Thursday, May 17, 2012


Back in the beginning of December (2011), the owners of Davis Square's much loved Foundry On Elm opened a pre-prohibition style bar in their basement. Saloon is easy to miss as it doesn't have much signage, save for a small globe lamp with the word Saloon inscripted on it high above the heads of passersby. It is dimly lit with dark wood and leather trim furniture, every detail of the place feels old and takes you back to that place in time where cocktails were taken seriously. 
Photo from Saloon website:
The first time I visited Saloon, a couple of months back, I fell in love with the feeling of the place. It feels like a secret hideaway, like a great place to spend a cold winter evening or a hot summer night with friends. Last night I dropped in spontaneously for my second visit, this time with Jessica, my roommate.

We were greeted by a friendly but kooky hostess who didn't make us feel guilty for wanting to check out the food menu before deciding to stay and who regaled us with hilarious stories about answering telemarketing calls.

Since they had just opened the seating world was our oyster and we choose two seats at the "U" shaped bar. We ordered some cocktails and decided to hold off on the food for a bit. The first round of cocktails were good, but not favorites for either of us (perhaps we both made the same mistake; not ordering brown liquors). My second drink of the night may have become my new favorite. I told the bartender that I wanted something crisp and refreshing, he suggested the Nay Sayer. Which turned out to be a bright green colored drink served on the rocks with muddled cucumber (hence the green color), wheatgrass, honey, whiskey, and ginger beer. Oh man. The flavors were well balanced, with the cucumber and ginger flavors at the forefront, it really was the definition of crisp and refreshing.

Once we realized we were in for the long haul, we decided to order some food. I had the Ploughmans Platter, which included a plentiful pile of sliced roasted ham, some cheddar cheese, pickled onions, a half of a hard boiled egg, pickles, a giant piece of delicious crusty bread, and a pot each of spicy brown mustard and a sweet relish. Jessica ordered the sliders which happened to come with bacon jam and OH MY GOODNESS that bacon jam was awesome! So awesome in fact that Jessica wrote a PSA about it.

After our food and after 3 cocktails, I convinced her to order the Ward 44. I couldn't help myself. I had heard so much about this cocktail made with pork belly infused whiskey that I had to taste it. Only problem being, I don't really love whiskey so I needed a good friend (ahem Jessica) to order it so I could just have a little taste. The cocktail included the aove mentioned pork belly infused whiskey, house grenadine, lemon and sugar. It was intense. Smokey bacon flavor mixed with a strong cherry flavor. It wasn't for me. And I don't think it was really her favorite either but she was a champ and took one of the team. Thanks friend!

The Ward 44
Overall, I can't wait to go back. I am already craving another Nay Sayer. My only complaint is that the service is a little underwhelming. Several times one of us sat with an empty drink even at the start of the night when they weren't busy. However, the bartenders were friendly and willing to offer (great) suggestions, and made darn good drinks, so that helped.

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