★★☆☆☆ Potato’s answer to the toxic ex you just can’t let go of…..
The Beer Stein was the one of the first bars I visited when I moved to Eugene. I had just transferred jobs and was still keen to be chatty with my new coworkers.
“Where do you like to go to get a drink?” I asked.
“I like the Beer Stein.”
I knew where it was. I had walked by it probably a dozen times on my way downtown but had never gone inside. Through the windows it looked like if a bar was designed in the Sims 3. I took a chance, ordered a hazy IPA (The Beer Stein boasts a taplist of 25+ beers and a bottle shop of several hundred) and a side of fries.
The fries were the kind of thin fries with the peel—inexplicably— on the long side of every last one. Although adding an arguably valuable textual component, the sheer volume of peel you are presented with leaves nothing but an acrid, minerally taste. The Beer Stein is close and convenient with a great selection of beer, making it a very attractive option, and as the fries are the cheapest thing on the menu, I have been met with many plates of disappointing fries.
But baby please don’t break up with me I promise I’ll be better! On my last two visits, the fries have become noticably different. They are thicker, wider, longer (insert eggplant emoji) and also breaded. I actually finished a plate all by myself, a first! In fact, I walked away from that empty plate believing that everyone, even if they have failed you a thousand times before, deserves the dignity of the kind of love and trust that comes with second chances. Love conquers all, follow your heart, yadda yadda. And as someone who has got back with exes, the next time I was at the Beer Stein, I ordered fries. They were served cold and under seasoned, but crispy enough to be palatable for the first ten minutes. I will be back.
For drinks I had Self Care Fuzzy Hat British style Non-alcoholic brew, from Three Magnets Brewery in Olympia, WA. A bright orange bouquet deepens on the tongue to bergamot and ends with a watery wheat finish. Turns out the thing I like most about the taste of beer is the alcohol, thank god dry January is half over.
My partner had the Mango Marigold kombucha from BNF, a local business. From a single sip it activated a pleasant childhood memory so deep in the recess of recollection that it could not be placed… Perhaps I’ve eaten a marigold.