After work ended Friday, I sent out a text message to our group of Beer Bacchanalians asking for suggestions for Happy Hour. After a bit the Maestro replied “Downtown – Imposters performing for Free Fridays”. That sounded like a good idea to me so I suggested 5 PM and we agreed.
If you have not heard of the Imposters they are a local Beatles tribute band and they also play music from other artists of that era (Jimi Hendrix, etc.). They have a local following in Gainesville and you can be pretty sure when they play there will be a large crowd. Especially when they are at the Free Music Fridays concerts sponsored by the city. Usually these concerts are held at the Bo Diddley Plaza but since that is under renovation right now they are using lot #10 in downtown Gainesville which is currently empty.
We agreed to start at House of Beer around 5-ish and would decide what to do from there. I arrived first, sat at the bar and greeted Alex, the manager, then looked over the menu and decided on a pale ale I hadn’t seen before. Infinite Ale Works Aperion is a very nice American IPA with notes of citrus in the aroma and flavor and a really smooth finish. It was so good I recommended to the Maestro when he arrived shortly afterward.
So far, it was just the Maestro and I. Rowdy and the Cooler were doing something derby related. The Doctor was home with a nasty cold. And we hadn’t heard from anyone else yet.
At any rate we began catching up with the doings from the past week. After a bit I was ready for another an ordered a Celebrator, a Doppelbock from Brauerei Aying. I loved the lager I had from them last week and wanted to try another from them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a full beer as that was the end of the keg. At least it was free, as is the custom when the keg blows out on you. I let what did get into the glass settle for a bit and while there wasn’t much there what was there was a really good doppelbock.
The Maestro and I continued Philosophying some more and soon heard from the Deck-orator asking if we were still at HOB. I said to “Cmon” and in the interim of her journey I was ready for another so I ordered a Paletas Tamarindo from 5 Rabbit Cerveceria. This was a good American Pale Wheat Ale with strong citrus aftertaste. I thought it hit the spot for me.
The Maestro and I continued Philosophying and it wasn’t too long before the Deck-orator showed. We moved from the bar to a table so it would be easier to converse. She told us that the Chemist was still working so it looked like it was just us three. The Deck-orator ordered herself a pint and soon we all began philosophying together.
After a bit I felt like one more pint so I ordered a Wynwood Brewing’s Pop’s Porter. This had a nice coffee flavor and a smooth finish, a nice way to end a session of beer supping. After a bit we all finished our pints and I felt like getting a bite to eat. I think Deck-orator suggested Wholly BBQ because Maestro had mentioned it to us before. So we all three agreed that it sounded like a good idea and settled our tabs.
We walked out the door and around the corner down South 1st Street, turned right onto West 1st Avenue, and at the corner of South 2nd Street you could see Wholly BBQ across from lot #10, next to Whiskey House.
It’s a small rectangular building with a covered patio and outdoor seating running along 2nd Street. The order window is on the north end of the building, the pick-up window around the corner facing 2nd Street under the patio, and a little further down along that side is small bar where draft beers are poured. Between the pation and the street is a beer garden with tables for seating. At the southern end of the patio is a large smoker (see picture below) that the owner told me he constructed out of an old water tank.
I let Maestro and Deck-orator order first to give me a bit longer to look over longer the menu, which had quite a few choices but so many that you would get lost. When I got to the window I asked what the Wholly Buns were, as there were more than a few signs mentioning. The woman at the window explained they were yeast rolls stuffed with your choice of meat and served with a dipping sauce. That sounded good to me so I ordered those and an order of Loaded Fries. And a First Magnitude 72 for a draft.
The three of us walked around the corner and got our pints at the bar, then made our way to a table near the street. Just across the street from us was lot #10, where the Free Music Fridays concert would be held. We could see the stage from the side and could hear the musicians starting to warm up.
Our food orders came out in their respective orders and they would call our names out from the pick-up window. I went and picked mine up and good smell the aromas rising up. The Loaded Fries were covered in shredded pork , cheese and hot sauce. The Wholly Buns were aptly named as they were light, buttery and stuffed also with pork. I asked for the hot sauce with them as well.
I have to say that these dished were exactly what I needed. Hey were great tasting and delicious and I would highly recommend them to anyone. While we ate our food the Imposters began playing on stage. The air was nice and temperate out that night. With the food, the beer and music playing in the background it was a perfect way to end the work week and start the weekend. I highly recommend it to anyone.