By Staci Wolfson
In about three and a half years, John Reusing has done what many have tried but few have accomplished. The bartender who gained his experience from Sammy’s Trattoria in Mount Vernon and Chiapparelli’s in Little Italy has created a truly unique bar in Baltimore hot spot Fells Point.
Upon first glance, Bad Decisions appears to be any old corner bar. The awning outside of the spot on Washington and Fleet encourages you to “Make Some Bad Decisions,” and the simple interior features a typical bar surrounded with a handful of decidedly un-fancy tables. Board games fill the windowsills and a cardboard cutout of some random, creepy looking guy stands in the back corner.
But upon closer inspection, it’s clear that Bad Decisions isn’t your ordinary neighborhood bar. It’s infused with Reusing’s passion for creating unique mixed drinks and his cutting sense of humor. The drink menu doubles as the recipe book. And yes, there’s only one, and that’s because it’s a battered, splattered notebook with handwritten lists and recipes as well as the occasional love note directed toward the owner.
The food menu is equally casual, printed daily on a single sheet of loose-leaf paper and titled “Stuff I Feel Like Cooking.” Reusing has also included a note to let patrons know that the menu is subject to change “if I get tired or drunk.”
Admittedly, upon first entering Bad Decisions, my first instinct was to bolt. But once I perused these two menus, I said to my roommate, “We should really become regulars here.”
Another thing that sets Bad Decisions apart from other local bars is its wide selection of mead. You know, like the stuff they drink in Beowulf. The drink menu features a number of different flavors of the honey wine, and I was curious to try it, so I asked the bartender what she recommended.
She suggested the adult root beer, a concoction of root beer, vanilla cinnamon mead and vanilla vodka. My roommate ordered the Ferrero Rocher-tini, which did indeed have a crushed truffle in it. You can’t go wrong with that.
The adult root beer was delicious, but I was curious to try the mead on its own. I asked for a sampling of it, and Reusing snipped, “This isn’t a soup kitchen, you know.” Duly noted.
The mead tasted seasonal and pleasantly warmed my throat, so I spent the rest of the night ordering different kinds.
As you can probably guess by the fact that the drink menu is exponentially larger than the one- page food menu, drinks clearly take precedence at Bad Decisions. The food menu consisted largely of different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches, but frankly, there’s nothing wrong with a delicious grilled cheese, especially considering that the one I had was made of brie and apples and
accompanied by a side of crinkle-cut French fries. No complaints here.
And while Reusing and his staff might urge you to make bad decisions (he bought my group a round of shots that looked like something that can only be described as liquid kryptonite), visiting Bad Decisions can only be considered a good decision.
1928 Fleet St.
Baltimore, Md. 21231 (Fells Point)
Hours: Mon-Sat 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.