Entrée & Drink
While it may be a bit of a stretch to theme our entree after Barry’s Eastern European frenemies, I just really wanted to create an excuse for you to indulge in Sophies Gourmet Pierogi.
For those who don’t know, pierogi is a potato filled dumpling from Eastern Europe. From the Sophies food truck park outside of Seventh Son Brewing, I went with the Mexican Street Corn special with added chorizo.
Three pierogi, fresh corn, chili, cilantro, caramelized onions and cotija cheese. Delicious, filling, fresh and tasty, this was a bargain at $12. Get some.
As for Seventh Son, it is a great place with MANY different taps and knowledgeable bartenders. I went with a light and crisp The Scientist American IPA.
It was crisp, light and refreshing taste will pair nicely with about any pierogi, but don’t be afraid to ask the bartenders for assistance with your pairing.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
To compliment the smooth beer and savory pierogi, I’ve chosen an equally suave vinyl pairing; R&B, soul and funk maestro Charles Bradley.
But before delving in, I feel like you should know a little about Bradley: Born in New York City and idolizing performers at the Apollo Theater, Bradley left home at 16 to chase his dreams of becoming a performer.
Bradley had a stint in the military and jumped around from job to job and town to town while battling mental illness, homelessness and addiction.
In his 50s, he straightened out his life and began performing as a James Brown impersonator which led to him being discovered, paired with a full band (Menahan Street Band) and releasing three major label albums before succumbing to cancer in 2017.
One of these albums is called Changes and includes a song featured on Barry’s intro track, “Change The World.”
“Change the World,” like all other songs on the album, is an accomplishment in social commentary, personal insight and musical perfection.
While Change holds a special meaning in this Netflix & Grill due to its direct association with what’s streaming, all of Bradley’s albums are worth a spins or 100.
Released on HBO in March of 2018, Barry might be the best show you are not aware of.
Dark, sardonic and painfully funny, Barry tells the tale of Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) a man who is disillusioned with his career as an assassin for hire. Barry routinely opines to his business partner and only friend Fuches (a stellar as usual Stephen Root) about his inability to find purpose in his life.
However, all of this changes when a job goes wrong as Barry befriends his mark, falls in love with an actress and inadvertently starts a war with Ukranian Gang members.
The Ukranian mobsters Goran and Hank, respectively played by HBO veteran Glenn Fleshler (Boardwalk Empire, True Detective, The Night Of) and Anthony Carrigan steal EVERY scene. While watching them riff off of each other, I often found myself rewinding scenes to make sure I did not miss anything over my laughing.
Other outstanding characters are love interest Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) and director Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler). Winkler, as a quirky love struck theatre director, showcases his best work in years while Golderg solidifies her place as a budding star.
However, the real star is Hader, who also is the creator, producer and director of episodes 1-3. Previous to Barry, I only knew Hader from his quirky characters and impressions on Saturday Night Live and wasn’t sure he could carry the lead, especially in such a dark concept.
After watching Barry, I am happy to admit I couldn’t be more wrong. Hader delivers a nuanced performance that conveys both his comedic depth and dramatic chops.
I believe we will see Hader in many more lead roles to come.
At only eight episodes that range from 25-35 minutes Barry is easy to breeze through.
My recommendation? My advice? Double down on the Charles Bradley, double your Sophies order and take home a Seventh Son four pack of tallboys and have a great weekend.
Barry is available to stream on HBO GO and Charles Bradley records are available at all of your locally owned and friendly neighborhood record stores.