Heaven must be missing an angel — because after one visit, I'm sure Phil's Place came straight from heaven, the answer to my prayers. I went there for green chile but wound up staying for the unbelievably entertaining happy-hour crowd. I initially started chatting with "Greedy," who showed me that his nickname was inked on his chest — which led to the inevitable question about the enormous scar below the tattoo. He answered with his history in nearby Five Points, and how he got shot because he was hanging out with the wrong people in the wrong places — not that Phil's is one of those places. Next up, a guy who had a pickup line that both my dentist and handyman would have approved of. "I'm a good guy and I have all my teeth," Mark told me. "I'd like to take you out or paint for you." I was more interested in the latter, because I loathe the color of my bathroom, but I was soon distracted from any painting discussion by the appearance of my shot. Phil's father, Gary Garcia, was bartending, and he'd poured me a classic Washington Apple ($5), made of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, apple schnapps and cranberry juice. As I sipped it, I thought about how much this area, pickup lines and Mark's teeth would change in the years to come. And while change is good, I hope that Phil's green chile stays the same. Heavenly.
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