Federal Bar LB is an Agency of Aid…For Your Hangover 

Federal Bar in Long Beach is a unique experience in itself as it is an old bank converted into an awesome bar and restaurant. The high ceiling inside the great room will have your eyes gazing all around. Original woodwork is still in tact in this large cavernous like place. Like a speakeasy above ground….oh but there is an underground space where you can drink in the original vaults. With such a beautiful canvas you can only have a beautiful menu of food and craft cocktails. As you take a seat you will imagine what the hustle and bustle of this establishment was when it was Pacific National Bank building back in 1925.

On weekends, this gastropub offers a great brunch and a menu of Bloody Mary’s. Pair your drink with a Bloody Mary Burger and Short Rib Poutine. This combo will cure anything that is ailing you.

Their Bloody Mary is a marvel and addicting. Try their Habanero style Mary donned with a spicy slider! Ballast Point Fugu Habanero vodka, pickled Habanero juice, house made steak sauce, Lime juice, Worchestshire and Ballast Point Bloody Mary Mix. It is not for the faint of heart! Wowza. It’s got a kick for sure! You will not be disappointed.
Where: 102 Pine Ave., Long Beach

Info: (562) 435-2000; http://www.thefederalbar.com

“Best Bloody Mary Long Beach”



“In This Crazy Town” Nashville Revisited

Like Jason Aldean sings….

“It’s a crazy town, full of neon dreams
Everybody plays, everybody sings
Hollywood with a touch of twang
To be a star you gotta bang, bang, bang”

Read more: Jason Aldean – Crazy Town Lyrics | MetroLyrics

BYOBMB Past Perfect Bloody Mary

BYOBMB Past Perfect Bloody Mary

A whirlwind weekend in Nashville was one that was EPIC. I seriously cannot get enough of this town. 17 musical acts in 37 hours. (with only one repeat) at 11 different Honky Tonks with only 3 repeats. Hours of sleep? Let’s say its less than one of the previous numbers. And food you could die for. Jack’s BBQ…man…I won’t soon forget you! http://jacksbarbque.com/

Luckily, my travel buddy was 3 hours behind me so I could begin my Bloody Mary tour before she got to Nashville. (Not that she wouldn’t have joined in on the fun). After taking a Red Eye I surely needed a Bloody Mary to kick start the anticipated long day ahead! (*FYI….If you ever have an early layover in Atlanta-Hartsfield you need to be aware that there are laws against serving booze before 9am. That was not a type-o. 9am! So, I was in dire need of a Bloody as an airline Bloody does not count and I have been up for 21 hours).

It was a cold, snow flurry kind of morning. I checked into the Union Station hotel (which was also epic!) and headed to Past Perfect. This is an old joint that has a lot to look at. From Roman columns holding up what looks like the original bar to a large photo of Lincoln to a collection of infused vodkas. It is two stories and it is very deceiving when you walk up as it looks like it is closed but once inside it is infused with light and old wood, old time charm.  It’s located off the strip of Broadway in what is called the So-Bro district which has a lot of cool places to try. Including the Johnny Cash Museum. Be still my heart.

Now, I said infused Vodka. This place champions that effort. Check out all of their flavors! http://www.pastperfectnashville.com/page35.html

Many Infused Choices

Many Infused Choices

I was met by Cooper the Barkeep. I bellied up to the bar with a few other folks who had red eyes like me but for different reasons. They didn’t fly all night from California. The bars close here at 3 am. They may still be up from the night before.

There is a modest BYOBMB (Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar) that is very unassuming. A small steel cart (I think Hot Dogs were in there once upon a time) contains a variety of ingredients from olives, pickles, hot peppers, pepperoncinis, celery, horseradish, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Tapatio, Crystal Hot Sauce, Maggi Seasoning, Worcestershire, Siracha and their own homemade Bloody Mary mix to build on. You order your vodka and it comes in a Mason Jar…nice Southern touch. Then you have the big choice. Which flavored Vodka will you choose. My choices were Cucumber, Jalapeno and Habanero.  Cucumber interested me but more for a Gin drink. I went Jalapeno. I strolled up to the steel box that contains the fixin’s for a Bloody and marry up the flavors. (Except the God forsaken Horseradish). I have to say, the jalapeno gave a nice flavor and kick that was not overpowering and the addition of a new flavor, Maggi’s, is really nice. Maggi’s is a flavoring for soups normally and adds a nice beefy like or amino acids soy based flavor.  A new flavor to add to the recipe.



After I slug that one down, and feel right as rain again. I turn to Cooper and ask about the Habanero. He flashes a grin and lifts his eyebrows indicating it is hot. “Aint, gonna lie.” He said. Which of course intrigued me more. “Bartender, hit me.” Again, we repeat the process and this time there is a different reaction. Boldly, I look at Cooper and say, “Dude, it isn’t…Wha…whoa….oh, wait! It has a backspin..wowza!” He smiled and said, “I told you!” It is a sneak attack of hot but I like it and it mellows out as the drinking goes on. It is worth the try. It has that slightly smoky, hot slap sensation as you sip it but it does complement the Bloody Mary. However, it is NOT for the faint of heart. #trustme

I will say, this little eclectic place intrigued me with it’s reasonable Bloody Mary bar, good atmosphere and friendly service. This would be my neighborhood place to go to if I lived here. By the way, the food looked and smelled really good! Come on, it’s Nashville. It has to be good.

So-Bro Neighborhood

So-Bro Neighborhood

More from Nashville as we visited a few places to write about. Infused vodkas and Bloody Mary bars abound in the Neon City!


“Utah! Get Me Two!” This is Wild Grape


Okay, it is Utah. Salt Lake City. We all have our own misconceptions. Strange liquor laws. Not to mention any other oddities that we may perceive about this holy land. But it is a beautiful place. It’s about 30 something degrees when I landed this week. The bright sun soaked the snow laden land. There is a thing called an “Inversion” going on as well.  Which is a new meteorological term for me. Pollution meets cold air, high pressure system, snow and a still wind. The bowl of the area holds it all in. Very strange. Like being in LA in bad smog conditions. Learn more here as I had to:

As usual, I take a local paper and go to Google and see what this land would commemorate as the best. Contrary to what is perceived,  this area has a lot to offer. It’s progressing. No more licenses to drink. Yes, most times you need to order food of some kind to drink. Yes, pours on hard alcohol are controlled. Locally brewed beer can have their pure alcohol content versus buying a Budweiser bottle etc. I am sure I am paraphrasing incorrectly but I am learning as I go.

Anyways! Onto our Bloody Mary review of The Wild Grape. As Gary Busey said in Point Break…”Utah! Get me two.”  I entered this joint at a weird time of day as it was after a meeting and before my flight home. It was slightly empty but intriguing. This place is located in between the downtown area and University of Utah. Gastropub, industrial unfinished interior. Friendly vibe and good tunes.

My server walked over to me at the reclaimed wood bar top and I told him I had heard they had a great Bloody Mary. He agreed and poured me a flavorful treat. Truly, it was simple. Small glass with a salt and paprika laced rim. The Habenero infused vodka was hot on my lips and the homemade mix had hints of spice and smoke. The simple and complementary garnishes we adorned atop the drink: Gerkins, an olive and lemon. Nuff said. Simple. Right on point.

I needed to order food with this culinary concoction. I was delighted by their Spicy Grape Jam and Prosciutto Flatbread. WOW. We need this is California. It’s a Flatbread  Pizza with a sweet and spicy Jam with sprinkles of crispy Prosciutto, topped with smoked Provolone and Bleu Cheese crumbles with an Arugula and Radish salad in the middle. Why didn’t I take a picture of this? Because I devoured it. WOW!

You have to appreciate the simple things you stumble upon when searching for a great Bloody Mary. Thank you, Utah! That was wonderful!