First Call: Take a Ride

A refreshing Teabag margarita at Pony.

The watering hole: Pony, 1221 E. Madison St., Capitol Hill.The atmosphere: Two motifs inform Pony's decor: horses and naked men. Plastered on the walls in an old-school newspaper collage are various males—some wearing cowboy hats, some wearing nothing at all; kitschy horse decorations give this bar a homey touch. Porn magazines from an almost-bygone era are casually laid out on empty tables for idle browsing. Other things of note: an air hockey table (which I have seen patrons dance upon in the past); two bathrooms labeled "Men" and "Boys"; the very spacious patio outside shaped like the bow of a ship, set to sail into a gay tomorrow.The barkeep: Taylor Fimbrez, aka DJ Teabag, who in addition to bartending DJs the dance night "Berzerk" every other Thursday. Originally from Phoenix, Fimbrez learned how to tend bar at the original Pony on the famed 500 Pine block. "Did you ever go to the old Pony?" he asks me. (I didn't; I was underage when it was around.) "It was never a permanent location, and it was huge—like three times bigger. It was much rowdier...really insane. This is kind of like the grown-up Pony." This grown-up Pony features a costume night every Saturday and an impressive new fog machine.The drink: DJ Teabag's Margarita is muddled orange and lime, a little sour, orange juice, soda water, well tequila (Puerto Vallarta), a lightly salted rim, and no triple sec or added sugar.The verdict: The margarita I've been waiting for. Usually when I obligingly order a happy-hour margarita, I can't get past a few sips without recalling terrible hangovers magnified by the tequila/sugar combo. Fimbrez's version, however, was crisp, refreshing, and easy to sip down quickly, even though, he admits, "I probably should have used a better tequila. This one is kind of shitty."

 
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