While many restaurants go dark at the beginning of the workweek, The GastroGnome, Naomi Bishop, is here to inform you of good eating options where the lights stay on Monday nights.
The Leary Traveler is a maverick among sports bars. Or perhaps it's a European café that just happens to show football in the background? Identity crisis aside, it has a remarkable ability to host brewery-sponsored trivia while simultaneously showing Monday Night Football. Additionally appealing to both sides of the coin is the menu of affordable, creative, and classic cocktails, which share the wooden bar with a robust selection of microbrews. The Mandarin Moscow, a citrus-driven spin on the Moscow Mule, stands strong across the table from an Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA, both complementing the surprisingly solid cuisine coming from the kitchen.
The Traveler sets itself apart by breaking the unwritten rule that dictates the ratio between number of TVs and the quality of the food at any given bar. The Traveler is not a sports bar, but there are more screens than I've got hands. Yet, when one of those same hands digs into a cone of Belgian-style frites, it comes out with what very well could be the city's best French fry--served with your choice of creative dipping sauces. The curry aioli is a good option for fans of flavor--just subtle enough to keep you trying to double dip for more.
Curry is a recurring theme on the menu, which has a strange bent that could be categorized as "ethnic eclectic:" How often are you faced with the choice of cauliflower curry or mini-burgers? While both are excellent, if you're in search of an intriguingly delicious dish, the former is the way to go, sharing its name with the Traveler's sister bar, The Great Nabob. The Nabob cauliflower curry is served in a bowl with rice and chutney, all of which mix together to achieve a wonderful sweet, savory, and spicy crescendo.