The Western – Old Town new Honky-Tonk!
Always a fan of great food and live music, we couldn’t wait to visit The Western (we were even more excited when we found out they were owned by the same guys that brought us The Vig and Little Woody in Arcadia). Taking over the space that housed the Sugar Shack for years, we were blown away by the changes to the place. The Western looks like an authentic honky-tonk, complete with buffalo head, cowhide seats and a hardwood dance floor big enough to actually do some serious boot stompin’ on. Live music is a big part of The Western, and you can find some great music here Friday and Saturday from 9pm – 1pm, check their website for a list of upcoming entertainment, always with no cover. Like blues? Sunday features live blues starting around 8pm.
Everyone knows we are a great fan of Happy Hour, and who isn’t? That being said The Western definitely earned a place on our HH rotation. Why? First off, they do Happy Hour Daily from 4pm – 6pm. That’s right, daily! So we can have our wine on weekends! If wine isn’t your thing, The Western has a long list of options, ½ appetizers, $2.50 domestic beer, $2.00 PBR, $4.00 drafts, $3.00 well and $5.00 wine.
We mentioned the appetizers were ½ priced during Happy Hour right? Now we have all had our share of chicken wings, nachos and HH sliders and I’m not knocking any of those but this HH food is the real deal and it won’t hurt your wallet either. Love corn on the cob? Okay can we say The Western’s take on corn on the cob is amazing! Sweet Roasted Corn ($4.00 for HH, umm yeah no typo there), three skewers of fire-roasted corn covered in creamy cotija, chili and lime. Delicious and an instant must-have menu item. If you come to The Western and don’t try the corn, well we just don’t think we can be friends anymore.
The next thing we tried was the Rbs and Fries. Now ribs are a measure of a great honky-tonk, and these were superb. Sweet and tender, with the meat sliding off the bone, the ribs come covered in a chipotle bbq sauce and are served with shoestring fries. These ribs aren’t too spicy, and the flavor is intense. The only drawback is trying not to get the bbq sauce all over your face. We failed miserably at this.
Everyone these days has a signature salad… and frankly we get a bit bored of them too. So when they suggested we try the Heirloom Tomato Salad, we have to admit to being less than thrilled. A salad at a honky-tonk…. Right? Okay can we admit to being wrong here? Don’t skip this salad just because it has an ordinary name, its fantastic! Heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, mixed green stuff, avocado and shaved fennel in a honey mustard vinaigrette. Yep, still sounds ordinary… it’s not. The flavor blew us away, everything was fresh, the avocado was perfect and the vinaigrette was superb.
We were eager to check out the tacos, always looking for a great spot to spend Taco Tuesday. First off, these aren’t your skimpy little street tacos normally served up on Tuesday, these are served on a 6” flour tortilla. But it gets better… you have to make a difficult decision here. Do you try the Brisket Taco or the Southwest Shrimp Taco? Or you could make the easy decision like we did, and try both. Yep, we are that smart! The Brisket Tacos ($4 each, $2 on Taco Tuesday) feature 5-hour slow-cooked brisket, roasted poblano peppers, onions, shredded lettuce and cotija cheese. These have a bite to them, but are super flavorful and the brisket is soooo tender. The Southwest Shrimp Tacos ($5 each, $3 on Taco Tuesday) come with juicy tender shrimp (not the little ones either), shredded lettuce, cotija cheese and pico de gallo. I couldn’t tell you which taco we liked better without more testing (and by that we mean many more Taco Tuesdays for research).
The burger with no name is amazing! Why does it not have a name yet, you ask? Because you haven’t picked one yet… a contest to name this burger is underway on facebook as we speak and you can add your name by friending The Western and joining their #namethatburger contest. A good use of facebook hashtags if we ever saw one, we might have to rethink the use of them. The burger-that-shall-not-be-named (horrible Harry Potter analogy) is a juicy mess of goodness featuring a huge burger cooked to perfection, Muenster Cheese, candied onion, arugula and spicy brown mustard. We definitely recommend getting the egg on top, which increases the flavor and also the chance of spillage (hey, good eating is not without risk. That is what napkins are for right?)
Our only regret was that we didn’t have room for dessert. We have to admit to being intrigued by one item on the menu… Deep-Fried Oreos. Clearly we need to come back for more research on this. What can we say, we loved The Western, great food, great people, live music and a buffalo head! Everything a successful honky-tonk needs!
6830 East 5th Ave