Best Bloody Mary

Brandt's Café

First, the sticker shock: You'll have to shell out $9 for initial access to Brandt's bloody mary buffet, available from 9 a.m. till noon Saturday and 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. Sunday. After you pick between premium and rail vodka, you've got the run of Brandt's buffet table, and there are more accoutrements to choose from than there are sides at a Thanksgiving dinner: Dress up your drink with olives or jalapeños, pepperoni or bouillon cubes or limes, wasabi or cocktail onions, and finish it off with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, Clamato, Tabasco and/or a shake of black or red pepper flakes. Your server is happy to guide first-timers through it all, but if the onslaught of options makes your head spin worse than thinking about last night's shots, refer to Brandt's recipe cards for a dozen or so ideas, from the classic mary to the clever Mr. T (one ingredient: guts). The first one's always the hardest, but after that it's just $2 for each following shot of rail vodka and continued access to the buffet. Think of it this way: Each successive mary lowers your overall cost-per-drink average!

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