There’s one complaint I have when I go out drinking: After consuming copious amounts of alcohol I’m left feeling tremendously hungry. For my birthday we wound up going to IHOP because the bar we were at didn’t serve food. And when you get going at a really loud and crazy bar it can be difficult to find a place to sit down and eat.
The Crocodile Lounge has it all figured out, though.
They realized that if you create a place that has food directly attached to drinks, you’ll probably wind up selling a hell of a lot more drinks. And I’d like to think it’s working.
The Crocodile Lounge is down a few steps and is a tremendously dark bar. It’s very long and narrow which is fine because there’s actually plenty of room in the back. You walk up to the bar and you’re quickly served. It actually surprised me how quickly the bartenders got to us because it was pretty busy—11 PM on a Saturday.
I ordered a Magic Hat #9 and I was charged $6.00. But when I was handed the beer, I was also given a ticket like those you’d get at an arcade that you trade in for prizes. Now imagine beer has been poured on them and they’ve been handled by one hundred people before you. That’s what I was handed.
“Go back there for pizza,” the bartender said to me and pointed to the next room.
Because I had already been drinking at another bar, this was the reason I was here. And I was anxious to eat something.
“The pizza will be done in ten minutes,” one of the guys said as I stopped at the counter. But I wasn’t concerned with that. I was simply amazed with the operation they had.
It’s a smart space with two pizza ovens set up. It’s warmer back there, obviously, but I was surprised that I wasn’t sweating profusely from the heat. I watched as the cook started to make the pizzas. Every 20 seconds, he had another pizza done and in the oven. He was like a machine.
It looked like there were close to 20 pizzas in each oven. So at any point there are 40 pizzas being made. Chances are they have mastered the art of having pizzas always cooking for when people start clamoring for it.
Soon enough, we had a few personal pizzas on our table and we were devouring them. Don’t expect to have amazing pizza here; you’re not going to. But when you’ve been drinking all night, the pizza hits the spot in just the right way. I’ve had worse pizza at actual pizza shops so I was quite happy.
The Crocodile Lounge (325 E. 14th St. b/t 1st & 2nd Aves.) is open every day from 12 PM to 4 AM. I find that it’s a great place to end the night, but you could go there for a bit, eat your dinner, and then go elsewhere before returning at the end of the night. Whatever you do, tip the pizza guys. They are making your night that much better.