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Thoughts on Beer & Food, Home & Away

#beenawhile - Roister
Posted Sunday, June 18th, 2017 by thewimperoo

Dinner last night at Roister in Chicago for the wife's birthday.  Sat in the basement prep kitchen counter. 5 course meal.  I can't remember all of the components to every dish and there wasn't a menu so descriptions will be to the best of my memories.  Overall it was a pretty epic meal.


Cocktail/Beer Menu


Shinjuku Spritz - I love cucumber water so this hit the spot in cocktail form.


Eden Imperial Rose Ice Cider - More rose than cider, pretty interesting


1st course - East Coast Oyster with a mushroom mignonette & a shrimp dish with other stuff and tempura fried Thai basil leaves.  Could have eaten about 20 of those oysters.


2nd course - Multiple types of radishes, cucumber, carrots, dill, 7 hour egg, pumpernickel rye croutons.  Pumpernickel dashi to drink.  That dashi was insane, such a condensed explosive flavor.


3rd course - Crab fried rice & a green bean dish that had bacon and other stuff.


Snack - Sausage & red cabbage pot stickers with cajun seasoning.


4th course - Fried chicken thighs, sourdough biscuits, hot sauce. A fermented cabbage slaw.


5th course - "Milk & Cookies" & their play on a Take 5 bar (Foie Gras, Pretzel, Caramel, Black Walnut)



Great Taste Weekend 2015 - Food and Beer Porn
Posted Friday, August 14th, 2015 by thewimperoo

It's been quite a while since I've written one of these.  Unfortunately, I haven't done much worthy of the effort to write.

Great Taste Weekend is almost always worthy of that effort though.  This year it started on a Wednesday for me and ran through the following Monday.  Here's a photo album of some of the various foods and beers consumed over those days.  Enjoy.

Carnitas taco from Carnitas Uruapan in Pilsen.  Holy balls, this was my first time experiencing the porky goodness from here.  Easily jumped into my top 5 all time tacos.  Will be back soon.


Followed that taco up with a burger and a couple of beers at Dusek's.  Their take on a Juicy Lucy (slagel farms beef, red onion-bacon marmalade, heirloom tomato, butter lettuce) w/ beef fat frites.  Light, refreshing summer beers from Middle Brow (ParkLife) and 5 Rabbit (Tamarind Paletas) were the perfect accompaniments. 

Watched the White Sox on the company's dime. Had a couple of beers at Maria's, Rev and Half Acre.  Not a bad start.

Woke up early Thursday morning and made a cannonball run up to New Glarus for the bottle release.  Super quick in and out (twss). They really have these releases down from a coordination standpoint.  Grabbed some more berliner and yokel as well. Back on the road to spend the day eating and drinking in the City.  First stop was a new one, Parson's.  Started with a negroni slushi (these are dangerous) and some hush puppies. Forgot to photograph the hush puppies, but they were delicious.  Next was some hot chicken and a gin radler.  The chicken had a little bit of a kick, but wasn't all that spicy.  Overall, tasty but I'm not sure it's worth all of the hoopla that Parson's gets.  Still need to try Leghorn, but I like the Roost better than Parson's. 

Next was a stop to my happy place, Longman & Eagle.  A solid drinking session that started off with a Half Acre Navaja and finished with a few pours of whiskey.

A quick stop at the Beer Temple helped add to the New Glarus haul. Particularly happy about the Tilquin and Weller hauls.

Finished the driving marathon with a quick stop at my "neighborhood" spot, Plank Road Taproom.  A pour of Lagunitas Fusion 31, mosaic hopped IPA w/mango juice.  Very delicious. 


Drove up to Madison on Friday morning. First stop was Maduro.  Plenty of delicious Bell's beers were consumed.  Raspberry Wild One, Traverse City Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter, Mango Habanero Oberon and BBA Expedition

Came across some man love on the patio.

Next stop was the Brocach for Surly beers. #merica and Cacao Bender

Food was needed after beers so we ate lunch at the Old Fashioned. Curds and Walleye fish fry hit the spot.

Checked into the hotel after this for a little bit of rest. After that we hit the Goose party at Madison's.  Gillian and Coffee BCS flowing like water.  Had our fill there and made our way to the night's dinner spot.  Paul's Pel'Meni for a mixed plate of dumplings the works style. 

After dumplings we made our way to the Side Door for the TBS party. Great times had by all. 

After the TBS party, Dave, Kevin, Brad and I made our way to the Children's museum for the brewer's party.  Lot of interesting and tasty beers available there.  Great rooftop views.

After unlimited drinking at the party, it seemed like a smart idea to go drink mugs of German beer at Essen Haus.  

Woke up Saturday morning, moving a little slow. Made our way to Marigold Kitchen for breakfast as tradition states. 

Duck confit hash for me, Green chili meatloaf for her. Eggs were a bit overcooked unfortunately on both our dishes.  A rare miss in the 7 years of going here.

After that we wandered around the Farmer's market.  Picked some baked goods, fruits and tomatoes.  

The fest was great again this year. Lots of delicious beers and fun people.  

After the fest, we went out to dinner at Forequarter. 

Peach Leaf Smash: Bourbon, Peach Liquor, Lemon, Cane Sugar, Mint, Fizzy Wate

Kriek Collins: Bourbon, Cherry Vermouth, Lime, Honey, Sour Beer

Charcuterie Plate with a cured ham from Underground Butcher

Fried mushrooms with black garlic & caramelized shallot vinaigrette

Beans, Fried Onion Straws, Lemon Zest & some type of reduction

Roasted lamb with fennel salsa verde & new potatoes tossed in yogurt & chive 

2014 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

After that we met up with a motley crew that took the night in a direction of drunken madness. Hopcat>Brickhouse>Essen Haus>Come Back In :deadbanana:

Moving very very slowly on Sunday morning, we hit up Lazy Jane's for breakfast before getting out of town.

Chorizo Scramber w/rye toast

2 eggs, sausage patties, sourdough toast

Classic Madison, Classic Willy Street

Took home a lemon scone.  Man that was really good. Probably would just return for the baked goods next time and eat a full breakfast somewhere else.  

With that concluded our time in Madison.  

Monday brought a visit to the latest output of Kuma's in the death metal strip malls of Schaumburg, IL.

Godhammer burger: Beef patty, Sharp Cheddar, Seattle Cider braised pork, Honey whiskey candied bacon, Jalapeno slaw, Frizzled onions on a pretzel roll


And I'm spent


Deep in the Heart of Texas
Posted Friday, June 27th, 2014 by thewimperoo

Last week, the family and I flew to San Antonio to visit the wife's brother. We hadn't seen him in over 2 years so the main goal was to just hang at his house and spend some time together.  I had a few other goals that I hoped to accomplish during our 4 days in Texas. 


1. Eat BBQ in Lockhart (Smitty's, Black's, etc)

2. Visit Freetail

3. Drink Live Oak Hefeweizen

4. Meet up with Chip and drink at Jester King


Eating BBQ in Lockhart ended up being a failed goal.  Just couldn't make it happen.  In consolation, we paid a visit to the Granary in San Antonio.  For lunch, it's straight market style bbq while dinner is more upscale plates centered around bbq.  We ended up visiting for lunch. In addition to bbq, they make their own beer and soda.


Menu board of options - Turkey was the item sold out


To start we ordered a rye saison, belgian pale ale and ginger peach soda (pictured in that order).  Beers were fine. Nothing special, but clean and drinkable.  The ginger peach soda was fantastic. Not at all sweet. If I had to nitpick, I'd say tone down the ginger a touch and up the peach flavor a bit.


For food, we ordered as much of the menu as we could reasonably eat.  Brisket and Spare Ribs were excellent. Have never been a huge fan of Texas style beef sausage and this version didn't change that opinion. The sides were all quite good. House made pickles, burnt end beans and buttermilk cole slaw.


Sausage Guts


Next day consisted of visiting Freetail and hitting a couple of bottle shops.  Grabbed a few Prairie beers that we can't get at home any longer due to Shelton being Shelton, but other than that not much really aroused my sensibilities.  

Freetail was decent.  Definitely in full World Cup mode. Sports bar atmosphere. Loud with lots of TV's.  9 house beer and 8 guest beers. Wood burning pizza oven.  


Hibiscus Berliner was really nice.  Had two glasses of this one


Amarillo hopped saison was also pretty tasty


The waitress toyed with my emotions and said Live Oak Hefe was on tap, but then once I ordered it she revealed it was gone. Ended up with a White IPA that was ok.


Went with a brisket pizza and a 5 cheese (Gouda, Provolone, Asiago, White Cheddar & Mozz). Both were pretty good. Wish they would have been crispier. 


Next day we were supposed to check out the Riverwalk (FYI: Pretty f'ing lame) so I searched beer lists to make sure we ate lunch somewhere that had Live Oak Hefe on tap.  Ended up at the Esquire Tavern.  Oldest bar on the Riverwalk.  Place had tons of charm.  100 foot long wooden bar, plush bar chairs.  Just seemed like a place where you could spend the day drinking. Very chill.  Food was tasty.  Long story short, Live Oak Hefe was available and I consumed it.  Lived up to the hype. Wish I could drink it much more often. Also had a (512) Pecan Porter, a roasty as fuck porter.


Last day, I ditched the family and made my way up to Jester King for a meat up with Chip. Made great time and arrived about 45 minutes before Jester King opened. This gave me enough time to snap a few pictures of the grounds and then grab a beer and a pizza from the pizza barn on Jester King's property.  

The view that greeted me when I arrived


Ended up going with the Prairie Birra and the Penelope pizza. Crushed the whole pizza in no time.  Really good stuff. 


By the time I was done eating, Jester King was open for business.  They have 3 different areas where you can make purchases.  Inside the barn they have beers on tap, a tent outside with additional taps and another tent where you can buy bottles to go and swag.  The cool part is their POS system had all tents linked together so you could just open a tab and order from any of the areas and then just pay at the end of the day when you were done.  Made it super convenient. Really nice touch.  

I happened upon Jester King on a pretty good day.  Lots of different saisons/sours on tap. 4 different bottles available to go, even if that wasn't really a priority. Started with a glass of Provenance (a lemon lime saison) and Atrial Rubicite. The Provenance was just ok.  Needed more funk to overset all of the sprite-like lemon lime.  Atrial was crazy good.  Almost as jammy as fresh New Glarus VSB, almost.  


Chip and his buddy arrived as I was working through these beers.  Good conversations and laughs were had.  Successful meat up. Thanks again to Chip for the beer and cinammon rolls. 

Next beers for me were Nocturn Chrysalis (blackberry sour) and Biere de Miel (saison with honey). The nocturn was good, but not great. The Biere de Miel was fantastic.  2nd favorite beer of the day.

Next set of beers was Hibernal Dichotomous (blend of old and new saison with different herbs and watermelon juice) and Live Oak Pilz.  The refreshing watermelon finish on Hibernal was quite nice, although all of the herbs gave it a bit of a medicinal aroma.  Live Oak Pilz was a good change up.

Only had a couple of hours before I had to head back to San Antonio so I finished with another set of Biere de Miel and Atrial on cask. 


Definitely a great place to spend the day.  Beautiful atmosphere, excellent beers. Would come often if I lived in Austin. Here's a few other pics of the grounds.



Alamo remembered and now forgotten


Link to full sets of pictures



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.