Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dinner At Barrio Brewery With The Matchmaker

We hadn't seen buddy Jane in a while, so we scheduled a dinner for tonight, picking one of our more recent dining discoveries - Barrio Brewery. I actually read about it in the Tucson newspaper online edition last summer while we were in Illinois. There was a bar on the edge of U of A campus - Gentle Ben's that has been there forever. They started brewing their own beer a decade or more ago, but about a year ago moved the brewery operation down into an industrial location southeast of downtown. It is sort of a scary looking place - from the outside it looks like a ramshackle warehouse in danger of falling over, but the inside is fine and the bathrooms are state of the art with some nice tile work. You can see the working brewery through the windows in the left side background.

I'm not sure I like the name - Barrio Brewery doesn't really roll off the tongue. Always reminds me of season 1 of "30 Rock" - the Jane Krakowski character was in a movie called "The Rural Juror", and always sounded like a bowl of mush as you said it. Of course, for fans of the show, the sequel to "Rural Juror" was "Urban Fervor", and Barrio Brewery has always sort of had the same feel for me. Anyway, the food is ok, and the home brew beer is great. Unfortunately, it seems to have been "discovered" about the same time we did this fall and has always been packed lately.

For those of you who don't know the story, Jane and Melinda were schoolmates and best friends back in junior high school in Aurora, Illinois, but lost touch when Jane moved to Tucson after high school graduation. I've known Jane for 15 years or so through the astronomy club and local biking activities. Meanwhile they reconnected on the Internet about 5 years ago, and on a subsequent visit a few years back, I got to "babysit" Melinda for a night while Jane worked her evening job and the rest is history. And here we are living in the same city for 6 months out of the year... That's Jane with me in the left photo, Melinda on the right.

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