Tuesday, December 2, 2014

McSorley's Old Ale House

I was in New York City last weekend. Always a great place to visit and not for the reasons you think. There is great theater, music, and all the well known cultural attractions. After doing the ritual tourist stuff on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, my girlfriend and I decided to spend Sunday on the cheap. We had lunch in Little Italy. More specifically, Casa Bella on Mulberry Street. Mussels with garlic as an appetizer. I had pasta bolognese and my girlfriend had Chicken francais or something like that. The damage: $33.00. I tipped the waiter $10. The total was about 50% of what I tipped the waiter at TAO the night before. It was the best meal I had during my stay. Now onto the Main Event. For you serious drinkers who frequently go to Manhattan, you need no introduction. But for the younger crowd whose livers are healthy and still their own and who believe that Sundays were not invented for religious observance but for quaffing ale at the neighborhood gin mill, might I introduce you to McSorley's Old Ale House:
Founded in 1840, it has not changed much. They offer two beverages: dark and light ale. You can eat crackers and cheese, chili, a ham and cheese sandwich, and not much else. But then again, why would you want to?
You really feel like you stepped into a time tunnel and are 180 years behind the curve. Sawdust on the floor and a lot of time to kill. The prices are not bad either. Eight glasses of ale for a total of $16.00. Here is an article that appeared in the New Yorker circa 1913.
It was old even then. But if you are in New York and want to go Old School, I can recommend no better place.

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