We chatted for a little while, and I eventually looked at the only newspaper clipping on the small tack board near the entrance. I took a couple of steps to take a look at it – an article in the Houston Chronicle about the bar from Nikiki Metzgar, who is identified as a freelance writer. I then asked Marshall about it. His high spirits quickly shifted. I could understand why. Metzgar had this to write about the bar, “It's a little quirky, with a souvenir shop's worth of Red Sox memorabilia on the walls.” With its plentiful Cubs photos and pennants on the wall, there might be a nod to the hometown Astros, but there is simply not a single thing dedicated to the Bosox other than its logo-labeled ball that every major league team has as part of the standings board displayed during the season behind the bar.
With that unforgiveable sin – Marshall certainly had not forgotten – and other mistakes in the brief article, it was clear that Metzger had never been to the bar. It was quite a sloppy little piece. Not the first I’ve encountered in the Chronicle. There was another wretched, nearly information-free profile of 13 Celsius, my vote for the city’s best wine bar, that described its range of wines thus: “This is no haphazard wine list; there is no filler on the menu, which is both well curated and annotated. Updated weekly to reflect what's been served and what's just arrived….” Pitiful. Both of these pieces were published back in 2012. I have not come across nearly as bad since.
But, it doesn’t diminish the appeal of Bitterman’s for the Cubs fan, or the Astros or baseball fan, at all. Plus, it gives the bar’s namesake, the Bitterman, Marshall, something to continue to be a little bitter about, even after an event of a lifetime.
2010 W Alabama (east of Shepherd), 77098
At least the Chronicle got a photo of Kent Marshall, holding what was long a favorite of the bleachers in Wrigley Field and is referred to familiarly as "Doggie Style." Not surprisingly, it was taken by a person different than the author of the article.