Monday, September 27, 2010

Thirsty -- As a Camel

I was supposed to write this review four weeks ago.

But good ol' Suit420 just kept putting it off and forgetting about it . . .

So here it is.

Ocean View, Virginia. Also known as the “OV.”

It’s a little place on the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk.

It was a Saturday morning, and Suit420 was cruising down Ocean View checking out the Bay.

Through the smoky haze inzide my car, I suddenly saw what appeared to be a large camel standing by the road.

Confused, I thought I may just be seeing things.

But after clearing my eyes with some Visine, I realized I that there really was a camel up ahead.

Was some weird circus in town I thought?

Or was it a pet an American soldier brought home from Iraq or Afghanistan?

Perhaps it's a tradition to bring home the camel of any Al-Queda member you kill.

Camels are awesome, I thought.

I wonder if they'd let me ride him on the beach while I listen to rap music.

As I got closer, I realized that none of my guesses were accurate.

It was actually a bar.

The Thirsty Camel.

And since it was open at 8am, and Suit420 had cotton mouth and was actually thirsty as a camel, I decided to stop on by.

What a good decision that turned out to be.

Hmmm. Forgot what it is I was writing about.

Oh yeah. The Camel.

Now, the Camel is just an old, small square-shaped building just a few yards off the beach. Beside it is what claims to be the longest fishing pier in North America, equipped with a restaurant and a nice deck for music, food and drinks.

Perhaps one day Suit420 will check that place out.

But it was Camel Time.

I opened the door, and wasn't shocked at all that there were already other patrons at the bar.

But what immediately caught my eye was a large sign hanging directly in front of me advertising 75 cent domestic drafts during Happy Hour.

And Happy Hour at The Camel is Mon-Sun, 9am-8pm.

That's a long time.

So naturally, I pulled a seat up at the bar and ordered a Budweiser draft and asked for a menu.

The Camel does have Blue Moon on draft, and those are $1.75 during Happy Hour. I think.

Memory fails on that.

The bartender was very friendly. There were 4 TV's spread out around the bar on different channels. There's a jukebox that has Hank Williams III on it.

And there's one of those game machines up at the bar if that's your thing.

While waiting on my menu and quinching my thirst, I overheard a woman -- probably in her mid 50s -- tell the bartender that she wanted a "quickie" and had been craving one all morning.

I offered my assistance, but then found out that a "quickie" is a breakfast specialty at The Camel.

My menu arrived, and sure enough, there was the "quickie." For $4 bucks you could get two eggs, your choice of meat, and your choice of toast. Not bad.

Then there was the "Bloody Mary Breakfast."

$8 bucks.

Steak. Grits. Toast. Eggs. Bacon.

And the Camel has sweet tea just like any self-respecting restaurant in the South should.

I chose the Bloody Mary Breakfast, with a burnt steak.

The Camel pretty much had it all. From chicken to burgers to steaks to grilled cheese sandwiches, you could find it there.

I ordered a second draft, and decided to check out the patio and puff a (for now) legal smoke.

The patio at the Camel is awesome.

They pretty much laid concrete on the ground, threw up a fence and put up some tables in.

I grabbed a chair and lit up my smoke. The patio was very comfortable for smoking. There was a nice breeze coming up from the ocean.

I finished my smoke, took my last sip of beer and headed back in for my food.

Perfect timing. The food had just arrived, and the bartender correctly assumed Suit420 needed another round. And she remembered my White Russian.

The food looked great. Like something you can only get at a hole-in-the-wall bar in the South.

First, I mixed the eggs and grits together. Then I cut the steak up and mixed it in. After that came the syrup, followed by some grape jelly.

Now it was eating time.

And I was sure hungry.

I finished the entire plate in about five minutes.  The last four bites I turned into sandwiches with my toast and a little extra syrup and jelly.

I ate my food so fast I realized I hadn't even touched my beer or my White Russian.

The White Russian went first. It was in a full-sized glass, and about 3/4 of it was liquor.

After my beer the bartender handed me some wooden nickels. Apparently they pass them out at the Camel and once you collect a certain number you get a free lunch. Not a bad idea.

I decided it was time to head out. Yeah, I still had a long ass time before Happy Hour ended.

But I paid my tab and headed out.

Walking away from the Camel, I kept looking back, tempted to go in and keep drinking for a while.

But a quick glance forward changed my mind. The Camel was directly on the beach.

And it was time for Suit420 to smoke.

Happy Hour and The Camel would still be there when I got back.

Because it's 11 hours long at the Camel.

And I'm sure I'd have cotton mouth again by then.

Rating:  Bought the Shirt

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