Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Albert

918 Austin Ave., Atlanta (Inman Park) http://www.thealbertatlanta.com/web/welcome-to-the-albert-atlanta.html

On Saturday night Kyle and I were dogsitting in Inman Park and took the opportunity to stroll down the charming, residential Austin Ave. to The Albert, a family-owned pub. Once inside, we learned that The Albert got its name from the owner's son. The pub is decorated with pictures of famous Alberts throughout history. I think the decor is a point in the pub's favor - it has its own, undisputed personality. Its a casual place, completely unpretentious, just the atmosphere I want in a pub.

We settled in at the bar to watch the Braves games (The Albert shows all their games, so this is a great place for baseball fans) and ordered some wings and the chicken egg rolls. Kyle's wings came with blue cheese and celery, and he ordered them medium hot. He gives them a good score, saying they are head and shoulders above the wings served at the nearby Zesto's. I was a little less impressed with the chicken egg rolls, which were accompanied by a blood orange ginger sauce. The rolls were a little too dry, and the sauce didn't live up to its promise. I give the dish a C+. The menu also featured salads, sandwiches, and some ambitious sounding entrees such as mushroom risotto ($10.95) and flank steak with asparagus and garlic butter ($12.95). I'd be willing to sample some of the lighter fare at a later date. Another patron also informed me that they make their own mozzarella (which she added is delicious), and I think that's pretty impressive for a pub.

However, I never go to a pub with high expectations about the food. My goal is to sample the beer selection and have a good time. The Albert scored better in these areas.

The beer selection at The Albert is decent. There are the basics, and then there are a few better brews like Chimay. Kyle and I were happy to try three different beers from New Belgium Brewing Company in Colorado, which we don't find very often at other local pubs. We enjoyed the Fat Tire (Amber), the Mothership Wit (wheat) and the 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. Kyle prefers hefeweizens, so he liked the Mothership Wit best, and I'm a sucker for a black ale, so I preferred the 1554.

The Albert also offered multiple specialty martinis (at $8 each, an average price), and a PB&J, which is a 24oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy and a shot of Jager. I hate both PBR and Jager, but something about this combination attracted me, much like a train wreck attracts. It tastes exactly like you think. If you like the aforementioned, you'll like the combo, if not, consider yourself warned. It's interesting to note that the bartenders serve the Jager shots in little paper medicine cups.

The absolute best thing about The Albert was the bartender, Glenna. She's 25 years old, pregnant, heavily tattooed, and really nice. She strikes just the right balance between talking your ear off and ignoring you. She's the perfect bartender - happy, pleasantly gregarious, always there to refill your drink or offer you another dish from the kitchen. She's the best bartender I've had in a long time. Glenna alone is worth the trip to The Albert. The nice-looking, dark haired male bartender who replaced her at the end of her shift was also smiling and attentive.

Verdict: I had a lot of fun at The Albert, and I feel a little jealous of my dog-owning friends for living in such a cute neighborhood with a welcoming, well-staffed bar.

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