A DOC AND A DRINK
My girlfriend and I head down to the IFC center in the East Village on many weekends in order to see independent and cult films such as the Holy Mountain or the Shining. The price of admission is exactly the same as some of the other movie houses in Manhattan but I feel far better supporting an independent theater like the IFC with my twelve dollars versus an AMC that most likely charges less in other cities.
On our last visit I realized that the IFC center was in close vicinity to a bar and grill that I had been meaning to try for some time. The venue was Daddy-O and I had heard of this gastro-pub on the video podcast Art of the Drink.
THE GARNISH IS A… PRETZEL STICK!
The podcast featured the bar as a backdrop for several episodes of the instructional drink show and the venue didn’t make that much of an impact on me with the exception of one of their featured cocktails. That drink was the Daddy-O Rootbeer Float. An amazing fusion of the kid and party animal in us all.
Before planning our excursion to the IFC and Daddy-O I mentioned to my girlfriend that I had seen the Rootbeer Float episode and as I was describing this drink, my voice got increasingly louder until I reached my crescendo and stated that “The garnish is, can you believe it, a pretzel stick!”
My speech definitely hyped us up and we ultimately decided to go the very next day. The Daddy-O Rootbeer float would be our first order but what else would we find at this east side bar?
Learn how to make the PRETZEL STICK drink here
[please note that Daddy-O uses Sazerac Rye instead of Maker’s Mark Bourbon which is a sponsor of Art of the Drink. I personally believe the Sazerac worked pheonomally well probably due to the spice notes of both the rye and the rootbeer]
BRING SOME LOUD FRIENDS
The IFC center was great as always that night and we walked several avenues over and we barely caught our destination. Daddy-O has a very unassuming location on the corner of Bedford and Leroy. The entrance had a cool but simple sophistication to it, the blinds were half drawn and the gold lettering on the door was reminiscent of a town barbershop.
The ambiance as we entered was casual but very nice. It would make a nice place for one to catch up with a loud friend or two. The music was spectacular with a great blend of classic and contemporary cuts. On a second visit to Daddy-O, I had the pleasure of listening to a Who playlist the entire night with many obscure alternate and live takes of some of their older numbers – that definitely scored some points for me.
Upon entering the place and after further investigation, you realize that Daddy-O has all the appeal of a dive bar but without the jager bombs and clueless staff behind the stick. Its a new age pub that marries together the new Cocktilian/gastro movement with a casual down to earth feeling. A venue with lofty ambitions without being pretentious
GIVE ME SOME OF YOUR TOTS NAPOLEON!
We went to Daddy-O based on the reputation of the drinks but when I sat down I was immediately hungry. The kitchen stayed upon till 4 am remarkably and the had some great daily specials. My girlfriend especially loved the “homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese toast points” special they had that night.
I decided to order the house burger which, online, is hotly debated. I heard everything from it being the greatest burger in Manhattan to being an overrated expensive meal. I was feeling particularly jovial and I decided to take a chance.
Besides, I had already given the most overrated burger title to Island Burger on 9th ave. To this day, I have not had a burger that I felt was as big a waste of money as that monstrosity of toppings but that’s another review.
The burger came out fairly quickly and I was so psyched to try it with tater tots on the side. I have never been a big fry person and tater tots just made this a special treat. The burger was a perfect composition of everything one wants in a restaurant style patty. It was big and juicy but still, relatively, easy to handle.
The bun. lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and sauce gelled well and, even though I am not a fan of ketchup on burgers, the ketchup worked well and I actually enjoyed it. This is by far the best restaurant style burger in New York City, that being said, if you want that style of burger, the price isn’t going to be five dollars. One should savor this burger on the kind of day that where you feel the need to treat yourself to some meaty goodness
THE FLOAT AND THE FIZZ
Ah yes! The Rootbeer float, how did it fair, after so much hype? It was better than any podcast could have portrayed it. As I said earlier the incorporation of the Sazerac was a welcome surprise and rounded out the drink perfectly. The bar has a great affection for whiskey cocktails and it was refreshing to see rye on a menu, especially in a drink as spectacular as this.
The drink was served in a tall pilsner glass with cream and that glorious pretzel stick cascading over it like a set of majestic snow topped mountains. The first sip was a taste explosion with the flavors of the dairy, raspberry, rye, and rootbeer all dancing on your palate to the beat of the carbonation. The Coole Swan dairy liqueur really held the flavors together and I think mixologists will have to investigate this new spirit closer.
My girlfriend and I finished the float quite fast but while it lasted it was an awesome accompaniment to the house burger. The whole experience felt like being in a speakeasy soda shoppe that your parents didn’t know about.
We finished off our night with a Sloe Gin Fizz for myself and a Brown Derby for my love. The Sloe Gin Fizz at Daddy-O was the first time I had tried this drink and I absolutely loved it. The problem many bars have with egg drinks is that either too little or too much egg is used (many a pisco sour has been ruined by this problem) and this drink found a great balance.
The Brown Derby was another classic cocktail that had great execution while showing Daddy-O’s penchent for all things whiskey. I highly recommend this new age pub. If you don’t want to deal with the pretentiousness of places like Hotel Delmano or Death & Company but still want to have well crafted drinks and delicious food, check out Daddy-O. DON’T FORGET TO GET A PRETZEL STICK!