Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
I had so much fun at Jeremy's Ale House in the Financial District. I went yesterday and our first encounter with Jeremy Holin, the owner of this dive bar was quite surprising: he made us taste an heirloom tomato that he found that had a succulent taste. Not that he was selling it as a dish or anything in his bar, but just because he wanted to share his discovery with us. That's Jeremy and it definitely shows the person he is: generous and incredibly friendly. One thing he said that I still remember is "Saloon is not a business: it is a way of life". Yes, Jeremy is one of those restauranteurs and bar owners who care about their patrons more than money, although of course he has to make a living, and wants his customers to enjoy the time they have there.
It is a nice place with a great atmosphere and lots of humor. Well, of course you cannot miss the bras and ties hanging from the ceiling.
We talked about how the business has changed for the past few years, at the peak of the Financial district, and of course, talked about 9/11. A sad time for sure described with incredible details. That day, Jeremy opened his bar to people who could not reach their families and allowed them to use his five phone lines, as well as served them food. A plaque on the ceiling commemorates this fact.
Before I talk about food, let's talk about beverages. The drink of choice there is beer: they have lots of beers on tap, with classics like Samuel Adams, Bud Light, or less common like the mermaid pilsner from Coney Island.
They also have European beers like Heineken or Stella Artois.
But I wanted to go for something special, so they recommended a Dogfish Head that, with its 9% alcohol was more than enough for me...They also made me taste a Mermaid Pilsner from Coney Island.
Jeremy told us that he also makes martini, but without olives, because they make very few and olives go bad...
Food wise, Jeremy's Ale House proposes awesome bar food: nothing elegant or elaborate, just some good food, a lot fried, that will go perfectly with a beer.
First, you cannot miss their half pound bacon cheeseburger made with a pretzel bun.
It was buried under homemade chips that were very addictive. After uncovering the burger, I ditched the lettuce and tomato and added some ketchup on top of the bacon. Well, it was simply delicious: the pretzel bread was not too dense and the beef patty was really tasty.
The second sandwich we tried was the fried chicken sandwich that was served with some delicious fried onions.
I thought the chicken was overcooked, but in fact, it was perfect, moist and delightfully crispy. It paired very well with the pickles that added a sour note and the fried onions that were deliciously sweet.
The last sandwich I tried was the grilled chicken sandwich that was just ok. It was missing something and I suggested to put the same fried onions that are in the previous sandwich I tried.
If you like seafood, then you have to try their shrimp cocktail: the shrimp are perfectly cooked and not not have this icy taste that they sometimes have in restaurants.
There is also the fried calamari that was deliciously crispy and not rubbery.
The fish and chips, made with tilapia.
The fried scallops that can also be served grilled.
The last dish is not yet on the menu and was one of my favorites: lobster bisque.
Made with half and half cream, it had lots of chunks of lobster in it. Imagine that Jodi who does not usually like lobster liked it. Strangely, it was served with a small glass of sherry...So, stay tuned for having this served there! It is worth ordering.
We really had a good time at Jeremy's Ale House: Jeremy is a very friendly and interesting person, who creates an atmosphere that truly makes this place a neighborhood gem too rare to find in New York. So, if you are looking for a dive bar, this might be your place and you will also taste some awesome bar food there.
Enjoy (I did)!
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