For the first time in the history of my life, I stuck with the happy hour deals when I recently went out for an early bar bite. Well, almost. But I am getting better and that’s all that matters! The spot where I was so close to finally sticking to the happy hour menu was V Street, the second restaurant from the wonderful team behind Vedge. Drawn to it partially because it was new to me and partially due to the frigid February weather, I stopped into this small restaurant around Rittenhouse to grab some food and suck down a cocktail before running back to my room to dive under the covers.
After walking in and spending roughly twenty minutes taking off all of my winter gear, I plopped myself down and easily decided which snacks I would order. I ended up opting for two $5 plates, the 5:00 Sichuan Soft Pretzels and Batada Bites. Slightly chewy with an intense sprinkle of black salt, the two pretzels were offset by the tang of ginger mustard. Still, it didn’t offer any new spins on this classic street food. The batada bites, on the other hand, were golden and crunchy yet smooth and flavorful on the inside. Comforting without being too familiar, these were not boring and were my favorite of the night. Those who think just switching to a diet of vegan food will help them lose weight only need look to these bites to understand otherwise. It was dirty and meant for those looking to indulge, which suited me perfectly.
Of course, if you know me at all, you know that I washed this all down with a gin cocktail, especially considering the saltiness of my food. When my eye spied the Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Dagger, I knew I had found my beverage, even if it wasn’t one of the interesting happy hour deals. Featuring gin, cocchi, and yellow mustard before being garnished with a pickle, it didn’t really sound that appetizing to me, but I couldn’t deny my curiosity. Unsurprisingly, this was all about the mustard, and I could imagine drinking this one down with a stadium hot dog at a baseball game (not that I go to those sorts of things). On its own, the food would have been too salty and the cocktail a too-intense mess, but they came together beautifully and made for an interesting pairing on my night out.
While the food was good yet a bit unremarkable, the bartenders only left me with a bad feeling in my mouth. I admittedly like to talk a lot, but I don’t expect my bartenders to stand there and gab with me the entire evening. However, I was the only person sitting at the bar and the two bartenders hardly spared me a glance. The man who eventually served me had the look of a lumberjack and the attitude of a hipster. Restrictive is the word that comes to mind when I think back on that evening. Maybe he could sense that I wasn’t a vegan and that was why everything was done in perfunctory manner. I didn’t belong to the club of people who needed places like V Street, so I wasn’t welcomed. It might have been as simple as him being a bad bartender though. I’ll probably never know. Either way, Grizzly Adams didn’t make me want to return.
V Street isn’t a place to which I’ll be rushing back, though if friends wanted to go, I’d tag along. With so many phenomenal options around Rittenhouse, this experience was forgettable at best and depressing at worst. I won’t be dreaming about the bites I had, I won’t be coming back just to continue a conversation with a bartender, and this won’t be my first choice when I’m craving something exclusively vegan. There are better bites, friendlier bartenders, and more delicious vegan options blocks away from this spot, so that’s where I’ll be going whenever I want to eat radishes in new ways or try a dessert that doesn’t include a pound of eggs. When I go out, I want to unwind and enjoy myself, and unfortunately, V Street didn’t allow me to do that.