Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hop Devil Grill - New York, NY

There's one thing you can say about Hop Devil Grill: it is unabashedly a beer lover's bar. I mean, "hops" (or, technically, "hop") is in the name. This can be good or bad; if you're into discovering new beers or always wanted to try an obscure favorite on tap, it's definitely the place for you. However, if you're not into beer or are looking for your run-of-the-mill light swill, you should probably try somewhere else.

We got there on a Friday night around 7 PM; there was a decent number of people there despite the fact that it was fairly early; it seemed like a lot of people, like me, had come to Hop Devil for their famous burgers (and by "famous" I mean that I read it on a website somewhere that their burgers are tasty). And those burgers did not disappoint! The bun had a greasy toasted texture, and the actual meat had that tenderness that suggests fresh, not frozen, ground beef. Fantastic.

As for the drinks: as I mentioned, they are really focused on beer at this place. I, someone who is always looking for a new heavily-hopped beer to try out, loved the extensive beer selection. Not a true beer connoisseur, I can't really vouch for the quality of their catalog, but it was certainly sizeable and the choices included way more than the usual suspects. My friend who'd come along, on the other hand, was quite displeased with the drink selection. A very health-conscious individual, he didn't appreciate the conspicuous lack of Michelob Ultra and the like. And while they did have a stocked bar, the only drink list I noticed was a beer one. I can see how someone who's not really into "different" beers or who doesn't drink beer at all would feel alienated, like this place really isn't for them. And perhaps it's not.

(Speaking of beer, I had a cask-conditioned IPA... deliciously hoppy and actually refreshing. Unfortunately I can't remember the name.)

Appearance-wise, the bar is like any other in the East Village; not a dive, not a club, somewhere in between. They had the standard-issue Internet Jukebox and the requisite banquettes and low tables lining the walls. Hipsters with white-guy-fros, mildly attractive bartenders/waitresses, etc. Honestly, the only thing that sets this apart from the hundreds of bars like it in town is the beer, so if that doesn't grab you then you probably won't give this place a second thought.

As for whether I'd return... I'm torn. On one hand, the beer was good and the burgers too; on the other hand, other than good beer the place is pretty generic. Let's say that I'd probably go back, but I'd definitely carefully plan who I'd take back. It's a cool place to bring a beer snob, but anyone else would most likely be unimpressed.

Hop Devil Grill
129 Saint Mark's Place (Lower East Side)
New York, NY
(212) 533-4468


Blogger Vicky said...

I enjoyed this place. Keith seems to think the name makes sense but I really wasn't expecting the "typical" bar setting that we walked into. Either way, I agree with what Keith is saying, but I want to add one thing. I'm not a beer drinker, but I love cider and as many bars in New York there was a cider on tap that I could have. With that being said, if you're not a beer drinker but you like cider you could be able to have a good time at the Hop Devil Grill.

Thursday, February 15, 2007 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

One thing I forgot to mention is that they have a separate "Belgian Beer Room" attached to the bar, presumably to house beers from Belgium. :) I didn't get a chance to check it out, though, so I really can't give much more info about it.

Friday, February 16, 2007 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Okay, so we went back here with a couple of friends for just drinks and had an awesome time. Loved playing music on the e-juke-box and had a great server bringing us our drinks. Nice job Hop Devil Grill, I'll be seeing you again!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 6:42:00 PM  
Blogger NYC said...

Hi Guys, just came across your sight. HDG is my favorite bar in NYC. Of course I love good beer! Interesting site you have here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007 6:05:00 PM  

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