Man, I am nursing one doozy of a hangover today. What the hell did I drink last night? Let's see: nothing out of the ordinary except... oh. The bartender at Solera bought the whole bar a round of shots. It tasted like watermelon and there was probably vodka in it. Gross.
Anyway, I was on a quest last night to find and try Surly Brew, the new beer straight outta Brooklyn Center. I met up with Taylor at Mission, where he said he'd had it last week. I hate to make a liar out of Taylor, but they did not, in fact, have it. So we split a basket of fries with four (four!) dipping sauces while contemplating the situation. I recommend the basil cream.
We eventually headed over to Solera, where I knew they had one of the two Surly beers on tap. We both ordered a pint of the Bender; Taylor powered through his, but not me. I sent mine back and traded it for a Stella. No body, no aftertaste, no mouthfeel whatsoever. It had a flavor, but not a strong one. It's like a watered-down microbrew. The Surly website describes the Bender as a "brown/porter/apa"; I think there might just be too much going on there, because it misses the mark on nailing down any sort of unique taste.
Taylor bailed on me (something about having to get up for work in the morning), so I went to visit the world's most awesome bartender, Jerry, at Stasiu's, where I was reminded that I promised to write a blog entry inspired by the comments in this post, which brings us to the point of this entry. (Finally, huh? I do tend to go on.)
Stasiu's: A Tutorial in Q&A Form
Q: How in the hell do you pronounce Stasiu's?
A: There are 4 ways, actually:
- sta'-shooz (Like "cashews".)
- stah'-shooz (With a little longer A, like in "bar". This seems to be how most people pronounce it.)
- stah'-shuz (This is how I say it. "Stasiu" is Polish for "Stanley", and I'm partly Polish, and this is how I grew up hearing it, so there.)
- The Stash (I stole this from Tommy of the Intellectual Delinquents and have been trying to make it stick with my friends.)
Any variation from these 4 pronunciations is inadvisable. People don't need to be any more confused than they already are.
Q: I used the men's room at Stasiu's. WTF?!??!!
A: Oh, so you saw the giant urinals, then. They're originally from Minneapolis' West Hotel, which was demolished in 1940. These two urinals survived and were installed in the men's room at Stasiu's. There are supposedly two other urinals in a bar somewhere in rural northern Minnesota.
Q: I thought Stasiu's closed. What's up with that?
A: Yeah, sorry, I made kind of a BFD about that when the bar was sold. The rumors were flying when the former Stasiu's owner decided to sell the bar to Brad Schutte (previously the proprietor of the now-closed 510 Restaurant), and Brad closed the doors for a week and a half while making some minor cosmetic improvements.
Q: So what's different?
A: Lots of things. For one, the bar is open until 2:00am seven days a week. There's also a new happy hour Monday through Friday, which is 2-for-1 from 3:00 to 7:00.
The food is a little different but still pretty much the same: grilled sandwiches and deep-fried appetizers. Avoid the ten-dollar pizzas. I've been meaning to have a little chat with Brad about using the word "gourmet" to describe them on the menu; they are rather far from it.
There's live music several nights a week, and karaoke is only on Saturdays. The stage is in the back corner of the bar where one of the pool tables used to be. Some other stuff got rearranged, like the foosball table and the Golden Tee, Silver Strike, and dart machines. The bar is much more open now. Also, I seem to be the only one not complaining about the jukebox being gone. Brad and I have similar tastes in music, so I rather enjoy his iTunes hooked up to the speaker system instead.
Q: Does Stasiu's have a website?
A: Not yet. There's something brewing over at http://www.stasius.com/, though, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Girl Friday will have to be your main source of up-to-the-minute Stasiu's coverage.
Q: Why do you love that bar so much?
The people. They're just genuinely sweet and kind. It's the only bar I can go to by myself and not feel weird, because everyone there is a friend of mine. Case in point: I'm not dating anyone, so I had no Valentine's Day plans last Tuesday. I went down to Stasiu's to keep Jerry company, and this was waiting for me at the bar:
Cute, huh? That's half a dozen roses, plenty of chocolate, some conversation hearts, and two stuffed animals. Oh, and a complimentary Bud Light. Or maybe Rick bought that one; he's always good for that.
Q: Stasiu's sounds like a great place. Anything else I need to know before stopping in?
A: Hmm, not that I can think of. There are two rules at Stasiu's, but they really only apply to me, existing solely for the purpose of keeping me out of trouble:
1) No guy that patronizes Stasiu's is allowed to touch Alexis, or Jerry will shoot him.
2) Brad is not allowed to make shots for Alexis.
So come on down and make some new friends. If you're lucky, I'll be drunk and rockin' the karaoke mic with my spotless rendition of The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize". Oh, like you didn't know I could rap.