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A decade ago when Chip Schloss finished rehabbing the building at 4140 Manchester, Atomic Cowboy became a pioneer of the Grove's booming nightlife scene. Today, Atomic Cowboy is known for music performances every night of the week and a creative fresh mex menu. Food includes sweet potato empanadas with jalapeno cream, gaucho fries topped with chili con carne, Mexican spaghetti with chorizo meatballs, and all the burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas you can imagine. With a huge outdoor patio and firepit in addition to a full bar both inside and outside, Atomic Cowboy is a suitable place to let loose all year round. Food and drink specials are offered every Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. at happy hour. Other drink specials include $1 PBR nights and $0.50 Stag nights. Brunch is also served every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features huevos benedict with smoked salmon, a Mexican slinger, tres leches french toast and hot Kaldi's coffee to wash it all down.
The phrase, "no hurry, no worry" greets visitors upon entering Taha'a Twisted Tiki, a French Polynesian-themed bar in the Grove. Lucas and Derek Gamlin, known for such spirit-centric ventures as SubZero Vodka Bar and Gamlin Whiskey House, have their fingers on the pulse of the latest liquor trends. If Taha’a is any indication, rum is poised to be the next big thing. The brothers have chosen to celebrate it in the style of classic tiki, with “Zombies,” mai tais and “Volcanoes” lit afire and served with umbrellas. Taha’s has all of the staples of a tiki lounge: a thatched outdoor patio, bartenders in Hawaiian shirts and ceramic shark-head mugs. It’s a fabulous place to drink, but the food lacks the cocktails’ vibrancy. Best bets are the ginger-soy-glazed Taha’a chicken wings and the zesty tuna poke (though the long strips of tuna are a little hard to manage). Pass on the skewers — they’re tiny and lackluster — but save room for the fried Oreos. Perhaps they’re more Hawaii State Fair than Polynesian tiki, but after a few cocktails, it doesn’t matter.
Urban Chestnut has reinvented the classic German bierhall for its mammoth Grove Brewery. As a local craft-brewing institution, patrons come to the facility, first and foremost, for the beer, though the food gives the suds a run for their money. Chef Andrew Fair draws upon his German heritage and time living in Europe to create a menu of traditional German cuisine that has been updated so as not to be a caricature. Offerings consist of small plates, sandwiches and wurst boards with highlights such as salt cod brandade beignets, poutiness and dumplings of the moment. The indulgent “strammer max” sandwich is a must-try. Thinly shaved Black Forest ham, luscious Comté cheese and an over-easy farm egg are piled atop butter rye bread for a German version of a croque madame. Urban Chestnut features a selection of excellent G&W sausage served with rotating side dishes such as marrow beans and sauerkraut. It’s the ideal food for a day of drinking.
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