Midtown Happy Hour: The Perfect Pint is Surprisingly Personal For Times Square
Once again Mamacita is off this week, so our man Ultraclay steps in to tell us about a friendly Times Square option with some fiery wings.
I try to avoid the Times Square area as much as possible. The tourists, the crowds, the crappy food all make it exactly where I don’t want to be. But, an off-site meeting earlier this week took me to 45th Street, right in the heart of it all and after wading through the crowd just to get out of the building, I needed a drink.
Enter The Perfect Pint. A friend who used to work in the area recommended it highly a while back, so this was my chance to check it out.
In case you weren’t sure from the giant pint glass hanging out front, the bar prides itself on having a rather large beer selection. There are two sets of 30 taps behind the main bar. If you’re a total beer nerd, you might not be impressed with the selection, which is mostly mass market domestic and international, but with a few larger craft beer brands including Sam Adams, Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada and Goose Island. I’d just heard the news that Goose Island got bought out by Anheiser-Busch, so I got a pint of their Spring Ale in honor of its passing.
The price of that perfect pint is hefty at $7 for nearly all of them, except for the $10 trappist ales. And out of the 30 taps, only Newcastle gets knocked down to $5 for happy hour.
The Perfect Pint looks much like any number of other bars in the area, generally Irish, plasma screens everywhere showing sports and, given the area, a good number of out-of-towners. So, why stick around? Well, I almost took off after my first round, but then ended up enjoying the surroundings more than I’d expected.
The bartenders were friendly, Keith, the Irishman who served me called me by name every time he checked in with me. Tommy, an older guy with a classic New York accent chatted up a couple southerners in town for some sort of coal conference like he sees them everyday. He remembered their names from last year and asked after their other colleagues. It was all surprisingly warm for an area that I usually expect to be anonymous and impersonal.
After a while, I found myself another beer in and snacky, so I decided to go for an order of wings. In addition to the regular hot wings, they also had sweet and spicy wings. When I ordered it, I’d imagined the usual buffalo wing hot sauce mixed with honey (a great combination if you’ve never tried it). Instead, they were Southeast Asian-style, coated with what might as well have been napalm for the damage it did to my mouth. Sticky and spicy and hot, I was sweating before I finished my first wing.
Beyond the heat, there was a strong lemongrass flavor and the sticky sweetness that made for a really interesting and slightly punishing snack.
I can’t say that The Perfect Pint will ever be a destination for me, dragging me into the wilds of Times Square when I don’t have to be there. But, I’m glad to know that the next time I’m in the area, I can stop in here for a good pint, friendly service and a nice snack.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- With 30 taps of beer, I know I’ll always find something I want to drink.
- Friendly bartenders remember my name.
- The hot wings might kill you, but they’re really good.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- 30 taps and they all cost at least $7? WTF?
- I do my best to get as far away from Times Square as possible.
- It’s full of tourists.
The Perfect Pint, 123 West 45th Street, 212-354-1099