Bar Review: Winnie’s Bar & Restaurant

Welcome to Week Four of Kevin Reviews Things!  Or, 2.5 weeks past the Vegas over/under of “how long will this blog last?”  Glad to be here.

There’s not a whole lot on tap for this week right now…perhaps a dual comparison of two totally distinct spy movies (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), perhaps a review of the BBC’s “Sherlock,” perhaps a look at Bruce Springsteen’s new song or Van Halen’s new something…so send in your reviews to kevinnoble.brown@gmail.com.

Today, we start with a dive bar in Chinatown.  Where they’re closing all the factories down.

If you needed this picture to understand my horrible joke, shame on you.

I went down to Winnie’s Bar & Restaurant (located on the corner of Bayard and Baxter Streets in Chinatown) on Saturday night for my friend Christen’s something-or-other party-or-something.  There are three main facts that you need to know about Winnie’s, which is an otherwise unmemorable and smallish-sized dive bar:

1) It is tucked away off a couple of side streets in Chinatown, and likely not in the city’s most upkept area.

2) It is a karaoke bar.  With about 27 million karaoke songs.

3) Its specialty is a drink called the Hawaiian Punch, which contains approximately 72.5 different types of alcohol.

Let’s start with that third one, which I find to be the most interesting.  The recommended dose of this Hawaiian Punch, or so I’m told, is no more than two glasses of fruity monstrosity.  I drew the line there for my own sanity and health.  Here are some more facts about the Hawaiian Punch:

– It is red.

– It does not contain a surfing dude with crazy hair on its exterior.

– Its official recipe, from a quick Google search, contains rum, vodka, amaretto almond liqueur, creme de bananes, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine syrup.  I’m going to say the lady who made my drinks had two extra types of alcohol not listed there and went ixnay on the orange uicejay.

– That being said, it is tasty but not particularly deadly.  I had two of them over the course of a few hours and felt nothing but completely fine.  (And lest anyone think I have a high tolerance, remember I didn’t drink until I was 21.  I’m now 22.  Do the math.)  Though tasty, the hype for this beverage greatly exceeded its performance – call it the Egg McMuffin of drinks.  Er, I mean, call it the Phantom Menace of drinks.

(Side note: is there a beverage called the “Phantom Menace” anywhere in the world?  And if not, can somebody make one?  My suggestion: mix gasoline with vinegar and top it off with blood.)

The real highlight of Winnie’s Bar & this-isn’t-really-a-Restaurant is its karaoke section.  This contained such classic tunes which I belted out over the course of the night as We Didn’t Start The Fire, Sweet Home Alabama, The Bad Touch, Circle of Life, and Wonderw…wait, hang on a minute.  Did that bar really not have Wonderwall?  Really?  You’re going to deprive the United States’ biggest Oasis fan of Wonderwall?

The really real highlight of the night, though, was some random guy’s performance of Ice Ice Baby.  This late-20s-ish-year-old dude came out of nowhere, trench coat in tow, to lay down a better flow than Vanilla Ice even had on his own song.  It was a once-in-a-generation performance.  I’ll never forget where I was when the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl (the first time, to clarify, when somebody digs this post up a few weeks from now), when Barack Obama was elected president, when I acquired Super Mario 64‘s 120th star, and when Random White Dude X delivered a soul-fulfilling performance of Vanilla Ice.  It was so good, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was Vanilla Ice.

…wait, has anyone seen Vanilla Ice in the last decade?  No?  Maybe that guy…was Vanilla Ice?

Well, good to know I’ve found myself a sweet conspiracy.

Oh, right, I was supposed to review the bar itself.  Anyway, my girlfriend uses Yelp! a lot, which is some sort of food rating website (or so I’m told), and Yelp! (!!!) gives this place 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Yeah, that sounds about right.  What’s the 3.5 star equivalent for my rating system?

Grade: B

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3 responses to “Bar Review: Winnie’s Bar & Restaurant

  1. I find the amount of cynicism directed towards Winnie’s in this post quite upsetting.

    But, mostly.

    Your beautiful rendition of the Circle of Life leads me to believe you had quite a lot more fun that you are suggesting you did. 😉

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