Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Nostalgic Return

I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the initial blogs I had written about a place, and this seemed like a good one to check out. I vaguely remembered not really knowing the name of the place until after I had been there. And, I was right.

235) La Gloria ye Infierno

I headed back across the river and not far from the Gigante supermarket is this small, cinder-block building on the corner of Constitucion and Francisco L. Mader. I looked all over but could not see a name and it didn't look like the kind of place I should be asking people. In fact, it didn't look like the kind of place I should be in. No overt hostility, but I certainly felt that I was somehow intruding.

An update. Although there is still no name visible the bartender at Machis Bar B. Q. (number 304) told me I should try a place called La Gloria ye Infierno on Constitucion. It turned out this was the place. I went in and showed the bartender the name the bartender had written down for me and he acknowledged that I was in the place. Mystery solved.

Ah, so many years ago and so much has changed. Except not in here. It looks exactly the same, both inside and outside, as it always has. Oh, except now there is some new furniture piled up in the place.

Paul And Bar Man At La Gloria ye Infierno

Even the crowd at the bar seemed to look the same as the last time I was here.

The Bar Crowd

We were escorted to the best table in the house. Plenty of sunlight.

Sharon, Paul And Dan At The House's Best Table

As you can see, we had a few beers and a couple shots of tequila. I really do like this place and, although it never looks like it's open, it almost always is.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Palate or Pretense

Okay, now when I write about a beer I might describe it as smoky with a hint of caramel. Not likely, but I might. I might refer to chocolate and coffee, maybe toffee. Usually not all in the same beer though. But this has got to be the most laughably outrageous description of a beer I have ever read. Can you even imagine discerning all of those flavors in a beer let alone remembering them and the sequence in which they appeared.

This was written by David Gilbert in a column titled Beer Predator. It can be found in February/March edition of Ale Street News.

The review is for Mikkeller Black Hole, a beer I certainly do what to try. Without further ado, his review:

Mikkeller Black Hole (13.95%) is a massive and multifaceted coffee stout that is smooth, creamy, hoppy, fruity and warming. Coffee from Sumatra (the largest island in Indonesia) and vanilla are added at the end of the fermentation process. Flavors of concentrated coffee, sweet cream, chocolate syrup, grapes, burnt marshmellows, lemon peel and caramelized sugar appear.

Mid-palate a roasted bitterness enters followed by underlying dry malt, spruce, molasses, green apple, prunes, vanilla, pine, and Amoretto di sorrono.

The finish is malty, chewy, dry and vinous with flavors of tea biscuits, licorice, nutmeg and bitter dark chocolate followed by menthol infused hops with a suggestion of Sambucca.

Man, that has to be some beer. And someone who can discern licorice (with nutmeg and bitter dark chocolate) from Sambucca (with menthol infused hops) is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with.

Of course he also says in the review of Haand Bryggeriet Dark Force Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout (and yes, these are all real beers) that he can detect the flavor of Mexican mole. I was almost expecting him to name the village in which it was made and, perhaps, the family who made it.

And, now that I think of it, I grew up in Minnesota and I couldn't begin to tell you what the difference between the taste of a spruce and a pine might be. In fact, I am pretty sure a spruce is a type of pine. Maybe he was trying to differentiate between two different types of pines. That man's palate is, indeed, remarkable.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Up The River, Again

When last we walked up the Rio Cuale I was under the impression that both the R03 and R04 buses went up the river to at least the bar where we stopped for our first drink, the Cuale Paraiso. Then I thought they split into two separate routes somewhere up the road. We took the R04 bus back the last time so I thought we would try the R03 bus up this time. Paul and Sharon decided to join us on our adventure.

Just getting the R03 bus was an adventure. I pretty much knew where to catch it, but just to make sure I asked the guy at the bus stop. He told me no, not there, and led us to another place. As he was leading us I watched my bus go by, but we were on the wrong side of the street. Again, there must have been some bad communication because he never got us anywhere near where we could catch the bus.

We finally decided to walk up the river a bit to where I knew we would be able to catch it. This was a bit of a hike, but not too bad. And we did catch the bus. The sad part is that it only went up the river about another six blocks and that was it, end of the line. I was obviously wrong about where the R03 bus went.

Well, we took a nice little hike up to Cuale Paraiso and had a nice little lunch.

Cuale Paraiso's Front Entrance

After lunch we headed back out to the highway and caught the R04 bus. I figured that as long as we went this far I would show Paul and Sharon where we had hiked the other day and see just where the R04 bus did end its run. But, again, a small error was made. Not all R04 buses go to the end of the line. How you tell which one's do and which don't, I have no idea. At any rate, the end of the line for the bus we were on was in the middle of nowhere.

End Of The Line

My understanding now is that only one out of every four R04 buses go all the way to the end of the line. The rest stop here and then if you see a bus that looks like it isn't going to stop, you try to flag it down.

Flagging Down A Runaway Bus

It turns out that the real end of the line is just about a quarter of a mile from where we had our beers the other day. I had noticed a little restaurant next door to the store, but it was closed because it was Good Friday. I saw that it was open now though so we decided to pop in for a couple of beers and some nachos.

Paul And Bar Man At Los Girasoles

There was just a small dining area and a very small bar. However, you could walk through the open back where there was a small swimming pool and then down some steps to tables that were right on the river.

Bar Man, Beer, And Babbling Brook

This far up the river from town the river is much cleaner and deeper and the current a bit swifter. About twenty locals were on the bus with us and they hiked to the river from the end of the line. Before we finished our beers they had a major picnic going and about ten little kids were having a great time swimming in the river.

Sharon, Paul, And Bar Man Relaxing Riverside

The lady who was bringing us our beer and nachos was the same one who I bought beers from in the store the other day. She remembered us so we carried on like old friends.

Bar Man, Monte, and Mysterious Chinese Woman

It was a very friendly place and I bet they don't get too many visitors from town stopping up this way. I will make a point of going back next year though, now that I know kind of how to get the right bus. Next time I won't eat first and try their food. I think it was a pretty limited menu though, but the nachos were good.