review: trina's starlite lounge

[by john]

trina's, the newest neighborhood joint, opened to wildly enthusiastic glittering reviews and hype. justifiably so. i went with mike and others this past wednesday and thoroughly enjoyed myself. it was a perfect night to soak up the place's charm - no weekend crowd to wrestle with, and plenty of time to talk to trina herself (on vermouth, pie, tattoos...), who was holding down the second bar.

their menu really typifies the place. a page for cocktails and beers, a page for food, and nothing taken too seriously. the drinks are free-poured, so none of the poindexterism or reverence you'll find at drink. the bemusing, coma-inducing choices for eats included hot dogs (plus a daily kind at market price), gravy fries, mac & cheese with ritz crackers, and chicken and waffles. $9 tax-included cocktails and $5 corn dogs were fairly easy on my budget, so i was happy.

now, reviewers will tell you that the best thing about trina's is the southern diner atmosphere, or that it's part of a southern food resurgence, or that it's opening when everybody else is closing. but i think they're missing the greatest part: the cheap drunk food. not since devouring a fried kimchi dog at pdt in new york have i had the perfect greasy complement to my drink. bone marrow doesn't really cut it at craigie or eastern standard, and drink's food menu is just offensive - expensive, tiny portions. in the end, trina's drinks are above average, but i'll be going back for the pepperoni rolls.

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