The ominous score on the TV screen at Mackey’s was like a warning beacon flashing through my tipsy brain: “Buffalo 7 Philadelphia 1″… signalling the need to leave the convivial atmosphere of the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser and even abandon a very interesting conversation on exotic dancing to join my favorite Flyers fan in his hour of woe.
Off I dashed in a haze of cheap vodka-and-soda’s to Ventnor’s, a sports “cafe” in Adams Morgan. The lively downstairs bar was filled with Philly and Buffalo fans jostling each other in good-humoured but loaded subtext. It’s not your “typical” sports bar and definitely deserves a visit. Owner Scott Auslander greeted me with a challenging glint and that caustic Philly bite that I’ve grown to love in others from that greatest of underdog cities – clearly this is a man who both loves sport and his customers, and his well-run bar reflects that passion. The menu is filled with pub grub like potato skins, the necesary classic cheese steak, and burgers loaded with a wide choice of fixings (goat cheese? drool!).
Despite the sad loss inflicted on my dearest Philly fan, it was an enjoyable evening with a truly friendly vibe. And how can you beat such quirky specials as “Fllip Night” – upon asking for our tab we flipped a quarter for a chance at half-price on the bill. Of course, fitting to the night’s bad luck, I didn’t call it correctly but hey, there’s always next season (or next Tuesday… or tomorrow night for “Rock Paper Scissors” – I mean, how fantastic is that?)
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs