Saturday night, I went to dinner with a couple of friends in Plano, Texas. We went to The Keg, a steak restaurant that I had previously avoided because of the mental image of a bunch of swollen-bellied men in wife beaters that the restaurant's name evoked. Despite the fact that I knew it was a nice-ish steak restaurant, I couldn't get the beer guts out of my mind. That, and the fact that my mom mis-steak-enly (wah-wah) informed me that it would cost me $80 to eat there.
The steak was better than most other restaurants that are comparably priced, in my opinion (it cost me $40 to eat there, including my glass of iced tea and the server's tip). Unlike many restaurants who mistake "mushy" for "tender," the meat at The Keg actually was tender, and cooked to medium-rare perfection.
Afterwards, we wondered where to go. Should we drive up to Addison? Should we go to one of the two brewpubs in East Plano (the other side of town)? The newest member of the Cult of the iPod whipped out her trusty sidekick and quickly found that there was a hotel nearby with a highly rated bar: the A-Loft.
So, to the A-Loft we went. It's a hotel chain owned by the W brand of hotels. Once upon a time, when I was still employed, one of my clients put forth the idea of having an A-Loft on the property we were developing. It didn't pan out, but it exposed me to a new type of hotel.
This ain't your Holiday Inn.
The bar was more of a lounge, I guess, with lots of banquettes and low tables. The TV screens over the bar showed the baseball game, a UFC fight, and some other sport that obviously didn't make it onto my radar. Board games were scattered around (Scrabble, chess, checkers, you name it).
In short, there is a cool bar in Plano, and it has fairly classy patrons, if you don't count the coconut-bra-ed Parrot Heads that invaded after the Jimmy Buffett concert.
I also discovered that, according to my friends, coconut-bra sporting men are only tolerable if they are slightly chubby college boys or chubby middle-aged men. Muscular college boys in coconut bras need not apply.