Sunday, March 9, 2008
Posted by Bull E. Vard
Since I have French blood in me I'm constantly wary of Germans. Germans brewing beer for me to drink, I'm still a little leery. That being said, I've been really looking forward to the Gordon-Biersch opening and last night I was lucky enough to be invited to a pre-opening of the restaurant.
Right before we left for the event, I saw that Beer Girl had a little story about the VIP thing on Friday night. I couldn't have been more excited when I read that we could order whatever we wanted and the waitstaff would just bring it. To be honest, as much as Stella has raved about her experience at Gordon-Biersch over the years, I may have been looking forward to the food more than the beer.
We got downtown and had to put up with all the drunk fake cowboys (PBR rodeo was at the Sprint Center) in my parking garage (it is nice to park for free downtown right in the middle of the P&L). We had a real funny moment in the elevator to get up to ground level. Stella and I were elevatormates with 4 or 5 drunk fake cowboys double fisting some swill from the other side of the state. We stopped at the next level up and a dude in tux was waiting. He had a look on his face that he was contemplating whether he wanted to get on or wait for the next elevator. I would have waited if I were him.
Anyway, we walked across Walnut and walked on into Gordon-Biersch (GB from now on, I'm tired of the hyphen). We had a bit of confusion with the name that we were getting in under, this alias thing has its drawbacks, but once we got that all straightened out our entrance was made. This was not going to be like VIP opening on Friday night. It was a free for all with people packed into every open space. Stella and I stupidly looked for a table and couldn't find one of course. Stella informed me that she was regretting the heels already. I figured everything would be better if I could just get a beer. So Stella went up to a seating area and I made my way over to the bar.
I got myself a schwarzbier and Stella a hefeweizen. I was immediately struck by the stunning glassware, I'm a sucker for nice glassware and GB has it. Each beer has its own style of glass, like any real beer bar should. I believe the appropriate glassware for a Bud Light is a trash receptacle. The schwarzbier (meaning "black beer") was very good with a nice roasted malt flavor. It was my favorite beer of the night. I made my way up to where Stella was, she staked out a spot by a column which had a bit of a shelf to put our beer down. The food service was cocktail party style which meant that waitresses were carrying trays with one of the appetizers on them. We had little plates and could grab as much of that app as we wanted.
The first thing to come by was a shrimp and chicken potsticker. Fabulous! Next was an asian sesame chicken wing. Stupendous! We had a nice spot where the food came from the kitchen we were one of the first to be able to get our greasy hands on the food. I had a slice of pepperoni pizza. Pretty good. Had a couple of different crustinis, the one with goat cheese was my favorite. Finally got some garlic fries which I had been really looking forward to. I had almost a whole plate of them and they were fabulous. Stella got her hands on the fried artichoke hearts she had been looking forward to. A waiter had a tray full of cake slices and he almost lost his life, he was absolutely mauled. I got my hands on another couple of sesame chicken wings, some chocolate cake and several slices of key lime cheesecake, all wonderful. As I was getting really full, Stella and I decided to share a southwest eggroll (I love southwest eggrolls) and GB has probably the best ones I've had. As I type this I wish I had gotten a couple more of those. Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow.
I was finally full and we had secured a table where we had to stand since there were no chairs on the high top tables. With a table we gained waitress service, meaning a waitress would go get us beer instead of having to wade through the crowd to get to the bar. We ordered a couple of marzens from the waitress. While she was gone I went to the bar to get a couple of Golden Exports. I didn't think much of the Golden Export which is just a lightly hopped lager. I'd have been disappointed if I'd paid for it. We got the marzens and they were pretty good, I think Bob's 47 is better (it's a marzen also), but there was nothing wrong with GB's offering.
Stella and I decided to text Wes to rub it in that we were drinking for free. Wes texted "Bitch" back within a minute. He had a chance to go to this thing and chose not to because he had "plans" so I don't know why he was so snippy. We talked to the other 2 ladies that we were sharing a table with. One of the ladies' husbands had gotten his company's suite seats for the PBR rodeo so they were just showered with riches and free drinks for an evening. The other lady was the beneficiary of a girl's night out because of the other lady's husbands luck. We enjoyed talking to them a little bit while we nursed our beers. We were pretty full and it was tough drinking any more beer, but I'm a professional so I sucked it up. I decided I needed to try the Czech Lager so I went over to the bar to get it. At this point in the evening, GB had cleared out quite a bit so it only took a couple of minutes to get to the bar. The Czech Lager will never again touch my lips. It wasn't that it was bad, it was just pretty bland, nothing special.
At one point several guys climbed up onto the bar and I think they were trying to talk about the restaurant and the opening. We couldn't hear them at all. But, what I did notice was they had a glass boot full of beer. Chimpotle would have peed himself if he'd seen it. One of the guys was the brewer whom I recognized from the video in the KC Star. I didn't know who the other 2 guys were but I was pretty sure that the brewer was going to drink the whole boot. Instead the 3 of them shared it. This was maybe the biggest disappointment of the whole night. It was fun hearing everyone yell lines from "Beerfest"
I finally tired of drinking GB's beer and Stella wanted to see the rest of the bars in the P&L so we decided to get out of there. We had a really great time, thanks for hooking us up Jon. I highly recommend a nice dinner and a beer at Gordon-Biersch, but I don't recommend it for just beer. The marzen is nice and the schwarzbier is very good but some of the other beers are just run of the mill lagers. Bad Ben was right when he told me the Germans don't really do very interesting beers. Fortunately GB does do great food. Now the most anticipated opening in the Power and Light district is the Flying Saucer. I really can't wait for it to open. I hope I can swing an invite to their VIP opening too.
I'll have another post about the rest of the evening as soon as I can this evening. I will also have some pictures that we took last night added to this post at some point today (as soon as Stella gets back home with the camera).