Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Agony of Amplified Jersey Girls

Chickie’s and Pete’s
183 US Highway 130
Bordentown, NJ

Have you ever walked into a bar with a crowd of people yelling and screeching at the top of their lungs?


Well, maybe fun, depending upon your mood. And the place.

But it loses its appeal when the bar hands those people a microphone and amplifies it throughout the building.

Otherwise known as “Karaoke Night”.

The night before I walked into the suburban New Jersey version of Chickie’s and Pete’s, I had gotten exactly four hours of sleep when my alarm went off at 3:30am. That was followed by a ride to the airport, TSA testicle fondling, planes, elevated tram rides, New York City subways and hundreds of turnpike miles driving a dirty rental car.

By the time I pulled into my Comfort Inn in beautiful (not) Bordentown, New Jersey, I was ready to get out of the suit I had been wearing for 18 straight hours, down a Goody’s Headache Powder and find something to eat for the first time in almost 36 hours.

But in a show of typical Jersey hospitality, my room’s air conditioning was broken, which really wasn’t going to work for me on this 90 degree summer night.

And since I am ALWAYS the last guy of the night to check in, there were no other rooms available. (Although a couple good natured stoners in the lobby offered me the extra bed in their room. I politely declined.)

So at an hour of the night I was hoping to already be half way between the cork and the bottle, I had to set out to find a place to stay, first.

And eat, second.

Fortunately, the Best Western was more than happy to give me a room with a working A/C in exchange for a hundred bucks.

Even more fortunately, I spotted Chickie’s and Pete’s on the way there.

I noted the bright neon lights and the full parking lot.

At 11:30pm on a Wednesday night, that was all I was looking for. Sorry loyal Suits readers, you can’t always be picky about good food and drink.

My Goody’s was just beginning to kick in when I opened the front door and was greeted with the sounds of amplified screeching.

Under almost any other circumstances, I might have a much better attitude about a packed house of fun-loving, hammered Jersey girls butchering “Don’t Stop Believin.”

Well, “much better attitude” might be a bit of an exaggeration.

But you know what I’m saying. I just needed a beer and some food.

Fortunately, I found a nice spot at the bar underneath a flat screen showing one of the West coast baseball games. Perfect. Except for all that screeching.

I asked the barkeep for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale draft and a menu.

That’s when I discovered that this place I had stumbled into is a somewhat famous small chain of Philadelphia crab houses/sport bars.

In fact, the joint has been voted one of the best sports bars in America. How lucky is that?

I mean, you gotta love a place whose motto is “It’s a lot more fun to eat in a bar than to drink in a restaurant.”

Hey, come to think of it, that might be Suit757’s new motto!

The most prominent item on the menu was “Chickie's and Pete’s World Famous Crabfries”.

Is there any question? Gotta go with those. How could I live with myself if I didn’t?

For about eight bucks, I got an overflowing basket of crinkle-cut fries covered in Old Bay. They were okay, but what made them special was the two little ramekins of hot queso cheese attached to either end of the basket for dipping.

Clearly, this item is not meant to be consumed by just one human. Especially when that human is ordering a crab cake sandwich to go with the “World Famous Crabfries”.

But like I said, I was hungry.

The sandwich was tasty, consisting of two small crab cakes, lettuce, tomato and remoulade sauce.

I suppose Philadelphia is close enough to salt water to justify a chain of crab houses like this, but Chickie’s and Pete’s crab cakes aren’t going to make me forget about the ones served right on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. That’s for sure.

Seasoned well with a good bit of bready filler, these crab cakes will do if you can’t get to Baltimore or Norfolk.

But at nearly midnight on a Wednesday, I really had nothing to complain about.

Especially when I noticed that Newcastle and Miller High Life bottles were on special.

Forget the $4.75 Sierra Nevada draft, Suit757 never passes up a deal.

Unfortunately, the $3 Newcastle, which I haven’t tried in years, just reinforced all my pre-conceived notions of the British who brew this bland, boring, waste of good barley.

After choking that Eurotrash down, the “Champagne of Beer” never tasted so good. Especially for two bucks.

Just as I took my last swig, the eight-top of American Idol wannabees behind me ordered up yet another round of kamikaze shots to lubricate their vocal cords. It was going on 1am.

If I wasn’t so tired I might have noticed (or cared) that some of them were pretty decent looking – at least for Yankee chicks.

What is it about Jersey girls anyway?

All I knew was that after an hour of enduring amplified Jersey girls I was in desperate need of another Goody’s.

And a good night’s sleep.

Rating: Would Wear A Free Shirt.

Chickie & Pete's on Urbanspoon

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