Archive for June, 2009

Catching Up

June 21, 2009

The last couple weeks have been hell at work, so I’ve been too busy curling up in the fetal position at home to write anything. However, I’m hoping the storm has passed and we can get back to regular summer fun.

Beer

Oh, sweet, sweet nectar. How you taunt me. A couple weeks ago, I arrived home to a refrigerator that looked like this.

This is what the door to heaven looks like

This is what the door to heaven looks like

We’ve been enjoying several local and imported varieties. Summit has a lovely four-beer sampler of Extra Pale Ale, Pilsner, Hefeweizen, and Scandia (very Belgian-like) that’s light and perfect for sipping on the deck on a summer evening.

We went to Grumpy’s a couple weeks ago and I had a sampler of four beers served on a paddle.

  1. I tried Fatty Boombalatty, a beer from Wisconsin. It was golden, slightly fruity, Belgian-like, with a light finish that had just a hint of hops. Fatty Boombalatty is also what I’ll be calling my butt if I don’t slow down the beer consumption.
  2. Next up was Fat Tire (I failed to note the variety, but I think it was the Trippel). It was gold with a hint of amber, and it had a tinge of toffee flavor. It was good, but not as delicious as Fatty, and it didn’t hold up as well with food. However, that wouldn’t stop me from trying their offerings again.
  3. I also had a sample of Rush River Bubblejack IPA, even though I’d tried it before. I wanted something hoppy, and I wanted to measure the other things against something familiar. It did not disappoint, and was hoppy and light.
  4. Last was Summit Red. It was a deep red color (very pretty), and was slightly hoppy, although not as much as the IPA. It had a slightly fruity taste to it as well.

(Have I mentioned that I can’t wait until I get an iPhone so I can have it with me all the time and take pictures? The shipment is in progress. Some of us were a little slow on the uptake, plus I’m porting my land line so it’s taking a bit of extra time, but as long as it’s here before my next Vegas trip, things will be good. Ahem.)

To accompany my beer, we had the mac & cheese bites (highly, highly recommended), and the Cuban sandwich (not recommended so much… it was a little on the dry side). The sampler was a great deal, and most of the beers were regional (except for Fat Tire, which is out of Colorado), so it was fun to try some local flavor.

Axel’s

We had a let-off-some-steam work happy hour at Axel’s Bonfire on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. I had a drink flavored with Bacardi Dragon Berry, lemonade, and a splash of cranberry juice. It was light and summery. Then I had the delicious French Kiss martini, which I fondly referred to as the never-ending martini. Normally, when you order a martini at Axel’s, they give you a shaker with an extra portion. It’s a great bargain, considering that you get 2 drinks for $9 to $11, and drinks are $2 off during happy hour. However, this shaker contained at least four servings (including the original pour). Not that I’m complaining… I just need to pace myself.

Brasa

In search of more food, we started wandering east on Grand. I mentioned that Brasa had just opened, but I wasn’t sure where it was. Sure enough, it was just a block away and appeared like a pork-flavored beacon on the horizon. Groups of more than four have to order family-style, and the six of us were happy to comply. We got half of a Creole-style Rotisserie Chicken, a half pound of the Slow Roasted Pork, a side of grits and a side of roasted yams with Andouille sausage. We also got complimentary cornbread muffins drizzled in butter. The food was incredible. Surprisingly, I liked the chicken even more than the pork. Both were flavorful and juicy. The sides were outstanding, melt-in-your mouth spoonfuls of delight. The muffins were warm and slightly sweet, with the perfect balance in texture between moist and crumbly. Having recovered from my martini, I ordered a Rush River Amber Unforgiven Ale, which went incredibly well with all of the food. I can’t wait to return. They were busy for a Friday night, but not dauntingly so.

KP Anderson at Acme

We had several events to choose from this weekend. We could have gone to see the New Standards at the jazz festival in Mears Park in downtown St. Paul (where a branch of Barrio has opened…). The Twins were in town, playing the Astros. And KP Anderson (writer for “The Soup,” “Last Comic Standing,” and other shows) was playing Acme Comedy Co. Based on the title in this section, guess what we chose? He was hilarious, and had several funny stories about his wife, his kid, and his parents.

Crafted Together

I went to this craft show in White Bear Lake several weeks ago, and I’ll give it a more extended review in another post. I found several local crafty people whose work is awesome, and I found that downtown White Bear Lake has some fun shops and restaurants worth exploring.

Advertisements