WTGW 11/27/13: ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

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We’re back!

Sorry for the week off, but it was kind of necessary seeing as Shane and I were celebrating our anniversary last Wednesday. And while we love Amanda and Ted, it seemed a little awkward to invite them along and share a bottle of wine with them for that particular occasion. We actually did go to a couple of new places that evening, and maybe eventually I’ll post about them – although I’m ashamed to admit that we didn’t take one photo throughout the evening, not even of the two of us (I know, us, of all people, right?!) so it might be rather boring. Because that’s a big change from the other posts, I know.

Anyway, let’s move on to this week, which was Ted’s choice. And lucky him to get the night before Thanksgiving, which most of you probably know carries the notorious title of “biggest bar night of the year.” No pressure or anything, Ted.

We may not have visited the busiest places, but we set a new record for the WTGW crew that night : most places visited in one evening. It was kind of like our own little Cuyahoga Falls bar hop … showcasing the least busiest places on the most busy night of the year. Yay us!

Stop #1: The Boulevard
OK, I’ll be honest, I had never even heard of this place before. As we were walking in Ted mentioned that he had been there once before, just for drinks, and in conjunction with a visit to a bar “next door” – a place with no windows or noticeable sign, the name of which still isn’t clear and the entrance to which I still can’t locate, and, after hearing Ted talk about it, seemed to just get shadier as the stories wore on. Thankfully he didn’t suggest we eat there instead.

The Boulevard 11/27/13

Guess which one of these drinks is Ted’s

The Boulevard is one of those places that is just OK. Not a lot as far a beer selection (no Miller Lite on draft? But yet they had Christmas Ale, so Ted was happy), the menu didn’t have an overwhelming amount of options, the service was fine but nothing special. We probably should’ve been tipped off when we googled it and didn’t find an actual website for the place. Really? Hi, 1998 called, they’d like their marketing plan back please.

Three of the four of us ended up with the Fish Special, which was tasty – and during the meal led to a lengthy discussion about what the “secret ingredient” was for the breading. When asked, the waitress obviously couldn’t give up the secret, but could confirm it was NOT Ritz Crackers, nor a breakfast cereal of any kind. That did not help our discussion.

So basically this was one of those places we probably won’t see the inside of again. Unless of course we end up at previously mentioned “bar” next door and need some food to soak up the alcohol with. Or an escape route.

The Boulevard 11/27/13

Shane wishes his burger was a tad bit taller

The Boulevard 11/27/13

The fish dinner with the conversation starting breading

Stop #2: The Red Fox
So after discovering The Boulevard wasn’t exactly the type of place that keeps the party going past the dinner hour, we decided to “see where the night took us” and just start hitting up places on the path from there to (somewhat close to) our house. Being that it was still Ted’s night to pick the place, it was only fitting that he seemed to be the only one throwing out suggestions of places to stop. Well, that, and he had already visited most of them at one point or another (we warned you he would be the most difficult one to keep to that “never been there before” rule, just thanks to being the longest resident of the area).

I don’t expect much from bars located in strip plazas. Especially strip plazas whose other tenants include a Goodwill, dollar store, comedy club and some sort of video or game store (those still exist?). But The Red Fox was surprisingly, um, different inside than what I expected. I can’t really say if that’s different good, or different bad … just different.  The place is huge inside, with two really large bars in the center of the space. On one side there’s a dance floor and DJ area … and then on the other side there’s a whole area of couches, leather chairs, tables and TV screens displaying fake fireplaces. It’s kind of like South Beach meets ski lodge, albeit with a clientele more of the West Virginia persuasion. See why different is the best way I can describe this?

We only stayed for one drink, during which time Ted explained to Amanda and I some of his shenanigans as a former “regular” of the place, while my husband was chatted up by some random woman at the bar – who he later swore we encountered a few months back during a pre-WTGW adventure to a much shadier bar, The Melody Inn.  Yeah, we get around. At some point I heard the works “breast milk” within the context of their conversation, and decided it was best to just stay the hell out of that one. Besides, I think by then we’d discovered the lone guy who was enjoying using every inch of the available dance floor space for his own episode of DancePartyUSA, and that was far more entertaining.

Stop #3: Jimmy Bigg’s
Also known to Shane as: the bar inside the former Arby’s. Ted swears it was an Arthur Treachers, but Shane wasn’t having any part of that discussion. The name of this place will forever be “Old Arby’s” to him. Regardless, let me just

You don’t dare Ted to do something unless you actually want it done.

go on record saying that making a bar out of a former fast-food restaurant location – especially when you do very little to change or otherwise disguise the former interior – is not good. Case in point, we found a stack of booster seats in the corner of the former dining area. You don’t leave props lying around for drunk people to play with. That has to be in a “guide to owning a bar” handbook somewhere.

Another big “don’t” on the list? An open discussion about how the establishment next door was robbed less than an hour prior. And the probability of said robber returning to the area to knock off this place. Hmmm. I think we were all silently willing each other to drink our beers faster.

But Ted swears they have really good burgers there. Although if he picks that place on his next WTGW round we will all certainly veto it. Unless it’s take out. During daylight hours. And he also steals a booster seat.

Stop #4: Domenic’s
Domenic’s was actually the second official WTGW stop when we started this whole crazy journey – long before the blog – as a pick by Shane back in in July because he googled “Wednesday wing nights” and they were, well, somewhere on the list. Unfortunately for him this place became better known as the only place in history where Shane hasn’t finished an order of wings – primarily because we discovered that they heavily batter their wings before frying them, therefore making nice little grease envelopes between the seasoning and the actual meat. I know, how does that not sound tasty, right?

So since that left a bit of a bad taste in our mouths (see what I did there?) we just never quite made it back. Maybe it was because it was nearing closing time and we were quite a few beers in at this point, or maybe because we just had low standards by this point and were charmed by any place where no one spoke of robberies or served us from behind what still obviously looked like a fast food counter, but I think as long as we avoided the wings we would give this place another shot – even if it’s just a drinking establishment.

The Boulevard 11/27/13

Being goofy

The Boulevard 11/27/13

Sometimes we turn out OK

Next Pick: Shane

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