Even on a menu packed with beastly feasts, the B.S. burger is peerless. Not because of its name, which stands for Black Star, or even because of its ingredients, which include a half-pound of charbroiled Angus beef, bacon, and red onions, but because of the gauntlet it throws down. "WE DARE YOU!" taunts the menu. "IT'S LOADED!"
It's a challenge eaters at Black Star are happy to take up. The B.S. anchors a menu of likewise audaciously-topped burgers, hearty sandwiches, and entrees with cavalierly hearty portions, and while they may not all come with the same overt, exclamatory dare, the sentiment stands. For the burger dip, a charbroiled patty dresses up like a french dip and plunges into au jus like a mime in a parisian dunk tank, and the grilled roast beef and cheddar smuggles tomatoes between thick pieces of grilled sourdough.
Some call them "potato wedges." Others know them as "steak fries" or "small, ineffectual swords." But the regulars at 2121 Pub refer to the thick-cut, crispy potatoes simply as "jos." They're a favorite at the lively neighborhood watering hole, and are often served alongside orders of chicken sandwiches and crunchy fried seafood.
To complement jos and other freshly made eats, the pub's bartenders pour an array of craft beers and cocktails. Servers carry these frosty beverages out into the dimly lit dining area, where friends converse while stealing glances at sports games playing on the wall-mounted televisions. Come springtime, diners gather in the pub's beer garden to split pitchers and pizzas beneath the sun. Throughout the week, 2121 also hosts special events, including bingo and karaoke.
Metronome's passionate baristas employ brewing mastery and fervency for quality coffee to concoct myriad menu items of precisely crafted caffeinated beverages and café fare. Six different brewing methods, including trifecta, pour over, cold brew, french press, and Chemex, steep their own takes on flavorful beans in contests to court patrons’ palates. Espresso shots ($1.25) condense liquid buzzes into miniaturized portions for consumption in steamy sippables such as cappuccino ($2.50), mocha ($3–$4.20), and traditional lattes ($2.50–$3.70). A collection of carefully selected Mad Hat teas—such as the soothing My Throat Hurts ($2.50)—and freshly squeezed orange juice ($3.25) warm the hearts of noncoffee consumers and solid fare, including loaded-pancake pockets ($3.50) and savory cheesecake ($6), befriend mouths to gain access to stomach pool parties.
Blending light tapas with imported desserts, an array of wine, and dancing, Pastíche's confines conjure up Old-World sentiments to create relaxing and romantic evenings. Pleasing vino virtuosos, Pastíche pours an assortment of 17 red wines, including Hugger Mugger pinot noir from Walla Walla Valley, Washington ($8/glass), and the 2007 Baer Winery ursa red blend ($15/glass), which was born out of alchemists' failure to blend merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot into a brick of pure gold. Glass tilters can also choose from 10 white wines by the glass, including the Tucker Cellars muscat canelli ($6) or Delaporte sancerre ($9).