Tag Archives: Beer

Double Jack!

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I saw some tweets about Firestone’s Union Jack, so while I sat out and enjoyed this weather, I thought I’d treat myself to a bomber of the Double Jack on the porch.

To steal a line from The Urge, Damn this shit is goooooooood…

It’s better than Bell’s Hopslam, better than Founder’s Devil Dancer, better than damn near any hoppy beer I’ve consumed. Its tops for Imperial or double IPAs. Just the right amount of grapefruit and pine, with a good, creamy head, and plenty of body to carry the day.

With that in mind, while it’s still a bit cool at night, get your behind to the Wine Merchant and score a bottle. Then, next time we get a cool breeze with some night time spring showers, get your behind on your porch or deck and enjoy 22 ounces of some of the tastiest beer this douche has ever put lips to.

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A Goodbye to My Winter Browns

I think the saying goes something like, “think globally, eat locally,” and I try to. Eating locally often creates a situation where you’re eating seasonally as well, and that’s a good thing.

A summer meal:

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A winter meal:

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During the spring and summer months we often eat lighter, and along with that, we drink lighter. Guinness and Cabernet go well with nearly everything, especially beefy winter dishes, but when eating lighter fair, I tend to go with a crisp white wine or a refreshing lager or pilsner, or better yet, Bell’s Oberon. The same goes for my cocktails. The bourbon and Amaro driven drinks take the warmer months off and are replaced by gin drinks with a smattering of Rum and Tequila, most likely in the form of the El Diablo or Dark and Stormy, especially when day drinking is involved. Being the dork that I am, I even switch my bitters out.

Gin is my favorite summer, and possibly, all year base spirit. Rye and Rum are close, but Gin seems to be my number two gal, and for this reason, I can’t wait to start stirring up pitchers of Aviation Gin Aviations to enjoy on the porch.

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As readers, you will see my menus and ingredients start originating from my Wednesday afternoon strolls to the Maplewood Farmer’s Market held at the Schlafly Bottleworks. It may be called the Schlafly Farmer’s Market now.

I feel Schlafly/Maplewood is the best local farmer’s market as Tower Grove’s is over priced and Soulard’s doesn’t seem to have the local producers like Yellow Tree Farms or Missouri Grass Fed Beef. Goshen Farmer’s Market is by far the best for selection and price. They have some annoying craft venders, but I just ignore them. A trip to Edwardsville to the Goshen version on Saturday mornings is a must if I’m doing any canning. Maplewood’s works for individual dinners, but if I need veggies and peppers to can, in bulk, I’ll drive over, even with gas at the price it’s at, it’s worth it. In addition I get to enjoy some Goshen coffee at 222 along with one of their amazing salami an cheddar croissants.

Its nice to know exactly where your food comes from. For instance, the jalepenos I buy and process are grown on a sunny hill a couple miles from my in-laws and can be had for a song compared to the pricing at the west side of the river markets. Its the small local guys that generally have the best prices. They’ll often be quite a bit lower than Biver Farms on your regular market fair, but places like Yellow Tree and Biver are great for unique items.

Chad Rensing holds court at the Goshen market and sells some damn good meat, check his web page here, I usually meat up with him around Christmas to buy my parents gifts in the form of his 2 plus inch thick pork chops. Fond, which was across the street from where the market took place, used his products. Mill’s is a great vendor as well, they also sell baked treats in case the 222 Bakery item didn’t fill me up. Wether you go to Goshen or Maplewood you’ll likely see some of the area’s best chefs checking out what’s fresh. I’ve seen Gerard Craft or the Niche empire in Maplewood on several occasions, even during the sporadic winter markets. If guys like Gerard are shopping there, why shouldn’t you.

That being said, and the weather being what it is, I thought I’d treat myself to one last wintery mix/meal before I start switching up my proteins and put the stouts, porters, and brown ales away.

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So, I cooked a steak, from Baumann’s, as always, on the cast iron, roasted some potatoes, and had a nice salad,

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and dessert.

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The salad was dressed with a cider vinegar, honey, and mustard vinaigrette. Washed everything down with a Manhattan 2:1 and a heavy IPA. Dessert, in the form of Dad’s Scotch Cookies, was paired with Laird’s 7.5 year Apple Brandy, something I would usually reserve for a fireplace chat. It was a damn fine meal to say goodbye to Old Man Winter.

That was a great meal, but now that it’s gin time, as seen by all the green bellow,

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let’s start enjoying more of the best base there is.

I’ll likely be drinking a few more Martinezes before it gets to be Aviation hot, but gin is in wants it hits 70 degrees, kind of like how sear sucker is in wants the Cardinals start playing games that count, you have to embrace the opportunity to make you’re own rules in this world whenever you can. So as a rule, I’m going to make a new gin drink each week as long as it hits 70 degrees.

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3×33 = A good week

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I was discussing Yelp with a local business owner and proprietor, there are a lot of strong feeling out there, and, as a Yelper, wanted his opinion. I mentioned that I’ve only written reviews on establishments I didn’t care for, Oceana Bistro, for one. He suggested that that was one of the problems with Yelp. I countered, that I balance my negative reviews with checking in at joints I frequent on a regular basis. Thus, publicizing my liking of those places on my respective Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also mention my favorites on this very blog. What higher praise could an establishment get than a shout out on Amuse-Douche, a tweet mentioning @AmuseDouche11, or a check in on Facebook? But, my wife, who’s in the hospitality service industry, agrees with Jeff, so I’ll do my best and give props to my local favorites.

I had some free time this morning, and wanted to do a review of one such place, so, after checking where I’d been checking in, I was lead to 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Room just off Lafayette Square on Park. It’s the blue building, there is a sign above the door, but it’s about 2 x 6 inches in size, so don’t go looking for it by the sign. But don’t worry, there’s no lame speakeasy vibe.

This past Tuesday I went by 33 wine bar for a wine tasting. Venge Vineyards brought six or so wines in, including a wonderful Pinot Noir and the Scout’s Honor, which, with my being an Eagle Scout, was a treat on several levels. The following is the write up from 33’s invite:

We are honored to have Venge Vineyards owner and winemaker Kirk Venge join us this evening for a wine tasting of the spectacular 2009 and 2010 offerings. More than just the Scout’s Honor, Kirk will present Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and a few surprise gems from this venerable winery started by Kirk’s dad, Nils. There is no charge for the tasting… wines will be available for purchase at a discounted price. Please join us and welcome Kirk to our fair city.

The wines were all quite nice, but unfortunately out of this guy’s price range. I may grab a bottle of Scout’s Honor the next time I want to splurge. One of the great things about 33 is that you can enjoy wine in the shop or take a bottle or, better yet, a case home.

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Tasting sheet with wines and price list.

The picture at the top of this posting is that of their menus. The wines are broken down by variety and I believe the listings arranged by price, with region or state listed beside the wine name. This makes searching for a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir easy, especially when price is a concern. Jeff and the rest of his staff are all very knowledgeable on wine and beer, so just ask their advice. Give them your menu, varietal preference, price range, and let the pros guide your decision.

The next afternoon I had a friend coming through town, and we needed a drink. Had he been coming through that evening, we’d have hit Taste,Sanctuaria, or Blood & Sand, for dinner and drinks, but it was 3 PM and those joints don’t open till 5 PM. Fortunately Jeff, at 33, welcomes customers, with his signature hat and chuckle, starting around 3 PMish.

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We had a seat at the bar and each enjoyed a glass of white off their by the glass list, as it certainly felt like white wine weather outdoors. My friend stayed with wine, and I went with a couple of their, very well selected, beers. We also
Enjoyed a great cheese and meat platter. My friend ended up purchasing two bottles of rye as well, but those were to take home. The price was right at what The Wine and Cheese Place was getting for the same rye, yet another reason to go to 33 and not TWCP.

For beer, their draught and by the bottle selections are top of the line. They’ve got quite a few bottles in standard, bomber, and 750 ml sizes. I believe they’re limited to six draughts, but you can tell much care went into their selection. While we drank our low proof treats we discussed with Jeff their higher proof options. They have one of the best selections in the city for whiskey, be it Irish, Scotch, Bourbon, or other American whiskey.

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Wether it’s a 28 year Hirsch, 16 year Black Maple Hill, Pappy 23 year, when it’s in stock, or Leapold Bros Colorado whiskey for the Americans, or some high end Scotch, 33 is the place to be for a dram. I can’t remember what Irish they have, sorry, you’ll have to go by to find out for yourself.

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The chalk boards seen just to the left of the booze are a nice way to amuse yourself while you imbibe. The first one is their draught list, the other two are generally some sort of list of places, quotes, artists, or films for trivia purposes.

I don’t feel the need to say too much about their wine selection, other than it’s vast, and reasonably priced. The carry out price is discounted, as it should be. Jeff does a great job selecting the wines for his store/bar.

Another tally on the pro side, is that 33 is the best place I’ve found to have a get together. Be it a birthday party, guys night out, anniversary, engagement, or what have you, 33 or so folks, pun intended, can fit into their back room for drinks from the bar, or you could see if you can prearrange for a few bottles to be poured to your guests. I ordered a toast of grower’s champagne for twenty once, and then left the guests to provide for themselves at the bar. They can put out great charcuterie and cheese plates along with Billy Goat chips to provide snacks for your party goers. If you’re bringing in a crowd you may be able to have the room to yourself without a room charge, call in advance, like a month if you can. Try doing that at McGurk’s or Blueberry Hill. The Dubliner will allow for free room usage and your own bar tender for a certain period of time, if 33 is unavailable and you can’t change the date.

On Thursday Civil Life did a tap takeover. This was not to be missed.

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A couple of the guys behind Civil Life used to be behind the bar at 33. Their beers, especially the American Brown and the English Bitter have no rival.

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In general they brew classic European style beers. You won’t find any overly hopped, ancho chile, chocolate covered strawberry, nonsense there. Not that I don’t love nonsense, Hopslam anyone, but if you want a perfectly balanced beer, brewed locally, using solar power, you’ve got to get down to the brewery or try one of their beers on tap at your better beer bars.

I guess this ended up being a review for two local gems. I’ll be sure to give them both five subjective, arbitrary, but at least INFORMED, and in their cases, well deserves, stars, on Yelp.

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Noble Rot Run

20120227-191026.jpg With Missouri’s ridiculous liquor laws limiting what I can pick up at my local liquor store, I’m forced to use other means to acquire these brews, which are unjustly kept from me by regulations created by big government bought and paid for by big beer.

I so love skirting the law.

In order to get my beers, like Big and Little Enos Burdette, I have to have the stuff ran in from a few states over. Fortunately, I’ve got a gal, and she does it, for the money, for the glory, and for the fun. Mostly for the money.

Whenever she’s back in town, she brings me a sampling of Dogfish Head. The brewery is known for doing some avant guard stuff. They say they do off-centered ales for off-centered people, which is just my style. Their owner, Sam Calagione, had a television show called “Brew Masters,” you may have seen it on Discovery Channel. They’re 60 Minute IPA is probably the best IPA I’ve had. Some of their other beers have been off putting, but others have been quite nice, it’s hit or miss.

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I keep one of each in the fridge, just in case.

Bandit brought me something very interesting this time. Noble Rot by Dogfish Head. For a video about the beer, click here.

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This beer is advertised as a saison like brew infected with viognier grape must. I’m looking forward to trying this beer on some chilly fall evening, until then, it’ll have to cellar, but don’t fret, when I do pop the top on this beast, I’ll be sure to post.

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How to stock; Glassware, Gadgetry, and Guides.

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You’re welcome for the grocery list, hope you didn’t break the bank, but now what do you need to properly prepare and serve your new collection?

I thought I’d break down the basics on glasses, guides, and gadgetry. As always, if your tastes take you in a different direction, run with it, it’s your collection, not mine. And, if you’re doing some type of specialization with your bar, then a greater variety of delivery apparatti may be needed, like tiki glasses, but this list will allow you to prepare and serve most, if not all, drinks, though you may lack in flair.

To help, where you see the hyper link on the word “glasses” or on a product, click and it should take you to an A-D approved version available online, or an example to then find your own unique version elsewhere. Further down I will explain those products which might not immediately come to mind for bar stocking. I will also discuss multitaskers that might not be as obvious to those who’ve not spent much time behind the stick. In a later blog I will break down a dozen or so must have kitchen items.

Glassware
12 Red Wine glasses
12 White Wine glasses
8 Old Fashioned glasses
8 Coupe glasses
8 Grappa or Port glasses
8 Sipping glasses
8 Vodka or Cordial glasses
12 Pint glasses
12 Champagne flutes
12 Highball glasses
12 Tom Collins/Mojeto glasses
1 Punch Bowl
24 Punch Cups/Sherry glasses 2-4 oz
12 coffee mugs (Irish Coffees/Totties)
1 Carafe (water for tastings)
1 Pitcher (stirring/pouring eye openers)

Here is my collection, minus the Waterford old fashioneds, martini glasses, and my pint glasses.

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One of my glassware cabinets.

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Another cabinet.

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Some sweet vodka/cordials my boss gave me.

I’ve got a bit more than I need.

Especially for the glassware, the examples I’m giving are those located at your local Sur La Table or Crate & Barrel. Look them up and get ideas of your own. By all means, please, find something second hand. Or if your tastes differ, then something a bit more flashy may be needed. But I’d suggest looking at the size and type of glass I’m suggesting before heading out shopping in antique stores. Smaller volume is generally better, cocktail recipes are usually about three ounces of booze, plus the ounce or so of melted ice that’s been diluted, leaves you with four ounces total of liquid, you don’t need a twelve ounce glass for four ounces of liquid. I use my old fashioned for a lot more than just an old fashioned. I like a very heavy bottom on those glasses. I like to feel I could throw one through some dry wall wall.

Glasses that can be used for more than one purpose are the way to go. Martini glasses are generally too large, unless you get antique versions. That’s why I suggest coupe glasses. They’re smaller and will work for any classic cocktail served up, or for champagne. Think of the glasses you see at Rick’s in Casablanca, or the glasses you see at any cocktail bar worth it’s salt. Again, you’re not looking to serve four ounces of liquid in a fish bowl. On the highballs and Tom Collins glasses, you may choose to go with one or the other. There is really no reason you can’t make a mojito, Tom Collins, El Diablo, rum and coke, cooler, or seven and seven in a highball, Collins, or standard pint glass. I prefer to have a second option other than pint glasses, because mine have logos, and that’s not classy. On pint glasses, just shop at your local tavern or brew pub. These random glasses also work well as conversation starters.

Another note on size, those individuals you deem worthy of an invite to have a drink at your home bar, should trust you’ll pour a proper pour of a good product, so, you don’t need to wow them with glass size and style, just with what’s in the glass. A well made three ounce drink in a heavy six or seven, volume, ounce glass is ideal, and you can always ask for a second cocktail, I know I’d join you.

Gadgets
Le Creuset Citrus Juicer
Bar Spoon
Hawthorne Straine
Julep Strainer
Boston Style Shaker
Yarai Mixing Glass
Channel Knife
Kuhn Vegetable Peeler
Pairing Knife
Nutmeg Grater
Bottle Opener
Cocktail Picks
Tea Strainer (for double straining)
Milk Shake Spoons
Wine Key
Blender
Muddler

I like a Boston shaker, I’m not a fan of cleaning those three piece shakers, plus it like cooler and has more volume for making larger batches, but a safety note, never more than one egg at a time. I like the stirring pitcher, I think they add a touch of class over a pint glass when you’re building a Manhattan or Martini. For bar spoons, I have an antique one, if I were to buy a new one I’d go with something with a fork on the end for fishing garnishes out of jars. Some spoons have a flat Muddler on the end, these aren’t necessary due to the fact that you’ll naturally follow my advice and get a nice maple bat styled Muddler. Try cracking ice with a bar spoon, then try it with a maple stick. Both are possible, but I like that batty. You need the tea strainer for double straining your drinks, especially your fruit juiced concoctions, but also to strain your tea. Milk shake spoons are a nice addition. They can be used to sip and stir drinks. They’ll have a spoon end with the straw opening behind it. The various knives and peelers will make garnish preparation much easier. Most of this stuff will help you in the kitchen as well. I keep a lot of this stuff, juicer, grater, peeler, etc in the kitchen. The strainers, spoon, and shaker are the only things I have down in the bar.

These tools will have you stylishly crafting and serving fine drinks, but how will you know what booze to use?

Guides
The Joy of Mixology
Imbibe
Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits

The Joy of Mixology has about every drink you can imagine, besides the Last Word. It has a section on bar tools and stocking a bar. It also has a section on a sort of Bartender’s code of ethics as well as some insight on running a bar. It’s a solid reference guide. Imbibe goes deep into the origin and history of the cocktail, types of cocktails, and individual cocktails. It is an excellent resource for those wanting to geek out or to show off. I suggest only using it for geeking out purposes, otherwise you may find yourself in a “Harvard” bar situation, being schooled by some page quoting, original, individual who will be serving your children French fries. That would make you an unoriginal douche, and that can be embarrassing.

Another fun guide, that marries the first two, is Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits by Dr. Cocktail, Ted Haigh. This is a great book, full of history and tasty drinks. If it’s not in Haigh’s book or Hess’s, you probably don’t need to serve it. Unless it is a punch, but if you need a punch just email me. Unless, you’re really into this stuff, then go buy Imbibe’s companion Punch a great history and recipe book.

I might also throw in, the above mentioned, Robert Hess’s guide, The Essential Bartender’s Guide. It’s easy and quick to use and has color photographs. It is not as comprehensive as Joy of Mixology, but it’s a good starter and more approachable.

I’ve got a few more,

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they’re great reference guides and are full of interesting tidbits and variations on the same drinks, allowing you to try these variations, learn these tidbits, and figure out which you enjoy most, and tell it’s story.

On guides, please search them out in a local, independent book store, like the Left Bank Book, if not, some day, we’ll only be able to read what Barne’s and Noble allows us, and only mix the cocktails B&N informs us of. On the glassware, try local boutiques. On the liquor, local liquor stores, I prefer the business practices of The Wine Merchant and 33 Wine. And when snagging pint glasses, snag from local pubs, but make sure and advertise for them at your home bar.

I know you’ll have more shopping to do now, but, I find that there’s no use pouring crap booze into generic glassware based on bad ratios from juvenile guides, so, I don’t, and if you cared enough to read this, you shouldn’t either, so just bite the bullet, this stuff doesn’t go out of style.

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Business Lunches

Every now and then, I can’t bring a bagged lunch or whip up a meal in the kitchen, so I choose to go on field trips. These ventures into the restaurant and bar world allow me to try new things, steal ideas, talk to the pros, and gather information to pass on to friends, family, and readers. Yesterday and again today, were such opportunities.

Yesterday I made my way into Washington, MO to the Old Dutch Inn.

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Had a seat at the bar, my favorite place for eating alone, because with the bartender there, you’re never actually alone.

Started with a Bells Two Hearted Ale and a bowl of beer cheese soup.

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Nice, salty, creamy, soup. The ale, with it’s crisp hoppiness, cut through the soup perfectly. Next came the Reuben.

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The sandwich was very flavorful, but the a bit tough. I could not cut through the meat with my bites of the sandwich. Pieces of corned beef would exit from between the bread as I took bites, not good.

I should have gone with the open faced roast beef sandwich, but I love to try reubens when offered. It’s a good way to judge a place, like how they prepare their burger.

If you’re out in wine country stop into the Old Dutch for dinner or lunch, stay away from the reuben, and check out the beer list. If you’re in town for breakfast I’d suggest Cowan’s, it’s your run of the mill mile high pie establishment, which is to say, sunny side up, sausage patties, grits, a piece of that pie, and coffee, black, please.

Today, I was at a U-Law symposium on the exclusionary rule and accountability. Unfortunately, as far as police are concerned, there is none. That’s not really germane, for these purposes, other than to explain why I was able to have lunch at Diablito’s Cantina.

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Diablito’s is located in the old Pasta House site in SLU’s campus. It’s run by the same folks who run Sanctuaria, which is why I thought to check it out.

They certainly are festive,

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but, I don’t eat at places for the decor, though it is a factor, when it’s white table cloths, but when it’s authentic Mexican, I feel there is a zero sum gain, more quality “Mexican” ambiance, less quality food.

I found the decor to be that of a generic Mexican restaurant on steroids, which didn’t bode well for the food. Its also a bit distracting, very in your face. Though their target audience, or loss leader, I assume margarita by the pitcher swilling coeds, may feel it’s a talking point while they try to score numbers and other things.

I ordered the Smoke & Mirrors margarita. It contained mescal along with the standard margarita ingredient list. The mescal was the smoking agent and it did deliver some smoke.

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Unfortunately, the drink itself, though a bit smokey, seemed watered down and was quite thin, I should have just ordered a shot.

For the none liquid portion of my lunch, I went with my Mexican joint litmus test, tacos al pastor.

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My first thought was, this is it? Second was, where’s the cilantro and lime, or any flavor other than sumptuous perkiness. The meat was tasty, but instead of this being the flavorful dish I’m used to when at cantinas, stands, or trucks, the non-pork flavor component was was missing. These tasted like carnitas tacos with some pineapple to sweeten, not al pastor. I love carnitas, but al pastor should be so much more. The rice and beans were okay, but there weren’t enough of them to leave me full after re three scant tacos.

Both lunches ran me $20, which is outrageous for me. Diablito’s won’t be a place I visit again, or recommend, and I feel that is very unfortunate. Cherokee Street and Las Palma’s in Maplewood will have to do when I need a taco fix. As I said earlier, I do recommend Old Dutch, and will be dining there in the future.

Both ran $20 with tip, had I stuck with an entree and tea, I’d have probably kept the bills under $12. Its easy to keep your lunch field trips under budget, just like when on a date, splitting a salad and a dessert, not boozing, and staying away from things like the filet or crab cake appetizer, which you can do just as well at home, will keep your date night field trip bill under control.

All in all, a nice, or at least informative, little couple of field trips for nourishment and reconnaissance.

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Hopslam

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I scored my annual allotment of Bells Hopslam yesterday. About a million IBUs, 10% alcohol, brewed with honey, amazing stuff.

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Popped the top on my first one tonight. Damn good, hoppy, but smooth.

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If you can find it, buy what you can. Mine was packaged on 2/09/12, I’d suggest checking the dates, especially if it’s been sitting out. This stuff is unpasturized and belongs in a cellar or fridge.

Hopslam is one of the annual releases that beer geeks truly geek out on, and I dabble in beer geekery. The only reason I scored any is that I follow the major craft beer retailers on Twitter, and saw that The Wine and Cheese Place had some available. If you like this sort of thing, I suggest you check A-D’s twitter followee list @AmuseDouche11. Come by and try one here if you like.

Otherwise, if you don’t want to work, or deal with me, for your beers, stop by 33 Wine and sip a bottle, unless you’re fortunate enough to find it there on draft, that would be choice. I saw the owner the other day at Kaldi’s and he said they still had a barrel untapped in the cellar.

You heard it here first! Hopslam!

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Beer, it’s not just for breakfast.

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We here at Amuse-Douche hosted a little get together last night, a little Mardi Gras celebrating. Went with crab cakes, red beans and rice, and king cake.

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I was responsible for the crab cakes, recipe to follow, the wife had the king cake, and our friend Lauren of allez! gourmet handled the RB&G. I may have had the oil a bit hot on the cakes, so they were a touch closer to carbon black then the golden brown I was aiming for, but the side and dessert were spot on, and carried the day.

‘C’rab Cakes
1.0 lb picked crab meat (canned claw)
.25 cup mayo (Dukes)
2.0 tbsp chopped parsley
0.5 small onion chopped (or 3 scallions)
.25 tsp cayenne
.25 tsp sweet curry powder
0.5 tbsp dried lemon grass
0.5 tsp fresh ground pepper
.25 tsp kosher salt
.25 tsp worcestershire
.75 cup crushed Saltines
0.5 cup Panko bread crumbs
1.0 egg (beaten)

Combine all ingredients (accept for egg and Panko) by folding together 16 times. 16 is a magic stirring number. See for yourself and you’ll find it’s just enough to incorporate ingredients for any recipe. Anyway, combine, be careful to protect those lumps of meat. Don’t want to make a paste here.

Make your cakes, dip them in the egg and then the bread crumbs to coat, then place the raw cakes on a cookie sheet with a rack. Put the racked cakes in the fridge for an hour. This will help maintain structure.

To prepare, fry in a half inch of oil at medium high heat until golden brown.

Doubling the recipe gives you seven large cakes, about the size of the bottom of a 40 ouncer and an inch and a half thick. Singling the recipe will feed four. This also work for a great appetizer, but I’d make the cakes half the size for that purpose.

For the aioli, I combined mayo, lemon juice, sate seasoning, sweet curry powder, Maharajah curry powder, and more lemon grass. I did this to taste. I’d use some heat here, but I wasn’t preparing the sauce just for me. Whisk the Hell out of it to combine.

For the corn base I went with a less fresh version of Thomas Keller’s creamed summer corn, found on page #189 of ad hoc at home . It’s basically creamed corn with chives and lime zest. I toss in some pickled jalepenos for heat. Ad Hoc is Keller’s most approachable cook book and a must for any aspiring douche.

So why the beer? Well, after entertaining all night I was fortunate to wake up to one of my favorite things, the sudoku triples and the accompanying Post-Dispatch, and one of my least favorite, a dirty kitchen. No time to be swilling cocktails, some of our dishes date back to Lincoln’s time, and can’t be replaced. That being the case, I went with another great breakfast drink, coffee stout.

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Mikkeller makes some great brews, and Beer Geek Breakfast is no exception. The title picture is of a bottle of Founders Breakfast Stout, a very tasty and chocholatey stout in deed. Young’s Double Chocholate would also do nicely, but I love coffee, so generally go coffee stout in the morning. I picked Mikkeller’s because it came in a bomber size, and I needed more than one beer.

As mentioned in an earlier blog, Schlafly and Kaldis make a tasty coffee stout, and Goshen and 4Hands do as well with their Bona Fide Imperial Expresso Stout.

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I’ve yet to try Bona Fide, but will on March 3rd at 4Hands’s Lupulin Carnival , a celebration of hops.

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If you aren’t into the heavy coffeeness, try Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout.

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It’s not available around here, but I’d part with a bottle for a ten spot. An interesting trade would be considered, if one were to be proposed, like say for two Hopslams by Bells.

So, if you’re needing to be productive, but also needing a bit of bottled courage to face your day, go for a coffee stout, they’re delicious, they’re nutritious, and when paired with an actual cup of coffee, you get both the buzzes necessary to tackle the kitchen that cleanliness forgot.

And yes, I finished the sudoku.

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