A Wonderful Christmas

I just returned from a wonderful Christmas filled with tons of good food, family and friends.

Way too much eating and drinking went on over the past week and I cannot mention everything so I’ll try to give a little outline with a few highlights.

The festivities started off at Mr. T’s parents, where we started to enjoy the after noon by opening up a MAGNUM of Chimay Blue Grand Reserve.

Yes, that’s right, a Magnum.

Now I have had Chimay Blue before and always enjoyed the flavor but this time it was a little different.

There was still the nice malty smell and taste but it was smoother somehow.

When I got home I checked out their website and they said it is indeed quite a different beer than a regular sized Chimay.

Since it is such a huge amount, it affects the second fermentation of the beer which results in a fuller, smoother product.

So the regular, easy to drink 9% abv. Chimay became even easier to drink and enjoy.

We were all feeling pretty good by the end of the bottle and decided to break out another special drink for the holiday season.

A bottle of 1998 Opus One wine.

Wow. Mr. T’s father had been waiting for years to open this bottle until it age enough and I think he did it just right.

It had a full mouth feel with silky undertones and a woody, leather smell.

We let it breathe for a while and even then it continued to change taste with each glass becoming a little drier every minute.

It was excellent.

We followed that up with some fantastic home cooked food and some Doughnut Plant Crème Brulee doughnuts for dessert.

I wish I had taken a picture but they were gone before I could!

Little round balls of dough stuffed with a vanilla custard filling and covered in a sweet glaze that had been caramelized a bit, giving it that classic burnt crème brulee flavor.


Christmas day we woke up, celebrated the morning with the T’s and then headed to the airport to catch a plane to Buffalo.

What followed next were day's filled with moree good food and great drinks.

I finally got to Ulrich’s, the oldest bar in Buffalo and enjoyed a great local brew, the Flying Bison Munich Style Dark Lager, which is brewed exclusively for Ulrichs.

It had a great rich taste of coffee and hint of chocolate that warmed me right up on such a rainy cold night.

I loved Ulrich’s itself as well.

It reminded me a little bit of McSorley’s with the old exterior and pictures plastered inside.

I found it a little strange that it was both a German and Irish bar?? But hey, the beer was good and people friendly, so why complain?

The rest of the week I enjoye a lot of great things, lunch at the Roycroft and Panno’s, dinner out in Perry at The Hole in the Wall, Sahlens hot dogs on the grill at one of the coldest Bills games in history…Just a great time.

The last day I didn’t feel like I had my fill of Buffalo food so I went all out!

For lunch I got my whole family together and picked up a bunch of great food for us to share before I left.

First stop was my favorite place for food in the area, the Bar Bill.

Sweet, incredibly crispy Honey Butter BBQ wings, Sicilian wings (think Italian dressing and parmesan cheese on a wing), moist and juicy Beef on Weck, hot crispy beer fries and a couple orders of Zeet (kind of like a sausage hot pocket).

Then I stopped at another favorite, Pasquale’s, for a slice of their thick greasy pizza (I don’t like thick pizza but this one is the bomb) and a perfect chicken finger sub made with breaded chicken fingers dipped in hot sauce, topped with melted Provolone Cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and bleu cheese.

Whew!! Thank goodness the family was able to help me eat all of this! It was quite the lunch buffet.

I have to reiterate again how good the wings at the Bar Bill truly are. The best in Buffalo- no contest.

After this smorgasbord of food it was back to the airport.

Except I decided to stop on the way for one more thing- Mighty Taco!!

If you grew up in the area you swear by this fast food style taco. Most out-of-towners think its disgusting.

Hey whatever- I think it’s awesome.

I picked up a Super Mighty Pack and wrapped it up tight to enjoy for diner later that night back home.

So we retuned to NYC tired, full but happy. It was a great trip and a wonderful Christmas.

I can’t button my pants any more so a diet is in need but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop posting.

I was so busy the last couple weeks I haven’t had time to post about some awesome things I’ve had lately.

So get ready to hear about my Congee face off, a unique NY state dinner and the opening of one of my favorite places 50 blocks closer to my apartment!! Here’s to 2009!