Skip to content

In Training

Yeah, I know… I’m technically still in training, but this weekend we had a need to go to the Toronado.

Re-reading that sentence, I think that I am communicating the wrong message. We didn’t need to go to the Toronado like some people need

a beer or anything like that. We needed a place to get together with Annie, a long time friend from the North East who is leaving Thursday for her new job (and new life) in Ney York City.

Since it was her last weekend and she had never been to the Toronado, we all decided to get together Friday night after we got out of the musical RENT at the Golden Gate Theater (which is in the most disgusting neighborhood in the city… aside from the Yuppie Habitat Marina) for a beer.

We got there at 11:15, about fifteen minutes before we were scheduled to meet Annie… so we squeezed in close to the bar and placed our order with Kirsten, the blue-haired bartender. She promptly returned with a Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA for me, a Anchor Liberty Ale for Janet and a round of Underbergs for the three of us. A few minutes later, we settled into an empty area near the end of the bar and waited for Annie.

She arrived at the Toronado and asked me for a beer suggestion (Weinstephaner Lager)… but the beer is really the most insignificant part of the evening. Suffice it to say that I had a Speakeasy Prohibition and a Meteor Pils while Janet decided to have another Liberty Ale (which Annie also had as her second and final beer). The important part of the night was spending a couple of hours with a friend that we probably won’t see again for a long time. We talked until Johnny called Last Call at 1:45… which is when we left, said goodbye and watched Annie drive off in her yellow cab.

Saturday was a stressful day for me. All I could think of is having to weigh in for Golden Gloves on Sunday morning… so even though it was going to end up breaking my diet for a second night in a row, we decided to go to the Toronado so I could hang out with friends and have a pint, on the theory that it would help me get some sleep.

So, after dinner, we went over to the Toronado, making it there around 9pm. For some reason, the bar was not as crowded as usual… and we were able to get a pair of seats by the bar immediately.

Now, you have to remember that Janet and I used to go to the Toronado at least once a week… but since I have been in training, I have only been there two other times this month, and both times were quick in-and-out visits… so we never got a chance to talk to Ian. When he noticed us here, his face immediately lit up, and he took our orders. Janet decided to stick with the Liberty Ale (of which she would have two that night), while I started the night off with a pint of the Moonlight Irish I Was A Schtout. The stout was fantastic, dry and flavorful without a strong licorice taste like most American stouts tend to have. Not my favorite (Speakeasy Satchmo Stout), but damn close.

We spent the night talking with Ian and Johnny while exchanging jokes with Tad (the bouncer). It was so nice being back at the Toronado… I just can’t explain what it was like to be somewhere familiar with the locals who have become friends and the bartenders who tend to feel like family. *sigh*

Somewhere near 10pm I ordered my second beer, a Moylan’s Kiltlifter… a nice 60 shilling Scotch Ale… and though it didn’t get the blood flowing (and hormones raging) as its name would imply, it was a great beer never-the-less. Janet ordered her second Liberty at this time. As we were working on our second beers, Crab (a regular) came by and invited us to the taping of next week’s episode of Bachelor Chef, his cable-access cooking show. We accepted the offer and quickly finished our beers. The night ended early with us heading home around 11:10 pm.

Still, as relaxed as I was at the Toronado, the panic attack over weighing in kicked in on schedule (as it had for the last few nights) and I spent another night staring at the ceiling.

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.