Click here to read my entire Bachelor Party Series.)
Choosing who to ask to be my best man was a difficult task. In this life, I've been blessed with a number of dear friends, all of whom are more than capable to throwing a good bash. Picking one of them to be my second on the most important day of my life wasn't something I undertook lightly.
Waldensian and I have been friends for over twelve years. We met in high school and were roommates in college. Surprisingly, we managed the monumental achievement of not killing one another while living together. Instead, our friendship became stronger. When I tell people that he's like a brother to me, I mean that literally; The man is practically family.
My fall from our noble bachelor ranks can also be traced back to him. Some nine years ago, while I was pining over a certain lovely lass who became enamored with another mutual friend, I poured my angst out to an unsurprisingly unsympathetic Waldensian. Ever practical, he suggested I give up on my lost cause and explore a relationship with another beautiful lady who had already indicated an interest in me. I agreed to follow his advice, partially to avoid another verbal ass-whupping, but mostly because he made good sense. Seven and a half years later, I proposed to Cat by a lake in Irvine...
...which is why I found myself sitting in a Gordon Biersch in the middle of the afternoon while Waldensian tauntingly alluded to the many torments I could look forward to during my bachelor party later that evening. The stack of one dollar bills he made me buy from him with a warning that their use would "chafe my soul" didn't bode well. Is it any wonder I needed a little liquid fortification?
(Their seasonal brew, an unfiltered Hefeweizen with 7.2% alcohol, a delicately floral bouquet, thick sweetness, and smooth finish.)
Founded in 1988 by Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch as a brewery and restaurant chain, Gordon Biersch grew rapidly in size and popularity until 1999, when it reached the maximum number of restaurants California would allow a brewing company to operate. In order to allow their restaurant chain to continue expanding, the partners chose separate the restaurant side of their business from the brewery by selling their restaurants to the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group in Tennessee. While Gordon and Biersch now focus on brewing their award-winning beers, they continue to consult for the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, making sure that each Gordon Biersch restaurant follows their high standards in storing and serving their excellent brews.
In addition to their beers, the Gordon Biersch restaurants are also known for their food. Take this Bruschetta, which is Waldensian's favorite starter. Rustic chunks of tomato, garlic, and ribbons of basil are tossed in balsamic vinaigrette and topped with shredded parmesan cheese. Toasted slices of bread flavored with garlic and cheese are provided to accompany the tart salad. If, like us, you run out of bread before you run out of bruschetta, a quick word with your server will get you another plate of bread on the house.
Having some inkling of what Waldensian had in mind for me that evening, I chose to stop at beer and bruschetta. However, he hadn't eaten all day and needed something to take the edge off of his hunger. Gordon Biersch has a number of hearty entrees, but one of their most popular is the Gordon Biersch Cheeseburger. The burger itself, while made with ingredients of good quality, is passable in flavor and fairly unremarkable amongst restaurant burgers. Instead, the place of honor on this plate goes to the Garlic Fries, each one strongly laced with an alluring blend of garlic, parsley, and salt. People have been known to make an entire dinner from a plate of these fries.
Mr. Big, who was also lunching with us and enjoying watching me squirm, opted for the Chocolate Crème Brulee. Covered with a thick, blackened shell of caramelized sugar, the delicate chocolate cream inside coated his mouth like the finest pudding. It was all I could do to resist delving into its dark depths, but I knew finer things awaited me come nightfall. I had a stack of ones to prove it.
Gordon Biersch - Fine beers crafted in accordance to ancient German brewing laws. While the food isn't bad, the beer is what it's all about.
Bill (Don't have all the prices since I wasn't allowed to pay.)
Bruschetta - 8.25
Gordon Biersch Cheeseburger - 9.75
Chocolate Crème Brulee - 5.95
Seasonal Beer - ???
33 East San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95113