195 Main St. - Burlington, IL 847-683-2180
Date & Time: Thursday 07/01/10 - 4:45pm
Price:  $5. 50
Bartender: John
Atmosphere: Mello

Ever since this old lady that smelled of cigarettes told me years ago that Mott's served the best bloody mary she's ever had, I've wanted to try one.  Today being the first day of this blog, it seemed like the perfect place to start.

I pulled up in the gravel parking lot behind the bar next to a nice sandpit volleyball setup.  Walking through the back door (after first trying to open the locked door directly next to it) I came into a small room & immediately saw one of those old-school bowling arcade games.  The ones where you sling a heavy little metal puck at pins that fly up into the top of the machine after  triggering sensors on the games surface.  This immediately brought back fond memories of my youth when my father brought me to bars in Wisconsin. 

Climbing up a couple stairs, it opened up into a large long room with a huge bar on the right.  The only patrons I see are a couple blue-collar guys at the far end of the bar near the front entrance, and a nice looking M.I.L.F that reminds me of a middle-aged Sophia Loren sitting on a bar stool in front of me.  Behind the bar is gruff looking older gentleman that looks like he's probably made his fair share of Bloody Marys - I take this as a good sign....

I sit down, and tell the bartender that a friend of mine said this is a place to find a good bloody mary. He nods his head, and I tell him I'll take one.  Immediately the M.I.L.F states: "Your friend didn't lie." - but being the multiple flat-screen TVs surrounding the room are turned up pretty loud, it sounded like she said: "Your friend lied!" It was only after she saw by shocked face that she corrected my thinking.  

I watch the bartender go to work at the far end of the bar, and debate whether I should try to put the moves on the only female in the building.  Deciding to concentrate on what I came here for, I start flipping through the Sun-Times I brought with me, and eagerly anticipate what I've been waiting to try for almost a decade.

The bartender starts walking my way with the beverage, which causes me to smile when I see that it's being served in a mason jar, jam packed with garnishes:  A pickle, 2 green olives, a lime wedge & beef stick were sprouting out of the top, and my first impression is: Lunch! (being that it technically is since this is the only thing I've had today since eggs this morning) 

I ask for a glass of water to clean my palate, and take both drinks into the small room where I originally entered.  I quickly snap a few pictures before anyone asks what I'm doing, and sit down on the stool. I take my first swig directly from the glass, and the big taste of pickle & lime juice combo immediately is a little offsetting.  Remembering that I didn't stir it before tasting, I move the beef stick around the glass a few times and try again - much better.  This thing is starting to get good.

Dying to taste the beef stick (never thought I'd type those words) I take a bite...and then quickly another.  The taste was excellent, and I wish to myself that it came with a couple more. (I'm hungry!)  I put what's left of the stick back into the jar, take a couple more drinks, and move on to trying the greens.  The pickle was a little limp, but tasted just fine.  The two little olives were perfect bursts of goodness, and my only small compliant would be that the lime wedge wasn't the freshest looking.(being the bar was already open for almost six hours, this might have played a part)  

After polishing off the accompaniments, I got down to concentrating on the drink itself.  Taking large swigs, it left me with the perfect amount of kick.  Not too spicy, but just enough to make you sit up & take notice.  I finished what's left, and bring the glasses back up to the bar.  The bartender asked if I wanted another & while I definitely could go for for one, I was anxious to start writing, so I told him I was good.  

I start walking out the front of the building so I can take a picture of the bar's sign when I hear Sophia yell out: "You were just here to review it! What paper are you from?" With the bar now looking at me I turn around an admit that you caught me.  I went over to her, the bartender, and another guy who was now standing with them that I'd guess was either a manger or the owner.  I shook his hand, and explained that I was doing this for a website, and that he had nothing to worry about.  I then asked the bartender his name, he replied it was John, and I told him the drink was excellent.  After hearing this the gruff demeanor turned into one of a happy grandpa.

I said thanks for their time, and quickly hurried out the front just in case they had second thoughts of being reviewed, and try & prevent me of taking any more pictures.  I snapped a couple from the front sidewalk, and then cut through the yard next to the building to get back to my car.  As I pulled out of parking lot, my taste buds were definitely satisfied, and the hangover was helped a bit to boot.

So to wrap up my first review, I'll have to say that while it wasn't the best Bloody Mary I ever had, it was quite good.  The beef stick is a nice bonus, and I'm sure I'll be back for more in the future.


                                                               Look:  COMFORTABLE  
                                                           Garnish:  TASTY
                                                     Satisfaction:  HIT THE SPOT
                                                             Rating:  4 OLIVES (out of 5)

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