January 26, 2011

Bar Belle: Nothing’s right, I’m torn

I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel. I’m cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor. OK, just kidding. I am pretty cold, but I’ve never been ashamed of lying naked on a floor — if it’s carpet, it was a good night; if it’s linoleum, um, it was probably a good night … I’ll just have to wait for the flashes of memory to remind me. Truth is, I’ve had that damn Natalie Imbruglia song stuck in my head — more as an internal turmoil than a she-did-me-wrong song.

I hope I’m not alone here, but I seem to have a hard time making up my mind. It’s like the angel/devil-on-my-shoulder scenario. I know what’s right, but I don’t always do what’s right. I’m torn. I, of course, am the angel … unless you overcharge me on beer. But my devil side, well, many of you know her as Sarah (with an “h”), and I’ve written about her here numerous times. Although I haven’t seen her out in full force lately (I’ve been trying to stay on the healthy side of binge drinking), this dark passenger haunts my thoughts, decision-making abilities and knack for solving basic math problems.

One issue I’m working on is whether to get a dog. I’d love to have a happy little creature in my life, but I’m not blind to the responsibility. A dog would mean I’d have to pitstop on the way to happy hour. I’d have to get up early and go for walks. I’d have to pick up poo. And shacking up at another’s shack would be out of the question. But dogs are cute. And sometimes my shackers aren’t.

Another issue is my lack of a solid backbone. One phone call and all my reserve to stay home and behave is gone. Why am I singing karaoke on a Wednesday night long past my bedtime? Because my friends know my weakness and take pleasure in tempting me with Miller Lites and the promise of top-shelf bourbon. I suppose I may always be torn, but dammit, it’s fun.

New Albany secrets

I’ve heard the whispers wafting across the Ohio … of a swanky new joint a few doors down from Rich O’s where the food is fine and the drinks rival that of Proof and Social. I followed the lead on Saturday to get to the bottom of the most recent New Albany secret, the NA Exchange (3306 Plaza Drive, 812-948-6501, www.thenaexchange.com). The restaurant took over the former MYbar spot, which was the Main Menu a few years before that. I admit I hung out at the latter dive bar a few times in my day, sipping on cheap beer and listening to The Rumors play Mellencamp under the soft glow of neon. So when I walked into NA Exchange, I was shocked to see the joint cleaned up and hipsterized.

The short menu is simple, inexpensive and delicious. From bison burgers to steamed mussels to Cajun pasta, there seems to be enough to fit anyone’s taste. But I’m not a food writer, so let’s get to the drinks. The beer list is solid — on draft you’ll find a New Albanian (naturally), BBC, Dogfish Head, Schlafly and Bell’s, to name a few. But I was beered out that night, so my attention landed on the specialty drink list. The special of the day was the Moscow Mule, which consisted of vanilla vodka, ginger and lime. I had two. Another that caught my eye was the Rock and Rye, with rye whiskey, orange, cherry, sugar, bitters and soda. It was amazing — think Manhattan on the rocks. I had one but wanted eight. Seeing as how I had to safely get my ass back over the river, I had to stop there, unfortunately. The best thing about these drinks? Are you sitting down? They’re all $5! No kidding. Grab a DD and get yourself to the Exchange. And don’t worry, there’s no smoking.

Drunk Texts of the Week

• I just like the snooki ho type

• No free passes to my yum center!

• He made his fortune in tattoo removals

• Da bears got teabagged by a packer sacker

• My nipples are at half mast

• Lights on at the back door = success

• Is your tshirt in braille?

Send me your crazy texts … shavens@leoweekly.com. Check out my daily reasons to drink at barbelle.leoweekly.com.