Marshall Stack, with its earsplitting name, classic-rock jukebox, and giant photo of Pete Townshend behind the bar, is a sort of homage to the world's boy-men still talking about having once played Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" perfectly in the 12th grade. But that's OK, because this spot's wholehearted vibe provides a refreshing low-key break from the nearby Ludlow Street zoo. Staying true to the city's restriction on fun, the New York State Liquor Authority limits the bar's drink list to beer and wine, due to the establishment's proximity to a church. That works fine for penny-pinchers, with their blue-collar brews like Carling Black Label ($2) and Schaefer ($2). Drafts get a little more exotic with the Italian pilsner Peroni ($6) and Belgium's famously potent Delirium Tremens ($8), charmingly named after the medical term for alcohol-withdrawal tremors. The food menu is also part grown-up and part broke-college-student, with items like English-muffin pizzas ($5) and grilled asparagus, goat cheese, and truffle oil sandwiches ($9). And for the dork in all of us, there's the smirkishly named blue ballsgrapes covered with blue cheese and candied nuts. Or for maximum dorkitude, stop by Thursday nights for the comic-book swap sponsored by St. Mark's Comics at 7 p.m.
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