You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.
Honest Tom’s Taco Cart at 33rd and Arch. French pressed Stumptown Coffee. If you don’t know what that means, you owe it to yourself to find out. Its still not the same as a cup from Stumptown in Portland, but its good enough. Stumptown remains the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. With the notable exception of coffee roasted, brewed, and poured by myself in my own kitchen.
I’ve been in the process of discovering all the animal based food that I’ve missed in the past 12 years. As summer approaches, I’ve been particularly excited about having outdoor grilled meats. I order to satiate this growing desire, Lois and I recently bit the bullet and got a gas fired grill (I know, I know, gas is lame. Help me figure out the best way to get some charcoal smokey flavors in there then. Smoke box?). So much of this meat thing is still new to me though.
Proper way to cook a burger? I either way over cook them, or eat raw meat with a brown coating. How long should you actually cook kielbasa? Grilled steak? I mean, Carina you’re great, but I think there might be better steaks out there than the ones we had.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I had a Five Brothers burger the other day and was in love. Shall we track down the best burger in town? The best sausage? Roast pork? Cheese*gasp*steak?
So I hereby declare my Meat Quest. I’m going to eat everything that I’ve missed out on in the past 12 years. And I’m going to find the best examples of it if I can. Help me.
After hearing loads of good things about Que Chula es Puebla, we decided to take the family over for dinner last week. We live a block from Taco Riendo and Las Cazuelas, so good mexican isn’t hard to find around here. And with Dos Segundos and El Camino Real, it would seem that the burrito needs in this area are well met.
I, however, would disagree. I remember years and years ago making a weekly trek down to South St to a place once called Sausalito’s. They had amazing and simple burritos,take out or eat in, no frills and no pretense. For a vegetarian (at the time), it was perfect. Fast forward to the present and migrate northwards: where’s a boy to go for a simple burrito? Places around here, while delicious, are sit down, get a beer and a platter type joints, taste the authenticity and experience the service and nightlife*.
Enter Que Chula es Puebla. Its the second (that I’m aware of) mexican place at this location. The first one turned Lois off by the addition of celery in her veggie burrito, and we never really gave it a second chance. Que Chula, however, deserves a second chance. Soon. The menu is the kind of Spanish dictionary that makes this recent meat eater want to work my way through the entire thing. That might actually become a goal, we’ll see. Perfect portions, chips with queso blanco and salsas, reasonable prices. This is indeed the place that we’ve all be waiting for.
Well, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic. The ambiance is cold and dull. There is no music, no soft lighting, no separate dining menu. But honestly, that’s whats so great about it. So lets get a six pack of fizzy yellow Mexican beer, scan a paper take out menu, and feast on all the treats that cows and pigs and beans can provide to us, by way of Que Chula.
*I’m purposefully leaving out Pura Vida, a wonderful place that gets far too little respect, and far too little patronage from me.
Wow! I knew East End Brewing’s Pedal Pale ale ride was cool, but it sounds like it was an amazing event! The Bike Pgh Blog documents the ride. Over 500 riders this year! And I thought the Beer Week ride was big! I just might need to make the trek out there next year for this.
I’ve only been to East End Brewing once. Its really surprising that such a small brewery could host such a huge event.
Beer and bikes hooray!!
Thanks to Bike Hugger for bringing this to my attention.
Lois and I went to check out the new place from the owners of the Good Dog, The Swift Half on Sunday night. Alas, we found it to be not yet opened. Oh well. Check out the menu though! Beer and cheese please!
Last week I was hearing about Duck Rabbit beers making their way into PA. I wasn’t able to get to any of the special events unveiling them, so instead I picked up a 6 pack at the Foodery. I wasn’t sure whether the “dark beer specialists” were as good as they we reported to be, but after a glowing recommendation by the guys at the Foodery, I decided to give them a try.
I picked up a bottle of each. They were all solid offerings. I’m no expert on brown or amber ales, but I wouldn’t be afraid to claim that they were among the best examples I’ve had of the style. And the RIS and barleywine were great too, though on the hoppy end of the spectrum, which isn’t my favorite end of the spectrum. And the porter, yes please.
But its the milk stout that really wowed me. This style isn’t uncommon around here. Lancaster Brewing is known for it. But its always been forgettable for me, either chocolatey and cloying, or a watery version of a stout. But the Duck Rabbit milk stout was spot on. It had a silky mouthfeel, with a perfect balance of roasty bitterness and chocolate sweetness.
Only problem was: Lois liked it too. So I only got a few sips in. (Milk stouts used to be given to pregnant and nursing mothers, right?). So to confirm my initial impression, I went back and did a little milk stout tasting: Duck Rabbit vs. Lancaster vs. Left Hand. All were good, the Left Hand on the bitter end, Lancaster on the watery end. But Duck Rabbit sat squarely in the middle, and on easily on top of the competition.
I’m glad to have this brewery in PA. Its nice to see a brewery focused on a particular style, one that isn’t belgian or hoppian.
For the first time this year, I think, I didn’t really have to work this weekend. (I write this as I’m working, 10pm Sunday night). It was a strange sensation.
Last night, for about 36 seconds, Lois and I were on TV. The Samantha Brown show on the Travel Channel contacted me several months ago about filming one of our bike rides. Its a long story, but Lois, Rose, Sonya, and I met up with Samantha on a rainy afternoon and visited several places around town, drinking beer, chatting and filming. In the end, they only used the shots from Yards Brewery, and none where we were actually talking. So it was kind of a bust. But at least we were on TV. And we got the drink a Westy 8 with Samantha and Tom Peters, so I’m not complaining.
Baby #3 is due in 4 weeks. As if life wasn’t crazy enough. I can’t wait to meet this kid.
Apparently there is a channel showing the Giro D’italia. I’ve never heard of it, but US (Universal Sports) is showing the race every night at 9pm. Now I don’t have to wait for the Tour De France to watch cycling at night! Although, the coverage is pretty annoying, lots of Lance. And the commercials are super irritating.
And I’m going to Puerto Rico in June! Lots of exciting things on the horizon…