It frustrated the hell out of me that we were unable to take advantage of the lower drinking age limit during our meal at Mamma Leone’s. The hot dog vendors didn’t serve beer. Neither did the café. Other than a couple of beers we were spending a largely dry week in the Big Apple. We made up for it during the last few nights of the week.
The second of those nights was spent at a restaurant directly across Times Square from the Hotel Edison – the Beefsteak & Brew, home of the Brewburger Special.
The Yorktown group was spending a free evening together with a host of options on how to spend the remainder of the day. The first order of business was finding a place for dinner. We left the hotel and walked the short distance to Times Square. We looked around the immediate vicinity and spotted the Beefsteak & Brew sign past the Coca-Cola sign and across 7th Ave. After one of the shortest meal discussions of the week, we made our way across Broadway and 7th Ave. to the restaurant.
The restaurant was a family dining venue with a bar near the front door. The hostess led us to a table near the back of the establishment. Our waitress was ready to take our drink orders within seconds. She started with the opposite end of our table, giving me time to peruse the menu to see what types of beer they had available. Come hell or high water, I was going to have a beer with my meal this night. I opened my menu and saw the meal of my dreams, the Brewburger Special.
The Brewburger Special was a one-third pound cheeseburger served with French fries and – wait for it – all the beer you could drink.
“Holy shit!” I blurted out, drawing the attention of everyone at the table.
Oz looked at me with a bit of concern on her face. “Are you alright?” she asked.
“Sorry. I just saw what I’m having,” I reassured her. “Guys,” I said to Jeff and Lloyd, “take a look at the special.” Two beats later they echoed my excitement.
Oz saw the special, too. She was less than thrilled with our meal choice but knew there was nothing to stop us from taking advantage of it. “I don’t know about this,” she said with much concern in her voice. We each shot her a winning smile to let her know this was going to happen regardless of the rules.
The burger was outstanding. The fries were superb. The beer was refreshing, as was the second one, the third one, and the fourth one after that.
The rest of the group was ready to go. They talked amongst themselves about where to go next. They decided on another night-time ride on the Staten Island Ferry. They patiently waited on the three of us to finish our fourth round of beers. We shot them quizzical looks. “You waiting on us?” I asked.
“Well, yes,” Oz responded. “We want to stay together as a group, don’t we?”
“It said ‘All the beer you can drink’ and I’m not done,” I told her. “You guys?”
“I’m staying,” said Lloyd.
“Me too,” said Jeff.
Some of our friends in the group shook their heads in disbelief. “Let’s go,” one of them said. Oz stared at us for a moment. “I shouldn’t do this, but for God’s sake, you guys be careful.”
“Hey. It’s us,” Jeff told her with a huge grin.
“Exactly,” Oz replied. She stood up from the table and gave us one more look before she and the rest of our group walked out onto 7th Ave. and headed for the nearest subway station.