A Better Night at the Bitter End

Last Friday I did the usual; went to work, ran errands and stopped by the liquor store for some weekend libations. I was in the middle of crafting plans for the weekend when my phone went dead – and my lights, and my stereo, and virtually every appliance in my apt. For some unexplained reason, myself and up to 10,000 other South End Haligonians lost their power. Hmph!

What to do when the power goes out on a Friday night? Well, I DID have some writing to do, so I lit some candles and vowed to work until my computer died. Still not knowing what the night had in store, I was filled with delight when, as my comp’s battery lost it’s last bit of juice, my friend Jazmine called with her perky ‘tude and asked what my plans were.

We decided to meet at the Bitter End for some drinks and much needed catch-up. I like the Bitter End, always have, but in my quest for new watering holes, I haven’t been in a while. We ended up there at a relatively early 9 pm, and it seemed as though many powerless South enders had the same idea. We proceeded to hop up on some bar stools and browse the drink and food menus.

Being the die-hard vodka martini lover that I am, I chose my usual. I’m not a huge fan of the syrupy, juicy cocktails, nor am I oft to go for a creamy based one. My bevy of choice is a Grey Goose martini, straight up, lots of olives- the big ones. I can attribute my love of these salty bites back to my childhood. At Christmastime, there was always a bottle of olives in my stocking – adding to the comforting Christmas memories of clementines and peppermint. When I was sick, my other used to remove the pimento, stuff in my Penicillin pill, and I would chew up the revolting combo of chalky pill and chewy pulp. Ugh, how THAT memory makes me shudder!

Sitting at the bar certainly has it’s advantages; quick service, good gossip, and a view of all the goings on. However, sitting there made me realize why I love this place as I quickly noticed jelly worms in the bar tray, a childhood – who am I kidding, a current favorite of mine. When I asked the bartender in my sweetest voice and biggest smile whether I could have a couple, he presented me with this!

I was into martini number 2, and olive number 11 when Jaz suggested that we get a little bite. Having been unable to make anything in my electric-less apartment, I was quick to concede to her choice of calamari with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce. I love calamari, but I find that it’s touch and go with some places. My uncle actually refers to this bar staple as “deep fried rubber bands”, a descriptive that makes me smile every time I see them on a menu.

The Bitter End’s rendition, however, did not disappoint. The calamari itself was tender, and cooked just so to have an al dente consistency. The batter was light and served to complement the sweet flesh. The dipping sauce of choice was slightly chunky and with a touch of heat – I always love the sweet meets heat combo.

At night’s end, we stumbled out into the cold, dark street. However, when I arrived home, I was met my the comforting hum of my refrigerator and the confirmation that my power had been resotred. It may have been cold outside, but in, it was home sweet home.

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