Our first stop on the tour was also one of the most popular suggestions in the comments back when we posted about this ludicrous idea, and the reason for this soon became apparent as the 500 Club steadily filled to capacity within minutes of our arrival. Rachel, the resident bloody mary specialist, attracted quite a following and the cheerful patrons contributed to a raucous atmosphere despite the early hour. By 12:30pm, it was almost like there was a party inside, and it was clear that many of patrons were regulars who made it a mission to visit every Saturday.
We had prepared for the event by specifically abstaining from breakfast because that’s the whole reason why a bloody mary exists in the first place (right?). This was a wise decision, as Rachel’s bloody proved to be the ultimate “breakfast in a cup” and basically ended up being an alcoholic salad. All manner of vegetables found their way into the mix: celery, pepperocinni, olives, pickled green beans, asparagus, and even okra (!!??!!), among others. However, the real draw was of course the bacon, and not some thin wimpy bacon either, but a nice thick slab of crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside sustenance-providing bacon that provided a solid absorbent for some of the early alcohol.
Also notable about Rachel’s bloody was the spiciness factor. There was a solid kick of pepper to help rouse your senses and the zest of the vegetables and tomato disguised the taste of the copious amount of vodka in the drink. Some commenters complained that this was spiciness for spiciness’ sake rather than for taste, but we didn’t find it to be too overwhelming. Rachel also made use of what the Elixir bartender revealed was the secret ingredient, which was Old Bay spice, so aspiring bloody mary mixologists should keep that in mind for future concoctions.
In all, the 500 Club provided a solid start with what many felt was the best bloody mary in the city, and also managed to nourish us sufficiently before we continued on our tipsy journey. There’s a real sense of community there every Saturday morning, and we could definitely see ourselves coming back here next week to join in on the fun again!
[Photo by Erika]