Words and Photos By Clark Adomaitis
The following article was printed in the February 2020 edition of The Campus.
Feeling stressed after a long day of classes in the NAC? Been running around campus from advisor to registrar to department chair to library? You need a break! More importantly, you deserve one. Take a load off, relax, forget the immeasurable and unfixable woes that City College creates, and grab a drink on Amsterdam Avenue, adjacent to our Quad. I tried a beer on tap from bars within three blocks, and this is what I found.
Grill On The Hill $
Sports Bar with pub grub.
1624 Amsterdam Ave
On tap: A wide selection of standard and classic beers, including Bud Light, Foster’s, Lagunitas, Angry Orchard, and Raging Bitch. Beers on tap are $7.
Food: Plenty of burger options, fries, wings, and appetizers. The fish sandwich ($14.95) came with bonus fish, seasoned fries, and tzatziki sauce.
Atmosphere: Fun gastropub with louder music, lots of lit up signs, darts, and a pool table. CCNY students and locals populate the space.
Service: Friendly and immediate service from a gentleman named Elton. Conversation flowed easily among patrons as they reconnected, played darts, and ate burgers and wings.
Specials: Numerous happy hour specials and discounts throughout the week on drinks and food. $5 beer during happy hour.
Cozy Indian joint with good prices and friendly service.
1592 Amsterdam Ave
On tap: Kingfisher Lager (Indian beer) is gentle and golden. It’s not too filling paired with the heavier naan.
Food: The naan comes in many varieties, including garlic, onion, raisin, nuts, and cheese. It’s sweet and soft, and comes served with tamarind sauce, green sauce, and spicy onion topping. Plenty of traditional Indian dishes fill the menu and customer’s tables.
Atmosphere: Indian music and the smell of curry fill the air. The cozy space is brick-lined and lit dimly.
Service: Familial and friendly. The server makes sure to recommend different options and sauces.
Specials: $4 happy hour on tap beers! Also, their happy hour is everyday from 12pm-7pm. Their lunch buffet is a popular option from 11am-3pm. The great prices all over the menu make this spot a frequent visit.
Mexican Plates and Tequila Cocktails.
1618 Amsterdam Ave
On tap: They’ve got Pacifico and Negro Modelo ($7). Their narrow tap selection is not a concern, as they specialize in tequila drinks. The Negro Modelo is cold, filling, but not immensely heavy like other dark beers I am familiar with.
Food: The pollo taco ($4.75) is juicy and covered in a delicious and zesty green sauce. Salads and appetizers also fill the menu.
Atmosphere: Chill, modern spot with people dining under low light.
Service: The beer was served to me promptly with chips, orange sauce, and a glass of water. The water and chips were refilled quickly, and the pollo taco came out within seven minutes of me ordering.
Specials: None visible.
The Grange $$
Specialty brews on tap, fancy cocktails, and pub dinners.
1635 Amsterdam Ave
On tap: A couple of different specialty beers that I have never seen. No typical corporate America beers here. The Ommegang Witte ($8) was light, delicious, and orangey. The Brewdog ($8) was thicker and tasted of caramel. Their exclusive Hot Buttered Cider ($14) included a choice of bourbon or rum with fresh, hot cider. This delicious drink explodes in your mouth with its hot, thick, alcoholic sweetness like no other.
Atmosphere: The inside was rustic and dark. The volume of the music and conversation was relaxing.
Service: Friendly bartender who explained the different brews and the intricacy of the bar’s cocktail recipes.
Specials: During happy hour we received $2 off per beer. Overall, a bit more expensive than other local spots.