Tag Archives: Beer Engine

Drool Worthy

24 Jun

Between the Travel Channel, TLC and the Food Network, I don’t know which channel to blame for making me ravenously hungry at inconveniently late hours.  And they always seem to coincide with an empty fridge, lack of cakes and absence of gargantuan novelty menu items in my home.  Such a bummer for me.  Anyways, Man v. Food is a show that can either turn my stomach in that I’m-about-to-hurl way OR it turns my appetite on in a big fat way.

He recently came to Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood and I missed the show.  But whatever, because I’ve had the pleasure of eating there in person already, dying and going to Heaven.  I’d tried once at their new Cedar Road location but the wait was so long even at 9:30 pm on a Thursday that I bailed for another night and their original location on Detroit Ave. It was a religious experience to say the least.  I ordered the Smoky Russian — don’t worry I knew what I wanted before I got there because I’d already perused the menu online about 20 times, while I mopped the drool off my face.

photo courtesy of KH

The sandwich alone is ridiculously good, like I don’t want to talk to you until I’m done with this good.  The kind of good that makes you chuckle to yourself because you’re so happy and you can’t believe you have the good fortune to be eating this right now good.  But the sandwich is part of a trifecta: the vodka kraut slaw with pickles on top and double fried fries complete the plate, beautifully complimenting its buddies.  The beer selection is also very good, obviously not close to the Beer Engine’s offerings but still very respectable.  The ambiance reminded me of my dorm rooms: Cranberries playing, plastic light-up lawn ornaments over the bar and a Miss Pac Man cooler for bottled beer.  Not to mention the really beautiful blue pressed tin ceiling.  If this place isn’t on your list; you’re either crazy, stupid or have just had open heart surgery and don’t wanna push it.  I repeat:  DROOOOOOOOL WORTHY.

photo courtesy of KH

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New Haul

18 Oct

Got a new haul today from Grapes of Mirth at North Market where I was also picking up veal shanks from Bluescreek Farm Meats.  Very happy with my finds and the service at Grapes of Mirth.  The selection is starting to get slim for me so I’m looking for new spots since I’ve had almost everything there at this point.  Also, after a quick stop at home for fall break I ran up to the Beer Engine and grabbed some Viking’s Blod!!!  Gahhh, can’t wait to crack all these babies but for now it’s nose to the grindstone for school work and beer dinner fundraiser preparations.

yum yum

Pictured above from left to right:  Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw/Blue, New Holland Charkoota Rye, Fantome Pissenlit, Bell’s Java Stout and Bell’s Double Cream Stout.

The hilarious part about the Fantome is that this saison is brewed using diuretic dandelions found in the region: “The yellow flowers are removed and dried in the sun, then soaked in water for a few days. The thick, dark dandelion “tea” that results is the basis for the Pissenlit, which is made also from traditional barley malt and hops. It resembles a classic saison beer – golden spritzy brew, strong and very flavorful, with a good hop bite. You may have to strain to taste the dandelions, but you know they’re in there.

It should be noted that uncooked, the dandelion has a diuretic effect and is known in France as Pissenlit (literally, “wet the bed” – this also happens to be the British folk-name) for precisely this reason” (http://ratebeer.com/beer/fantome-pissenlit/10959/).

Happy Dogs and Burgs

7 Aug

Growing up as the baby of the family, 5 years younger than my sibling, I looked to my brother for almost everything.  When I was 6, I went through a phase of wearing umbros and giant t-shirts.  So somehow his pattern of food research became engrained in me at an early age.  He went on a caesar salad kick for a few years trying to hunt down the perfect combination of salad, cheese, dressing and croutons.

This summer has been my excursion into burgers and dogs — a staple of summer food and a personal favorite.  From my childhood, burgers were a home-cooked thing and McDonald’s/Swensons was a rare treat reserved for “Junkfood Fridays”.  The standard: thick, medium rare, small burger, bun with ketchup, grey poupon and pickles.  As I got older, I drifted to the cheeseburger, eventually the bacon cheeseburger, the triple cheeseburger.  But I didn’t realize the vast array of condiments I was missing until this summer when I had a burger at the Beer Engine and ordered the Southwestern Burger.

happy burgs

Oh my god. Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod.  Pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, roasted red peppers and chili sauce?!  I am completely hooked on this burger but more to the point, I’m in love with the idea of jalapenos on a burger.  My favorite little trick is tucking them in under the cheese when I make them at home so they don’t slip out.  Number one rule:  ALWAYS TOAST THE BUNS.

New Burger Adventures:

Srichacha in place of ketchup

Beets instead of tomatoes (if you love beets this will be your new favorite –  sweet, slightly firmer consistency than a tomato)

Worcestershire sauce and chopped onions worked into the burger meat (so much juicier and flavorful)

happy dogs

And as for hot dogs, my taste is undeveloped and seeking new ideas.  For some reason, in my household, hot dogs are always cooked in a skillet with water…this I detest — mostly because the water turns an icky color and the dogs look pallid and unhappy.  The happiest dog I have found is on a grill or in a skillet without water.  The skin crackles a bit, gets some nice color and then when it’s all done I take a knife to the top and score the meat on top, releasing the flavor and the color contrast is actually sort of beautiful in its own way.

Another trick I learned early on was putting the sparse condiments I use (ketchup and grey poupon) inside the bun first and the dog on top making it easier to eat.  As for most foods cooking away on a grill I really love a good old-fashioned IPA.  Recently I tried Green Flash West Coast IPA and found it to be a nice little hop bomb with a good amount of bitterness in the finish.  IPA’s that are not too floral I find are a good combination when eating grilled meats.

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