When they first opened last month, the biggest news about Closed For Business were the four-dollar PBRs. And the people were outraged. I guess if you're a PBR drinker, a 16 oz. for $3.50 could be kind of confusing, particularly if you're used to paying $2.50 for a 12-oz. can. But Closed For Business is not the place for PBR drinkers. Indeed, it's the new place for serious beer lovers. The brews come in three sizes. The smallest, a 10 oz., is a great option when you're drinking high-gravity craft beers from Dogfish Head and Avery.
I was pulled in there one night two weeks ago by the promise of Hitachino's Nest White Ale on draft, the only place to find it in a keg south of New York City. Alas, something was wrong with the keg, and they did not have my favorite ale after all. But they did have another cool option: Belgian beer flights. During the month of February, they have a rotating selection of Belgian-style brews, which you can sample in foursomes.
I'll be going back, not only for the beer selection, but for the cozy setting (the lighting is amazing) and for Kevin Johnson's food. They recently opened for lunch with classic choices like grilled cheese — kind of a cross between a quesadilla and a sandwich — and tomato soup.
At an afternoon meeting there with the roller derby girls this week, we were treated to plates of buffalo oysters, stuffed potato skins, and crispy pork rinds (full disclosure: Red Dread is the manager of C4B). The chalkboard had a scrawled notice that poutine would be available after 8 p.m. Poutine is a dish from the French-Canadians of Quebec. It layers gravy and cheese curds on top of french fries. I had never had poutine, but I've had a running joke with a Canadian pal about it forever (it kinda sounds like poontang). For comparison's sake, I would say poutine is a bit like fries smothered in chili and cheese. When I tweeted about it, one guy demanded to know whether it was melted cheese or cheese curds, because it ain't poutine without curds. And it looked like curds to me, but what do I know? I hope a real Canadian will stop by there soon to investigate and report back on this Southern-fried version of the classic Canuck dish.
Otherwise, stay tuned for our full review coming in the next few weeks from Jeff Allen. He's been by to check it out, and I hear that he has a soft spot for the Pork Slap Sandwich.
Have you guys been yet? What do you think? Does it qualify as a good place for foodies and beer snobs?