After hearing the buzz about a new low-key watering hole, I finally had the perfect occasion/excuse to go check it out. Together with a friend who comes to town every so often and who had also read about it, I went to The Blind Pig, after figuring out where it was, thanks to Google maps.

The decision to go was made on a Saturday morning. After reading some online reviews, I called and made a reservation for later that evening. They were apparently already fully booked starting at 10 pm but could take us at 8pm.

Keeping with the whole speakeasy theme, they had no obvious signage, save for a little brass plaque with (what I am guessing is) the name spelled out in Braille. You need to be buzzed in and once inside, you have to adjust to the very dim lighting and tiny font on the menu cards. I was halfway between annoyed and intrigued at first, but once the waitress introduced herself and addressed me personally (in other words, time was taken to remember names on the reservation list), the annoyance faded away and the excitement crept in.

I got there before 8, and the place was still empty except for a loud British man trying very hard to impress his giggly date. Mine was not there yet so I decided to get a head- start. I ordered the most popular whiskey-based drink called The Gold Rush and after a couple of sips, I knew why it was so popular. The drink was served along with a detailed explanation as to where it came from and what was in it. Product knowledge (and a good drink) is very much a treat.

Half-way through my first drink, my friend arrived and ordered his gauge as to how good a bar is: a Mint Julep, and I had the 2nd most popular drink, The Smokey Old Bastard. The Mint Julep (he said) was not bad but I didn’t really like my drink despite its impressive presentation. I felt like I was drinking barbecue sauce. But what was nice was the fact that all the drinks had been served with different kinds of ice depending on what went in the drink.

For my third round, I went ahead and asked to be surprised by the bartender. When I told the waiter, he asked for taste preferences (yes to a whiskey base, no to the smokey barbecue sauce business) and my companion traded the Mint Julep for a Gold Rush. When they brought the drinks around, along with the explanation, came a discreet reminder that they needed our table by 10pm. I looked over at the bar to see if we could move but it too, was full. I thought I’d be irked by the fact that we were being thrown out but because it was done oh-so-agreeably, I merely made a mental note to make reservations earlier next time.

As it was only 10pm, we did an impromptu pub crawl but none of the drinks and service held a candle to our first stop of the evening. Everything else just felt mushy (drinks) and sloppy (service). It would have been better to have had the pub crawl order reversed but, lesson learned and reservation made.