You ever want to just find a damn dive bar that has a bartender who actual knows how to make mixed drinks, has good food and a clean bathroom? I do! I do! A lot of the time I end up going to dive bars for the atmosphere, but then can’t order food if there is even food and then must stick to drinking either beer or hard liquor. MTK Chowder House was a great find in my eyes. When you walk in you are literally like, I hope I don’t have to use the bathroom. It’s set up to be dark, extremely casual and well, divey looking. But not like cheesy divey looking, but authentic divey looking.
Against my better judgement, I ordered a manhattan straight up. However, after my first sip, I was taken aback as my drink was really well made. It was actually better than a good amount of non-dive bars that I have been too. Well that was a nice surprise. And the bonus? The lovely waitress poured the extra manhattan she had leftover into an extra glass for me. This is my kind of place!
For dinner Mr. Juice and I ordered the following to split, a New England clam chowder, lobster roll and fried clam roll.
Keep in mind that I grew up in New York, so Mr. Juice is a better judge of seafood of it since he had access to some of the freshest seafood growing up in New England. So I was constantly looking to see his thoughts on in. The chowder I thought was good, creamy, the potatoes weren’t overcooked and it had good flavor. He concurred that it was good, but that he definitely has had better. We both really enjoyed the lobster roll. Meaty chunks of lobster and the potato roll was slathered with so much better it tasted like brioche. However, the clam roll was a different story. It was so over salted that I gagged a couple of times. Definitely a bummer, but Mr. Juice said that he was willing to go back and try it again to see if it was just a fluke. Besides the salt, the clam roll was just average to me. I feel that once you’ve tried really fresh fried clams before, it’s hard to completely enjoy ones that aren’t.
But I would definitely go back to MTK whether or not it was to grab some drinks or food. The environment was divey like I like it and they have a pool table, which is always a plus. If you head over to check it out, just remember that the main sign outside says “American Trash” and on the surfboard next to the door it says in much smaller letters “MTK Chowder House.”
And guess what? The bathrooms were actually clean! Like really clean. Woot!
PS- Sorry the photos are so bad. I use my camera phone, because I don’t like using a flash when there are other patrons in the vicinity and it was soooo dark in there.
6.5 out of 10
1471 First Avenue, New York, NY 10075