Monday, November 14, 2016

Westport Saloon serves up fun country-style.

The stage at the Westport Saloon.
  As the weather cools we have the tendency to move our date night venues indoors. We have a few standards that we will fall back on, but we are always looking for something new. We try to keep date nights simple, usually dinner and one activity, and prefer to keep them centrally located to limit travel time between activities.

The crowd appears to be enjoying Happy Hour.
  One of my tasks is to do the reconnaissance work to locate potential locations, then we can decide if it sounds interesting enough to visit. We have a penchant for country music, and when I discovered a place that has live bands seven nights a week, I hoped I had hit the mother load. To top it off they have an extended Happy Hour, which runs from 4:00 to 7:00 daily.


Long Islands hit the spot.
  We decided to give it a shot, and headed out for the evening. The Westport Saloon is located in a old brick building along Pennsylvania Avenue. The front entrance leads into a standard bar area with a few high tops, as well as the row of stools lining the bar. Since we planned to stay for the music, we chose to sit in the backroom where the stage is found.

The Happy Hour menu includes drink specials.
  A quick review of the menus ensued, as I went a placed our drink order. Not being familiar with their house specialty drinks, we chose to stick with our favorite, the Long Island Ice Tea. Since it has more liquor in it than a regular drink, the price was $6.00 instead of the $3.00 Happy Hour figure. That was okay, since I totally expected this.

Hummus and Pita Chips.
  We hadn't decided on our main dishes yet, so we ordered some Hummus & Chips off of the HH menu for starters. It had a creamy texture with a nice flavor. The chips were crisp, as they should be. There was even a dash of hot sauce on top to bring a little heat to the bites. A winner, and at $5.00 a good value. The evening had waned on a little, and more staff members began arriving in anticipation of the upcoming crowd. A waitress had started covering the back area, so I no longer had to run to the bar, which was only a few steps away.

Little Class Records Burger.
  We ordered another round of drinks, and chose our dinner entrees.  Crystal went with the burger off of the HH menu, and added a side order of fries. The angus beef patty is topped with American cheese, grilled onions, pickles, and condiments. Juicy and delicious are two good words to describe it, and only $5.00 during Happy Hour.


Fries with a ketchup based dipping sauce.
  The fries have to be ordered separately during HH, so by the time you do the math the combination saves you $1.00 over the regular menu. Still a dollar saved matters. A larger than standard cut give the fries plenty of body, but can be difficult to get correctly cooked. This place did it right, and they were crispy without being overcooked. The ketchup based dipping sauce was a good accompaniment.

Shrimp Po' Boy.
  I decided to skip the HH menu, and dive straight into the regular offerings. I noticed a Cubano sandwich on the menu, which is my weakness, but I gathered my strength and went a different direction. Since the whole menu had a southern style vibe, I decided to hit up New Orleans, and ordered a Catfish Po' Boy. Hmm! The picture shows a Shrimp version, but that's not  what I ordered. A quick discussion with the server, and they whisked off to the kitchen to set things right.

Fried Catfish Po' Boy.
  Now here's the Catfish Po' Boy that I was looking for. The sandwich is piled high with crispy, but a little salty, strips of fried catfish filets. It's topped with house made Cole slaw, as well as tomatoes and lettuce. It comes with hush puppies on the side, and includes some of the dipping sauce served with the fries. The sandwich was more than a person should eat, so I was only able to finish half. To be honest I had taken a bite of the Shrimp version earlier. Both types were good, but I still wonder about the Cuban. Oh well, perhaps on a subsequent visit.


Twang Daddies providing some ambiance.
  After dinner we danced a little, while the band set up on stage. While we only stayed for the first group, there were a total of three bands playing that evening. Now this place is a COUNTRY music bar, and that is exactly what they play. I mean old school country, like Cash, Willie, Waylon, Buck Owens, and many of the other greats. The Twang Daddies were the ones we heard, and they knocked it out of the park. It was good hearing tunes that I knew every word of, and the crowd really got engaged. Our first visit to the Westport Saloon will certainly not be our last. Find out more, including their musical guest schedule at http://westportsaloon.com/.

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