Waterfront Ale House, June 11, 2005

Danna and I grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Waterfront Ale House for the same reason I imagine many people do - its proximity to the Kips Bay Lowes Cineplex.

From the outside, the place looks like a dive...more like a shanty that sells seafood at a beyond-its-prime NJ beach town that only stays open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and gets heavily weathered by the salt air during the winter months.

The inside is no better. I can only say that the din inside prevents diners from seeing the true condition of the walls, ceiling and floor. Remnants of the "Smoking Years" still can be close as the table we ate on (cigarette burns in the laminated tabletop).

But after a few of the excellent beers they have on tap, you could probably forget what a dumpy place it is.

Since we are already talking about them, the beers or at least beer selection is the best thing about this place. I chose a Little Thumper Ale, which I haven't seen, let alone drank, in years. Yum. Great tap. The bar, unfortunately, isn't big enough to handle a large amount of people that it no doubt gets...especially on Thursday and weekend nights...or when an important Yankees game is playing.

Danna ordered a half rack of ribs which she said were good, but your typical, average bar version of ribs. I ordered the Special burger, which was a Kobe beef burger with Asian ketchup (catsup), that, unfortunately, came out overcooked and of below average quality. The Kobe sliders at The Stanton Social, for example, really taste like Kobe beef. This had a faint taste of Kobe but the overcooked nature of the burger didn't help it much. The waffle fries they served with the burger were heavenly fluffy. I haven't had waffle fries this good in a long time. The Asian ketchup was mediocre.

All of the issues related to the food could have been resolved, but there was no waiter to be found and any attempt to wave him down was denied as he practically ran past our table into the kitchen.

So atmosphere and service were lousy. The atmosphere's only redeeming quality is that it reminds me of my old home place, the Allendale Bar and Grill (also known for their excellent burgers) - but more run down.

Food could be passable and location is unbeatable for a night at the movies. Will I go back? Probably, but I'll stick to the regular burger and beers and keep it at that.


Blogger BADGE said...

I went back with Dad for lunch a few weeks after my first visit - this time to try the traditional burger.

We sat, as we should have, at the bar while watching a golf tournament on the tv.

The burger was, I must say, much better than the kobe burger I had previously. It was accurately cooked to medium, the bacon was crispy and plush where it needed to be and the cheese was standard.

The first few bites were indeed very good. But unlike a Shack Burger (from Shake Shack of course) or even an In-n-Out burger, this one gave up on me. I didn't enjoy every bite as much (or more) as the last, and felt that I could actually not finish it (it isn't THAT big).

The burger is good. Probably perfect for a pre- or post- movie night (Lowes Kips Bay is a sand wedge away) and definitely the perfect foil to a night of drinking and watching the Yankees. But certainly not the best the city has to offer. Maybe not even top 10, despite the glory it receives on Chowhounds.

5:41 PM  

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