Goldilocks and the Three Bars: There Will Be Bloodies
The story of Goldilocks is pretty well known. A little blond girl breaks into a house owned by a family of anthropomorphic bears and proceeds to jack up their chairs, porridge and beds while they're out doing, I don't know, bear stuff. But what if, instead of being a cute little fairy tale girl with no respect for property, Goldilocks had some sense and happened to be just a little bit of a lush? Well, that'd be me.
I've decided to explore every bar, pub, lounge and dive Milwaukee has to offer – in sets of three, just to be cute. Check back often as I embark on regular bar tours with my self-proclaimed "magical sidekick," Jessie. And don't worry – I'm too much of a taste chameleon to ever find one that's "just right."
It's Halloween weekend, so it seems only fitting we'd scare up a little something different for you this week.
I'm sure most of you remember the urban legend about Bloody Mary. Some versions use a mirror and others use a dark closet, but the story goes that if you say "Bloody Mary" three times, she'll appear to steal your soul, or gouge your eyes out, or some other supernaturally induced inconvenience.
Personally, I like drinkable spirits much better. The worst thing that happens to you if you order three Bloody Marys at a bar is you end up having to part with a few extra dollars than if you had gone with a run-of-the-mill cocktail or beer. But with all the goodies that get added on and a beer chaser to boot, you get your money's worth.
Plus, when you add in the fact that it won't cost your immortal soul, it's a downright bargain.
Comet Café, 1947 N. Farwell Ave.
The add-ons: bacon, green olive, Brussels sprout, mushroom cap
The Bloody: Comet's Bloody Mary is made signature by the ever-present and generous serving of bacon that tops it off, but the drink itself has its own unique taste thanks to a splash of Guinness mixed in. It gives the Bloody an interesting and almost smoky kind of taste that works well with the bacon.
Another perk is the serious spiciness of the mix. There's a definite kick to Comet's recipe, but it's a flavorful spicy and not a Tabasco and jalapeno-laden firebomb kind of heat. If it does get to be too much for you, Comet's beer chaser provides relief in its "cutest little 7 oz. Miller High Life ever" – a pint-sized version of the regular MHL bottles that, yes, is pretty darn adorable.
The Wicked Hop, 345 N. Broadway
The add-ons: mozzarella whips, beef stick, midget dill pickle, mushroom, green olive
The Bloody: I've always thought Bloody Marys were better sipped from the glass than through a straw, but in The Wicked Hop's case I'm glad I had a straw option because it would have taken me five minutes to work through the garnishes alone. They definitely aren't stingy about heaping them on, which is nice to know when you're shelling out $9 for a single drink.
For all the hype it gets and for all the flair of its presentation, though, I wasn't blown away by this one. Yes, it was good, but it tasted more like plain tomato juice than a mixed Bloody Mary. I tend to like them spicier, but I still think it could have used a little extra something in the drink – not just on it.
Trocadero, 1758 N. Water St.
The add-ons: pickle spear, asparagus, string bean, green olive
The Bloody: The only vegetarian Bloody Mary of the three, Trocadero's traditional Bloody was actually a nice break from the "meal in a glass" drinks at Comet and The Wicked Hop. This one came in at or a little under Comet's level of spiciness, but had a smoother taste to it and less heat.
At first I was a little disappointed about the almost minimalist list of add-ons compared to the other two drinks here. But with the lack of heavy garnishes, this one seems like it would work best as either a stand-alone drink or paired with a meal. The garnishes that are included are refreshingly crisp, too. I can't say it's better than the smorgasbords of mozz whips and bacon, but the crunchiness was a nicely different way to set it apart from the pack.
They also serve a Frenchie (with Dijon mustard and a bleu cheese-stuffed olive), a Southsider (with jalapeno-infused vodka, extra Tabasco and a jalapeno-stuffed olive) and an ever-changing featured specialty Bloody for those looking for a little variety.
Interested in future Goldilocks and the Three Bars adventures? Stay tuned here, or follow me on Twitter @Eenergee for bar tour commentary and other fun stuff. And if you want me to drink at your favorite bar, that's what Talkbacks and @Mentions are for.
AJ Bombers bloody includes a slice of hamburger, wrapped with bacon and cheese. It is a meal in a glass.
Almost every bloody mary include worcestershire sauce which is made with anchovies, therefore none of them are technically vegetarian. If you want a spicy bloody, I suggest asking for a spicy vodka like Absolut Peppar.
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