The Lexington on Pentonville Road and Penton Road is a place I had previously gone to before with my friend Lucy to go see John’s band Toe Hammer play back on the 29th of October. I personally don’t get the name of the band, but it was very good and I enjoyed the show. I also enjoyed the delicious nachoes and cake I consumed before the show in The Lexington, whose menu skewed towards Southern-style Americana, with hush puppies being a notable side dish to a main course, which had gotten me really excited. Plus, there is a large variety of American imports (hah,”imports”) from craft breweries such as Anchor in San Francisco and Flying Dog from Colorado. After that wonderful night of tasty food, delicious beer and fantastic rock n’ roll, I was eager to go to The Lexington again, especially to try more food.
That moment arrived when I met up with Derry this past Wednesday. We were promised a whiskey tutelage under the guidance of Aru’s friend Ashu, however that didn’t transpire as we had thought. So instead, Derry and I blundered our way through cheaper end of the bourbon menu. Declan, who joined us later in the evening, declined the bourbon in favor of a pint of Sierra Nevada.
I should note right away that upon arrival to The Lexington Derry informed me that the kitchen was closed. Apparently, when he inquired about food when he ordered his first whiskey, the bartender he spoke with was a bit vague, saying that the kitchen was not in operation. Which is a travesty, as the food menu looked fantastic, and the Kentucky sweet butter cake was life’s joy in cake form. I bemoan its loss, especially since it would have been amazing with the bourbon we drank. Instead of the food from The Lexington’s kitchen, closed for the time being, Derry grabbed a pizza from some nearby place to share with Declan and me. The pizza was okay. Not great, not fantastic, not bad–just okay. If you’re in a similar spot at The Lexington, I would recommend the Indian place just a few shops up on Penton–really awesome veggie biryani. But hopefully, this situation is only temporary. Maybe the oven or something broke. But I noticed the chalk board that had the food menu on it was removed. Hmm…
Anyway, onto the discussion of the drinks. The first bourbon I had was a single of the Eagle Rare 10 Year Old, billed as “Mildly mollassed sweetness with orangy citrus” (£3.70). I’m not a bourbon drinker, so the first sip was like fire. The second sip, like a smaller fire. I drank the bourbon on the rocks, as did Derry, which probably contributed to the bourbon’s palatability because the ice melted and mingled with the alcohol. My next pick was a single of Old Crow (£3.20), “Malty with a liquorice aroma.” Again, fire, then it went down quite quickly. It was possibly a bit bland in comparison to the Eagle Rare, which seemed to pack a bit more punch.
I should state a couple of things with regards to these whiskey reviews. One, I am not really all that into whiskey, although I respect it. I generally drink gin if I’m going after liquor–a statement which seems to incite cringes out of some people: “Gin?! Ugh!” Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind developing a refined bourbon palette, but when I have money in my pocket burning to be turned into an adult beverage, I prefer to stick with what I know and what I like. Still, it was nice to have an adventure in bourbon on Wednesday, although it would have been nice to have been able to try a few more, maybe with less ice.
Second, we come upon the fact that a shot of whiskey here in Britain is less than a comparable shot in the United States. The US and Canadian standard shot is almost double, in fact, at around 44 mL, in comparison to the UK standard shot of 25 mL. If you’re curious about how other countries measure up with measures (ha!), check out this handy chart from Wikipedia. So, whereas two shots of whiskey would probably result in a very silly Doreen in the United States, in Londonland, I still managed to be quite sentient enough to realise I couldn’t afford to buy a third glass of whiskey that I may or may not like.
So, the bourbon I remain ambivalent about, but the beer selection is still quite good if you want to try American craft brews, along with some familiar faces for a girl familiar with the selection in Orlando bars. Aru and I wound up in The Lexington on Saturday evening, and I ordered two bottles of Blue Moon. Good ol’ Blue Moon. The bartender put in an orange wedge in each of the glasses, which was something Aru wasn’t familiar with, but she enjoyed it all the same.
It gave me a little taste of home.