It’s not just a sports bar. As I approached Professor Thom’s at 219 2nd Avenue between 13th and 14th streets in the East Village, I noticed the sequence of numbers many will recognize from TV’s “Lost” painted on the second floor facade. I wondered why a bar that caters to fans of the Red Sox and Michigan’s Wolverines would sport the iconic sequence, but shrugged it off and walked inside a dimly lit ground level bar.
Once inside, I could have sat at the bar, which boasted a long line of televisions showing various sporting events, but when my guest arrived, we opted for a more conversational booth, which had its own TV. The bar isn’t anything fancy. The booth was hard wood, but roomy and the vibe in the place was well worn and comfortable. I felt very welcomed. Our server, Neeru, who was incredibly jovial and attentive, offered to set us up with some drinks. Thom’s offers 26 beers on draught and 23 beers in cans and bottles. Selections range from simple to more refined tastes, and has a monthly Tap TakeOver. This month’s selections were from the Anchor Brewing Company.
We asked Neeru for starter suggestions and she told us that the nachos were the best in the city. The highlight of the meal was definitely the Nachos. We opted for the “small” order that is supposed to serve one or two people. I’m sure we could have been satisfied even if two more friends joined us in sharing this mountain of munchies. The light tortilla chips are layered with cheese (rather than just being topped with it) and piled high with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and jalapeños. I opted to add grilled chicken to mine. Steak is also an optional add on.
For an entree I decided to give the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich a whirl. This is always a favorite choice of mine when I go out for bar food. I like the spicy buffalo chicken without the mess of the wings. This one didn’t disappoint. The spice and vinegar flavors were well balanced, it was a nice sized piece of chicken, and the roll was fresh. My guest picked the Southwest Burger with Avocado, Pico de Gallo, Pepper Jack Cheese, and Chipotle Mayo. If you get one of these entrees, may I suggest that you ask for a side of the house made chips. They were delightful, crispy, and well-seasoned.
Other offerings on the menu include a selection of salads, soups, wings and jalapeno poppers, and fries. Big Ass Mac and Cheese, Fish ‘N Chips and a variety of sandwiches round out the bigger meals. I vow to return to try the Go Blue Burger. A “build your own” style of sandwich that gives you the option of piling toppings a mile high. Monday night’s special is a $20 1 1/4lb.Lobster dinner with Old Bay Waffle Fries, Corn on the Cob, and your choice of a Harpoon Draft or a glass of wine.
Professor Thom’s has an extra treasure in its upstairs bar, which is open on busier nights. It is a grand 19th century parlor room with high ceilings and comfortable couches. Opened 10 years ago by owners Jim McGuire, Pete Levin, and Chris Byron, Professor Thom’s isn’t short on fun. Tinder Tuesdays, where you bring your date to get to know each other better, offers 2 for 1 drinks for the duration of your date. Wednesdays offer Thom’s Trivia Night and there is a DJ on Thursdays. Sunday nights are currently Game of Thrones night with specialty cocktails and mead on draft, free jell-o shots whenever a major character dies (that’s a lot of shots!), and if you “dress up,” your first drink is on them.
I’m a big fan of GoT, so on my way out, I inquired about Sunday evenings and the showing. Neeru explained to me that fan shows have been a big event at Thom’s for a while. One show, “Lost”, was so popular that they decided to paint the famous 4 8 1516 23 42 on the upstairs gate. Mystery solved.
Want more information on Professor Thom’s? Check out http://www.proffesorthoms.com. Here you can find everything you need to know and even buy merchandise to represent the Wolverines or your favorite Boston team when you visit