Friday, June 28, 2013

New Brew Friday- Schlafly Dry Hopped APA

Midwest New Yorker's were pretty psyched last month because a local brew finally started getting distributed here- Schlafly from St. Louis.


I have trouble pronouncing the name right (Schlafly- that "schl" combo gets me every time) but I'm having fun trying out all their different brews.  This one is the Dry Hopped American Pale Ale.  There's a little citrus and biscuit up front but both the smell and the flavor are quite mild.  It has a creamy feel with a nice balance of hops and bitter...overall a very sessionable easy drinking beer.  You can find Schlafly in just about every beer store in the city right now.  Pick some up for a little Midwest love:)

Schlafly

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buffalo Recap

I had another fabulous trip home last weekend chock full of the regular old spots like Bar Bill and Rick's but also some new exciting places like a lunch at Wellington Pub on Hertel.



Their chopped salad didn't look like much but it was awesome.  Lots of cheese, red onion and egg...what's not to love.



The burger was pretty good too.  The meat was cooked perfect and the outside had a slightly salty char but it could have used a touch more to make it great.



As always some wonderful beers at Aurora Brew Works like the Alchemy Hour Double IPA from Great Lakes Brewing Company.



And of course a stop out at Southern Tier Brewing for a flight of their incredible beers.  The amount of sweets I consumed is to large to even fathom but a favorite stop was Taste Coffee for breakfast with my Dad.



Chocolate Torte for him and a Salted Caramel Brownie for me....just the way breakfast should be:)

Wellington Pub

Taste of East Aurora

Aurora Brew Works

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shake Shack Breakfast!

Many of you probably don't realize this but when Shake Shack opened in Madison Square Park years ago they served breakfast.  I only lived a block away so this delicious treat was something I looked forward to many mornings.  Well when they stopped serving it I was devastated...no more breakfast ever? Then I heard they were opening up in the new Delta terminal at JFK AND bringing back breakfast.   Trip booked!  I raced through the terminal Friday morning to get there on time for 11:00 AM breakfast cutoff.



The Shack is located way over near Gate B 34 and when I saw the shiny black and green menu I knew I was in the right place.



They offer all the regular offerings including the beefy Shack Burger and Flat Top Dogs...



And breakfast!!!! I went for the classic Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich.



Thick salty Nimon Ranch Bacon with a fried egg, melted cheese and a squishy grilled potato roll. Oh my this was delicious!  It seriously had so much of the Shack burger flavor going on I wonder if they had just cooked a burger in the same spot they grilled the bread.  I decided to take it to the next level and asked for a side of Shack sauce.



Oh yeah...maybe this was going a little over the edge for breakfast but I didn't care.  It was awesome.  I've already decided I'm going to ask for a burger egg sandwich mash up next time since they serve the burgers all day.



It was fantastic to see so many great local products on hand at the register.



Including some Shack wine and the Shackmeister Ale from Brooklyn Brewery.  Oh and guess what's right across the hall...



A Blue Smoke outpost that ALSO serves breakfast!  What!!!  I really need to start taking more trips...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beer To Go- Beer Table Pantry

How many times have you been in Grand Central and grabbed a beer from the stand before jumping on your train home?  Chances are you've ended up with something crappy like a Coors Light or Budweiser.  Lucky for you Beer Table Pantry might be changing that.



Now in addition to filling up growlers, they have pints to go...in jar form.  




You just stop in, pick out a delicious beer they have on tap that day and they fill up the jar, seal it up and your off!  Last visit they had a bunch of local favorites like Bronx Summer Ale and Brooklyn Schorcher #366.  It's a novel and tasty way to make the long commute home a little bit better.


Brooklyn Brewery


The Bronx Brewery

Beer Table

Monday, June 24, 2013

Getting 4th of July Ready at Black Hound Bakery

I'm a firm believer in planning...so of course I've decided to try out various Independence Day treats so when the actually holiday arrives I'm prepared with an arsenal of goodies to celebrate.  This is the Red, White and Blueberry cake from the little East Village cake shop Black Hound.



The outside is a lightly whipped white chocolate buttercream frosting with vanilla cake crumbles...


...while inside reveals layers of vanilla cake and vanilla pastry cream studded with fresh strawberries and blueberries.  The marzipan star on top completes the theme.  It's summer, it's independence, it's delicious:)

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Brew Friday- Kuhnhenn Wild Blueberry Pancake

I did a little Pre-SAVOR imbibing over at Torst Friday afternoon and tried out the Wild Blueberry Pancake Ale from Kuhunenn Brewery.



This beer was crazy.  It had a seriously foamy head with tight little bubbles and the aroma of pancakes cooking on a griddle...seriously.  I absolutely loved it!  The blueberry flavor was so fresh and creamy I literally just stared into my glass for a few minutes soaking in all the wonderful sights and smells.  If you have the unique opportunity to get yours hands on one of these enjoy every second of it!

Torst

Kuhnhenn Brewery

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brunch at Jalapeno

It's amazing how a little Prosecco can make the day seem special. It's even more amazing when it's 11:30 Saturday morning and the place you stopped at for brunch said they have never ending Prosecco all brunch long.  Looks like nothing's getting done this Saturday!  And such was the case with Jalanpeno on the UWS.  Okay to be completely honest it wasn't all sunshine and roses... there was nothing good about their cornbread.



It was a hard, mealy mess that couldn't even be helped by a pat of butter since it was served ice cold...luckily the entrees were better.  My Carne Asada Con Heuvos was decent.  The meat was tender and the beans had a nice spice but the dish could have used a little bit more flavor overall.  



But I won't complain much...once we were around glass number three I don't think any of us cared much about anything!  The wind was blowing a nice gentle breeze all around our sidewalk table and the people watching on the Columbus Avenue was simply fantastic.  I wouldn't mind spending every Saturday chatting with friends and enjoying some bubbly like this!

Jalenpeno

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sugar and Plumm

The newest location of the UWS sweet shop Sugar and Plumm is churning out some delicious treats down on Bleeker Street now.  On my most recent trip it was a stop in for a macaron.



It was incredibly hard to choose just one especially when flavors like Strawberry Poppyseed and Chocolate Banana are on the menu.  I was feeling an old classic though...a nice straight  vanilla.



The cookie had an excellent chew with flecks of vanilla beans in the shell and a delicate cream center...the perfect mid-week treat.

Sugar and Plumm

Monday, June 17, 2013

SAVOR NYC

It was a glorious weekend  to be in NYC as SAVOR came to town for the first time ever.  The event was held in the Altman Building and all the great brewers in attendance were pouring some incredible beers.  Look at the color on this Founders Rubaeus.



There were so many amazing sours it was hard to know where to begin.  The Bells Raspberry Wild One was a great choice as was the tart Odio Equum from Avery.  


Over at the Yazoo table they were pouring their sour the Wild Child and pairing it with a fantastic Short Rib and polenta mash.


Another great pairing was the Goat Cheesecake with Laughing Sun Strawberry Wheat.


Unfortunately I couldn't get over the bizarre texture of the Spiced Corn and Bacon bite.  It was like an egg yolk exploded in my mouth... not a texture I want to have while drinking beer that's for sure but I did enjoy the Ozzy beer.


The guys from Terrapin were there pouring two of their newest beers the Tree Hugger and Side Project 19 Mosaic.  I really liked them both and the salty chocolate pairing was perfect.


There were so many amazing beers it's impossible to name everything I enjoyed but there were some definite favorite like the always incredible Parabola from Firestone Walker and Sans Pagaie from the Bruery.  One of the biggest highlights of the event was attending the Three Floyds Salon to hear head brewer Barnaby Struve talk.


We got a tasting of four different beers including an incredible Double Pilsner called Evil Power that completely changed the way I think about that style of beer.  It was clear that everyone in the Salon was, as my Mother would say "feeling no pain" which made the talk a little bit unusual but it was still a fabulous time.  We continued the party into the weekend with a trip out to Alewife the following day and a ride up to Peekskill Brewery on Sunday.  What a great beery weekend!


Friday, June 14, 2013

New Brew Friday- SAVOR Edition

One of the premier beer and food events in the United States brings 76 breweries to town pouring some of their finest beers and pairing each with food.  This is the first year SAVOR has been held in NYC and the line up looks incredible.  I'm hoping to try everything but these three are a must for me:

Bells Raspberry Wild One- a wild ale aged in oak wine barrels with raspberries paired with Duck Rilette, Peach Hosin on Black Brioche.  I'm in love with sours right now and this one sounds right up my alley.  Bells is also pouring  Black Note and the opportunity to enjoy this creamy espresso stout again is too good to pass up.  I may be spending a lot of time at this table...

The Bruery Bois- an old ale brewed only once for their fifth anniversary, paired with Glazed Short Rib, Soft Polenta and Crispy Leeks.  I'm in love with the Bruery's previous anniversary beer Fruet and the Bois promises a similar burnt sugar, bourbon, fig flavor...at 15% one of these should be enough.

Crux Fermentation Project Imperial Stout paired with a Black and Tan Brownie with Butterscotch and Pretzel.  I know absolutely nothing about this beer and reviews for the brewery are few and far between which excites me.  The pairing notes say the brownie should tame the richness of the beer and pull out notes of vanilla....yep that's why it's on my list.

I'm also incredibly psyched to be attending the Three Floyds Salon where I hope to learn more about their amazing beer.  There's surprisingly still tickets left so jump on their website if you want to pick some up.

http://www.savorcraftbeer.com/

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Le Parisien Bistro

Located in Murray Hill, the Parisien seems a bit out of place among the Irish pubs and sports bars that line the street.  The tiny space is like a cozy, rustic sanctuary from the outside world, albeit a bit cramped.  The menu and wine list are both brief but have all the French classics.  To begin a big pot of Mussels for the table.





They were quite generous with the mussels, four of us split the bowl as an appetizer and we had more than enough.  They were plump and juicy with a delicious white wine and garlic sauce.  However vegetarians beware- they also put sausage in the broth when it wasn't listed on the menu so be specific when ordering.  Luckily none of us were vegetarians so we didn't mind and I really didn't mind when I tried one of the frites that arrived with the mussels.



These were long, skinny and perfectly crisp.  Seriously some of the best fries I've had in a long time.  I was so happy Mr. T ordered the Steak Frites as his main so I could steal a few more:)



And steal I did along with a bite or two of his steak.  The meat was a perfect medium rare and had some nice marbeling but it could have used a little bit more seasoning.



The men both ordered the Steak while the ladies enjoyed the classic Duck Confit and the Pan Roasted Skate with french beans and toasted almonds.  The Skate was hands down my favorite dish of the night with a lovely lemon butter sauce that really went well with the crunchy almonds.  



We thought about getting dessert but decided to head over to Eataly for a drink instead.  Total cost of the bill for four people was $180.  Not too bad for four people with two bottles of wine.  It was a great way to kick off the weekend.

Le Parisien 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Brunch at The Brindle Room

The tiny little Brindle Room was absolutely bustling the morning we arrived for brunch.  We didn't have a reservation so we ended up sitting at the bar.   It's not exactly the most comfortable seating but we were really craving their food like this delicious Kale Salad with pecorino and golden raisins.


The raisins gave the bitter greens a sweet edge and made it incredibly satisfying. Of course no brunch at the Brindle Room would be completely satisfying without ordering the burger.


Their thick Steakhouse Burger has a fantastic salty char on the top and rich caramelized onions.  It's one of my favorite burgers in the city. 

The only thing we both found a little odd was the music playing in the background...It was a mix of songs including "Everybody Hurts" and "Runaway Train"...not exactly the lively, upbeat music one usually associates with brunch.  Maybe someone had a bad morning:)


Monday, June 10, 2013

Big Apple BBQ 2013

The weather gods let the incredible sheets of rain stop for two glorious days of the Big Apple BBQ Block party.  I got there early with my Fast Pass for the best Pulled Pork sandwich I've ever eaten at Big Bob Gibson.



Pitmaster Chris Lilly was on hand and the sandwich was just as incredible as I remembered... nice brunt ends and lots of saucy meat.  Then it was onto 17th Street for their smoky Baby Back Ribs.


I had to take a break and do a little walk around the park to get some stomach room going...hey there's Ed Mitchell checking on his whole hog!


I still wasn't ready for round two so I stopped into Eleven Madison's Kentucky Bourbon party and ordered an incredible Old Fashioned.


Normally drinking an Old Fashioned at 11:45 in the morning would be crazy but it seemed totally appropriate on BBQ weekend.


The band was fantastic.  I stayed for the whole set and finally felt ready for round two.  Over to Jim N' Nick's for some extra spicy sausage with creamy pimento cheese.


Then a quick stop at Dinosaur to check out their Brisket Sandwich..this thing was so incredible I went back on Sunday to get one more.


The day always needs to end with something sweet so it was over to the Original Fried Pie Shop for our last stop.


I swear there must have been about three sticks of butter in this thing...


...but it was totally worth it for the golden cherry goodness inside.


Besides the ridiculous beer pricing ($9 for a Shiner Bock!) we had a lovely time listening to music and enjoying the atmosphere.  Another successful BBQ in the books...eleven years and going strong!

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Brew Friday- Goose Island Bourbon County Cherry Rye

It's time for the weekend and this Friday we're talking about a mammoth, hard to find, incredibly delicious and complex beer...the Cherry Rye.  Goose Island took their regular Bourbon County Brand Stout, dumped it into rye whiskey barrels and added a ton of Michigan cherries.



This beer pours jet black with very little head and huge aromas of bourbon.  You don't get much cherry on the nose at first but when you taste it...WOW...you get the full flavor of cherries up front, then rye, followed by a smooth, slightly hot vanilla end.  It's big (13.7%), bold, and absolutely fantastic.



This beer has only been brewed once so the possibilities of finding a bottle right now are almost impossible.  But take a quick trip down to Top Hops right now and they have it on draft from their Goose Island event.  I got to enjoy it in all its wonder last night so hopefully one of you can enjoy before it all runs out.  Happy Friday!



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weekend Plans

Let's see what's going on around town. Madison Square Park comes alive with BBQ and music for the annual Big Apple BBQ on Saturday and Sunday.  I got my Fast Pass in the mail months ago and can't wait to get started checking out all the food and drinks.



My favorites from last year include the always popular Big Bob Gibson's pork shoulder sandwich and the spicy, sweet meat from Mitchell's out of Tennessee.  You really can't go wrong with anything at the festival...check out some past eats here or head over to Serious Eats for their incredible BBQ battle plan.  If your heading downtown instead Smorgasbar is another great option.  



It's located in South Street Seaport and filled with lots of wonderful food options like Pizzamoto and Milk Truck Grilled Cheese.  Plus they have great big tables right in the center perfect for sitting in the sun and sipping on some beer from the actual Smorgasbar.


There's some tasty local beer on tap like Brooklyn Pilsner and Captain Lawrence Kolsch.  Plus your helping to revive the Seaport area which just hasn't been the same since Sandy struck months ago.  Or perhaps you could check out the new Citi Bike Program...


...hop on some wheels and take a spin somewhere new.  Why not head into Brooklyn and check out one of my favorite beer bars Downtown Bar and Grill.


This place has an incredible selection of hard to find beer including pages upon pages of vintage brews.  Last time I was there for their anniversary party I scored a bottle of Zombie Dust.


Whatever you decide it's time to start making plans...TGIF!