Episode 9: Twin Kegs
Address: 413 W. Thompson Lane
Phone: (615) 832-3167
Turn me on, dead mom! Or rather, Peter is dead! Or whatever it was that band said about the number 9! (It's the loneliest number, right?) Anyway, in honor of the ninth installment of this series I decided to celebrate with beer! Actually, I've had one of those super-stressed-out weeks where weird things pile up on weird things, and eventually your brain just tries to shut down and ride out the storm in stasis. No such luck, brain! In reality, our trip to the "International Famous" Twin Kegs was more about medicating than celebrating. But it was also just what the doctor ordered.
(My doctor is a raging drunk. And a huge fan of fried pickles. He is also imaginary.)
For starters I should probably mention that Twin Kegs is my go-to bar on the south side. Since I've moved back to the neighborhood it's essentially turned into my Cheers — even beyond the fact that Eddie, Hannah and the whole crew are great and entertaining hosts, it's almost guaranteed that I will run into friends whenever I'm there. And not just bar buddies I know from hanging out at Twin Kegs, but people I actually have pre-established relationships with. For instance, last night, we ran into one of my wife's best friends on her inaugural visit to Da Kegz. That it was her first visit wouldn't be notable except she's lived in the neighborhood her entire adult life. She was kicking herself for not going sooner.
For the newbies who have yet to venture: Do it. It's about as low-key a bar as you can hope for, the burgers are spot-on, and the staff are master deep-fryer technicians. Sure, the exterior has sort of a survivalist-bunker feel to it, and the wood-paneled interior has some, uh, experience. But that's what you want in a dive bar, right? Twin Kegs has that lived-in, rumpus-room feel, like all the adults have gone out for the night, and the kids have the run of the place. Of course "the kids" in this situation tend to be a cross-section of working-class folks from the neighborhood, white-collar folks from the neighborhood and, well, hipsters. Not the obnoxious "just moved from L.A., East Nashville is the greatest" hipsters but folks who are actually hip and need a place to drink that's not overrun with fedoras.
And the burgers! My wife is a big fan of the patty melt — it's good! — but I tend to go all out when I'm there and order the Big Bad Burger: three-quarters of a pound of beef, bacon, cheese and all the veggies. Simple? Yes, but I'm not the kind of guy who likes fancy nouveau burger toppings. All those toppings piled high are generally there to distract a diner from sub-par patties and all the avocado compote in the world won't make up for a sub-par patty. Twin Kegs, on the other hand, nails it perfectly with just a little bit of seasoning and the standard-issue toppings. Take that, fancy-ass burger places!
Top it off with a $7 pitcher of Yuengling or $10 pitcher of Gerst and a side of tater tots, and you have yourself some serious stress release.