Beer Drinking at Byronz

March 10, 2006

There's a new restaurant a handful of blocks away from our house that we've been visiting very regularly since it opened. I really wanted to be able to pan Byronz Bistro. Just based on the location, the look of the building, and how long they took to renovate the building, I expected high prices, average food, and overworked, unattentive staff. I guess I'm a pessimist.

Happily, I was wrong on all of these expectations. I've tasted about half of the menu, and everything I've had has been very good. A couple of dishes are even better than very good. The atmosphere is open and bright. The barstools are made for the wide behinds typical in Louisiana, and the bartender who works Monday-Wednesday is among the best in town.

Tuesday night, we went by there for a drink after work. I couldn't decide what to order, and numb-brainedly ordered a Bud Light. As it turns out, they guy next to me at the bar was a rep from a beer distributor, and of course, Bud isn't one of his brands.

To make things even more uncomfortable for him, he was meeting a supplier, and he really wanted the people around him to be drinking the beer that these particular people supply. So, he bought my next beer, upgrading me to a similar-tasting watered down brew that was imported and more expensive. It's not what I would have picked had I known I was going to get a free beer, but hey, free beer of any kind tastes a lot better than beer you had to pay for.

We got to bullshitting, and the beer distributor (whose name was out Jordan something or other) turned out to be a heck of a nice guy. I know a job's a job, but when you get to buy beer for strangers, you are going to be popular.

We ended up sitting around and shooting the breeze for several hours. Jordan went to a table to entertain his dignitaries, but he would walk up to the bar from time to time and offer me another free beer. Like I said, he was a good guy.

On a barely related note, I saw in last Sunday's local paper that one of the arrests was a guy for sixth offense DWI and illegal possession of Xanax. There was no mention of driving without a license, so I'm assuming that he can legally drive as long as he's sober.

I figure that to be arrested for your sixth DWI, you've been driving drunk more nights than not for several years. Which could lead your thoughts one of two directions.

The obvious train of thought is to wonder why the guy isn't locked up with the key thrown away. Did the Judge think that after the fourth or fifth DWI that the guy was finally serious about his rehabilitation? If this guy kills someone's kid next time he's out driving drunk, then whoever keeps letting him drive shares some responsibility.

The other argument that you could make is that maybe he's been driving drunk for so long and so often that he really isn't all that dangerous. You have to think that if he had killed anyone or caused any serious, major damage, he wouldn't be out on the road. But since he hasn't, maybe he's good to pop a Xanax, wash it down with a few vodka rocks, and drive on home. His record is pretty good. Hundreds and hundreds of attempts driving drunk, six stops, and no one killed.

Maybe I didn't make that last argument very well. I don't really believe it, but it's a fun point of view to consider. Are there super drinkers out there who are fine to drive drunk?