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Friday, July 10, 2009

summer libation project, a la zac

Inspired by Zac's summer beer project, I thought I would report on my own summer consumption of adult bevvies. Seriously, this summer has been the best. And I haven't even gone on vacation yet! Anyway, I'm totally in love with this summer and I think I've sampled some tasty drinks, especially for a grad student on a budget.
  • Magic Hat Wacko. A librarian friend of mine recommended this to me in light of my love of beets. This beer is delicious and beautiful. I don't really have the vocabulary to describe beer like Zac does...and I don't have one in front of me at the moment to sip and be inspired by so this is just to say: I really enjoyed it. All Magic Hat beers are vegan.
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop. I thought this was the beer Zac recommended but then I got home and realized it was the Peche. Damn. I'll have to buy the Peche next time. The Aprihop is good but not amazingly delicious, in my opinion. It does taste like summer, though, so I definitely recommend it. Dogfish Head can't really go wrong by me. Note to self: try all their beers instead of always getting Raison D'Etre and 90 Minute IPA.
  • In the comments to Zac's post we discussed cream ales and recently I was reminded of one of my favorites: Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale. I think this is a great summer beer and I just picked some up for our upcoming Minnesota lake vacation.
  • Boulevard Wheat. Zac posted about this beer and his plans to mix it with lemonade. Wheat is my favorite beer and I can't get it on Ohio. Instead of drinking it, then, I wax nostalgic about it. For example, many fabulous evenings of my life have been spent sharing pitchers of Wheat at Minsky's on Main in Kansas City, where each pitcher is ringed with half a dozen lemon wedges. Any time my family in Missouri visits me they bring me some, bless them. I'm sure my parents will bring me some of this at the lake. Perhaps we'll try this lemonade thing.
  • Tucher Helles Hefeweizen. My sister loves this beer and she introduced me to it. She first had it at Das Stein House in Jefferson City, MO. It's sold at Jungle Jim's so I often get her some (I import German beer and IKEA items to Missouri on a regular basis.)
  • Left Hand Milk Stout. I have a bottle of this in the fridge right now. One bottle. I first drank this beer at the Old Mohawk Bar in German Village, Columbus, OH. It's rich and delicious and refreshing and awesome. It's not a summer beer. It's a year round beer, a dinner beer if you will.
  • Chimay. I had my first bottle of this at Myra's Dionysus last weekend after J, J, and I went to see the new Woody Allen movie. Where has this beer been all my life?! Where have these Trappist monks been hiding?! In a monastery or something?! A new favorite for sure.
  • Now for bevvies beyond beer. If you haven't had a Bellini you really must treat yourself. Bellinis are served in Venice and drinking it really takes me back. Combine peach nectar (I like the tall glass bottles from the grocery store) with Prosecco sparkling wine. Please use Italian Prosecco, please. I'm begging you. Bellini-makings are fun to take to a dinner party, which is one of my favorite things to do. At the end of the evening, after dessert and when the conversation is getting really good, it's nice to have this refreshing taste of summer. If I can't go to Europe, at least I can drink it.
  • I also had Trader Joe's sake for the first time. It's really good and it may surprise you how tasty it is. They also have a "sparkling" sake, which in my opinion is just wrong, so make sure you get the non-sparkling variety.
I think that about covers it. Beyond my knitting night Shiner Bocks and pints of Guinness that's what I've been tossing back these days. I think next summer I will fulfill my longtime desire to make Limoncello but I didn't get it together earlier in the spring to have some for summer evening, after dinner sipping. What have you been drinking lately?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

For all the CSA fans in the house...

I was perusing Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog as I am wont to do when I stumbled across this recent review of LocalHarvest, a CSA/co-op/community agriculture/farmer's market/restaurant search tool that helps you locate such offerings in your area. I'm fascinated by the almost natural synergy (excuse the hackneyed term, but it's early) of back-to-basics movements and new social networking technologies. Many of the locations we're familiar with came up with a simple zip code search (North Star, The Sipples, Wayward Seed, North Market, and many more), so it passed my rigorous testing, at least.

On an entirely unrelated note, for the gastronomic sadists out there: FancyFastFoods is a site dedicated to helping those Cheesy Gordita Crunches and McRib Sandwiches realize their culinary apogee (well, aesthetically... certainly not nutritionally or taste-wise). The food photography, incidentally, is incredible. Like tapas? Here's what you can do with cheap, greasy White Castle fare:

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I Cried at Lunch Today, But For All The Right Reasons...

Fans of street food, Mexican cuisine, budgetary constraint, and the porcine flesh, do take note: Worthington is now home to a new restaurant dubbed Taco Al Pastor. It's an unassuming little joint that doles out the usual Mexican fare (burritos, quesadillas, etc.), but is also one of the only places in the area that serves its eponymous dish: street tacos filled with spit-cooked pork made tender by the enzymatic caresses of pineapple, plus an assortment of spices, herbs, etc. They're all the rage in Mexico City (more here)... Three tacos and a can of Diet Coke for under $5. Go get some.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Will single-source chocolate be the next food item to go extreme?

Our friend Alan at Patric Chocolate introduced his new chocolate bar today. It's sooooo EXTREME!!! 70% Madagascar bar with freakin' nibs! This may blow any candy bar on the market out of the water. As I told Alan, this bar is ridunculous, for sheez. Buy one and get the 411 here.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

beautiful & delicious

Being friends with Jason offers a multitude of benefits. And many of them are edible! Here's his take on summer snacks before a movie. All ingredients are local.