Wednesday I spent the night in Cincinnati, getting ready for a hearing. The Buckeyes were playing Penn State at 6:30, and two other lawyers and I decided to go to a bar to watch the game and have something to eat. We ended up at a place on Fountain Square called Rock Bottom.
As in many sports bars, this place had an abundance of TV screens with lots of selections. We asked the waitress to put the Buckeyes game on the large TV immediately to our right and she cheerfully obliged. Immediately ahead was another big screen showing the Olympics. While we were there we watched a woman skier crashing into a retaining fence, then a very serious curling showdown between Sweden and Great Britain, and finally an unexpectedly one-sided hockey game between Canada and Russia. On the far left wall, meanwhile, was a series of TVs showing NBA contests and other college games. So, without leaving your seat, you could see virtually every sport known to man simply by swiveling your head. It was almost as good as having unfettered command of the remote control at home.
Some well-brewed IPAs and bar food contributed mightily to the fun atmosphere. Beer never tastes as good as when it is quaffed from a heavy pint glass, and a hoppy IPA is a good complement to bar food. After scanning the menu we decided that, rather than getting entrees, we would just get appetizers for the table — and on Wednesday nights, appetizers at Rock Bottom are only $5 each. We decided to mix healthy stuff with classic bar food, so we picked rare ahi tuna, barbeque chicken pizza, five meat pizza, and an astonishing dish called Titan Toothpicks. The ahi tuna was quite good, but really isn’t appropriate bar food. It is simply too light (and, frankly, healthy) to accompany a steady diet of beers. If you are going to down a few pints, you need to establish a good base, and that means something that is melty, cheesy, meaty, and crunchy. The two pizzas filled that bill admirably. The Titan Toothpicks, on the other hand, are as long as your arm and consist of melted cheese and some unspecified meat rolled up in a kind of deep fried tortilla shell. When you bite through the shell, a warm gooey mixture seeps out. From that description alone, you can understand that Titan Toothpicks are a prototypical bar food.
It was a very successful evening. Tasty beers were tipped back, unhealthy food was consumed, the Buckeyes won at Penn State, and the curious sport of curling was thoroughly discussed in a warm, happy, noisy place. Sports bars can be a good choice when you are on the road.