The venerable Polish bar in Pittsburgh will close for good after Saturday night after nearly 32 years.
The topic was writer's block, and how to beat it. The kid, a 22-year-old college intern, wanted to pick Munch's brain, and why not? Munch is nothing if not a journalistic icon, an enlightened rogue, a merry prankster, a proletariat wordsmith, the thinking man's yinzer. Munch is like Mean Joe in the Coke commercial to this kid.
Munch sipped a pint of suds, leaned forward and said:
There are three rules that I live by: Never get less than 12 hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.
And when you have writer's block, just brazenly rip off movie quotes. Like I just did. People love that.
"Hmm. Yeah, that's uh ... that's great, Munch. But another, y'know, actual editor told me another way to beat writer's block.
Yeah, what's that?
"Write it straight. Don't get cute with gimmicks."
Just what are you getting at, kid?
Munch was ready to tell the little brat to go home and get his shine box, but maybe Munch should play it straight for a change ... so here goes.
With a name like The Beerhive, you'd expect Munch's snout to be stuck up in the place like a honey badger, and you'd be right.
There are a dozen drafts and a bottle list of craft beers, micros and imports pushing 100 different selections. Munch was bound to find something good, and did, keeping it local as usual with a fresh pint of East End Big Hop ($5). The Upstart Intern Accompanying Munch (UIAM) followed suit with a Rust Belt Rusted River Irish red ale ($5).
The menu is standard bar fare -- burgers, sandwiches, salads and wings -- prepared in better than average fashion.
Munch and UIAM split a dozen of the Maple Bacon Wings ($6.95), a clever and tasty take on a staple, with the wings smeared with a light maple syrup sauce then topped with diced bacon.
The house burgers are huge, double stacked patties stuffed with combos like blue cheese and bacon, jalapeno and cheddar, or mushrooms and Swiss (all $7.95), but Munch opted for the Pulled Pork and Pickles sandwich ($7.95). Topped with housemade pickles and barbecue sauce, served with a side of sweet potato fries with maple syrup to dip them in, this was a delicious mix of sweet and tangy, that was washed down with a bottle of Penn Weizen ($5).
UIAM opted for the Steak Stacker ($8.95), a Philly cheesesteak served with deep fried green onions and provolone, and a jalapeno mayonnaise and a pint of the Belhaven Wee Heavy Scotch Ale ($5).
The Beerhive is a fun but unassuming little joint; a nice spot for a nosh and a beer to end a workday, to start the weekend or to take respite from the bustling Strip District Saturday shopping routine. It sells draft beer growlers, and there is a six-pack shop upstairs, so you can mix and match craft beers to take home with whatever gastronomic delights you might purchase in the Strip.
Offering good beer and decent grub, the Beerhive is a straightforward place. Like this column should've been from the get-go. Thanks for the advice, kid.
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