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Friday, August 20, 2010

Checking Out Fruit Bat

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We've all been talking about Fruit Bat for a while. For anyone who's been in hiding recently, Fruit Bat is the new bar from Erik Holzherr (owner of Wisdom). Fruit Bat is located at 1236 H Street, which is the old H Street Martini Lounge space. I arrived at around 7:30 and my first thought upon stepping through the door was that although the layout was roughly the same, this place looked nothing like the H Street Martini Lounge. I spotted an acquaintance at the bar. He was drinking a Dirty Sanchez, which he found to be tasty, if a bit on the sweet side (well, it does include raspberry vodka, acai liqueur, fresh oj, and tonic water, $8). I opted for the Scarface (Overholt rye whiskey, creme de casis, oj, and soda water, $9). The Scarface was satisfying, and not too sweet. Both of these drinks came off a rotating list of "Batender's" recommendations.

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The Scarface

Here's the rest of the list:

La Revolucion ($10): Bluecoat gin, apricot liqueur, grapefruit juice, and soda water.
Colombian Necktie ($9): Banana rum, Aquadiente liquor, oj.
Build Your Own (starting at $8): pick a base liquor, a liqueur, and a juice.

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You can always order a standard mojito ($10), or caparinha ($9).
Batidos ($7 virgin, $10 spiked): changing weekly smoothies
Adult Rootbeer Float ($10): made with rootbeer vodka
The menu also featured multiple homemade infusions which are available as a shot ($6), highball ($8), or martini ($12). Current selections are: rum + pineapple + cardamom; tequila + watermelon + thyme; cherry vodka + cucumber + sake; vanilla vodka + apple + cinnamon.

You'll also find a few wines, as well as beers on tap, and in bottles. But the real stars here are definitely the cocktails.

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Baskets of fruit hang above the bar and await transformation into yummy cocktails

Of course you can always opt for the fresh squeezed juice $3.50, the coconut water ($3), or the cucumber water ($1) if not up for an alcoholic drink, or a virgin smoothie.

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Living staghorn ferns grow from the walls at Fruit Bat

They are still finalizing the food offerings, all of which will be small plates. Last night I sampled three items. The pupusa with slaw, coconut rice with black beans and plantains, and pork tacos. The tacos were a clear favorite, followed by the beans. The papusa was good too, I just wanted more of the slaw.

Through the end of September  Fruit Bat will be open Wednesday through Saturday. Hours are still in flux. They do accept credit cards. Fruit Bat opens to the public tonight, so stop by and check it out.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

It will be nice when Frozen Tropics gives another type of business on H Street this much loving attention. It just another bar.

curmudgeon said...

Maybe you can start your own blog and be careful to apportion the same number of words to each establishment, rather than grouse about what someone else does on their blog.

inked said...

1:52,
perhaps you should check the archives. I've covered far more than bars. A few examples: Sidamo, Metro Mutts, ANM Market, Nouveau Fleur, and much more. You can also pick up a copy of the Hill Rag. Last month I covered Black Supermarket and the C.A.T. Walk.

Anonymous said...

unfair, anon. FT has given much love and free ink to several local haunts going way back to the days of Phish Tea (though I don't think any of us had much love for that joint)

Anonymous said...

Joe Englert said:

Be nice Anon! Elise has always been good to the businesses on H. Good luck, Eric at Fruit Bat. Great to have you as a neighbor at Granville's. Out of town but can't wait to try your drinks! Eric is a hard working man and quite a mixologist. Very welcome addition to the hood.

Anonymous said...

The first post is mine. It wasn't meant to be a criticism of FT at all, but a lamentation of the lack of diversity in businesses that are opening on H. I was actually impressed with the journalism.

Anonymous said...

SMH at the norm for cocktails being 8 to 12 dollars now. Any word on a happy hour?

ro said...

Then you must have been shaking your head for several years now. Sounds like someone really needs a dirty sanchez.

The one and only poo said...

Tsk, tsk, inked!!! Pork?!?! Bad NY Jew !!!

inked said...

Poo,
it had chorizo in it too. But I'm not sure where the NY Jew thing comes in. That's not the first time you've said it. But I think you know that I'm neither.

Anonymous said...

Man what happened to the comments around here? People are just a bunch of haters about everything.

inked said...

1:52/3:34,
It kind of read the other way, but that's an evil of the internet comment. Thanks for chiming back in on this thread. I think that if you look closely some of the so called bars: Sticky Rice and Grandville's are seeking to expand their food service and space. The Argo is now a tavern, but only due to a fire. They still serve food, and are rebuilding with a much larger kitchen to better serve customers. Trust me, it's going to be AWESOME once they finish. One of the Argo's biggest issues is that they had a small restaurant kitchen. Once they rebuild you'll see a real difference. I suspect that they'll have the capability to be the place they always aimed to be.

Overall we are seeing a much greater shift towards restaurants versus bars. Both Toki Underground and Queen Vic are definitely restaurants and NOT bars. It was easier to open bars here in the beginning because the margins on alcohol are so much greater. But we've now moved to the point that you can (mostly) make it on food. Places still need an ABC license to make it, but as density has grown (i.e. more people come around to eat) it's easier to make the required CR license ratio.

So we are on the right path, but I do think that we need to make sure that are CR's don't act like CN's as they sometimes do in other areas. For now the only CN here is Rock and Roll Hotel. They've got good security, and have had few issues.

curmudgeon said...

Is Toki Underground the place that's going in above the Pug? That doesn't seem right -- a second story place with *Underground* in the name? -- but I can't remember another name.

Chris in Eckington said...

Speaking of second floors, what does Fruit Bat have planned for their upstairs?

inked said...

curmudgeon,
it is indeed above the Pug. It's kind of a joke.

Chris,
Erik has something special planned for upstairs. He called it his baby. Expect a winter opening.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I checked it out on Thursday by accident (we didn't know it was a soft opening).

I had a caiprinhina (sp? who knows?) and it was very, very good. I look forward to getting back there, on one of the few occasions we have a free babysitter (my mom).

Ginny

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it bizarre that they have a drink called the Dirty Sanchez? Do they have others named the Cleveland Steamer or the Boston Pancake or the rusty trombone?

Anonymous said...

Is this a gay bar?

inked said...

Not a gay bar.