Today is my wife's birthday, which would be my favorite day of the year if it fell during a more reasonable month. It's hard to be unabashedly enthusiastic about any day with a high temperature of 28 degrees, but it helps when the day in question is spent celebrating the existence of your favorite person. It helps further when the celebration is centered on eating and drinking and giving gifts of pickles and skirts.
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This weekend Bottom Shelf research director Emily and I are going to Original Portland to drink great beer and pretend not to notice how cold it is, because that's the deal you make with yourself when you go to Maine in January.
Serious Eats pays me a million dollars a week, which would be enough to float most boats, but my insatiable thirst for life's luxuries—caviar, student loans, electricity—requires a million and a hundred, so I work one night a week as a bar bouncer.
Either I was being a big, dumb snob or the chain restaurant cocktail game has improved dramatically in the past couple of years, because these days you can get a perfectly good mixed drink at some of the aggressively decorated quesadilleries that we all love to mock and the honest among us love to (very occasionally) gorge ourselves at. My wife works near Boston's sole T.G.I. Friday's, so we stopped in last week to investigate their two newest drinks, the Bee Sting and the Grey Goose Cooler.