Wednesday night I met Paul at Gran Agave, a new Mexican restaurant at The Waterfront. I couldn’t find a website for the place, and the only useful information I found online was a user review on Yelp. I wandered around Old Navy and Barnes & Noble for a few minutes and then found Paul sitting at the bar. Gran Agave is located right across the street from Yokoso, right by Macy’s and Rock Bottom. I think it used to be Salsarita’s or something; I can’t be sure because I was never in there before Wednesday.
From the outside, Gran Agave looks a little out of place. All the other stores and restaurants are either dark-lit inside or have curtains or you just can’t see inside so easily. Gran Agave lets it all hang out – thanks to the full windows, the bright interior lights mingle with the beer signs to spill out onto the sidewalk in a much-diluted Hong Kong-worthy montage of color. At least that how I remember it. That could have something to do with the 2 beers I drank all night, though.
The openness of the floorplan reminded me somewhat of Q-doba – booths flanking the outside walls and tables & chairs in the center of the room.
The bar boasts 2 nice tvs and a decent selection of beer and liquor.
There was no Blue Moon to be found, but that made me happy since Gran Agave is a Mexican restaurant and not a Belgian one. Instead, they have the usual Americanized assortment on tap – Coors Lt, Miller Lt, Yuengling, etc. The prizes lie in their decent selection of Mexican and import beers. Paul chose a Negro Modelo and I got a Modelo Especial with a slice of lime.
My Modelo Especial was soooo good! Maybe I just really needed a beer after a really busy start to the week. Whatever the reason, I loved it.
Upon relocating from bar to booth, we were presented with a hot basket of tortilla chips and some medium-hot salsa. Rumor has it that the first basket of chips & salsa is free and that after that you have to pay for a refill, but we barely made a dent in the basket, as it was quite plentiful and the service was very fast.
I asked our congenial waiter what he recommended and he gave me a few good selections. In the end, as always, I went for the one option that involved bacon – a chicken bacon quesadilla with lettuce, onions, guacamole, *& sour cream INSIDE the quesadilla (the waiter’s recommendation). I asked for no tomatoes and my wishes were respected. My quesadilla was pretty much perfect:
The only thing it was lacking was hot sauce, which I proceeded to slather on top of the quesadilla to my date and the waiter’s dismay. I’m gross like that.
Paul chose the chicken Yolandas, which was also really good. I joked over dinner that Paul’s food always looks really sloppy and messy when I take pictures of it.
I gotta admit it – I was only able to finish HALF of my quesadilla and I thought I was going to explode from fullness by the time we left! I made sure to bring the rest for lunch the next day, but holy crap, I’d never met a quesadilla I couldn’t handle until I met Gran Agave’s.
Too stuffed for a traditional dessert, we walked over to Rock Bottom for the liquid kind.
I’d been to Rock Bottom sometime after my 21st birthday, but once again with my parents. As with The Church Brew Works, I did not get to try any beers my first time around. I considered asking if they had a beer sampler, but CBW’s gigantic sampler has scarred me and I was just too full to handle that much beer. Instead, I ordered their seasonal wheat beer and Paul ordered their special “hoppy” pale ale.
At first glance, their bar looks like the one at Claddaugh – it’s copper! However, Rock Bottom’s bar has plastic over it, so it’s not quite the same. In addition, RB’s bar has an “ice trench” (totally made-up term) on part of the bar to keep your beer cold. How ingenious!
RB had a lot of beers on tap, all made in-house.
Apparently they’re quite renowned for said beer:
The bar also boasts a large dining area:
Actually, there was another part of the restaurant that we didn’t even see – more dining. It’s a pretty big place!
Wednesday nights at 9 pm, pints become $2 and patrons get to listen to Good Brother Earl play:
We had several entertainment options while we were there: 1. Good Brother Earl, 2. Pitt vs Duquesne game (Yay Pitt!), and 3. some guy kept chatting up Paul. They exchanged numbers. Should I be jealous?
It was a really fun night and it was great to get away from work and the gym. I’d likely go back to both Gran Agave and Rock Bottom again; next time I’d like to try the food at Rock Bottom.
Have you tried any new restaurants lately?