How to Experience bars in Asheville: Three easy steps to make the most of a Monday Night.

Team Valhalla, a collaboration {doesn’t that sound fancy} between my roommate-Sir James, Myself and my man-friend, the Bear. Every once in a while, we hermits will go out. When we do, it is typically for comfort or a familiar element. This last week, we challenged ourselves to the unknown. What to do on a Monday Night. The solution was three bars, each chosen by a member of our illustrious group. This was the results {me blogging about}

MG Road re-imagined as Punk Wok, The Imperial Life {man do they love meat} and Tiger Mountain Thirst Parlour {David Lynch inspired psychosis for solicitors who want a good drink served with a strange vibe}



First up, Punk Wok, My choice.  The reason, we were all hungry, and wanted something to fill our bellies and wet our whistles. And, I’ve heard nothing but high praise for this pop up food den of James Beard nominated Chef Elliot Moss. It comes to town two nights a week and invades MG Road.  What it features, faux porcelain plates made of plastic, menus printed from a XEROX machine, and hints of hard-core in the background as you are served.  Every week a different experience that lives up to the promise.What we ordered:  Spicy Shrimp with a cocktail aioli, and Tofu with Fermented Veggie dumplings, light fare that tempts your palate.  Only to be followed by the mains of amazingness, Baby Scallops and Minced Pork and a tender Flat Iron Steak. Each drink is named for song {except mine that honored good ol’ honest Abe}.  The Bear, a whiskey man, ordered a Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness {a Midori sour mixture of madness}.  Impressed by the sweet and sour terms, he was the first to finish and purchase more.  Abraham Drinking was my pick, another of the saccharine-it fizzed through the straw and had a great bite from the Ginger Beer.  The third drink is the one I can’t remember {sorry kids it was a long night}.  Like Godzilla and Frankenstein?  Want an Asian inspired, tapas experience?  Then check them out next week.

Sleek as mink stole with bar equipment more often seen in a mad scientist den, The Imperial life is a bar for adults.  Monday night is the perfect time to go.  This was Sir James choice, and the Bear and I’s first time.  We got lucky.  As the only patrons in the bar, we were allowed to witness as the drinks were made, and hear the meats of the charcuterie board sliced to ordered.  Everything was educational, from how the bartender chose her drink glasses, to sharing “Horrendous Things Made from Jello-O” stories {nothing compares to a bar full of Southerners}, to which parts of the animal they had selected to present to us. If you get a chance, order the drink “Meaningless Rebound”, if only  to make your long term date feel uncomfortable {sorry Bear, I promise it wasn’t a statement on Us}.  However, the star of the bar, the Negroni should be your first choice.  Smooth and spicy, it surprised us all {including the gin drinker} with its flavor.  Each one was presented with a twist of citrus, lovingly raked across the rim of the glass to add depth to the flavor.  But I digress, these are the basics done right, the deviled eggs would make any grandmother red with shame. The cheese board sent me to a divine realm, and I may have weep just a bit at how delicious it was. This is a bar to enjoy what many would call the finer things in life, but is truly one of comfort for even us hermits.  

Final stop of the evening, Tiger Mountain Thirst Parlour, or sometimes know as the Bear’s Domain {clearly it was his pick}.  First thing that you need to understand, THIS PLACE never closes- not for snow, holiday or even the errant apocalypse.  No food, just drinks and Suicide playing over the speakers {you may remember them from Moogfest a couple of years ago}.  The guys know the bear, and were the first to introduce him to a Peruvian Bear Lovemaker {not the original title but hey, this is a kid friendly blog}, a PBR boilermaker mixed with rum and OJ.  I got {what I think} was the second most pricey option in the bar, a Japanese Whiskey aged in plum barrels.  {As a side note, never ask what the most expensive drink is, it implies that you can afford it}  Jesus is everywhere, and the conversations turn from Dungeons and Dragons to the filthiest joke you can tell, to the food from Bobo Pho. It’s a great bar to finish the night while sitting in a booth from Dollywood.

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