So despite running the risk of sounding like a “foodiot” (please see “Food For Thought” for details), I’ll tell you we started the night off at Olive Garden. Jay had a random craving for the unlimited salad bowl and breadsticks, so the guys and I just succumbed and went back for a taste of suburbia (minus the price on the menu).
But we ended the night on a much less commercial note, at Bia, the latest in city beer gardens. Think an easternized La Esquina meets Paradou. Courtesy of Michael Bao, owner of the previously-blogged Baoguette and PhoSure, the store front is not unlike his other shops. But for passage to the beer garden, much like La Esquina, one must wait before the steel-metal-latched door then pass through the kitchen and a beer bottle-lined walkway before entering the open garden in the back.
On the menu is a list of a dozen or so Vietnamese beers and small plates. Beers are ordered by six packs, but returnable if unfinished. While we experienced the late-night version, Bia Garden has received recent press surrounding its unlimited beer brunch special. It’s probably not ideal for someone looking for a full-fledged dinner, but a great compromise for a group with a flair for Oriental beers, looking for a relaxing drinking venue and a little snack on the side.