Sunday, June 06, 2004
The Columia restaurant and Martinez family cigars was a fascinating place. On one side they had four old men each hunched over individual stages of the cigar making process. They worked in silence and barely looked up at us as we wandered through. Cigar aficionados have told me they are extremely good cigars -- of course, not being one myself I'll take them at their words. The gift shop wasn't anything special -- it seemed pretty standard fair; ethnic pottery, t-shirts, dresses, cigar "extras". The restaurant, however, was very commodious. Huge courtyard like area with tables circling the dining room and a statue in the middle.
The strip reminded me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans in many respects: music, drinking, and the smell of sex -- the hunt. There was the "Irish Pub" which sported 80-90's heavy metal, dart boards, and signed bras hanging over the bar. I've seen dollar bills, but never bras. What's next? Tighty whiteys? Jock straps? Sheesh.
We ended up in the Tampa Bay brewpub. Fun place. Excellent food. The bartender, Dean, had that dry sense of humor and a wry smile when he found something funny. When the bolts won, everyone was high fiving each other and even the reluctant Dean gave a tentative high five, which he quickly chastised himself over afterwards.
The Iron Rat, an oatmeal stout, was one of the better beers (though Abita Turbodog still ranks on the top of my list) while the Moosekiller, a barley wine beer with alcohol volume of 10% was a little too fruit.
On one wall of the place they had t-shirts including "beer is your friend" right across the street a neon sign blinked "Jack Lives Here." Weekend warriors donned their leather and do-rags and rode their Harleys down side streets. You know, the doctors and lawyers who play the bikers on the weekends.
The game itself did not disappoint. I thought for sure it would be more chippey than it was, but the flamers are most certainly afraid to put the bolts on the power play and for good reason -- yesterday only one of their 3 goals came on 5 on 5 hockey. Game 7 should be wide open -- either way, I'll try and post some pics of the cup.