy night waiting on a friend feel like Christmas. Disco fries can also be ordered for the adventurous or natives of New Jersey and Canada.

Hans and Mendez may even go so far as to say The Anchor is the most New Haven of bars. Yalie and Southern student, church organist and motorcyclist, Yankees fan and Red Sox enthusiast sit side by side. We can only hope that you enjoy the Anchor as much as we have over the years.

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