Saturday, June 13, 2009

Getting The Nose Wet At Waterfront

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to hit the good old and reliable Waterfront Ale House for a beer or two and dinner last night. Kind of an old couple's idea of a big night on the town. Hey, we watched episodes 1 and 2 of Smiley's People afterwards, so it was almost like a date.

As usual, we started out with a couple of beers at the bar. The Mysterious Chinese Woman had a Goose Island Summertime Ale.

A Summertime Goose

I thought it would be typical of most summer brews, light and, perhaps, a bit fruity. This beer did have a bit of a fruit nose to it and a slight fruit tingle, but it wasn't your typical summer beer. It is brewed in the German Kolsch style, which is considered a summer beer in Germany. It is an ale, not a lager, and a bit meatier. It was nice and refreshing and not at all a girly drink.

I opted for a Brooklyn EIPA. The "E" stands for East, not Extra, so this is an East India Pale Ale.

Head East Bar Man

The "E" could stand for Extra. It is a typical IPA, but kicked up a notch, or maybe two. It is has that extra hoppy, bitter taste with just a hit of a citrus note. And at 6.9% you could really do some damage with this stuff on a hot summer day. It goes down way easy.

We checked out the blackboard to see what the evening's specials were. They hadn't all been posted yet. We got there kind of early so Jim, the cook, was still preparing the evenings fare. He wasn't sure what all he would be having, he cooks what moves him, but said a wild boar chili would be one of the offerings.

The Preliminary Specials

We opted to try the Buffalo Ribs as an appetizer while sitting at the bar after asking Jim if they were really ribs from a buffalo. Hah Hah, I am such a card. They weren't, of course.

Buffalo Ribs With Mashed Sweet Potatoes

They were short ribs, I believe, and I think he deep-fried them. They were delicious, nice and crispy with excellent flavor. I chatted with Jim for awhile and told him about how I had deep-fried ribs last Sunday. He said he had been thinking about getting one of those turkey fryers for home use so we started talking about things you could use it for. We all agreed that a deep fried duck would probably be dynamite. Maybe he will get one for the kitchen at Waterfront Ale House.

After finishing my beer and the ribs we headed to a table for dinner. For some reason I asked to see the bottled beer menu. Usually I just drink what they have on tap. Coincidentally they had just gotten new menus, supplied by Chimay, judging by the cover.

I sometimes forget what a large and interesting selection of bottled beers that they have here. The menu makes for good reading because they have pretty good descriptions of the beers. I was intrigued by the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

Bar Man Getting Goosed As Well

Hmm, how to describe this. My take would be it tastes like a bite of a Snickers candy bar chased by a shot of Bourbon. Overwhelming flavor with not a hint of subtlety about it. Here is the description from the menu, and I have to agree that they nailed it. You can also see why I had to try it.

I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout - so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything else in the room. People have even said it's a great cigar beer, but I haven't yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.

I pretty much agree with it all except that I didn't get any head at all when I poured it. That may have been my fault. I should have just splooshed it into the center of the mug instead of pouring it down the side of the mug. My bad.

Even if this wasn't a heady 13% alcohol, you aren't likely to be drinking more than one of these. But you really owe it to yourself to try one, if you can find one. I think it would be good to share with a friend with some strong cheese and, perhaps, a good cigar.

I was planning on having the Crispy Spicy Snapper Wrap for dinner, but after sipping this beer I realized I needed something a bit meatier to stand up to it. I opted for one of Waterfront Ale House's excellent, and huge, hamburgers.

Just The Ticket

The Mysterious Chinese Woman opted for some cheesy grilled vegetable thing and looked like she was really enjoying it.

Chomping Down

I will get a chance to taste that sandwich for lunch today, because we brought half of it home. Plus a generous portion of coleslaw, and I love their coleslaw.

Waterfront Ale House on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Different Kind Of Barbecue

The good weather continued today so it was perfect for a barbecue. My friend Bernie picked up the Mysterious Chinese Woman and me and we headed out to our friends Bob and the Lovely Loretta on Long Island.

I had pre-prepared ribs yesterday. I rubbed two racks with a special rub of my own design and used a bottle of Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce on another. After letting them fester for several hours I put them in the oven and let them sit there for about three hours at about 160 degrees. This just kind of got them started and let the rub and sauce really permeate the meat.

The plan was to finish them of on Bob's gas grill, but another idea presented itself.

Ah, Deep Fried Ribs

The last time we used this was to do a turkey, and that was excellent. This time Bob brought it out to do some buffalo wings and French fries. I figured as long as it was out there we should use it for a bit more than that, and my ribs seemed to fit the bill.

Ready For Their Bath

Barefoot Bob Making The Plunge

Luckily there were no mishaps, and the ribs turned out really well.

The Finished Product

The ribs with the rub did turn out better than the ones with the grille sauce. I don't think the sauce leant itself to deep frying. I would definitely do this again though using just a rub. They turned out really nice. Crispy, but not over-done, and not at all greasy.

The Lovely Loretta And Friend Patti Chowing Down

Bob And The Lovely Loretta's Daughter Emily Doing The Same

And, Of Course, The Mysterious Chinese Woman

Bernie Too, Mustn't Forget Bernie

We had lots of other good stuff as well, hamburgers, brownies, a nice toasted pear and pecan salad, watermelon, plenty of beer and frozen margaritas, pina coladas, and who knows what all. Suffice it to say the barbecue was a smashing success.