Wednesday, March 20, 2013
One Saturday Afternoon.....
The root beer was from the Abita Brewery in Louisiana. A good one - not too sweet and full-bodied.
The Blues City Deli rotates its root beer selection regularly and always has something worth trying. The locals file through in a steady line , heading for the counter- best sandwiches in town and they all know it, but that wasn't the only draw today.
At 1pm the Rum Drum Ramblers were hitting the stage with their unique brand of pre war blues- style original songs. These guys are local favorites and for good reason. These afternoon shows at the deli are few and far between these days for the Ramblers, so when the word goes out it travels fast. By the time I'd grabbed my root beer, it was standing room only. By the time I'd finished it, you couldn't fit a sardine in the room , and maybe it was time for me to switch to something stronger.
Local St Louis micro brewery Schlafly is well represented at the Deli, and 3 bucks bought me a bottle of their Pale Ale- smooth not too hoppy and a little nutty. Just a little.
Vinny, the owner. smiled and served me and then fought his way through the crowd to introduce the band, then fought his way back.
The band jumped straight in and in no time flat had the joint hopping - double bass bounced the harp player into a frenzy . Matt held down the guitar rhythm - nailed it to the floor, and a guest appearance from a waif like young girl dwarfed by her baritone sax completed the picture. The crowd , shoulder to shoulder , bopped and sang, whooped and hollered with each solo. Vinnie had announced it as the first gig of the year and proclaimed his intention to start as he meant to go on - with good music and great sandwiches - and man are they good. The Po' Boy's are incredible - the roast beef being a huge favorite. I opt for the veggie Po' Boy every time, and one of these days I may well have earned one of the house t-shirts with the slogan - "If it wasn't for Vinnie, I'd be skinny".
The line moved slow and insistent like cooling lava for the whole gig, and over time it felt like the whole neighborhood had squeezed its way into the roughly 400 sq ft room.
The band bopped til 3.30, and I left a little before, weaving through some couples dancing a two step on the street - the only space around to do so. I wandered out with a full belly and great music ringing in my ears, and a promise to myself to get back there soon. Hopefully I'll see you there.