An uninspired bar that can nonetheless inspire return visits
Beer: Cheap and plentiful
Meat: Probably not cat
Bathrooms: Separated by gender
She said: Hokie House delivers more or less what you would expect from a large college bar that requires two forms of identification (I applaud their lack of drunk 19 year-olds). At 7pm on Trivia Wednesday, the place was pretty filled. It’s a regular-looking crowd with (what seemed like) a solid mix of townies and grad school-ish type folks.
I ordered the chicken bacon onion marmalade sandwich with sweet potato fries. The actual chicken was either pounded really thin or just anorexic. Bacon onion marmelade was very tasty and very bacony (always good). The sweet potato fries were nicely crisp, not greasy, and had a cinnamony sweet coating that was well balanced. The sandwich bread was your typical white sub roll – very blah. The restaurant is appropriately priced with extensive and cheap beer selections (Ken can rave about that), and I think everyone there was actually of age. Bathrooms are pretty decent and each gender gets their own!
He said: Astoundingly cheap beer. I mean seriously, how do these people stay in business? When it costs just $2 for a mug of domestic and $3 for a mug of anything else (that night including decent microbrews from The River Company in Radford and Starr Hill in Charlottesville), the cooks must have cat traps out back to make up the difference.
Actually, now that you mention it…
One of my complaints on the “buffalo” steak sandwich I ate for dinner that night was the ambiguous nature of the meat. I was expecting thin strips “Chinese pepper steak style” or shaved beef “Philly cheesesteak” style. Instead I was greeted by minuscule nuggets of mystery meat swimming in a warm gooey sea of mediocrity, making it difficult to even find the meat. (That’s what she said?) The whole dish could be easily upgraded by using bigger pieces of meat, less blue cheese dressing, more blue cheese, and a different flavor of tabasco, preferably green.
Yes, green is a flavor of tabasco.
That being said, the sandwich didn’t kill me and was relatively tasty, as was the accompanying onion rings. And since Alyson’s sweet potato fries (with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar) and chicken/bacon/onion sandwich thing with detectable chunks of meat were much preferable to my order, the food remains potentially promising.
As for service, there isn’t any. But at least they don’t pretend that there is. When you’re your own master of the filling of mugs, there’s nobody to blame when it goes dry but yourself. I’m fine with that, but how about some signs or directions? Also, the clientele had a bit too much John Deere paraphernalia and lack of taste for my… um… tastes. I mean, if the decent-good beer is just $1 more, why drink Bud Light? Plus, it was overrun by penises, both literally and metaphorically.
Not a good spot if you’re looking to pick up a lady.
But overall, I like the place. There was bar trivia the night we went, which I approve of. There was cheap beer, which I approve of. And there was cheap, mostly edible food, which I approve of. Drinking two 32-ounce mugs of local brew with two full meals for $20 is a good thing.