I stopped into the Waterfront Ale House yesterday to visit the world's friendliest bartender, Gaid. Funny, though, he is always gone by the start of Happy Hour. I guess he is friendly but not happy. Anyway, I was glad to see that they had the Brooklyn Brewery's Buzz Bomb Ale back on tap. I really like this a lot and will probably return today to have a few more while the Mysterious Chinese Woman is away visiting her equally Mysterious Mother.
Getting Buzzed On The Buzz Bomb
The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are heading to Lisbon next week and a Mysterious Sister-In-Law is going with us. We aren't leaving until Tuesday but she is coming over tomorrow to stay for a few days before we leave. I think the Mysterious Ones are going to gang up and try to train me to behave before our trip. Anyway, that is why I am hitting the Waterfront Ale House again today, I may not have another chance for awhile.
On the bright side, Jim is coming over tomorrow as well and bringing his new Dead Red Redemption game that I bought him for his birthday. That means an afternoon and evening of being entertained by watching him play while we drink beer and eat take-out barbecue while the Mysterious Sisters do their thing.
There was something a bit different on the daily special board, Pork Belly Sliders. They always have interesting stuff here and it is usually very good. These were no exception. Simply scrumptious. You got three and the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I each scarfed down one before I stopped to take a picture.
Simply Scrumptious Belly Slider
These were actually beyond delicious. Nice and crispy on the outside with succulent fat on the inside. Jim, the cook, said he braised the pork belly and then finished them off on the grill. And the little buns were tasty as well. Like smaller versions of their delicious hamburger buns. The sliders came with kimchi on the side, a traditional Korean spicy pickled cabbage dish, that nicely complemented the sweet fattiness of the belly.
I see pork belly a lot in the meat stalls in Chinatown, but have never cooked it myself, not being sure of how to do it. Maybe I will try it at the next barbecue.
I was talking to Sam, owner and manager of the Waterfront Ale House and he said he had bought a whole hog from Flying-Pig Farm in, I believe, upstate New York. He said they have a booth or whatever you call it at Union Square where they have a very nice farmers market. A lot of the restaurants in the area do their shopping there and at least one cooking school advertises its proximity to the market as a selling point.
Anyway, you buy a hog you use the hog and these pork belly sliders were a tasty treat. I guess this also explains the headcheese that I had here about a week or so ago.
Sam also said he had purchased 50 kegs of Brooklyn Brewery's new Monster Ale. He plans on breaking out a few kegs every year to see how it ages. I know it ages well because I was at a tasting once where they had every year's Monster Ale available.
We had a nice discussion about beers, beer fads (why every brewery tries to out-hop everyone elses I.P.A., for example) some wine fads (drier and drier Reislings from Washington for awhile) and why he doesn't have a board for the World Cup (he can't get anyone to run it). Actually, I haven't ever seen a World Cup board, even in die-hard soccer bars like Nevada Smiths. Maybe because if you got a number over 4 you just knew you were going to lose.
The Chinese Woman and I also split an order of ribs and they were delicious as usual. And we had plenty to take home for me to snack on today.
After our ribs Sam generously brought over a couple of glasses of a 17 year old bourbon, Jefferson's Presidential Select.
Jefferson's Presidential Select
There is a long story behind this bourbon. It is a product of Stitzel-Weller, a distillery that closed in 1992. This brewery is known for its wheated bourbons meaning that the secondary grain in the mash is wheat, not rye. They used to produce Old Fitzgerald, another wheated bourbon, which is now produced by Heaven Hill.
Anyway, the Jefferson's Presidential Select was one of the last batches of bourbon brewed before the distillery's closing and it is just coming on the market now. And let me tell you it is deliciouso. Smooth and tasty and just what I needed as a pick-me-up after my Buzz Bombs.
Perked Me Right Up
It was so smooth that even the Mysterious Chinese Woman enjoyed a sip or two before giving me the rest, and that is saying something. The last I heard this was going for $100 or more a bottle, if you can find it. I don't know what they were charging for it at the Waterfront Ale House, or even if they were offering it. Maybe it was Sam's private stock. Either way, thank you very much Sam for sharing this.
I am still wondering about the three people out of the eighty reviewing this place that didn't like it. I can't think of anything not to like. Maybe the beer prices are a bit high, but not for this neighborhood. And you get a really fine selection of beers, and the free popcorn.
Plus, you have Gaid, the world's friendliest bartender.
Such A Sweetheart - Gaid, That Is
Well, the Mysterious Chinese Woman is a sweetheart too, but that goes without saying.