Tuesdays might have just become my favorite weeknight.
Tuesdays might have just become my favorite weeknight. Ipanema has $2 fizzy beverage and juice specials from 9pm to 11pm. Besides the standard orange juice, they also offer peach, pear, mango, and pineapple. I had both peach and pear and they were delightful, not too sweet and a perfect compliment. The juice appeared to be the brand Goya. The bartender was friendly and the guy at the bar next to me was reading 1984. Love it.
After being tortured by their yummy tweets all week, I went to the new 821 Café, in the bigger, nicer space next door for dinner this week. When I arrived around 7:30pm, the bar seats were full but the staff pulled up an additional stool for me. All three of the nightly specials looked so good, I had trouble deciding. There was the trio of chicken or potato tacos for $8, an open faced turkey sandwich with green beans and macaroni and cheese for $9, or my choice, the black bean and sweet potato burger. Served with lettuce, tomato, the option of mayo or vegan mayo and your choice of side, it was a steal for $6.50. After seeing nearly every plate come out of the kitchen with onion rings, I upgraded to that as my side for an additional $1.
The bean-potato mixture patty was surprisingly and delightfully smushy and flavorful. I ate every bit of it, and for someone like me who often leaves leftover pieces, or “handles” as my dad used to call it, on her plate, that’s saying something.
The inexpensive Guatemalan beer I had, Famosa, was not my favorite. Luckily, 821 has several other interesting beers on tap and in the bottle. I had just missed their daily drink specials from 5pm to 7 pm, but on Thursdays, specials last all day.
I dig the vibe at 821: the staff was great, answering my questions and chatting up regulars. The waitress was doing a Sudoku puzzle in between customers, the music playlist shuffled from indie rock to Ginuwine, and the gentleman sitting next to me was also reading at the bar (I think it was Andrew Blossom, editor of the book, Richmond Noir). I may be back next week to try the other two specials.