He came back with "lets go to 33, seems fair as it's in-between the two of us." For those of you who don't know it aleady, 33 is named after the fact that it's housed in an area 33 meters squared. Some might be able to imagine a bar fitting in that space, but the supising thing is that they do food too! Unfortunately we weren't there for the food which meant I was drooling as fresh salads and piping hot pizzas went by me onto the table next to us. And for a place this size, that was too close to me for comfort. I wondered if I could grab a piece of pizza without anyone noticing. Luckily we hadn't had any drinks yet or I might have lacked the self awarness, so easily stripped away by alchohol, to try!
I hadn't been to 33 before but I sure had heard some positive reviews on it, including my friend claim that it hosted the best cocktails he'd tried (this it turned out, was a claim made after trying a grand total of one cocktail!) We sat at the bar, metaphorically speaking, because there wasn't actually a stool to sit on as the place was full from the ten people that were already there.
I was surprised that the cocktail menu was only a laminated list of no more than ten cocktails. My friend told be that they'll do anything even if it's not on the menu. I went for the Margarita. It's my benchmark drink which I always go for when trying new places.
I watched the guy making it and immediately realised I wasn't going to be happy. It turned out that, in the absence of other instructions the default Margarita was a frozen Margarita. Sigh. I understand that many like this Margarita slush, but for me, the perfect Margarita is shaken with ice and served without it in a chilled glass. And even that aside, I wasn't too fond of it. I got a stronger alcohol kick that a savoury sour one from the lime and salt. Oh well, onto round two.
From my experience of the pretty good array of cocktail bars now available in the centre of Athens, I knew that one way to get the perfect cocktail was to have a chat with the barman. I can recall numerous conversations with various barmen at Baba-au-Rum regarding my taste - always directed by them: bitter, sweat, savoury, sour, spicy, aromatic, strong, mellow... the list goes on. And at the end of it: "And if you don't like it I'll make you something else!"
So we asked the barman what he recommended. He answer was short but very revealing - though I'm not sure he'd be happy with what I took from it. "It depends on what you like. You should take a look at the menu." That would be the menu with the ten cocktails on it, and nothing remotely exciting on it at that. We went for the Long Island Ice Tea: better to be drunk than disappointed.
By the time we were done with that, the ten people have gone down to five, and we decided to move on to another place. That place was The Speakeasy Bar No.31 in Halandri, and that story is another, very different story!