Phrigid and I used to frequent a wonderful restaurant/bar in Northern Liberties by the name of Azure. Reasonable prices, good food, good servers, awesome margaritas. When we found out a few months ago that it had suddenly closed, we were heart broken.
A week or so ago we noticed that a new restaurant had popped up in its place. Well! The nerve! To replace our beloved Azure so soon after its sudden demise! It was all too much. We went home and got drunk and listened to the Cure while writing tear-stained LiveJournal entries.
Ok, I’m being over dramatic here, but the point is that we didn’t think anything could replace Azure in our fish taco and margarita-loving hearts.
931 N 2nd St
We entered hesitantly, and were greeted by the same warm and laid-back atmosphere that we had loved so much about Azure. We sat at the bar, and were immediately presented with chips and two kinds of salsa (the salsa verde was awesome).
The beer selection has improved. On tap there were 2 PBC offerings (Rowhouse Red and Kenzinger), Hennepin, Jevel, an IPA I can’t remember and Franziskaner Hefe Weiss. Phrigid got the Hennepin (which is a little strong for my tastes), and I got the Hefe Weiss.
It also looks as though the tequila selection has expanded. They have tequila specials and even tastings. One day when I’m not feeling the urge to be conscious for the rest of the evening, I plan to try that.
Phrigid ordered the Roast Goat Chimichanga, I got the Empanada Special (Roast pork and Mexican cheese). The empanadas were brilliant, cooked with cinnamon and served with pineapple relish and guacamole. I will refer to them as fried pockets of awesome. I’m personally not a huge fan of goat, but the bite I had of the chimichanga was really good. He couldn’t finish it, which is aying something for portion sizes. Phrigid isn’t shy about eating.
The entire meal (including drinks) came to less than $40 for the two of us, which is on par for what we used to pay at Azure.
The bartenders were funny, kind and attentive. One I recognized as a holdover from Azure, who deftly made recommendations for both food and drink, and kept us in good (and decidedly geeky) conversation all night.
Speaking of geek things, The Spirit is going to suck. And it pains me to say this. First off, I can’t stand how it’s being marketed. It looks like a giant T&A fest with some one liners thrown in for good measure. Oh, wait, no, that was Sin City. But I had no problem with that for Sin City. Sin City is about guns and darkness and tits and violence and quotable lines. That’s fine. The Spirit is a classic storytelling comic. It’s real detective noir, not the faux nouveau noir of SC (say “faux nouveau noir” 5 times fast). I mean, it’s fucking Eisner. The Spirit was an adult comic, it had storylines and it made you think a little. Yes, it was campy and racist and sexist, but it was well-written and the characters were fleshed out. Miller is not a bad writer (well, he used to not be a bad writer) but Miller is not Eisner. The Spirit is not Sin City. Stop making it seem like it is.
Judge for yourself: