Man, it had been over three months since I have been in the Waterfront Ale House. My time in Mexico and that food-stamp diet kind of knocked me off my stride. But I went there a few days ago and it was the same as it always was, and I was grateful for that.
Same Old Same Old
As usual I had a beer at the bar before getting a table for dinner. Sam had a beer under his own name on tap, Sam's Serious Maibock. I didn't manage to get any maibock at the Zum Schneider Spring Festival, so I got a pint of it here. Maibock is, literally, a May bock and is a strong, golden lager meant to be a transition between the heavy bocks drunk during the winter and the lighter fare drunk when the weather is warm. Me, I could easily drink this all year long.
Sam's Serious Maibock was commissioned by Sam Barbieri, the owner of the Waterfront Ale House, and brewed to his specifications by Greg Zaccardi, owner of High Point Brewing Co. It is very tasty, and pretty heady at 8.1% alcohol. It recently won first place at an Ale Street News maibock tasting. Their take on it, “Rich malt up front, but not too sweet. Good hop balance from middle to finish. Full bodied. A bit big for a maibock, but tasty.” I can't argue with them.
By the way, I find it interesting that Sam's last name is Barbieri and he owns a bar that has a fine bier selection. Of course a bier is also a stand on which a corpse, or coffin containing a corpse, is placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave. I guess Sam could have been an undertaker too. Hey, he could have a combination bar and funeral parlor and specialize in Irish wakes.
All the while I was drinking my beer I had it in my mind that I would have the grilled flank steak that was one of the evenings specialties.
The Evening's Offerings
Then, just as it came time to order I switched to the beef cheek, posole, and sweet potato stew. I mean, you can get hanger steak in a lot of places, but beef cheek stew is a bit harder to find.
A Cheeky Little Devil
The stew was delicious. Nice and spicy. The beef cheeks are just chunks of tender beef, but because they tend to be fatty, they are great in a stew because they don't get tough when you cook them for a long time.
To accompany my meal I had a Rastafarian Rye (that's a beer) from Blue Point Brewery. This was a nice dark beer that stood up well to the spicy stew. Highly recommended, although I think it is a one-off specialty brew.
The Mysterious Chinese woman had one of her favorites that is on the regular menu, the Catfish Po' Boy.
Oh Boy, My Po' Boy
I had stopped in to say hello to my friend Todd on my way to dinner. I was telling him about the bacon infused vodka from Idaho and he told me about a chipotle infused vodka from Hangar One. I stopped and picked up a bottle on the way home, figuring it would be nice in a Bloody Mary. But then the Mysterious Chinese Woman said I could just put a few drops of the Martha's Original Recipe Chipotle Salsa that I brought back from Mexico into my Bloody Mary instead. Seeing as how I brought back four bottles of the stuff this seemed like a cheaper alternative to using the vodka.
But what then to do with the vodka? Well I poured a couple of ounces in a brandy snifter and sipped it straight. Outstanding. This stuff really is too good to put into a Bloody Mary. I will have to try to figure out some kind of a cocktail that I can build around it. Kind of tough though because the chipotle flavor really comes through. It will be fun trying though.
It is kind of overcast this morning but I am hoping everything burns off soon. The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are heading out to Coney Island to hook up with some friends and do a mini-barcrawl. We are meeting at Ruby's and I plan on wearing my prized mustard stained Ruby's tee-shirt that I was given by the owner several years ago.