Enticed by the prospect of fried macaroni and cheese and a George Motz endorsed double cheeseburger, it didn't take much else to get me interested in Park Slope's Dram Shop. While it's primarily a bar, it's worth going to just for the bar food. And since I don't partake in the joy of alcohol poisoning, I could comfortably eat fries while my friends down beers and fries. Everyone's a winner.
Add macaroni and cheese to the long list of "things that taste better when dunked in a vat of hot oil." The deep-fried macaroni and cheese made with Wisconsin cheddar had all the goodness of creamy, burning hot macaroni and cheese, but in the form of a utensil-free, fattened nugget surrounded by a crispy bread crumb shell. Although I didn't bother to dip them in the accompanying spicy ketchup, I've been told that they go great together, despite that mixing spicy ketchup into a bowl of regular macaroni and cheese may not work so well.
The cheeseburger came with two square beef patties topped with lettuce, tomato, diced onion, mayonnaise, and mustard, with sliced jalapenos being another option if you ask for it. I thought the burger was a delicious mess of salty beef, meat juice, and condiments, or as one of my eating partners said, what a Big Mac would taste like if were actually made out of good ingredients. It came with a generous helping of skinny, crispy hand-cut fries, none of which remained by the end of the night.
Buffalo wings with creamy house made blue cheese dip were a different kind of delicious mess, with fingers covered in spicy, glowing orange sauce instead of meat juice. It could've been messier—thankfully, the meaty wings and drumsticks weren't excessively slathered in sauce. Crisp celery and carrot sticks helped to cool down my mouth after the burning sensations from the wings.
Cobb salad is the only appropriate salad to have in a bar. Watercress, romaine lettuce, and creamy avocado chunks were balanced by strips of poached chicken, crispy bacon, hard boiled eggs, and crumbled blue cheese. As long as you're not a vegetarian, this salad's for you.
I waited too long to eat the half-moon tostadas—fried, folded tortillas filled with refried beans and covered in jack cheese and juicy slow-roasted pulled chicken—meaning that what was once crispy (tortillas) became limp, and what was once gooey (cheese) congealed into a solid mass. Lettuce, sour cream, avocado, salsa roja, and pickled jalapenos were provided as extra toppings. Not bad, not great.
The albondigas, meatballs made of braised pork and beef in chipotle tomato sauce, didn't taste nearly as interesting as the description made them seem. The meatballs were boring, and the tomato sauce just a little less. It's a good thing that the airy, cottony bread was good for sopping up the extra sauce because on its own, no one would want to eat it.
My new ideal meal consists of fried macaroni and cheese and burgers. What a happy belly that makes.
339 9th Street, Brooklyn NY 11215 (b/n 5th and 6th avenues; map) 718-788-1444
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