Grillaz was planning on visiting Gulu Gulu Cafe this fall, but then Halloween rolled around and Salem was impassible. Long overdue, Grillaz recently had lunch there. We often hear Gulu Gulu referred to as a “hipster hangout” with descriptions such as “so hip it hurts”. This is true, but all are welcome in the friendly atmosphere. The bartender certainly fit the bill: He was a tall, skinny boy with a couple piercings through his lips, and he included the expression “ya, totally” in every sentence he uttered
Our bartender was a pleasant conversationalist and knowledgeable about his fine selections of beer on tap. After learning of the Grillaz love for IPAs, he recommended the Lost Abbey Merry Taj. I is a wonderfully hoppy beer with some citrus zing to it and, gratefully, is did not tend to sweetness. This beer went right to the top of the Grillaz list.
The clientele at the bar were as friendly as the bartender, and we soon engaged in a conversation with Tony, a gregarious fellow with as much knowledge and appreciation of beer, bourbon, and Scotch as Grillaz. On his advice, we tried the Sierra Nevada Celebration. This is another fine beer, less hoppy that the Merry Taj but with a more complex taste involving citrus and pine. Tony was right on. Again, another beer went to the top of the Grillaz list. This beer, by the way, was put to the task of washing down a hot, melty chicken cordon blue crepe.