Sunday, January 3, 2010

Alembic - Eating at the Bar with Bub

Restaurant: Alembic Bar
Address: 1725 Haight Street b/t Cole and Shrader, The Haight, SF
Phone Number: (415) 666-0822
Cuisine: Small bites, bar nibbles, cocktails
Dining Partner: Bub

So this is another place I would not even step foot in if I hadn’t been following 7x7’s Big Eat list. Alembic is a gastropub - a bar with a focus on well-made food - and for the most part, I have been frequenting the gastro aspect more than the pub part. I might have to change that in the next few years.

So I am in my 20’s and I should be partying and getting drunk every weekend , right? Wrong. I have never been a heavy drinker, clubber, whatever because I think alcohol should be appreciated, not only taken as a shot only to be thrown up later. Right? Right. But I am very na├»ve when it comes to the different types of liquor and what goes with what and who makes what for who. Don't even ask me what a cask or a craft liquor is. Well, coming to Alembic was an experience, and let me show you what I had.

I came here for their famous mint julep (on the 7x7 list), which is a drink combined of “mint, sugar, Old Fitzgerald 12-year-old bourbon, and ‘brutally’ crushed ice.” I copied that from the menu and “brutally” meant that the girl who made my drink put some ice in a sack and beat the crap out of it. It was very entertaining.

My Mint Julep

My julep was so refreshing. Imagine drinking this on a hot summer day. Nothing would be better! It is similar to a mojito with the flavor of the mint, but I liked this julep more because it seemed sweeter than mojitos I have had. I have a sweet tooth, so sweet is always welcomed. I drank the whole thing in no time! Now for the food!

Baby Back Ribs
Whiskey Glaze, Chicharrones, Watermelon Salad

I loved the glaze on these ribs - sticky and sweet sauce hugging every centimeter of succulent meat. Another thing I found so clever were the sprinkling of the chicharonnes. When I bit into the rib and of course I expected the tenderness of the meat, but there was a pleasant crunch from the pork rinds. Very good texture contrast. The watermelon salad was a great accompaniment because the salad was cool and a bit sweet. You can see there were three on the plate - I stole the last one, of course.

Pork Belly Sliders
Served with Homemade Potato Chips

*ding ding ding* We have a winner! Pork belly! Come on! How can you pass these up? For sliders, they were pretty tall. I saw the luscious belly stacked with lettuce, pickled onions…heaven…the potato chips were awesome as well. Addicting. I would LOVE to come back and order another 10. These sliders were a nice change from the everyday burgers.

Bub couldn’t stop talking about how great they were. I did say that I would order 10 more earlier, didn’t I? I would if I didn’t have a conscience. I mean, it’s pork belly! So sinful. =) I would have never thought that there would be a place in The Haight like this. The Haight is “known” for being a place full of hippies, weird stores, and pot smokers…for the most part, that’s true, but people fail to realize that the place is more than a big marijuana ashtray. There are places like Alembic that serve awesome drinks and food that keep people talking for days. If you are in the area, check out the Alembic. Sit at the bar, talk with the folks behind the counter, share some nibbles. You will have a great time!

Alembic on Urbanspoon