Saturday, May 26, 2012

Plank's Bier Garten

Alright, kids, there are two ways we can play this: either I give a whole long list of perfectly valid excuses for why I casually haven't posted in six months (started a new job, quit that job, started yet another new job after the first new job, you know...the usual), or we can just ignore the whole six-month hiatus thing and get on with it already. Let's do that.

It is very important that you not confuse Plank's Bier Garten with Plank's Cafe & Pizzeria, because even though they're really only a couple blocks away from each other (the Bier Garten is on High Street at the west edge of German Village, and the Cafe & Pizzeria is on Parsons on the east edge of German Village), there's apparently some sort of family feud back story that resulted in the existence of two Plank'ses. Something about the uncle disagreeing on the pizza sauce recipe so he American Revolution'ed the whole place and started the Parsons location. Same name, completely different restaurants.

There are two types of occasions under which I've been to Plank's Bier Garten (hereafter referred to as "Plank's"--we're gonna stop talking about the Cafe now). The first is work functions for Boyfriend's company, which basically means they convert the place into a frat basement. The second is my own work functions. Both my old new job that I quit and my new new job that replaced my old new job are with the Ohio government in a capacity that requires (I mean it, requires) me to let certain interested parties buy me a lot of free alcohol. Somehow, Plank's is the ideal venue for both government after-hours events and frat parties.

I never much liked Plank's when I went there for Boyfriend's work functions, probably because, you know, they turned it into a frat basement. I mean it. They pushed all the tables together and played beer pong (apparently Plank's keeps ping pong balls on hand for that very purpose). I think I saw a keg stand once. The floor was sticky with spilled beer and the pizza had always been sitting out for so long that it turned all gross and congealed in the way that really greasy pizza tends to do.

The times I've been to Plank's for my own work functions, however, have been much more enjoyable. People were sitting at the tables instead of throwing ping pong balls across them. The pizza was still hot. Nobody spilled beer. And really, in that setting, it's easy to see why Plank's is so popular. The pizza is really good if you eat it before it solidifies into grossness, to start with. Most importantly, however, the restaurant itself just has a great set-up. It's a lot bigger than it looks: half the restaurant is indoors, with the usual bar and tables/booths spread around, but the other half is split between an sort of screened-in patio and an open air...well...bier garten. It's great for parties because it gives you a lot of space to spread out and, depending on the crowd, talk politics or play beer pong. So while it's still not my favorite--I doubt I'd even think to go there on my own and not as part of a scheduled function where they've rented it out--it's not a bad place for a function.

Also, I hear that families take their kids there for pizza? Weird. Just...weird.

Plank's Bier Garten on Urbanspoon

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