Ultimate Bloody Mary

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”


Hunting in Huntington Beach for the Best Bloody Mary and Celebrities

The scene is Southern California. A warm Spring day on the eve of a Marketing Conference. What do you do? Grab your friends, find a Bloody Mary, hit the beach, drive down the coast and make it a Sunday Funday.

I went to my usual search of Bloody Mary’s and through the assistance of Yelp I found a new place that opened on 39. Mamma’s On 39. Being a former SoCal gal I was excited to see a new place off the beaten path of Main Street in Huntington Beach. The reviews looked great and there was a good amount of chatter about their mondo Bloody Mary.

The joint was packed! Looks like this is the place to be for Brunch. Breakfast pizza, Chicken and Waffles, homemade Mac N’ Cheese, Beer Can Chicken….so much good stuff. Comfort food from who else….Mamma!


Then, there is the Mamma Mary! And what a Mamma it is! A Mason Jar filled with a housemade BM mix that is infused with Jalapeno, dashes of Horseradish, Black Pepper, Garlic, hints of Olive Juice, Sriracha and a blend of multiple Veggies. Pickled garnishes make their splash and complement the BM. Pickle, Celery, a slice of Red Pepper and pickled Green Beans (homemade, of course). Great flavors and I do enjoy them garnishes. My only wish was that it was a little spicier, bolder in flavor as it was good but needed a punch. Kick it up a notch, Mamma! I also saw that they make their own infused Sriracha Vodka. Our waitress did not alert us of this but I will try it next time I am in town. Overall I was pleased and it was an Ultimate Mary that was priced right. Only $10.39. Usually, the mark-up on a Bloody Mary are extraordinary.

Mamma's Bloody Mary

Now, let’s talk about the food. It was fabulous. Everything that was brought out of the kitchen next to us made me drool like a fool. The menu is extensive with the large portions. This is a Sunday Hair of the Dog destination to get your spirits restored and a perfect start to some day drinking.  For your non-Mary friends (and let’s face it…you shouldn’t have these kind of folks in your company) there are Bottomless Mimosa’s.

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This kicked off our Sunday Funday as we then decided to act like we were the Real Housewives and headed to Javier’s for some Margarita’s and Ceviche. Luckily enough, we were treated to a Housewife sighting….Shannon Beadour and her family. Then we had the ultimate sighting….as we were slugging down spicy Margarita’s and stuffing Guacamole in our face… it happened. Whisping by our table was none other than Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart. Not even joking. Hands down this is a bragging moment in the blog as it has NOTHING to do with a Bloody Mary but, man, that was a moment. She was absolutely gorgeous and we were gobsmacked that she was there in our midst.

We then traversed back to our hotel all giddy about our celebrity sightings and decided to pop into the Red Chair Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. Only to run into Cougar Town’s own Brian Voln Holt who was staying over after a charity event. He was a real down to Earth Dude and we all ended up chatting with him for quite some time. Of course we asked him if they really drink wine on the show. You can guess at the answer. I will say it was very strange to speak with him without the heavy Southern accent he uses for his character. He commented that he is from the South….Southern Cal that is.  It was a very cool moment to have met he and his beautiful girlfriend. I made sure to grab a photo with him.

We ended our Sunday Funday and headed to the fire pits to retell the adventures of our day with our other friends. I think it was all due to a good start to the day with a good Bloody Mary. Thank you, Mamma!

Cougar Town

A perfect end to a perfect Sunday Funday.

Hyatt Huntington Beach

Hyatt Huntington Beach

Ummmm…Yeah. Gotta Get to Chicago.

It is all making sense now as to why I am obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. I am originally from Chicago, a northern suburb brat to be exact. Bloody Mary’s were just a part of life in Illinois. And as far back as I can remember I was a fan of the Bloody Mary. Back in the day the Bloody Mary was a little simple as compared to the revolutionary recipes you see today and the expansion of garnishes. Bloodies and buddies have been a fabric of life and no other place in America gets it like the Windy City.

So, I woke up this morning to read a tweet from my new friends @BloodyBestChi who had posted the 10 most ridiculous Chicago Bloody Marys. And let me tell you, these ten knockouts make the rest of the country look weak. WEAK!  These maybe…no, they ARE the best I have seen. Not even kidding. Check em out!


So good that I want  to jump on a plane today and just Uber location to location. There are some that have a Chicago style hot dog as a garnish!  Want an Oyster as a garnish? How about smoked brisket and pulled pork? Chaser of Miller Hi Life? Slice of Pizza? They do not mess around in Chicago. Check it out for yourself. And be sure to check out more locations at http://www.bloodybest.com.

Check out the Sumo Mary at Sunda. “Good luck wrestling the city’s most ridiculous Bloody Mary. 32oz of Bloody mix and Absolut Chicago vodka (distilled Ditka sweat?) in a mason jar, boldly garnished with: Chinese broccoli, loompya stick, herb-roasted potatoes, Oshinko, tocino grilled cheese, baked snow crab hand roll, duck bao, braised pork belly, and three slices of bacon. Come for the vodka and tomato juice, stay for the Chinese buffet perched on top.”

Excuse me? ARE YOU KIDDING? I clearly need to get back home.

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


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.

Seal Beach Bloody You Will Want to Hang With-The Hangout

They call it the Mayberry by the Sea. I call it my adopted home and a town I long to return to live.  It’s so small and quaint that it is hard not to fall in lover with. I get to come here once a month and visit my family. This sleepy beach town is nothing like the rest of the coastal cities from Santa Moncica to Newport. It’s a true community and completely laid back….except on St. Patrick’s Day…that  is another story!

Seal Beach is sandwiched between Long Beach and Sunset Beach.  The Hangout is a newer addition to the landscape that is Main Street. Businesses come and go and there are few staples that remain a part of the fabric that is Seal Beach. Irish Bars especially. Restaurants like O’Malley’s and Hennessey’s to the other side of the spectrum (Dive Bars) that are Clancy’s and Irisher are found within feet of each other. All equal in atmosphere and worthy of trying out. (And you will learn more about these staples of SB later on.)  Then you have our newest Gastro Pub/Brew Pub/BBQ delight, Beachwood BBQ. Want to die for BBQ in SoCal with a great selection beers? Get there early. Want a higher end dining experience that is complemented with a wood fire grilled Caesar Salad? Go to Walt’s Warf.

Seal Beach Pier

Seal Beach Pier

Want an ocean view restaurant that has a great variety of comfort food and a friendly staff that seems to know everyone in town AND serves a righteous Bloody Mary? Then come hangout at The Hangout. This place has it all. Comfortable atmosphere, family like service that has never wavered, great views and food that NEVER disappoints. Deviled eggs, pulled pork tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, Texas egg sandwich, smoked fish platter…ok. This post turned into a food blog. I digress. Try it out for yourself. No joke. You’ll be back again and again.

Now, on to the topic at hand. Tell us about the Bloody Mary already! Well,  there are a few. I can be found bellied up with the locals here on a Saturday morning after quiet run along the beach, after  watching the surfers and gazing upon the waves rolling in at the pier. Yes, after all that ..why not celebrate the start of the day! At The Hangout they have a few varieties of Bloody Mary’s to offer. It was the first place I was introduced to Bacon Salt. Now, I am spoiled and no other can compare. (Insert Sinead O’Connor music break…”Nothing Compares”) No, I am serious.  Ok, the choices.

Bacon Bloody at The Hangout

Bacon Bloody at The Hangout

Traditional: Nothing Fancy. Your typical standard Bloody. Perfect for your once in awhile Bloody Mary drinker. Come in on Sunday’s for their “Sunday Bloody Sunday” $4 drink special.
Jalapeno: This one I do have to say is good but be careful…I am a spice junkie but this is a “bam pow” kind of infused Vodka. Do not ask for a Spicy Mary when you order the Jalapeno as you may not enjoy this drink. Smoke may come out of your ears. Just saying. Jury is still out on this one as I think it overwhelms their mix. And their mix is good!!!!!!
Bacon: Yep, bacon. Why not? It’s all the rage. Bacon Salt rimmed glass with a freshly fried piece of bacon from the kitchen. Made with Bakon Vodka. (I was not a real fan of this Vodka when I bought it for my bar at home. However, they know how to balance it out as it can be one of those head shaking/deep gasp invoking reaction when you try this.
Surf N’ Turf: I have seen this a couple of ways. Lately, it is two hearty Tiger Prawns parked on the side of the glass with the traditional garnishes and a slice of bacon. Yes, bacon is back.

This is a place really is my favorite. You will love the atmosphere. You will love the staff. You will love the proximity to the beach. And above all….you will LOVE their Bloody Mary’s. And if you go on a weekend for breakfast with friends….please try their unique shot selections: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pancakes and OJ and The Walk of Shame. Yes, they are shots. Eat, drink and be merry at this Seal Beach destination.

The Hangout Seal Beach

The Hangout Seal Beach

Space City: Out of this World Mary

The Energy Capital. The Space City. The Bayou City. Whichever name it is called it will soon be named a city that has a killer Bloody Mary. It can be found in a land where people carry buckets of beer so they do not have to go back to the bar and found wearing belt buckles bigger than a small dog and cowboy hats that are not an accessory but a part of your outfit like wearing shoes.

I have never been to Houston and it will be a long  time before I come back as this was a layover kind of situation. Land, meetings, lunch, meetings and out.  I found this in a fluke as I was driving by and saw this rustic exterior restaurant with a large outdoor bar/patio. So it was inviting. All I needed at this point was a nosh and place to sit and catch up on emails. Here we find Brick House Tavern. http://brickhousetavernandtap.com/

When I walk in I can tell you that I was jealous at 1st blush. It’s a large Sports Bar/Restaurant with an enormous amount of booth seating with individual TV’s, lounge chairs to sink into, large screens everywhere and the bar has an open feel where you can sit inside and outside.  This is something I would love on a Saturday or Sunday. A great sports venue. Which is lacking here in Silicon Valley. #jealous

I sit down and gaze upon the menu and what do these wee eyes see…..there was an Ultimate Bloody Mary on the menu. Giddy up! Kind of a secret menu item. This is a Guinness Bloody Mary Mix. The right balance of garlic, spice, a pull of Guinness, no horseradish and donned with some fun toppings. A deviled egg with bacon (Yes, please!!), celery, a piece of white cheddar, salami, olive and accompanied by a spiced pork rind rim. Yes, that is true and what a great add of flavor it brings! I filled up too much on this delight. The food here looks like an upgraded Pub Menu with a hint of culinary fanciness. I really liked the place and hope they continue their expansion as we need something more than Buffalo Wild Wings to go to.

Next time you are in Houston off the 249…….

Ultimate Southern Bloody Mary

Ultimate Southern Bloody Mary

I am somewhat bummed that I didn’t do more research for this area. As I think there are plenty of recipes to try all around town. Have you tried one in H-Town that you would recommend?

Take a Look at the Nook Atlanta


It’s all about the nookie! Or just The Nook in Atlanta, GA. Had a business trip that brought to me to the land of Peaches. As I started to research my trip I found the one place I would go in this great city to enjoy a Bloody Mary. Yelp.com is usually my go to as many folks do to identify the joints that serve up delicious and robust Mary’s (or identify which ones make you want to turn into Walter from Big Lebowski). This time I went to Google and low and behold we have the Granddaddy Champion of Ultimate Bloody Mary’s in the country. You see kids, today it is all about making the Bloody Mary the most over the top drink to attract nuts like me who will pay an unholy amount of money to say they have had one and got the picture, too. This is one of those moments. At a steeping $18 I bellied up to this local favorite. Thanks for hooking me or suckering me http://eater.com/archives/2012/11/30/15-over-the-top-bloody-marys-across-the-us.php

So, my friend and I had a whole weekend in Atlanta planned. He is local so he knew all the good spots to hit for my quick weekend. Follow Bourdain where he would go and other Food Network and Travel Channel celebs. Fat Matt’s for BBQ, JCT’s for fried chicken, Ormsby’s for drinks, Goin Coastal for great food and The Vortex…just to experience it etc. Then hit the best of Atlanta like the Aquarium, catch a Falcon’s game at the Georgia Dome and visit the, never to be repeated, Claremont Lounge.

The Nook. A non-assuming establishment in Mid Town that you would almost fly by if you didn’t know where it was. Not only known for the ridiculous Bloody Mary but truly known for their Tater Tots or Tatchos (imagine Tater Tots and Nachos having a ababy). Who knew Tater Tot’s were so attractive! The interior is like we were in some old house with a really large enclosed front patio for diners to sit at. Cozy. Comfortable.

I order this mammoth concoction that pictures (mine included) do not fully portray the size of this drink. “That’s no moon, It’s a Space Station.” It is 16 oz of booze in an extra large schooner that is the size of a fish bowl. Now, sit back and relax. This drink is going to take some time….15 minutes to make. No joke. This is a made to order Bloody Mary. “Dude, isn’t it just a bunch of garnishes?” No, dude. Let’s run it down for y’all.

Bacon (of course)
A skewer of their famous Tater Tots
A skewer of marinated steak chunks
Slice of dry white toast (for my brother…I was waiting to see if four chickens and coke came with it too)
Hard-boiled egg
Something that resembled a Slim Jim but was called a “Beef Straw”

Now, the best part of this experience is my friend didn’t budget time accordingly and he informs me when served we had less than 15 minutes to finish this Jabba the Hut drink as we have reservations at the Aquarium. So, this experience also became a “Drink Challenge” for me. Some garnishes were left behind in this challenge but I am never one to leave a drink behind. I think that should be scored as a success. Now, my head and stomach may disagree but made it through the Aquarium with flying colors after my fish bowl delight.

Was it worth it? Yes and no. Remember, it is for show. I didn’t get why a boiled egg was included. I did see another couple share it and make it into a breakfast meal. The egg was left behind, the tots were shared with my friend and were good, the sirloin was “meh” and left behind. The bacon…well we all know no one leaves bacon behind. A bite of the toast was taken.

Let’s remove all of the supporting cast members so we may focus on the review of the main attraction. How was the Bloody Mary? I’d give it 2 out of 5 Tater Tots as a review. I think it was a mild (slightly bland) house made mix but would not be one you would want to order without the distractions of the condiments piled high. Was it worth the $18? Well, that is debatable. Sure it was. My friends on Facebook and Instagram all loved seeing the pic and got a giggle from this monster. I was happy to add it to my adventures but not one I would repeat. Which is ok in my book.

So, for Atlanta: It ain’t all about the nookie:) Such is life.