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Epicurean Ramblings - August 2013 Archives

Thoughts on Beer & Food, Home & Away

Great Taste Weekend 2013 Food Porn and What Not
Posted Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 by thewimperoo

The best weekend of the year for eating and drinking. Here's a rundown of all of the aforementioned porn.

Pineapple and Bacon Fritter from Glazed & Infused


Personal Sausage from Pequod's


Fun on Baby Jesus' Porch


Starting off pre-partying at Dexter's with a Toppling Goliath Pseudosue

Questionable company


Next stop was Ale Asylum's new facilities. 


Blonde IPA






Free Beer Pandemonium at Madison's for the Goose Island Pre Party


Sofie Paradisi and BCS Cherry Rye


The Illinois


Dinner at Paul's Pelmeni.  Glorious dumplings in a little spot just a block or so away from Brickhouse.  Pete, Kevin and I gorged on these in record time.  Surprise food of the weekend for me.  


Good times at the Brickhouse Pre Party.  The setup worked much better with the special timed beers up on the 3.5th floor.  


Marigold Kitchen for breakfast on Saturday morning for the 4th straight year.  Duck Confit Hash for me, Breakfast Sandwich for the wife.


A little snack after walking around the Farmer's Market.  Venezuelan empanadas.  Breakfast and Apple Cinnamon.  These were tasty.  The Breakfast had Nueskie's Bacon, scrambled eggs and aged cheddar.  


No pictures from the fest, but I thought it was a great time again this year.  I avoided almost all of the lines and didn't really have a strict schedule like in years past.  Just kind of randomly wandered around and drank tons of awesome beer.  


Forequarter for dinner.  I think this place has tons of potential.  Not every dish that we had was a star, but overall it was an enjoyable experience.  There was a fried chicken dish that looked awesome, but was 86'd by the time we were seated.  It was super dark in there so the pictures are the greatest.

Started off with a charcuterie plate with pickled vegetables and lomo aka melt in your mouth pork fat goodness


A Kolsch from House of Brews.  Really nice and went well with the food.


Fried shitake & oyster mushrooms, sprouted lentils, pickled serranos, balsamic reduction and salted lime curd


Roasted Green Beans with garlic confit, pickled mustard seeds, fermented green tomatoes and crispy braised goat


Blistered shishito peppers with lemon and parmigiano reggiano


Chocolate terrine, mint panna cotta, currant reduction and fresh currants


Up early Sunday morning to get to New Glarus, so we just stopped at Greenbush Bakery on the way out of town.  Sad that I missed out on the staple Old Fashioned Sunday breakfast, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices for beer. The giant apple fritter hit the spot like it always does.

Not too many people beat us to New Glarus when we got there around 8:30.  




Final haul of beer from the weekend


Already jonesing for next year.  Can't get here soon enough.


Proper Glassware is Serious Business
Posted Sunday, June 9th, 2013 by thewimperoo

Proper Glassware tasting last night



Lot of great beers.  Highlights were the 2012 Fou Foune, Brother Soigne, 2012 Blabaer, Resurgam and 2011 Elijah Craig 12 Eclipse.  


Dark Traveler Release Party
Posted Thursday, April 4th, 2013 by thewimperoo


Last night I was fortunate enough to partake in the release party for the new Goose Island Fulton & Wood series beer, Dark Traveler.  I'll share some pictures and video from the night, but first just a few words.  

It was a really great time.  Watching Dave work the room, while everyone enjoyed his beer put a smile on my face. Very proud and happy for Dave.  In my opinion, the beer was a success.  Light, crisp, full of flavor with maximum drinkability. At ~5% abv, you can drink this all night (which we did) and not feel much effect.   

Thanks again for the invite Dave.

Dark Traveler in the glass

Dave with his boot

Dave giving the first of two speeches on the night

Sr Brewer Keith with a photobomb by Hack

Swedish Jesus looking fine as always

Dave's speech to the masses (hopefully it embeds, if not click the link)


Crazy Good Time
Posted Thursday, February 7th, 2013 by thewimperoo

This past Saturday night, my wife and I partook in the Revolution 3rd Year Anniversary Party.  $50 for 3 hours of unlimited eating and drinking, plus a bottle of the 3rd Year beer and a tasting glass.  Unreal value for the food and beers being served.  I've missed out on all of the past Revolution parties and have always regretted it after reading recaps.  As soon as I heard about this party, I knew I couldn't miss it.  We opted for the 5pm-8pm session, which turned out fortunate since we never would have made the 1pm session.  Arriving around 4:30 we were greeted with a sign to grab our tasting glass.

Since we arrived early, we were able to snag a barrel to set up shop for when it came time to eat.  There were 9 food and beer stations setup throughout the brewery.  It was a highly efficient setup which led to very little lines despite 500 people in attendence.  

The menu for the night

In addition to the 9 food and beer stations, the main bar was open for drinking as well with additional choices. Highlights included Coffee Eugene, Very Mad Cow, 3rd Year Beer, Coup d' Abricot and Nip Pils

First station that we hit was the Chicken Liver Ballantine w/Sage Jus and Moby the Great White Ale.  Moby was a new beer to me, an imperial wit.  It went nicely with the food. The sage jus was great.

Second pairing we went for was the Scallop Ceviche w/Sour Orange Zest and A Little Crazy Belgian Pale.  I wasn't a huge fan of this food dish.  The beer is very good though, and the citrusy Citra hop profile went well with the orange flavor of the dish.

The third pairing we went after was the Bulgogi Beef Skewer w/Crimini Mushroom and Infiltrator Dopplebock.  Was a little surprised when I bit into the skewer and it was cold, but that didn't detract from the awesome flavors of the meat.  One of the dishes I went back for seconds of.  Really tasty.  The dopplebock was solid, but unspectacular.

Our fourth pairing was the Veal Sweetbread & Pork Sausage, Chow Chow and Salisfy Puree and TV Party Rye IPA.  The complimentary items on this dish were the stars more so than the sausage.  The casing on the sausage was a bit tough.  The Chow Chow was awesome.  I need a jar of that to just eat. 

Fifth pairing was Duck & Bacon Ragout, Smoked Gouda Grits, Pickled Shallots and Basil Orange Puree and Ivan's ESB. This was another of my favorite dishes.  Ended up eating a couple of bowls.  Great combination of flavors. Pickled onions of any kind are a weakness of mine.  Just the cherry on top. Ivan's is a 7+% ESB, not bad but not a favorite.

Sixth pairing we had was the Wild Rice & Barley Risotto w/Coffee Smoked Parsnip Cream and Coffee Eugene.  I'll start with the beer since it's awesome.  Easily my favorite beer of the night.  Ended up having 4 or 5 glasses over the course of the night. The food was my least favorite dish of the night.  I'm not sure if rice and barley was undercooked or it was supposed to be as al dente as it was, but the crunchiness to it was unappealing.  Didn't finish it.

Girl with really cool tats was pouring the Coffee Eugene

Seventh pairing was the Buffalo Chili Surprise and Very Mad Cow, BA Milk Stout. The flavor of the chili was really nice. Complex, tons of flavor layers and a building heat on the back end.  I'm more of a Texas Chili guy so the amount of beans in this chili was unfortunate to me.  I tried to eat around them, but it was basically impossible to get a bite without multiple beans in it.  The Very Mad Cow went great with chili.

Moving onto the dessert portion of the evening. Eighth course was a Dark Chocolate Candy Bar w/Whipped Malt Mougat & Hop Rocks and Winter Woman Imperial Brown. This was a nice combination of food and beer.  The hoppy brown went well with the richness of the nougat.  The hop rocks were a fun gimmick. 

The final dish of the night was probably my favorite, and that's saying something since I'm not really a dessert person. Ninth course was Pears Foster & Piloncillo Ice Cream and 3rd Year Beer, a Rum Barrel Aged Wheat Barleywine. The warm Pears Foster and the cold ice cream made a great counterbalance.  The crunch from the nuts sprinkled on top perfected the texture.  Had a few bowls of this one.

The 3rd Year Beer is quite nice.  Sweeter than Straight Jacket, but not overly sweet.  A bit hot, but also not overpowering. Glad to get the bottles to bring home.

Once we made our way through all of the stations the first time, we hit ones that we enjoyed for seconds and thirds. Then hit the bar for more beer.  For about the last hour as people got more tipsy a dance floor broke out.  Drunk white beer nerds and/or middle aged people dancing is always good entertainment. At one point Josh Deth, Chairman of Rev, busted out the worm and break danced.  Good times all around.  I expected the party to be awesome, and I was not let down.  It will be hard to miss any Rev parties in the future now that I've finally got a taste of the fun.

I'll leave you with some videos of people getting down.


4 Men, One Car and a Bunch of Beer and Tacos
Posted Sunday, December 30th, 2012 by thewimperoo


One night in chat, the subject of tacos in Chicago came up.  I began listing a few places off, and Kevin said that he hadn’t ever been to any of them.  Then said he hadn’t really been to any taquerias in Chicago besides Arturo’s.  Knowing this needed to be remedied, I said that next time he comes up north we should do a taco crawl.  That premise became reality yesterday.  I put together a short list of a few places that I know are good as well as a couple of places that have been on my list for a while. 

Kevin, Dave and I started out the day at La Chaparrita #1 on the South Side.  I had been reading about this place for almost 2 years now and just hadn’t found time to make it here.  They specialize in tacos made in a charola.  Overall, I think this was my favorite taco spot.  The tacos were great.  Loved the crispy tripe tacos, almost like little pieces of crispy bacon.  Not too funky for being offal.  The longaniza is like a more refined chorizo.  Not as salty or greasy.   Mango aquas frescas was super refreshing. 


Taco porn slideshow

Mango Aqua Fresca








Tripas Doradito


Campechano (Suadero (similar to a beef carnitas) and Longaniza)


On our way to the next stop we needed to make a pick up. Hack > Hey


Once Hack was secured, we made our way up to Half Acre.  Big Hugs with Mexican Vanilla Beans firkin was on the agenda.  It was delicious. 


After our Vanilla Big Hugs, we ordered tacos from El Asadero to bring back to Half Acre. Steak tacos are the bomb from here.  Pastor is also solid for a non-trompo version.  Hack enjoyed the chicken tacos.


Steak and Van Horn


After our tacos we hit the streets again and rolled on to Revolution Tap Room.  Solid beers as usual.  Barrel Aged Smoked Stout named, Burt.  A new single hop pale ale, Kemp’s Landing, and a super clean pils rounded out the highlights.  Tohtz discount was enjoyed by all. 


After Revolution we planned to make a quick stop at Pipeworks to pick up the glass I was owed for purchasing the batch 1 Blue Lady that went bad.  They let us into the brewery and from there it was full on hospitality.  The brew day was just finishing up so we tried to stay out of their way.  Soon enough Beejay was offering us glasses of Cherry Oak Abduction.  Pretty nice, agree with Beejay when he said it was better from the version they sent to FOBAB.


I just wandered around the small space taking some pics and enjoying my beer.  A new brewhouse will be arriving in the next few months to replace this tiny outfit they’re currently using.

6 7bbl fermentation tanks

4 bottle bottling machine

Dave, Kevin and Beejay nerding out over some Dark Tower

We were treated to a sample of the soon to be released Coffee Break Abduction.  Brewed with Ipsento coffee and vanilla.  Probably my favorite beer of the day.  Smooth coffee flavor, just great

We also had a taste of a Belgian Patersbier they did in conjunction with 18th Street that was quite good.  This should be in stores now.

After about an hour and a half we pried ourselves away so that we could move onto more tacos.  Tierre Caliente was our 3rd stop in the taco train.  Located in the back corner of a small grocery store, they are most famous for the pastor off the spit.  The trompo was loaded and spinning when we arrived.  2 pastor and a campechano for me, same for Kevin, 2 pastor and a barbacoa for Hack.  Pastor was really great even if we didn’t get it fresh off the trompo.  Microwaved tortillas kind of suck, but the meat was worth it.




Crispy bits of pastor

Campechano (Asada & Pastor combo)

After munching on these tacos, we made one more stop for tacos, because hey why not.  Taqueria Traspasada #2 was our 4th and final taco spot.  1 asada and 1 barbacoa each for Kevin and me.  The barbacoa was excellent.  Tender, silky fat lightly coating the beef.  One of the best versions of barbacoa I’ve had.  The asada was solid, but not spectacular. 



Final stop of the night was at GI Fulton to do some drinking on the brewdeck.  BCS and Big John highlighted the selection.  Once BCS blew, Baudoinia was thrown on.  We got a little tour to drool over the amount of awesome stuff just chillin in the cooler.  I mean 135 cases of King Henry, 95 cases of Rare,  90 cases of Vanilla BCS, 175 cases of Cherry BCS and kegs of stuff you can’t even imagine.  Ridiculous.


Great day.  Excellent tacos, beers and conversations.  Can’t wait to do it again.  God knows there are another 25 taco places we could include, and there’s always more beer places.