Reviews from Happy Hour with the Kids

In part, I feel like I’m getting ready to out an old friend and in a way, really, I am. But it needs to be said and so I’ll be the one to step up and do it…

Yesterday I made plans for my 18 year old son to hang out with his little sister so that I could meet my hubby and the two 21+ children for happy hour. I really wanted some face time with my oldest son and some adult time, with adult conversation with my oldest daughter. I really just wanted Mark to be there because it would have been so much less fun if he couldn’t gross the kids out by making sexual comments now and then.

So, we decided to meet up at Jerry’s of Chesapeake. My daughter and I went in and ordered and the ladies who own the place had been so accommodating as to order Woodchuck Cider for us! We were pretty happy and set about drinking them and chatting away. The table where we sat was by the window and so dusty that Eli had to break a hanky out of her purse so that we could dust it. As we talked nachos or cheese pizza we started noticing the dead spiders, the dust bunnies and the window shades that were coated with old nicotine and sticky substances and dirt.

We couldn’t do it. We have tried and tried to hang out at Jerry’s, partly because it used to be a great, lively place where all the Indian River folks went to have a few or to really tie one on. But back then it was clean. I know. I worked there. Believe me when I tell you that I scrubbed walls, windows and the feet of the tables and chairs when business was slow. It seems apparent to me that no one does that now.

I love that little bar and one of the owners seems committed to good customer service but it’s not enough. They need to break out the Spic and Span. Seriously.

Eli and I left our brews half full. I texted Randall a warning and we left. The guys were waiting in the parking lot. We decided to go to Wickers because it’s close and clean and we like the owners and the crabs. As always, Wickers Patio was clean and neat and the service was quick and good. The crab pot has a great beverage selection, including enough good wines to keep me happy. It’s a great little local spot, owned by local people who fish the local waters to provide the crabs they sell.

All of that is hard to beat. We ordered appetizers- jalapeno poppers (obviously not local!) and crab dip. I’m always just a little disappointed in the food when we eat there. Even the crab dip was just okay–a little too fishy, a little too soupy, supremely edible but not delicious.

The patio is great, the weather was breezy and not too hot, so we all chatted it up making snarky comments about anything we wanted to because there were no 8 year old ears soaking up every word. It was great. Eventually, Randall had to take off for a birthday party and the rest of us decided on downtown Norfolk.

It took some doing but we convinced Mark to go to The Boot, a local restaurant known for a commitment to feeding customers locally and ethically. Eli and I are all about that. Mark is all about meat. They have that there.

The service was excellent, our waitress was helpful and available and the food was delicious. I had soup, Eli had a salad of local tomatoes, basil and mozzarella which was colorful and delicious. Mark had Eastern Shore Little Neck clams in some sort of broth or sauce. I didn’t pay much attention because clams get stuck in my teeth so I don’t eat them.

The Boot had a draft beer special going on, so Eli ordered a Star Hill ‘The Love’ a Hefeweisen. Mark ordered Blue Mount Evil (here is a link to review), a dark and delicious number that made me regret my glass of house red.

As I got out my card to pay our bill, Mark was complaining about how he detests The Boot. I asked him why and all he could come up with was the pricy-ness…then he saw that the bill was $25.00 less than the bill at the crab pot and he decided that The Boot is a fine establishment after all.

We weren’t quite ready to go home yet, so we moved on to The Taphouse. (I can’t find a web page for them.) The Taphouse is a local legend and probably the best place for a pint in Norfolk. Eli gave us a brief tutorial on a few new Urban Dictionary definitions: chili dog and rusty trombone. Look them up if you’re interested…

We each ordered a pint and we shared a plate of veggie frito pie. I don’t think there were any Fritos in there though there were some chips. We sat on the deck and sipped our beers and talked smack and probably offended everyone within hearing range. Again, the service was excellent and the food decent. I’m hoping the kitchen is cleaner than the bathrooms, which looked clean but smelled strongly of urine. Certainly not the worst bar bathroom I’ve ever been in.

Of all of these places our favorite was The Taphouse. It got a we will definitely have to come back here from all three of us.

About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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