This most recent visit happened to be during lunch while I was running some errands and decided I'd stop in to watch Wimbledon on the big screen. I sat at the bar as usual and ordered the first decent draft I recognized amongst the macro-brews, a Sierra-Nevada Pale Ale. The place was kinda empty, but it was lunchtime and the place is huge so it can be deceiving. There were some obvious regulars at the bar and numerous pool tables having a good time. The staff seemed to know every customer except me, but were very courteous & friendly nonetheless and treated me well.
I ordered one of my all-time favorite meals that I use as a measuring stick for all pubs and bars across the country: fish & chips.
It is a simple meal that is surprisingly hard to find done well. Most places take the easy route using frozen, pre-battered fish planks, standard fries and serve with creamy coleslaw and tartar sauce. Bailey's was much better and may be considered my new favorite place for fish & chips in Knoxville. These are Newcastle Brown hand-battered fillets that you can tell are freshly made. There were 3 large pieces of fish, the "chips" were pretty standard but cooked well (meaning crisp) and the slaw wasn't too creamy but sorta bland. Overall it was a great meal that I strongly recommend. Did I mention the staff was friendly? The bartender, manager, another staffer, and the line cook came by to see how my meal was - impressive.
Maybe the only complaint I would mention is the pricey beer at $4.25 a pint. I guess the recent climb in oil prices has trickled down to everything. I've heard there is a soon-to-be shortage of wheat and hops that will raise prices even more in the very near future, so get ready. Now would be a good time to visit our friends at http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/ to catch up on some bar hand signals. Bonus points for anyone who recognizes this one:
I assume Bailey's still fills up for happy hour, evenings, and weekends much more than lunchtime. It has large TVs (not trannys) everywhere with all varieties of sports showing constantly, the aforementioned pool tables, darts, and other bar games. Plus it is 21+ only so all the smokers know they can light up! As a non-smoker I sometimes enjoy the nostalgic smell of beer and cigarettes like I remember from every bar while growing up. If I lived closer I'm sure I would go there more often. As it is I will continue to visit when I can, which averages out to about once every 1.5 years. Hopefully everyone else out there can keep it going 'til my next visit - so drink up!!