August 26, 2009

Bar Belle: Steve Perry makes my clothes fall off

I love me some buffet action. Although the best ones, hands down, are in Vegas, I’m not too elitist to stop by the Golden Corral to get my grub on. Where else can you fill your plate with mashed potatoes, nachos, orange Jell-O and sunflower seeds? So in the spirit of buffet dining, I’m going to model this week’s column after the all-you-can-eat method of consumption. Just remember, take all you want but eat all you take.

 

Hola, Tequila Factory

I checked out the new Mexican-style spot that opened in the old Nio’s (917 Baxter Ave.). As before, the room and patio area are exquisite. I don’t think much renovation was done, but I don’t think it was needed. In fact, I’m kinda jealous. That was where I wanted to open my bar, Purr — you know, whenever I got around to figuring out how to open a business.

So until I win the lottery or take a business class, I’m content stuffing my face with chips and salsa at the Tequila Factory. The good news is, they have lots of tequila and a machine that dispenses chilled Patron (wonder if a home unit is available). And the food is decent — especially the cheese dip that comes out at just the right consistency: not runny like a first-day cold, but thick and creamy like a sinus infection. I also like the Dos Equis — both lager and amber — on tap, along with six others, including a BBC.

My only suggestion is for the staff to get their shit together, and I say that in the most sincere way. The first time I went, our waitress told us margaritas were $2, but on the bill they were $3. I also didn’t get what I ordered, but what they did give me was delicious. There were a few more snafus that night, but to give them credit, they did just open. The second time around, I sat at the bar and admired their tequila inventory. I asked about drink specials throughout the week, and no one seemed to know anything. “It probably depends on who the manager is at the time,” the bartender said as she shrugged her shoulders. More cheese dip, please.

 

Dude is no Steve Perry

Last Friday I ventured to the Fair for the Journey/Heart concert. I’ve been avoiding Journey for years — I just didn’t want to give my support to the band sans Steve Perry. Sure, I heard all about the Filipino singer who was discovered on YouTube and now fills Perry’s shoes. “He sounds just like him,” people proclaimed. So I finally gave in (ahem, scored free tickets) and decided to give it a chance. Perhaps with a few pints of bourbon, he could be Steve Perry.

First of all, he sounds nothing like Perry. While the old white dudes were pontificating through their instruments, this little guy was running around the stage, jumping, tossing his mic in the air and pointing to audience members with the tallest hair. Was it entertaining? Sure. Was it the Journey I know and love? Absolutely not. I kinda felt like I had stumbled into the wrong church but was content on observing a different method of worship. It wasn’t the arena-rock god I professed my love to at age 9, but he sure did have the crowd worked into a frenzy.

 

The Porcini Incident

I was just as shocked and interested as most of you with the Pitino madness of the last few weeks. My general feeling is to live and let live. We all make mistakes, do dumb things (see: 1997) and make wrong choices. To me, it usually means an exorbitant bar tab or an inexplicable bruise. To others, it might mean a $3,000 abortion. I’m not one to judge. But there is one detail I just can’t get over, no matter how hard I try: the keys. I can only dream of the day when the owner of a bar tosses me the keys at closing time and says, “Lock up, Bar Belle, when you and your friends are done partying and making out.”

It’s nice to have goals. Perhaps I should start working on the folks at the Back Door. Promise not to make a mess or drink all your gin.

 

Drunk Texts of the Week

• “My cleavage has amazing storage capabilities. Just sayin”

• “Whts he teasing u abt? Bc u were on ur knees cleaning my carpet n detailing my interior?”

• “I’m gonna porcini ur ass in the bathroom”

• “Zbar is whr all the hot women r … and lionel richie” 

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