July 10, 2011
I wasn’t surprised that the barbecue was top-notch at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue when we stopped by for dinner in a relatively unplanned trip to Kansas City this weekend. I’d heard good things about it and we were not disappointed. The service and food were both great at the Martin City location we hit for a little chow.
What surprised me was the waitress’s response to the, “What do you have for beer?” I tossed her as we sat down on the patio to await a table.
What she said:
“We have Boulevard Wheat, Boulevard Dry Stout, Boulevard Pale Ale, Boulevard _______ .”
(fill in a coupla blanks–I forget what all she said. And then, as if an afterthought:
“And we have Bud, Bud Light and _________.”
All too often the wait-staff lists the beers with the craft beer relegated to the role of “afterthought.” So I was impressed that this joint had its priorities straight–showcasing solid, local beers alongside its tasty victuals. I went for the stout, which was primo. From Boulevard, it seems to me, their Bully! Porter gets all the attention, but if I have a choice of the two, I go for the Dry Stout any day of the week. It’s solid–and great with the ‘cue.
Cheers, Jack Stack! I’m a fan.
July 1, 2011
Michelle refused to eat this one, but boy did it bring back memories of my youth.
A simple, two ingredient affair, Beanie Weanies is a Midwestern classic, and one of two or three dishes that my mom cycled through our dinner table on a regular basis when I was a kid. It’s a bit slick and fatty feeling in the mouth, so I paired it with something to scrape the palate clean while bringing in malt and hop booms with an alcohol kick.
A bottle of Boundary Bay‘s Old Bounder Barley Wine, a gift from BB assistant brewer Anthony Stone and delivered to me by his kind mother-in-law, who lives in my midst. Yes, the beer world is small, and I am very thankful for both Anthony and Mrs. Ekdahl.
The barley wine absolutely did the trick, cutting through the fat and oddly complimenting this “dish,” while adding the hop bang so lacking in both beans and hot dogs.
Dead serious. Give it a try…
June 27, 2011
Making college noodles dreamy
So this one starts with a collegiate classic: your basic bowl of Ramen noodles. But before I add beer, I kick it up a notch with one of the only condiments that matters: Sriracha Hot Sauce. It makes everything kick a new brand of ass. Toss some on your 10-cent noodles next time and see if you don’t agree.
Then, add an IPA. I’m tossing back a Single-Wide IPA from Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City. Highly recommended, with or without Ramen noodles.
Groovy hot-spank/hop spank combo that I find lovely.
Man, I wish I could do college all over again…
May 31, 2011
Never in my life have I made tater tot casserole, but as I scoured my brain for lame food ideas, this Midwestern classic emerged as a perfect meal for not only this series, but also a wonderful pairing for the homebrewed Belgian Golden Strong I planned to crack open.
Success! While the dish’s only element of intrigue was the flashback to bad lunchroom food as a kid, the golden strong did a good job of cutting through the palpable fat and cholesterol-building disgusting-ness. The alcohol brightened the mouth and fought off some of that goofy tater tot flavor.
Interestingly, as I searched for “just the right recipe,” I was distracted by a Midwestern church cookbook’s (great place for lame recipes) Potato Weiner Bake. I was tempted to go there, but you know, it wouldn’t have worked with the Belgian Golden Strong quite as well…
May 19, 2011
[an occasional series on how “regular folks” can integrate craft beer into their “culinary” endeavors]
My mom was a lousy cook when I was growing up.
She’s better now, but one of the few “dishes” I could look forward to as a kid included the less-than-ambitious grilled cheese sandwich with canned tomato soup on the side. Nowadays, I funkify this dish with alt-cheeses that work well with saisons and double IPAs, but the old school version remains a sentimental favorite and is one of the few uses I have for ketchup. Though I’m liable to throw pan-seared cabbage or grilled asparagus on the side, I find guilty pleasure in the occasional use of lame, processed American cheese slices.
This week, I paired this simple plate of food with a Belgian wheat, which massaged the cheese in a soft and yummy way. A Vienna lager would work nicely to complement the toasty bits of this simple sandwich.
Give ’em a try!
May 9, 2011
With the fast in the past, Jake, Tom and I have set our sights on bigger and better burgers this summer. This weekend revealed our Beastie Burger, which features a medium-rare burger with chipotles, special spices, homegrown bacon, barbeque sauce, cheese, tomato, onion and topped with an egg. You would like it.