“Black ‘n’ Tan” – Lake Havasu City, AZ

I started this adventure with the desert road trip…across many miles of dead scorpions and hovering buzzards.

Yes…, I finally get to stop for a cold one. Tonight our first stop was at the southern most establishment worth a stop…plus the gang was all going to meet there first.

Upon arrival, I had soon met the Chef through a mutual friend and local Havasu resident. The Chef immediately gave me a kitchen tour enough to make a large food order for about 10 people per his recommendations. Mostly bar food ordered from Jake’s Bar & Grill concluding with possibly the hottest pizza I have ever been served. I think everyone at our table complained. It was tasty but really f’in hot. The Chef and his single kitchen staff were nice guys and welcoming. I introduced myself as a culinary student and “CritDick”. They had a hoot with me…and I with them.

I assumed the duty of DD that night as we went to several other bars to continue everyone on their evening of binge drinking. It was a guy’s trip, so I was doing my diligence at keeping everyone safe.

We inevitably happened upon BJ’s. I was questioned by one of my booze riders about what I desired to drink. I wanted another beer by now; but they only had one IPA on tap. I remember not liking that particular label, so I thought quickly as the bartender patiently waited…but she was busy…so I quickly thought, “Black ‘n’ Tan” as I saw the Guinness on tap, but couldn’t remember if it was Bass or Becks. They had both from the vantage point I had of the tap handles…so I spoke quickly, “Black ‘n’ Tan”. The bartender obliged quickly so I would not have time to change my mind.

She served my drink and I took a sip and as I turned away from the bar I thought, “was she just wearing a striped shirt?” I had trouble thinking as she was a very top-heavy bartender. I just ordered a “Black ‘n’ Tan” from a very attractive bartender wearing a blue and white striped pirate type of tank top. I thought that was an unusual relationship and I don’t quite know why. So I spent the next 30 minutes explaining to her intermittently between her frantically serving cocktails to other patrons as it had now become crazy busy. She was hustling hard. She was doing what a good or great bartender should do…make money. The hell with this “CritDick” guy trying to get my picture to tell this story. I had once before visited another establishment in the Havasu area that another person was wearing the same colored striped shirt. I had to go there the next day to take the picture so I would have this complete story.

So anyway, this bartender was thinking I wasn’t making the bar any money…she later confirmed. She was not thinking about my questions. She was probably thinking,  “he’s not laying out the tips or credit cards”. “He’s not doing anything to help this place…so “f” him”. So I spent the next 20 minutes working with her to get a satisfactory picture of her and her pirate shirt to tell this story. She was very cool with it and kept trying to stop for a moment to help complete my story. I finally told her to just work and make money…that’s what she should be doing…and that’s what’s she was doing…really well. She was kicking’ ass and takin’ names…that was her bar tonight…and she was doin’ it well. Being an advocate of the F&B industry, I can really appreciate that. I finally got this picture and she thought it the best of what I took, as she sincerely approved, given the scenario and situation. Thanks, we both appreciated her efforts and my struggle.

A bit more of our evening resulted in several more bar stops and a very long and late night.

Another thing of interest happening that weekend was found by us the following day. We happened upon this very enterprising idea of a “floating BBQ”  (so to speak) because that’s really what it seemed as though it was.

It was a round doughnut boat with a motor, navigation lights, umbrella/awning and a 22″ Weber grill directly in the center. There were people seated all the way around (about 10). The captain of our pontoon barge yells over to them “Hey, what are you cooking?”

The guy opens the lid and shows us he has hot link sausages on the grill. Everyone on our boat knows that sausages are always part of our BBQ routine, and our captain yells again…”hey, hook me up!” The small party BBQ boat thingy quickly plates one up and we navigate to make the pass. Success! That one hot link sausage must have made twelve small pieces for each of us. It was like a gift from heaven. None of us expected to actually get a sausage, unfortunately I thought too late to get the actual picture of the sausage passing, but I did run into them again later that night while another group was boarding for their floating BBQ. Someone had a great idea. The party’s on board that tiny vessel all seemed to be having a lot of fun.

So, if you’re in Lake Havasu City, see if you can find the bartender and the Turtle wearing the same shirts…on the same night.

It was a fun and uneventful trip



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