Long Beach

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”

#bestbloodymarylongbeach

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Dogz Ain’t a Bad Dog

I admit. I hated Dogz. Yes. A place that advertises a $5 Bloody Mary all day, everyday. How you say? I hate Dogz for its nightlife. It turns into a sausage fest and a place you cannot enjoy a perfectly chilled brew (as advertised) because it is shoulder to shoulder nonsense. Maybe it shows my age. And the fact one night I closed out as Jose Flores. I am not Hispanic and not a male. That took a lot to unwind afterwards as they could not locate my effing real credit card.

I have gone back since trying to not be a hater. And,today, I was happy to be there after a great day of yoga, bike riding and kayaking. I wanted a Bloody Mary and this was close by. I went in and removed all hate and was so pleased.

Dan was serving and made me his own Bloody Mary as the bartenders are trying to one up each other. His was on par and was served with a new twist. An olive stuffed with Jalepeno Goat Cheese stuffed olive. And a splash of Long Beach’s own Cimino sauce.

It was a great atmosphere of locals and good people (daytime people) and a great drink. I was told to come on Sunday’s to taste the Grandmaster Bloody made by Matt. And I shall. I was pleasantly surprised and a new found fondness of this place. Just never after dark. #bloodymary #bestbloodymarylongbeach 

“Best Bloody Mary Long Beach”

Best “Throw in the Kitchen Sink” Bloody Mary in Long Beach 

V Room Sriracha #bloodymary garnished with Doritos, Pretzels, Pickle, Olives, Cucumber and Celery. Salt rim of Tajin and Cayenne. Housemade BM mix that is flavorful, not full of horseradish, peppery, slightly spicy and a solid performance.   #bestbloodymary #longbeach

Great drinks in a fun and interesting atmosphere… lots to take in. It may be my new favorite place to go in Long Beach.

You must try this…seriously! And ask for Melanie. She makes is the conductor of “the orchestra” of this place. My favorite quote from her, “I like cheese in my Bloody Mary”…Doritos is the new cheese garnish.
#bestinshow #happyvalentines #bestbloodymarylongbeach #divebarglory

“Best Bloody Mary in Long Beach”

Bloody Mary Search Back On! 

It’s been awhile since I have posted due to a variety of reasons that are not that good. Hopefully you have been following me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with my adventures! Here is a quick run through of a few places I have been.


Anvil Pub Dallas….mediocre at best. They are supposed to have an over the top selection on weekends but won’t serve during the week. That was a disappointment and this mix was too. Just Zing Zang in a glass.  #bloodymary #bloodymarydallas

Gladstones #legendarymary #longbeach #bloodymary Add a side of their Steamers and enjoy a great view! A #bloodymary that drinks like a meal!

When you are wined out in wine country you need to head to The Market in Yountville, CA and get some excellent fish tacos and #bloodymary #bloodymarynapa
The 20 Minute #bloodymary at Murphy’s in Sonoma Square. Get a pint while you wait for this massive Mary. Add a plate on the side to Noah on the Bacon, Fried Pickles, Hamburger Slider, Cucumber and Olives. It is a spicy, briney concoction with a Guiness floater on top. #bestbloodymarysonoma


In OC their are many claims to fame as the best Bloody Mary but Reunion comes very close! The Jalepeno Popper maybe the reason I liked this so much. #bestbloodymaryoc #orangecountybloodymary #bloodymary


Todd English Build Your Own Bloody Mary in Las Vegas. What makes this special? The huge menu and how quickly you can escalate the cost of your drink. But who can resist Lobster. #bestbloodymarylasvegas #bloodymary


My new favorite Brewery and they make a stellar #bloodymarymix. Head to SD and taste their amazing selection of brews. Especially their Salt and Peppa which is great as a Michelada. I am so so excited they are opening a joint in Long Beach as I will be a regular. And stocking up on this mix. #bestbloodymarymix #bloodymary #bestbloodymarysandiego

“best bloody mary dallas” “best bloody mary San Diego” “best bloody mary las vegas” “best bloody mary vegas” “best bloody mary ong beach” “best bloody mary OC” “best bloody mary anaheim” “best bloody mary orange county”

 

A Nice Addition to the “Backyard”

Oh, the joys of living in Long Beach. The sun, the weather, yoga at the beach and finding a local Bloody Mary mix that is hard to ignore. I actually came across this mix on Instagram when I was posting my pics and received an invitation to taste Backyard Mary to the upcoming UCLA Game. I was tailgating and they say my UCLA Bloody Mary pic and we made a connection! Love when that happens.

One of the following weekends I stumbled upon the Backyard Mary at a local Farmer’s Market at Alamitos Bay. It was love at first taste and now has become one of my new favorites (outside my own concoction, of course). Allow me to introduce you to the Backyard Mary.

A fellow B.M. enthusiast set out on a journey in 2012 to make a bloody good mix and dedicated to making it consistent with all natural ingredients. “We gathered a mass amount of spices coupled with Tomato Juice, Worcestershire, Lemon Juice, Tabasco, and Horseradish. Six months later we came up with a mix with 8 different spices and a kicker that maintains a consistent taste.”

I was wandering the Long Beach Southeast Farmer’s Market and saw the Backyard Mary stand promoting their variety of mixes (different level of spices) and one of their many mascot dogs, Shaq, was chilling on a warm day in December. (Meet the rest of the Doggy Mary’s on their website.) Of course, the dog drew my attention first and I then realized it was the mix I was in search of ! I had the pleasure of meeting Andy and started my sampling tour right away. The mix is vibrant in color with specks of spice floating about and is stored in Mason Jar with the three dog mascots displayed on the jar with an expiration date. The Backyard Mary has a variety of levels to satisfy all taste buds. I hit the Mo Spicy and the Happy Spicy (sorry, Wussy Spicy…I am not interested.)  I was so pleasantly surprised and impressed. The Mo Spicy was hot and close to the heat I usually like when I make my own mix. I did, however, settle for the Happy Spicy for the guests who were coming in town for the Holidays. You can always spice it up your own without blowing up your friends.

Local Bloody Mary Enthusiast Mix

Local Bloody Mary Enthusiast Mix-The Backyard Mary

 

What were the first things I noticed? The Horseradish did not overwhelm the taste. (Thank God!) It was just the right level. Remember, I am a huge snob when it comes to the overuse of Horseradish. It is the undoing of any good Mary. This mix has a great taste of freshness. Even comes with an expiration date as it is as fresh as it comes without the additives and preservatives you will find in those mixes that stay on the shelf for an eternity. It has a variety of ingredients that make for a perfect line up: Tomato Puree, Water, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Water, Sugar, Onions, Anchovies (NICE!!!! Be sure to serve your Bloody Mary with Anchovy Stuffed Olives…Always!), Salt, Garlic, Cloves, Tamarind Extract (That’s a new one!), Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract, Distilled White Vinegar, Salt, Cayenne, Horseradish Sauce-Sauce? (Distilled Vinegar, Water, Parsnips, Horseradish, Salt, Sugar, Flavoring, Titanium Dioxide), Lemon Concentrate, Black Pepper, Spices includes Celery Seed, Coriander Seed, Chili Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder. You can tell that the Lemon Concentrate isn’t that tart store bought variety but that of fresh Lemon. The fresh ingredients really stand out. Put this mix in a line up and you would think it was freshly made. That really grabbed my attention. Another great quality was the Salt content. It wasn’t one of those mixes where you are smacked with a Salt Lick. I am a Salt fiend at times but there are so many mixes where it feels like the Morton Salt Girl went on a bender and unleashed the quarry of Salt into a mix as an April Fool’s joke.

The momentum behind this mix is going like gangbusters! They have a whole page dedicated to all of the locations they can be found at. From local Liquor Stores to Bars and Restaurants. Movin’ and groovin’ through the OC and even made it’s way to the Magic Castle in LA. You can also see them branchin’ out to Las Vegas, Arizona and even Wyoming.

To add to the excitement they were highlighted in The Cigar & Spirits Magazine’s January issue where Backyard Mary made their Top Products of 2014 and was named the #1 Bloody Mary Mixer in the World. Yes, that is right…the world. Way to represent SoCal!

If you are looking for a new and awesome mix that is more than up and coming….get yourself to the Backyard Mary. You will feel right at home with this and it is perfect to share with your friends on a lazy Sunday…or any day of the week really. I never box myself in as to when a Bloody Mary should be enjoyed. You shouldn’t either!

Find this, enjoy this and drink this! http://www.backyardmary.com/

Let me know what you think!

A Bounty of Ingredients for a BYOBMB: Panama Joe’s Belmont Shore

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http://www.sharkeez.net/belmont-shore/

Belmont Shores has a lot to offer and is a really neat neighborhood of Long Beach. There are lots of foodie options, bars to bounce back and forth to and fun little boutique shops. It’s an eclectic neighborhood that has a young, hip but not hipster feel to it. The main part of town is 2nd Street. Which is always jam packed. You will find great places to kick off you weekend at place like Acapulco Inn, Legends, Dogz and Panama Joe’s.

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Panama Joe’s will get your weekend kicked off right and welcome you back the next morning to offer you the hair of the dog to level you out (or amp you up again). On Saturday’s and Sunday’s they open up early and serve up some hearty breakfast plates to soak up the booze that you filled up on the night before. They also offer bottomless Mimosa’s (it is timed, however) and a really rad BYOBMB. This is great way to spend a Sunday and watch Football for me. They have all of the NFL games shown and during commercial breaks (for the featured “sound on” game) they DJ music so you are not bored or annoyed. The place gets packed pretty fast and is filled with all types of fans from all over the country.

The BYOBMB is pretty extensive. These guys don’t mess around. It’s an overwhelming amount of ingredients and I am pretty sure I will miss a few or dozen in this post. To kickoff this experiment you order your choice of Vodka which is poured into a pony pitcher. It’s a healthy pour. Which Is great in limiting the amount of times you have to go back and recreate your concoction.

The bar is filled with various mixes, olives, sauces, pickled garnishes and a plethora of spices. The mixes are Sgt. Peters (not a big fan I have to say), Mr. & Mrs. T’s (always a good stand by to build on), Zing Zang (sassy and salty), Clamato (oh, heck no), plain ol’ tomato juice and their own mix. I always default to Mr. & Mrs. T’s to build on.

Then you have your sauces. Literally there is everything you can imagine. A1 Steak Sauce, Crystal, Tapatio, Chalula, 3 kinds of Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot, Siracha, Melina’s Hot Sauce, Red Chili paste, Wasabi Mustard, Dijon Mustard and Horseradish. Then you can choose your garnishes. Celery, Jalapeno stuffed Olive, Garlic stuffed Olives, plain Olives, Red Chili stuffed Olive, Bleu Cheese stuffed Olive, pickled Okara, pickled mini Corn, pickled Asparagus, pickled Green Bean, chopped Green Onion, Pearl Onion, Lemon, Lime and crumbled Bleu Cheese. But wait…..there’s more! Now, you move to the spice selection. Costco size spice jars are lined up so you may choose your flavor(s). There is the obligatory Celery Salt, of course, but then it is the Iron Chef Kitchen of spices. Montreal Seasoning, Steak Seasoning, Lemon Pepper, Pepper, Fajita Seasoning, Red Pepper, Chipotle Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Salt, Onion Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Seasoned Salt and about 5 others I cannot recall. Not even joking. Oh and olive juice and Worschestire. I apologize if I have left any off the list.  That’s well over 50 choices for your pleasure. FIFTY!

This is a robust Bloody Mary bar for sure. Impressive. I make my way through and you would think I had never built my own Bloody Mary before. I think I tried to throw everything in the pony pitcher. There are two cast members that I was not so sure of though. The chopped Green Onion and the Bleu Cheese crumbles. They ended up in the pool and were good and odd at the same time.   The Green Onions are really for flavor and is a welcomed addition but end up clogging my straw most of the time. The Bleu Cheese is also for flavor and actually pairs well with the Mix.  I really think I did try to make a run for a 50 ingredient concoction. At one point, I did have to dial it down a bit. The result of the stroll all you can eat ingredient bar and the Mary was pretty tasty. I did overdo it with the spices but overall I would rate my BYOBM a four star rating out of five and the experience a five out of five. The staff is very friendly, the vibe of the PJs is that this place is a neighborhood meet up. Everyone knows each other and so do the Bartenders.

The regular food is darn tootin’ tasty. Their Fish Taco’s are AMAZING!

Head over to Panama Joe’s next time you are hung over in Long Beach or need a good place to watch NCAA or NFL Football or just want to start your day drinking right.

Broadway Has More to Offer in Long Beach: The Attic

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http://www.theatticonbroadway.com/

 

The Southern vibe continues onto a different kind of South. Southern California is my playground and Long Beach/Seal Beach is my adopted hometown. I have been longing to try this way cool place on Broadway called The Attic. It’s a converted old Craftsman style house that emulates a Southern vibe from the look and feel to the menu of delicious Southern treats like Fried Green Tomatoes, Biscuits the size of a Mini Cooper, Shrimp Etoufee and gorgeous looking Gumbo that will trick you into thinking you are in the heart of New Orleans. And the menu provides you with a few twists like ginormous and juicy Bison Burgers.  You gotta check the food out as it is a truly awesome line up.

It was a typical SoCal Saturday that was sunny and warm which angers most of my friends any East of the Mississippi. I was treating my Mom to breakfast so we could have some Mother Daughter time and make an excuse to have a Day Drinking Saturday together. We opted to sit on the patio at The Attic and it truly felt like you are relaxing at someone’s house. Mix and match tables adorn the patio are strewn throughout and a large outdoor padded bench with small tables line the front side of the house with French style art tables and umbrellas. The inside of the house is cozy and warm with wood floors, chandeliers lit with Mason Jars and local art presented throughout. It feels like you are no longer in Long Beach.

The staff is supremely friendly and attentive and we are made to feel at home from start to finish. The aroma of the kitchen immediately impacts your hunger pangs. Now, we are here for the food but of course it a thrill seeking Bloody Mary adventure. We look around us and we can tell we are not the only fans of an Ultimate Bloody Mary as this place is well known for theirs. When seated, you are presented a Bloody Mary Menu. Yes, a menu. I like their style. You can choose one of their Ultimate Bloody Marys or you can choose your own path with menu and you can name it yourself. Let’s start off with their 5 signature Bloody Marys. The Attic satisfies any Bloody Mary enthusiast for sure.

The BBQ Bloody Mary: Homemade pepper Vodka, Chipotle, Tabasco, chefs BBQ sauce, rimmed of Montreal Seasoning and garnished with a Baby Back Rib and Bacon.

The Veggie: Basil infused Gin. (Not an option for me. Gin in a Bloody Mary? I am so not a fan. It is Vodka or go home). This is has V8, Lemon Pepper rim, Horseradish (another thumbs down for this drink), sea salt, pepper and topped with a pickled Green Bean, Asparagus and Okra. I’m digging the garnishes for this one.

The Basic: This one has their house mix. Which was a welcomed balance of spicy and savory. There weren’t any overwhelming flavors. You could tell there was some Southern influence with a creole seasoning of some sort. Worcestershire and hints of Lime and Tabasco. Your typical straight forward Mary.

The Baja: Here is a new twist and I am not sure that I would like to try this one. Jalapeno and Lime Tequila. I have heard of Bloody Marias before but have yet to try. I am a fan of Tequila and a Jalapeno and Lime infused one sounds great on its own or in a Margarita. Tabasco is substituted with Tapatio. Si, but of course! Tapatio is a SoCal must have sauce and a staple at any restaurant. This version is garnished with a Jalapeno stuffed Olive, Shrimp and served with a 4oz pour of Bavik Pilsner on the side. I’d be a fan of this one if the Tequila were Vodka.

The Meaty Man: Ahh, yes. Goldie Locks found the one that was just right for the day. Who doesn’t like a meaty man J This one was calling my name and is a winner all around. I had been trolling their Facebook page for months and this one is always pictured. Each time it looks ridiculous and yummy all at the same time. It’s the one where people respond with “I gotta get me one of those!” The Meaty Man is the brother to the BBQ Mary mentioned earlier. This round it is Bacon infused Vodka. It comes with a Celery Salt rim, their house mix that is jazzed up with a demi-sauce (that’s a new twist), Jalapeno Tabasco and garnished with a piece of Bacon and a Short Rib Slider. Yes, it is the Bloody Mary that requires a plate. When ordering this you do have to exert patience as it is truly made to order. This is challenging as there are Bloody Marys being delivered all around you.  When it arrives it is a spectacle and provokes an instant response of OMG giddy laughter. My Mother is not quite sure what to make of this meal, I mean drink. The slider is a good size. Not mini at all and is delicious. The slider is Pulled Pork smokey meat and sauce on a homemade bun is speared so it sits just above the drink. The freshly fried thick Bacon is hugging the side of the glass adding more flavor to the drink, Cornichons and topped with Slim Jim stuffed Olives. Yes, I did say Slim Jim stuffed Olive. Now, that’s a fun party.  The garnishes are devoured rather quickly post photo opp. I liked the hint of the demi-sauce and it is something I will try for my own mix.

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We had a side of Lunch with our Bloody Mary and the food was not of this world. It is some of the best food I have had and it rivals some of the great Southern food travels I have had in the past few months. No joke. I had the Ninny which was a Fried Green Tomato sandwich. Even writing this makes my mouth water. It was truly too much to eat and was divinely delicious. Not over fried, lightly breaded on thick Parmesan crusted toast and a secret sauce with candied Bacon bits. Yes, candied Bacon bits. Mom had the Biscuits and Gravy and Eggs. Both are considered sides but when the B&G dish was presented we disagreed with that assessment. I am not kidding. Three giant soft and dense hot biscuits are presented with an avalanche of beautiful, warm Sausage Gravy that has chunks (not bits) of Sausage. It was a meal in itself. And scrumdilliumptious. The food will leave you feeling well taken care of and planning your next visit back.

Now that the food is out of way, we are relaxed on the patio soaking in the sun. I am now intrigued by the BYOBM menu. It is lengthy and robust! Get ready folks.

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Choose your spirit: Vodka, Gin, Tequila or Whiskey. WTF? Whiskey? Holy shit*balls. That’s hardcore. I am off the brown booze after last weekend’s debauchery in Nashville but I vow I could never have these two worlds collide. Brown booze in a Mary. Hooey, you must be chasing the dragon from the night before to do that one.

Pick your rim: Sea Salt or Cajun. I choose Cajun. Spicy goodness to give a pep to your sip.

Mixes: They have their house mix, V8 or Clamato. Sheesh kabob! No Clamato, V8 is a cop out. Choose the house mix.

Hot sauce choices: Tabasco, Tapatio, Siracha, Wasabi, Chalula or Cimino’s (a local Pepper Sauce made in Long Beach.) Why choose one? Let’s go with everything but Wasabi and Siracha.

Spices: Choose your level of heat. Not too spicy. Spice me up. Burn my taste buds. I would have opted for the obligatory “burn my taste buds” but I do not know what level that really is being it is my first time here. Spice me up is fine for the first dance.

Here is where you can truly lose your wad and create a costly Bloody Mary. Here come the extras.

Each of the following is 50 cents extra:

Bitters
Soy Sauce
Olive Juice (I’d argue that this should be gratis)
Garlic Clove
Pickle Juice (Ok, I will pay for this and chose it. Never thought of adding Pickle juice. That’s going in the recipe now!)
Creole Mustard (Intriguing!)
Demi Glace (You bet!)
Horseradish (Not in my house)
Blue Cheese stuffed Olives (Be still my heart)
Slim Jim stuffed Olives (One round was enough)
Jalapeno stuffed Olives
Garlic Clove stuffed Olives

Too bad you cannot mix and match the Olives!

Garnishes Galore! The $1.00 Garnish List:

Bacon (Had my allotted amount of Bacon for the year already)
Salami (Umm, yeah!)
Pickled Green Bean (Really? A buck for a bean?)
Pickled Okra
Pickled Asparagus
Pepper Jack Cube

****Missing Cast Members: Pickled Cauliflower, pickled Carrots, Pickle and pickled Onions. I thought that was surprising but then again how many more choices can you add before it becomes too much for the customer to choose from and it puts a dent in someone’s retirement or college fund.

“Garnishing Your Wages” Add On’s for $2

Shrimp
Pickled Egg
Baby Back Rib (Justified!)
4oz Bavik Pilsner (Sidecar of Beer may be the best add on! This is three bones..not dos.)
Short Rib Slider

So, I am a little snarky on the above “add on” prices. This may be the ONLY, remotely negative thing I write about The Attic. I agree the pickled Egg, Baby Back Rib and Slider should be priced as they are. The $1 ones are on the edge of unreasonable. Salami I can see as slightly justified but the pickled veggies are out of bounds. However, it did not stop me from creating my own and adding these garnishes. You win Attic. You win. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create my own $12 Bloody Mary.

At the bottom of the menu you have the opportunity to name your creation. Pretty clever, I say! The menu would be a fun thing to create your own if you had friends over for a Brunch. Everyone can create their own order and as host you can make it for them and they can come up with crazy fun names for their branded Bloody Mary! I see Instagram memories! Facebook opportunities!

My creation came out and it was delicious. I skipped on the mega garnishes since it was post lunch. The pickled veggies were a must because pickled anything is amazing. The heat was not enough for me but I am a spic enthusiast. Next time, I will go for the “burn my taste buds” level.

Overall, it was an amazing experience. So what if I have a little disagreement of their garnish prices. It does not deter me from coming back every time I come home to SoCal.   It truly is THAT good, that inviting and that big of a MUST have experience.

The Attic, you had me at Hello. See you again soon!

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