A Tale of Two Uptown Bars

So we had a little bit of a "date afternoon" today, in an attempt to get some quality time together during this crazy holiday/recovery time.

First, we saw Black Swan at the Uptown. We see so few movies, but this was wonderful. Several fantastic performances (hello, Oscars!) and led us to a spirited discussion about art, dying art, living art, and more. Also, I sincerely hope that my daughter's love of all things ballet does not lead to a career as a dance — I can't picture a harder life.

Afterwards, we went, or started to go, to Bar Abilene for happy hour. Now, we have not been to Bar Abilene since Beatrix was born — it's not exactly child-friendly. The last several experiences we had there before then were terrible — a waiter haranguing me for not understanding that a sandwich described as "the mushroom burger" and listing only mushrooms, onions, and pico de gallo as ingredients was actually beef, another issue with food, and then the "margarita club" being discontinued right after I paid $25 for a card. The final incident was resolved by the manager at that time writing on the card that it was worth $20 of food, but when we tried to use it tonight, the extremely rude manager would not honor it. Let's just say that the reasonably tasting yet overpriced margaritas and poor bar food at Bar Abilene and I have parted ways forever. Passing by the bar later this evening, it seems that I am not the only one who felt that way.

Much to our gain, we decided to try Fusion, which we've been meaning to go to forever. Now there's a happy hour! The staff was welcoming and friendly as soon as we walked in, and the happy hour was great. We got two servings of fantastic shrimp tempura roll, a Mediterranean plate, artichoke dip, lots of great foccacia, 2 martins, and a beer for $33. Plus, valet parking is free Thursday-Saturday nights. Hell, yeah! I only wish we had stayed for dessert...

So here's the difference. Fusion was happy to see us. They treated us well, they provided good food and cheap prices, they made us feel good about going out. Bar Abilene, on the other hand, has consistently treated us poorly, and tonight not only refused to honor a previous commitment, but treated us like criminals for asking for the commitment to be redeemed. Guess which one I'll be promoting and going back to?

All in all, a very interesting dining experience to have following a movie about the future viability of art, and some lessons to be learned...

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