I’m no food critic, but I’ve drank gallons of Bloody Mary’s over the course of many brunches for many years. After all, what other city besides New York plans their whole Sunday around a course the rest of the country reserves for just for holidays. Being a serial-bruncher, the Bloody Mary is essential to getting back on one’s feet after a particular raucous night out. You can separate this beverage into two camps, those with pickle juice, and those with olive juice, and never shall the two meet. This city offers amazing varieties on this drink but most of them are pricey, and since this is Broke-Ass Stuart and not Rich-Ass Stuart, I will tell you about some of my cheaper alternatives.
One fine Sunday, my friend and I decided to go on a Bloody Mary bar crawl. We kicked things off at the Aussie-themed bar Wombat for some very fresh cocktails with plenty of non-wilty celery and Worcestershire sauce. The key to getting better quality Mary’s is to start early. Most bars pre-mix huge quantities that morning so the later you get there, the more bottom of the barrel your drink will be. Next stop, Huckleberry Bar for a slightly upscale version to be enjoyed in their backyard deck. Being one of the only “cocktail” bars in the neighborhood, these bartenders really know what they’re doing and use top shelf ingredients for a perfectly spicy Mary.
After splurging on some high brow versions, it was time to hit the dives so straight on to the Levee we went. What’s normally wall to wall packed on nights becomes a day drinkers oasis on a slow Sunday. They guys certainly don’t skimp on the booze but mix it so perfectly that you can never tell. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, you could certainly lose a few blurry hours at this place. Just don’t eat the cheeseballs; tomato juice and processed cheese do not go together.
After killing our taste buds for awhile, our last stop in Brookyn was Dressler. Their food is phenomenal but if you’re trying to save money, just stop in for a worthwhile drink. Dressler’s specialty is infused vodkas, and for the Bloody Mary’s they used vodka infused with black pepper and dill. The results, is perfection and an empty wallet.
If you don’t want to bar hop, and need a place to hunker down and swill away, then Welcome to the Johnson’s in the LES, is the only place you need to know. Every Sunday, you can get their one of kind Mary’s for $3 a pop. The bartender apprently learned the recipe at a VFW hall in Montana. It includes pickle juice, Guinness beer, and plenty of hot sauce. Just take in the Seventies rec room atmosphere and enjoy their bartender’s special playlist which always includes plenty of Hall & Oates.