Barfly wins first place in CNPA journalism awards contest!

My Barfly column has beat out all the other columns in California for the top slot in the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) contest!

just saying…

Marin IJ announcement

Barfly at Pacifics vs Pittsburg Friday June 19

Join the Barfly at the Pacifics game for margaritas and lemondrops.

Music by Olive and the Dirty Martinis (but of course)

5 pm  $12 Albert Park ballfield San Rafael

copies of his book, “Twenty Years Behind Bars” will be available

When the theory of relativity meets the truth

Albert Einstein, developer of the theory of relativity, once remarked that “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”

Thank goodness for layman’s terms. And in the most lay way possible, relativity is what occurred to me the other day when I read the Yelp review:

Giving icy drinks the cold shoulder

He arrived from the dining room like bull from Pamplona, wide-eyed and frantic, his breath coming out in hot audible gasps. For a second I thought it might be a life-or-death emergency.

“Are you the one making my martini?” he asked.

I looked around to see if there were any other bartenders. Seeing that there weren’t, I answered him.

It’s amazing what you can learn when you listen

“I’ll have a margarita,” said the woman after sitting down and taking great care to cross her legs. Not for modesty’s sake, but for the opposite. She reminded me of Faye Dunaway in the movie “Barfly,” except for two things — she wasn’t Faye Dunaway and she wasn’t acting.

“On the rocks? With salt?”

“No,” she said slowly and deliberately. “On ice, with some salt.”

Sometimes it’s better to just give in

“What are you doing out here?” a regular customer asked as I walked past him in the lobby. “Don’t you have, like 60 or 70 people in there to wait on?” he said gesturing at the full bar behind me.

Some advice is actually worth paying attention to

“Know what you guys should do?” asked the man sitting alone at the bar. I looked around the room at the mob of holiday revelers and wondered what part of what we were doing made it look like we needed help.

Gushing somethings hip doesn’t mean it is

Once upon a time there was a restaurant. It was in a beautiful building in a beautiful town. Ironically, the restaurant had neither lodging nor was it located on the body of water for which it was named, but no matter because this restaurant was way ahead of its time. Hip, cool and classic, the press said: they positively gushed.

The chef was deemed a superstar and the ownership was lauded throughout the land. In fact, you could not pick up a food or travel magazine without reading about it. Every food show on TV featured the chef and all the bookstores carried his cookbook. All was well.

Or so it seemed.

Sorry Will Rogers, not everyone is likeable

Will Rogers famously once said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” However, I suspect Mr. Rogers never worked in the service industry.

When you first meet someone you don’t know enough about the person to dislike him or her. Once you get to know the person, however …

They may not mean to be a pain, but…

She sat down at the bar just like 10,000 customers before her. After looking around for a few moments, she spoke.

“Do you think I could get something to drink?” she said heavy with implication.

“Sure,” I said, finishing up with what I was doing. “What would you like?”

“I don’t know what I want yet.”

  • #25 iBooks Bestseller
  • Top 100 Amazon Bestseller
    Food Related Books
  • “more about mixing people than drinks”
    Christopher Kimball America’s Test Kitchen
  • “racy and innocent”
    Marin Independent Journal
  • “insightful writing about bar culture and human nature”
    SF Examiner
  • “the best stories are of the clueless at their worst behavior — often before they’ve ordered their first drink” “juicier reads than you would find in the pages of a family newspaper”
  • “a book of riotous stories”
    The Bold Italic
  • “great book, quite funny, and includes recipes!”
    Joel Riddell, Dining Around, NewsTalk 910
  • “I love this book. It's insightful, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and includes expert cocktail recipes, too!”
    Erika Lenkert, author of Last-Minute Party Girl and Raw: the Uncook Book
  • “Served straight up, with humor, irreverence and a one-of-a-kind perspective, Twenty Years Behind Bars takes us up close into the life of bars, bartenders, and those who frequent both. To get any closer, you'd need be an olive in one of Burkhart's martini glasses.”
    Kimberley Lovato, author of the award winning cookbook, Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves