The Half King
Neighborhood: West Chelsea
Crowd/Scene: Bar-goers, After work
Foursquare Check-in: http://4sq.com/1kvMsb2
Rating: 2 Stars
The Half King is halfway out of the way from the rest of Manhattan–thankfully. Located on the corner 0f 23rd and 10th Street, you probably have to have walked by it in order to know what it is. Fortunately, it’s only a few steps away from an entrance to the High Line, so I’m sure its traffic and notoriety have picked up over time.
In regards to my visit, it was too cold of a summer day to sit outside, which is what I really wanted to do, but inside it was. I was just getting off of work, and me being the person that I am, I’m always looking for additional watering holes to wet my long-day-of-work beak. This place isn’t that.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent place, and you will get most of what you want out of a bar–decent food, drinks, happy hour specials and a nice crowd. Unfortunately, the limited food I had was subpar, the happy hour specials were limited, the crowd was barely decent, and the service was god awful.
For food, I had the nachos and tater tots. The nachos weren’t the worst thing in the world, but anytime I can’t choose to add some type of meat to my nachos is a bad time. As for the tater tots, you literally get 6 tater tots. They are indeed fancy tater tots, and maybe they are 15% bigger than your average tater tot. However, when I order tater tots, I’m expecting a big, heaping basket of golden, lightly deep-fried, ordinary tater tots, and what I got instead were 6 gourmet-wanna-be tater tots that made me question the culinary dish itself.
I’m not usually one to complain about the drinks, but if you’re going to have happy hour, your drink choices have to be somewhat respectable. Making me choose between cosmos and gimlets is ridiculous. And the fact that we had to wait an average of 45-60 minutes to order drinks from our waiter probably didn’t help how I felt about the happy hour specials.
Speaking objectively here, The Half King is not the worst place in the world, and I wouldn’t bet against me going here again, maybe even this summer due to its proximity to my job. And maybe if I could have eaten outside, enjoyed the quite sanctity of 23rd and 10th, and had a better waiter, I might be thinking differently about this bar. So I won’t discourage anyone from going, because after all, it’s just another bar. While I know plenty of average bars that have above-average service and offerings (like Wood & Ale on 14th Street), this is a bar that’s serving food and drinks–slowly with less quality–but serving food and drinks they are.