Consumer Reports: Patterson House

We spend our entire childhoods sitting around fantasizing about all the cool stuff we’d be doing, if only we could drive and didn’t live with our parents. Then, we grow up and find out that adulthood is just shorthand for “people keep sending you bills, the cat puked on the rug, and the woman in your office thinks 80 degrees is room temperature.” Well, ok. You can eat cookies for breakfast and then call your mom to tell her all about it. “Hey, mom, I just called to say that I’m lying in bed, eating Lucky Charms with no milk. Love you! Bye!”

Being an adult also allows you to go to bars like Patterson House. It feels strange to even call this place a bar, though. It’s not smoky, not filthy, not filled with Tool Academy rejects and not a place where you have to throw your breasts on the bar to get a drink.

The foyer has shelves of books accessorized with lists of rules such as “preserve the sexy” (the dress code) and “no shenanigans.” Once you make it past the foyer (it may be a while, especially on a Saturday), you’ll be seated by a hostess and presented with an embossed, ribbon-tied menu.

The drinks in that menu are made with a certain level of pride and class. They’re sorted by flavor and designed to work with the alcohol, not in spite of it. In short, this is not a place you go to get drunk and exchange numbers with people (another of the rules is that guys aren’t supposed to talk to females unless the females speak first). This is a place to go and have an experience that happens to involve alcohol. Taste and experience is the endgame, not getting trashed.

As you may have guessed by now, all this means that the drinks cost a little more, but not much. A drink that would cost you 8 bucks at the Red Door is about 11 at Patterson House. That’s if you could get a Winter Sidecar at Red Door, which you can’t. Besides, you don’t drink a Winter Sidecar in a PBR-themed room while being pelted with Led Zeppelin and cigarette smoke. It would be wrong.

Because I’m a goth stereotype, I got something called Corpse Reviver #2. It’s not a Patterson House specialty drink, so technically it would be possible to get it at a regular bar, but I doubt that it would be the same. It’s citrusy and a bit like a punch in the face, but has a slight licorice aftertaste because of a smidge of Absinthe.* It’s a bit like a Blue Valium’s more interesting cousin. No, wait. It makes a Blue Valium look like a stripper who’s going to community college to learn data entry.

Aside from specialty drinks which will make you want to return several times so you can taste them all, the menu has some food. No chili cheese fries and nachos, my friends, but there are s’mores and sammiches. The cinnamon donuts we ordered were slightly crispy outside, hot and soft inside, and fairly akin to touching the hand of God.

Now that I’ve told you about the wonders of Patterson House (who, by the way, should let me do their web site), let’s make a deal. You guys will agree to not flood the place at times when I want to go, and I’ll agree to go early to avoid standing in the foyer for an hour. Deal?

*So the goth folk won’t bombard me with similar comments, I’ll point out that American absinthe is really just anise-flavored liquor. If you want thujone/wormwood, you’ll have to have it shipped in from Europe.