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Bar #24 – Rustico – Post-Mortem (and POWER POLLS)

Alexandria, VA

I'm a champ, and after Saturday's vomiting failure--not a failure to vomit, no, I had no problem vomiting--I was ready to redeem myself.  I woke up early Sunday after thirteen solid hours of sleep, a slightly sore stomach, but feeling better.  I made sure to immediately score some coffee...beers.  Yes, I'm a dumb dumb man, and after a disastrous Saturday, I couldn't handle DW's peer pressure when he asked if I was interested in a little brunching with some Cuvee Delphine and Black Albert Batch 0.  Both delicious, but my stomach was having trouble holding on.  But, eventually, I had a legit cup of coffee and then I was back to normal.

Rustico too rolled out the red carpet for me, no surprise since the restaurant group that runs Churchkey also runs them--originally ran them in fact--and Greg Engert made sure to salute me and my book with a super rarity from the cellar.  He selected Avery's Rumpkin, a pumpkin ale aged for six months in Gosling rum barrels and checking in at a naughty 13.5% ABV.  When you're a beer geek you mentally have a list of beers you want to try, and a list of beers you're certain you will never try due to their extreme rarity, and I'd filed Rumpkin onto the latter list a long, long time ago.  But, Greg is a wizard at landing the rarities, and the sixtel kegs of Rumpkin he pulled out for my event may have been the only Rumpkin kegs ever to leave the Avery premises in Colorado.

The beer was a massive massive hit in my book--dangerously drinkable--and certainly sharpened my mind for a little bookselling.  I expected the entire DC-area weekend to be a huge hit, with Churchkey the pinnacle, but whether due to vomiting circumstances or just pure happenstance, Rustico was where it all came together in a symphony of fun and bookselling, this easily the best event of the weekend and our best Sunday on tour so far.

Thanks to Greg, Jon, Mark and the Neighborhood Restaurant Group.

POWER POLLS (through week four)

Best Events

1.  Philly Cigar Club special happy hour (Philadelphia)
2.  Amity Hall (Manhattan)
3.  Graney's (Albany)
4.  The Irish Pub (Atlantic City)
5.  Drinker's Tavern (Philadelphia)
6.  Rustico (Alexandria, VA)
7.  McGlynn's Pub (Newark, DE)
8.  Syracuse weekend (Syracuse)
9.  A'dam Good Sports Bar (Atlantic City)
10.  Brazen Fox (White Plains, NY)
11.  Paddy Whacks (Philadelphia)
12.  Churchkey (Washington, DC)
13.  O'Sullivan's (Arlington, VA)
14.  Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn)
15.  The Note (West Chester, PA)
16.  P.O.P.E. (Philadelphia)
17.  Green Rock Tavern (Hoboken, NJ)
18.  Benchwarmers (Ithaca, NY)
19.  P.J. Whelihan's (Cherry Hill, NJ)
20.  Old Bay (New Brunswick, NJ)
21.  Kildare's (Manayunk, PA)
22.  Loockerman Exchange (Dover, DE)
23.  Jillian's (Albany)
24.  Stout (Manhattan)

Top Fails

1.  My assistant locking her keys in the tour car (with countless books inside) right before an event was about to start.

2.  Having an event at Stout "organized" by Syracuse's Big Apple Orange alumni club (and that's all I'm legally allowed to say about that!).

3.  Spending the night at a Motel 6 in Albany.

4.  Not drinking coffee all day causing me to turn into a tweaking recent former heroine addict, throwing up in the street, missing a MAJOR event, and falling asleep before 9:00 PM.

5.  Booking events in small towns like Manayunk, Cherry Hill, and Dover.

6.  Getting duped into giving a free copy of "How to Fail" to a self-proclaimed "important cultural journalist" who we never actually vetted.  When he didn't showed up for a scheduled one-on-one interview with me and we realized we didn't actually have his contact info (he only had ours), we knew we'd been snookered for a free book.

7.  Insulting "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers" on this blog, fearing for my life for a few days before realizing these are actually the NICE kind of "supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore, hatemongers."

8.  My manager Craig leaving his credit card and ID at a bar and not realizing it until we were outside of Atlantic City, forcing us to head back to town at 2 in the morning on a night we desperately needed sleep.

9.  My assistant quite possibly hitting a bald eagle with the tour SUV somewhere outside of Albany.

10.  My assistant accidentally spilling a pint of beer all over the book table (UPDATE:  twice!).

11.  My assistant resuming smoking after having quit just a week before the tour kicked off.

12.  My assistant parking in an illegal spot in Brooklyn and getting a sanitation sticker slapped on her vehicle.

13.  Me drinking Miller High Life forties so hardcore at Drinker's that I was so ridiculously hungover all day I was unable to leave my room to find a sports bar to watch my beloved Syracuse Orange clinch a bowl game against dreadful Rutgers for the first time in ages.  Shameful.

14.  The dean of Newhouse attempting to purchase "How to Fail" via SUpercard, the Syracuse University intra-school debit card, typically used for late-night muchies runs to the dining hall Burger King or Sbarro's.

15.  Me eating bar food for 24 consecutive dinners (plus stadium food, plus late night stops to NJ Turnpike Roy Rogerses, Taco Bell drive-thrus, pizzerias, etc) even though I promised myself I would eat healthily on this tour.

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