All pubs are not created equal.
Typically, a Dallas pub, whether of English, Irish, or generic extraction, will have a wide selection of beers and ales on tap and in bottles, plus a sufficient selection of eats. You can usually count on fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches, maybe nachos, and a few specialties. Then, there are gastro-pubs, which usually sport an excellent chef, bent on pairing just the right quaff with his culinary creations.
Named for a drunken wastrel in a 1950s novel, The Ginger Man is none of the above. It is a true old-school dive-type bar (although the genial bartender may refer to it as a beer joint) where the primary purpose is TO DRINK. Food is a mere afterthought to take care of the inevitable munchies that arise.
The Plano location recently opened in The Shops at Legacy, and follows the dive-bar floor plan almost to a T. Long, narrow and cave-like. Silent taps standing sentinel, ready to serve the lucky imbiber any of the more than 70 beers on tap at any one time. A small lounging area with sofa and chair in front, and a juke box concealed behind a corner. A few interior booths, plus more space on the patio. Not much more to speak of, which makes it all the better for drinking.
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On our first visit, my wife and I knew we were in a serious drinking establishment when the smiling barmaid handed us a beer menu. Not a food menu or drink menu, but a beer menu. We selected the Pecan Porter for my wife (nutty, and a bit too sweet, even for her), and a Stone Smoked Porter for myself (smoky, of course, stout and substantial). The bartenders make for easy conversation, so it's a good idea to sit at the bar if you enjoy talk with your drink.
Food being an afterthought, the cold cuts and cheese are Boar's Head and fresh off the Sysco truck. On our visit, we started with the Beer Companion, a simple collection of cheddar, Colby jack, pepper jack, Genoa salami, olives, sweet pickles, fresh fruit (grapes and such), and sliced baguette. We also split a roast beef sandwich, beef topped with ale onions and gouda, served with pickle and Maui Onion Kettle Chips. How was it? Fine, but as I said before, it's Boars Head and Sysco. On my return visit, I had Sebastian's Deli Sandwich (salami and turkey and cheese with lettuce and red wine vinaigrette). Again, nothing to write home about. The best thing I ate was the hearty tomato basil soup, which was good although probably canned. Again, the beers clearly outshine the food. On this occasion, I drank a Leffe Blonde from Belgium (good, but too much turpentine on the finish) and Chimay White (similar, but much creamier and better).
Whatever you do, be sure to play the jukebox, one of the better ones I've heard lately. Selections include Dylan, Hendrix, Reverend Horton Heat, Janis Joplin, Weezer, The Police, and Roy Orbison. There should be something there to entertain many musical tastes. When you visit The Ginger Man, allow for plenty of time to unwind but as for lunch or dinner? Well, The Shops at Legacy has plenty of places that serve better food. Then you can hit The Ginger Man, primed and ready to drink.
The Ginger Man
7205 Bishop Rd, Suite E1
Plano, TX 75024