I don't like drinking alone on 28th: It's a lechy street, no matter how hip it seems. For my jaunt down 28th, I enlisted three drunk, high, and very good-looking chaperones whom I'll call "Club Handsome." Club Handsome and I started on the north side of the street, planning to hit up Beulahland (118 NE 28th) for some nachos and some Blondie on the jukebox. But scooterists had overtaken Beulahland—and, rather inexplicably, the bar demanded a $5 cover for the privilege of hanging out with them. A bitter sense of betrayal set in, Club Handsome kicked over a scooter, and it was on to Chin Yen (18 NE 28th).
The word is that it isn't worth hanging out at Chin Yen unless you're a regular—thus the Chin Yen portion of our evening quickly concluded after it became apparent that not only were we not regulars, but that the regulars didn't like us. Across Burnside, the Hungry Tiger (2800 E Burnside) was packed to the gills. (Okay, whiskers. Whatever.) The bartender revealed a trade secret: Anyone who drops $9 on one of the Tiger's famed "All-Day Sippers"—a fishbowl full of sugar and liquor—is both a jackass and wasting their money. Duly noted; vodka cran it was. I played a crossword puzzle Scratch-It ticket, planning to buy a Hungry Tiger thong with my winnings. (Despite finding the word "olfactory," there were no winnings.) An olfactory tour of this street would involve pork chow mein, American Spirits, and deep fryers that have never known cleaning.
Across the street, at Holman's (15 SE 28th), the drinks were stiff but the mozzarella sticks tasted like cigarettes. I suggested cruising over to the Bonfire (2821 SE Stark) to check out the hottie bartenders, but Club Handsome wasn't feeling it, so we made Chopsticks (2651 E Burnside) the last stop of the night. A large lady in a pink dress sang a heartfelt rendition of "Mississippi Woman" while the dancefloor filled up with one-night-stands in the making. (A lot of people slow danced, though "Mississippi Woman" is not a slow song.) The atmosphere was simultaneously confusing and distressing, so I swerved on home. Club Handsome headed back to the Tiger, where they can probably still be found.