I was approached recently about an event coming up this Saturday called the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow "Virginia Spirits are for Lovin'." The event is new to me so I checked it out online and it looks pretty nice. Here's a blurb from their Evenbrite page:
"Calling all lovers of local spirits! Come join us for the next The Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow: Virginia Spirits are for Lovin’ at The Mariners' Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia, on February 10th from 4-8pm. Tickets will include all samples of artisan spirits, craft cocktails, local beers, and delicious southern foods pairings - inside the beautiful backdrop of the Mariners' Museum."
I need to get out to Newport News more often and I do love the Mariner's Museum, not to mention all the booze that's going to be there... Seriously though we love trying out what the great state of Virginia has to offer and the event will feature 8 distilleries from around the state in addition to beer from our buddies at Smartmouth Brewing! There will be food too! All in all, my kinda event! If you really like something there you can buy a bottle to take home too. Take a look at what you get to enjoy:
Participating Virginia distilleries:
Belle Isle Craft Spirits / Richmond
Chesapeake Bay Distillery / Virginia Beach
Copper Fox Distillery / Williamsburg & Sperryville
Ironclad Distillery / Newport News
James River Distillery / Richmond
KO Distilling / Manassas
Virginia Distillery Co / Lovingston
Vitae Spirits / Charlottesville
Participating Virginia brewery:
Smartmouth Brewing Co. / Norfolk & Virginia Beach
Participating area restaurants:
I've already linked the event page so you buy tickets, but they asked me if I wanted to give away a pair of tickets ($45 value) to my readers! Lucky you, it's contest time!
All you have to do is leave a comment below stating your favorite cocktail and I'll pick a winner from the group. The winner will be picked by a random drawing and announced Friday around noon.
Good luck and I'll see you there, cheers!
Shelby and I left Virginia when we were young. I was 18, she was 19, and we had a baby. It's hard to remember but I'm pretty sure I thought I knew everything at that age. It was when we were on our own I started to play around with recipes from a Betty Crocker cook book my grandparents sent us. My grandfather was an employee of General Mills a long time ago and the plant he worked at closed down. The cool thing though, is that he received gift boxes from the company for years and years afterwards because of the closure. The cook book being of those things he received and my grandmother sent us when we were young and making our way into the world. It's something I cherish.
What's that have to do with beefteki? I guess not a whole lot but when I think about this recipe, I think about our young family starting out and learning we didn't know everything. We ended up in Germany while I was in the army, we say it was the best three years of our lives. We loved the culture, being centrally located in "The Continent", and Greek food! Yeah, we ended up eating a lot of Greek food and stuff similar to it. There were a lot of Greeks and Turks living in Germany and our time there allowed to enjoy things like beefteki, donner kebabs, etc... Ah, the memories of drinking downtown and grabbing a "gyros" (that's what we called the donner kebab over there for some reason) and having garlic, death breath makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
The Beefteki though, that was something Shelby fell in love with! We would always go to a gasthaus next to the Bahnhof in a small town called Parsberg. I'm pretty sure it is this place called Taverne Korfu, it's where Shelby discovered the Beefteki! The owner at the gasthaus was very kind, I always remember him smoking a cigarette near the bar. It was cozy, a place where you could nurse a beer all day and no one say a word about it. Our kids were still babies and he would give them treats. Sometimes he would take one of them into the kitchen for a piece of candy. I wish I knew his name...his daughter (I assume) worked as the runner and behind the bar. Sometimes other families would see the kids and then invite them to sit with them and buy them ice cream. It was our first experience with communal seating too. Here in the U.S. we're used to getting our own table, keeping separated from the other diners. We liked being part of the "economy" as it was called. One thing I learned is no matter where you go in the world, if you're cool, they'll be cool. Oh, one thing the taverna owner would do is correct my German. I remember once time having to say "81" (the menu item number I ordered a lot) in German what seemed like a million times before he would take my order.
I still wonder if they're still there, I'd love to find out one day...
After coming back to the States in the 1990s we couldn't find a restaurant that served anything like the Beefteki we had in Germany. Searching online back then didn't net any hits, the huge boom in food sites hadn't arrived yet. I did manage to find enough Greek recipes that I was able to put together a basic recipe to build on. So over the years I tweaked my original recipe to what it is here. I originally started using a mixture of veal and lamb, then eventually phasing the veal and using just lamb. I mention that because beefteki is normally made from beef (I guess the name makes that obvious.) I think you can find a bunch of them now but there's no need for that. You have my once secret recipe to make and enjoy at home!
You need to serve this with my Tzatziki recipe linked here. Yes I said "need"! Let's start cooking, this is what you'll need.
- 1 lb Ground Lamb
- 1 Small Onion, finely minced
- 4-8 oz. of Goat or Feta Cheese
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Mint
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Tsp Dried Parsley
- 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/4 Tsp Cumin
- 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Dress Beefteki with:
- 1 Lemon sliced in wedges
- Olive Oil
Before You Start:
- I always grill these. I guess you can try these in a skillet to get a nice crust on them, but the smoke and grill marks are part of the deal here.
I don't need to tell you to heat the grill up first before using it right?
- I listed 4-8 ounces of goat or feta cheese, add as much as you like! I prefer soft goat cheese but feta is just as good.
- This recipe doubles-up well too, make a ton of it. I get about four beefteki per pound of lamb. You'll be happy you did.
- Some times the heat makes the cheese ooze out a bit, this is OK! It's kinda sexy actually...
- Add all the ingredients - except for the cheese - into a large bowl and mix it well to incorporate all the spices and herbs.
- Once mixed make a football shaped portion in your hand and then push your thumb int the center to create a space for the cheese.
- Add a tablespoon or two of cheese to the center of the beefteki then fold or pinch it closed. Ensure it sealed so the cheese doesn't cook out.
- Brush with olive oil before placing on the grill.
- Cook for several minutes on each side till desired doneness.
I hope you enjoy my famous (famous in these parts at least) Beefteki recipe! It's something I never thought I'd share but it's something the world needs.
Sometimes things happen just because they should. I'm not saying this post is about a situation that one would could call providence, but maybe I'd go out on a limb and say it was fate. This happened last week on a very eventful night...
Shelby and I were invited to experience a local restaurants new dinner service. The soft opening was at Bay Local - Laskin and it happens to be one of our favorite spots to eat and drink Bloody Marys heeeyyyy! I'll put together a post about that and you can check out the 28 oz. prime ribeye I ordered.
After dinner I was supposed to meet with a publisher and writer to snap a few shots of yours truly and do a little Q & A for an article they're putting together on me. So in my head I was trying to figure out a couple of good spots to go that would have a cool vibe and decided that the light and atmosphere at Esoteric would be nice.
After our amazing dinner (thank you again Bay Local for the invite!) we headed over to Eso - that's what the cool kids call it - to meet up with the magazine and have a lil pour. When we walked in I saw Devin and Nate were behind the bar and Mikkel Luis having a drink. Mikkel came over here from Denmark to personally deliver an extra large Klask board to Devin. Why? Because Devin won it in a contest! Pretty cool eh? Mikkel is a super nice guy too, I think that was the third night in a row I got to hang out with him. Shelby and I go to the bar to chat and grab a beer.
While I was scanning the room I hear, "GEORGE!" I spin around and see three women sitting at a hightop in low light. I walk over and see an old high school alum named Jennifer. I recently reconnected with her outside of Cobalt Grille after close to 30 years! Anyway, she wasn't the one that called me, it was her two friends Beverley and Naomi. Jen said she wasn't loud enough to yell out [edit: Jennifer said she was too embarrassed to yell because everyone knows she's loud enough!] so they did it for her. After introductions I found out that Beverley is from Ireland and Naomi is English. I said Shelby is half-Scottish and before you know it the Union Jack was hanging out in Esoteric! (Hey, all those countries are friendly together in the U.S.!)
We got our drinks in between chatting and Shelby was caught up in conversion at table "U.K.", after a bit I heard my name again and this time I was told by Shelby's new friends that she was going with the three ladies to Croc's for a nightcap. I said I don't know if that was a good idea...but then everyone else at Esoteric was heading over after closing so I said, "Sure, why not. Let's go to Croc's" Mikkel was leaving the next day and since he was heading over I could have one drink with him and see how his trip to America was going for him. Everyone heads over to Croc's.
So apparently Thursday night Croc's is a thing - I didn't know this. By the time we got there it was about 10:15ish and there was a decent crowd spread throughout the building. The dining area was cleared out to make room for a dance floor and the music was loud. It was starting to get a little tough to get to the bars but we found some space near the auxiliary bar and ordered drinks. While everyone else made their way to Croc's I saw one of the chef's, Chloe, walking around with Jell-O shots. As I was talking to Chloe one of our group said they wanted Jell-O shots and they all grabbed one, as this was happening Devin, Mikkel and the rest made their way to our spot. I asked Mikkel if he had ever done a Jell-O shot before and he said, "No!" I suspected this...I don't know why, because I have no idea what Jell-O consumption is like in Denmark but I had a hunch!
So the Eso crew grab shots and I told Chloe Mikkel had never done one before. She then proceeded to demonstrate how you do a Jell-O by taking her tongue and separating the Jell-O from the cup then knocking the whole thing back. Mikkel followed suit and did a pretty good job. I asked him if he like it. He answered, "Only in America."
While Shelby was hanging out with what we was now calling the U.N. (we had Scottish, Irish, English, Danish, and Thai [me]) I checked out the joint a bit. It was filling up fast and I happen to bump into Kal, co-owner of Croc's with his wife Laura, and he said it was a little slow but it'll pick up. If this was slow, I bet packed out would have a line out the door. I went back over to the group and a few of them decided to dance. We went over to the dance floor and it was moving. I got up on a bench and took a few photos, the woman below got my attention so I could take photos of her. She was getting into it, ended up doing a squat and lost her balance. So close to pulling it off though!
We hung out a little bit longer, got some pics and then determined that it would be wise to head home. G'bye's all around and we headed to the car. I saw Kal again out back and he said we should stick around because 12:30 is when the party really starts. Maybe next time!
Oh! I got a message from the magazine editor and he ended up getting stuck in another town so he never made it out. I told him it was OK, it got kinda crazy with us any way.
New Year's Eve we usually hang out with family that are visiting from out of town - we'll make a nice dinner, we'll have some drinks, and end up watching some some network-ball-dropping-show. This year was different though, we ended up being free for the night. The kids are all older now, everyone is doing their thing, our out-of-town visitors left a day early, we had the opportunity to get out.
We had figured out what we were going to do NYE, we came up with a quick plan: hit Bottlecraft for a uKeg fill and a pour, check out Chartruese to see Ross and maybe get lucky and grab a seat for sushi, then go by The Birch and O'Connor Brewing's NYE parties.
After getting ready we hit Bottlecraft first. We didn't know if they had anything planned but when we arrived there was a band playing for a good crowd of people. Some of them were dressed up for the night and it looked liked people were having fun. Chase and Lara were there and so were his parents with their friends. I said Hi to everyone and grabbed a couple of drinks for Shelby and myself. I had the uKeg filled with a good one from Benchtop Brewing while we mingled.
I love my uKeg by the way, I got it for Christmas, pretty to look at and great for pouring.
We didn't stay too long because we wanted to bounce around and visit a few places. Finishing our drinks and saying our byes we headed to Norfolk to see our buddy Ross. Chartruese Bistro was doing a special sushi pop-up for NYE featuring Ross Riddle of Hashi Chow fame. He was in the kitchen with owner/chef Christopher Corrie for an RSVP event. It's a cozy spot and not a lot room to stand around in but we figured we'd swing by and say Hi to Ross since we were out and maybe if we got lucky get a seat.
We didn't get lucky but Shelby got a drink on the house which was very nice. Ross was very busy putting together orders so we didn't bug him much. Christie, showed up a little later and we got to hang out with her a bit. It wasn't looking like we were going to get lucky with a seat so we made out way over to The Birch. Malia hosts an annual, catered NYE party were everyone dresses up fancy and drinks lots of good beer. She graciously let us slip in to hang out a bit and offered something to eat.
Shout out to Ten Top catering! One the best sandwich shop in Norfolk.
We hung out there for a bit and realized that it was about quarter after 10:00. We wanted to pop a cork at home when the clock rang midnight so we had to sadly skip the stop to O'Connor Brewing. Wish we had though, the party looked crazy! On the way home we called in take-out from Jade Villa, a place we were turned on to by Ross. He says since it's always open into the wee hours of the morning the industry people would hit it up after their shifts for some authentic Chinese food. We got a few things: Pork Belly Hot Pot with Mustard Greens, Shrimp and Pork steamed dumplings, Chinese Broccoli, and Garlic Pork Spare Ribs. Wish I had a photo because it was all delicious! I was in a rush because I spilled some of my beer on the floor somehow (hey, I only had two drinks the whole night! I just need to get used to the uKeg spout) and get the sparkling wine ready.
We got settled in right in time to pop the cork, or plastic thingie on the bottle we had, and rand in the New Year with a toast. All in all a very fun night!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope it's a good one for ya!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Oh lucky me!
You all know I go to the Old Beach Farmer's Market on the weekends (off season now, so only once a month until Spring rolls around. One of the things I most looked forward to the most was hitting Hashi food truck. I've been posting Hashi food shots for years, I even remember the first time I had a bite from there, before the truck made it's way to its way to the market. Marleigh, Jasper and I tried a few things from the menu and ate sitting on the bumper of the truck.
Sadly, but for good reason, the Hashi truck is no longer but owner Ross Riddle has big plans for the future. It's been a little bit since the truck was sold and I've had a chance to eat some of Ross' food since then but it's something you yearn for...always! That's why it was good news to hear Hashi was going to pop-up at Bottlecraft Virginia Beach one night with a couple of menu classics - Hashi Hash and Congee.
As soon as Shelby and I were ready that evening we ran down to Bottlecraft and weren't surprised to see a packed house. The turnout was great and it was populated by a lot of people in the industry that know what you get when Ross is cooking. He's pretty intense when it comes to planning, prepping, and putting together his creations. When we entered the shop I went past the line to the back to say Hi to Ross. I heard someone behind me yell, "No cutting!" Haha, they were joking...I think...
I wasn't cutting though I had to pay respects to the man of the hour and didn't stay back there too long. He was getting a pile of tickets but was knocking them out like the pro he is. We got in line and made our way to the front. Christie was taking orders and we ordered one of each (well, three if you look at the pics, we met up with our friend Kelly too.) Lara was the runner, it's funny because the first time we met Lara she was helping Hashi out at a beer festival. True story. I got the Hashi Hash that was "George'd up", meaning add pork belly and an egg, Scott Holl who used to work the truck with Ross came up with that.
I will add pork belly to anything, try me.
Ross' pork belly is legendary. He has it down pat. Here's a lil video:
Shelby got the Congree with mushrooms and pork belly and Kelly got hers with as it came. It was so good! It's been awhile like I said so this was an experience, one I would have been sad to miss. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get to have it again seeing how Ross has been looking for a brick-and-mortar spot in Virginia Beach. Property owners - give Ross a great deal on a spot down at the beach, you won't regret it!
I made it to 46! Hoping to be around for a few more! We did the usual, cake and pizza with family.
Shelby really loved the candles she found for the cake too. They threw tiny sparks.
Thanksgiving is my holiday. I get up early, turn on the parade in NYC that's guaranteed to have terrible music, start getting dinner put together, and nip at the extra bottle of cheap red wine I supposedly bought for cooking.
This year was different though.
Pretense aside, this is actually a happy story - watch, you'll see. The hospital staff was really good with Marleigh and when she was moved down from the MICU into another room she had to share it with another patient. She'll stay anonymous but I will say it was an experience to say the least. Ask me in person and I'll tell you. IT was straight up movie material. Back to the story.
Before we drove up to the city Marleigh (and us!) were lucky that she has a ton of friends up there to look after her. One of her friends from Richmond, Rachel, was great about bringing her food and spending time with her. Thanks by the way to everyone who helped Marleigh out while she was there, even those cute, young doctors (you know our daughter is single atm right?)
We stayed at Marleigh's place while were in New York and I contemplated whether or not we would do a Thanksgiving dinner. Everything I bought for it - turkey, sides, pans, etc..., was all in Virginia. The night before Thanksgiving after we visited Marleigh we decided we'd walk to Union Square a few blocks from the hospital to check out Whole Foods. It was close and open by the time we left the hospital. You could guess it was packed! Everyone was trying to get their dinner stuff in order and here we are just mulling over the idea of maybe making one (I'm chuckling right now as I right this.)
You might assume we did roast a turkey because of the header photo for the post and you would be correct! But you know how much we paid for the turkey?
That's right, $0.15, that much. "How!?" might you ask, Whole Foods stuff costs hundreds of dollars! Well, that's actually not true because our go-to Tuesday night drinking wine, Don Simon Tempranillo, is only $4 and it's does the job.
Back to the turkey.
We shoulder our way through the throngs of people picking through what was left on the shelves and spy a display freezer with some organic turkeys in them. They were priced on average about $35 which isn't bad for being labelled free-ranged and organic. As we dug around we pulled one up from underneath the solid, frozen birds that had us both raise our eyebrows.
It was about a 15 lb turkey priced at 15¢. We did a double take and then expressed awe. The weight was listed wrong and whoever was printing out tags didn't notice? I mentioned that maybe I could ask a manager about buying it at the marked price but Shelby said just go to the register and buy it. Duh, I over-think things sometimes. So I tucked our prize under my arms as if to protect it from anyone who might have caught a whiff of what was going on and went to the front of the store. This was a sign we were supposed to make dinner while we were up there and by god I was going to do it.
Sooo many lines! But I'll have to say the store handle it likes pros and had people out of the store quickly. We would have been out quick too if I hadn't stood in a shopping lane that I thought was a check out line.
We get in the right line and finally to a register. The woman behind the counter grabs the the turkey and passes it over the scanner. What?! That's the look on her face if you can imagine. She swipes the tag again and comes up with the same price. A penny a pound. She looks up at us, gives a little shrug and says what we wanted to hear, "I'm going to go ahead and give it to you for that price." She then smiles and says something about the holidays and it was her birthday soon anyway. I said, "Mine too! November 28th!" We bonded and Shelby and I walked out of the store with the most inexpensive turkey we have ever bought from a store.
We picked up the rest of what we needed elsewhere and took the train home. Try to imagine the two of us carrying bags of groceries from Union Square to the train station to get back to Brooklyn - and it was freezing that night too! I mean it really wasn't that bad I think because of the score we landed. When we got back to the apartment I did some prep work and planned on getting up early the next day like I always do on Thanksgiving. It was queit otherwise and the whole place smelled that way it should when I'm cooking. It felt like home.
The next morning I got up, used Shelby's laptop to watch the parade, and got to work. I was able to manage using what Marleigh and her roommates had in the kitchen to put together a decent meal. Roasted potatoes, stuffing, spaghetti squash, stock for gravy, and of course, the turkey. They have a gas stove and it was nice cooking on gas again, it's been years.
We picked up containers for take-away and got everything packed up when it was done. After we got ourselves ready we took the train downtown. We walked Marleigh down the family day room and setup dinner. Marleigh seemed to like having a homemade dinner and it was nice to be able to spend time with her relaxing during a stressful time.
After dinner we went back to the room and relaxed a bit and watched some TV. Marleigh wasn't released until the next day which she was ecstatic about. She was going a little stir-crazy being stuck in the hospital, she wasn't allowed to leave the building the whole time she was there because she had an IV hookup. Apparently people used to be able to step outside but some patients were caught injecting stuff into their lines outside so they nixed that priviledge to prevent that from happening.
Once we got back to Marleigh's apartment she got cleaned up and we went out for a little dinner then returned to her place. I took the leftover turkey and carved up the meat and portioned it out for her with some gravy in baggies to freeze. All she had to do afterwards is take out whatever portion she wanted to eat and heat it up! I took the rest of the carcass and made turkey soup. Her roommates (who had returned to NY at that point) said it smelled good, that was nice. I told them to help themselves.
We meant to leave Saturday but we ended up going to IKEA Brooklyn and you know how that goes - hours of time browsing. It was fun though and Shelby picked up some shelving for Marleigh to help her organized her stuff. Shelby is huge into organizing and building stuff. I like to cook :)
The next day we got our stuff to leave and Marleigh was going to head to brunch with one of her best friends, Balin. When I went to get the car I notice that a car that looked similar to ours had it's driver's side window shattered. I thought, "Wow that sucks!" Then turned around and walked back towards our group. I turned around again and headed back to our car to pack our stuff. I went to the same car, because it was ours, and realized that our car had been broken into.
@#$%! Com'on man!
So our fairly new car had been broken into and the thief (thieves?) got away with about $4 in change and my old, ratty cheap sunglasses. It only cost us a $500 deductable to fix it. Nice. So we cleaned up what we could and packed the car then found a hardware store to tape up the window. I'll tell you driving 6 hours in a car with plastic taped to your driver's window is no fun. No fun at all.
After my initial pootiness and large coffees we made our way south. Shelby drove about halfway to let me rest a bit which I greatly appreciated. We made good time and I actually went out real quick that night.
This was definitely a trip to remember and we're glad Marleigh is bouncing back and hopefully will have this thing knocked out ASAP.
While Shelby and I were in NYC visiting Marleigh we walked to the Union Square Holiday Market a couple of times. It was great! We loved the energy, food, and the people. They also had a farmer's market selling anything you could need for a good Thanksgiving Dinner.
Here are a few photos and video of the market and a highlight of the Baked Cheese Haus raclette. I can't believe I didn't know this existed until now. Life is much better!
Shelby and I were lucky enough to buy tickets to one of The Landing's chef's dinners recently. This one was held on the Cromwell's Produce farm within the market building. This was after a day of crazy running around that I usually do on a Satruday - and I'll say it was very welcome. The weather became grey on the way out to the Pungo where the farm is located.
Fun fact: Shelby and I were married out in Pungo!
By the time we got there there was a steady drizzle and we were happy to see that the dinner was still on and would be located inside the market building on the property. We got there right on time as the rain started to come down a little bit harder. We saw some familiar faces, including the two walking into below; I mention them for a reason I'll point out later.
After making our way around the space, it was time for a drink! Pleasure House Brewing was on site offering a couple of their brews with and Country Vintner provided wine. Here's what Chef Brent Cowan and crew put together on the menu:
- Braised Lamb Shank with Robuchon potatoes, carmerlized Malibu carrots, Zinfandel pan jus.
- Crispy Eastern Shore Oysters - pickled succotash, Old Bay Bearnaise, baby arugula.
- Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast - baby kale, candied pecans, dried cranberries, Concord grapes, mountain apples, plum gastrique.
- Cartwright Farms Pork Belly - spicy peach glaze, cherrywood smoked potato salad.
- Fall Squash Bisque - Alaskan snow crab, shaved nutmeg, micro fennel.
All of our favorite things!
It wasn't long before the place was full (it sold out) and a lot of bottles were opened up loosening up the crowd. The food began to file out - dinner was being served by small plates with the option to eat as many as you desired. Always a bad idea when I'm around, just a fair warning to ya'll out there!
Oh! Remember the couple I told you remember a couple paragraphs ago? They're names are Keith Hunt and Bridget Goeke, I did a little write-up on their pop-up Pro Tem. They Keith popped the question to her that night and she said "Yes", that was pretty exciting!
Brent came out several times to introduce a new course and to check on how everyone was doing. Great - everyone was doing great! Brent asked if I'd like to take a look at the operation in the back which was pretty cool. I always love seeing where the magic happens. Shelby and I got to say meet everyone "back of the house" and Brent even shared a couple of swigs from his Four Roses bottle stashed in the walk-in.
After the tour we went back out to hang out with our new friends Heather and Victor Arcelay that we met through Insta. Great couple and we have a lot in common too. Love meeting people in person through online connections.
As the night winded down and after I attempted to eat everything in sight the crew came out and thanked everyone for coming. They received a standing ovation for the excellent meal and being good people in general - everything was relaxed, delicious, felt homey. Catch the next one if you get the opportunity.
I posted all the photos from the event below, enjoy!
Another Halloween party! This time I cooked up some chicken satay. Always love hanging out with Amy and Alan, good people!
Halloween has started! We had fun at the Till's house. They always throw a great party!
It's been a while since I've stepped foot in Texas - 25 years ago - so it was weird heading back there for a little business trip. My goal while I was there was to eat as much beef brisket as I could and drink as much Texas beer in equal measure. The photo above was from one of the places I tried called Post Oak Smokehouse, it was so good! Bumped into one of the owners while I was there too.
Thought I did eat a lot of brisket and even brought back some to Virginia with me I think I could have done better though on the consumption side of things.
I did eat some other stuff too. I hit In-and-Out burger for the first time which was fun because I got to meet up with my nephew who was passing through town, ate at a chain called Uncle Julio's that turned out to be pretty good! I had to get Whataburger just because it has been ages since I had it, again, not bad. I tried as much of the local beer as I could, which wasn't a ton due to logistical reasons and the fact that everything in Texas is at least one hour apart from each other. I did make it to one brewery in the area called Grapevine though, visiting was a must.
Whenever I go anywhere I try to bring some beer from home to trade. I had actually brought some Veil beer with me too, I thought that would be nice since the brewery has generated a lot of buzz around the world. I had arrived at Grapevine Craft Brewery with my coworker Phil I had a lil stash of brews with me. The brewery's tasting room was pretty cool, it was two levels and had high-tops and regular tables. It happened to be trivia night so there was a good crowd and lots of energy. I talked to the tasting room manager a bit and he asked if we wanted to tour the brewery. We walked through the brewery, maybe did a little trading, and got flight at the end. Check this place out if you're ever in the area.
All in all, I had good time checking out the area. Again the last time I was in Texas was when I was driving to Virginia Beach from El Paso. I was stationed in Ft. Bliss back then I was happy to be leaving! I'd love to check out that place again...
Marleigh came down from Brooklyn to drop her car off. She really had no need for it with New York Metro system taking you wherever you need to go. It was also a pain to have to move the car every other day due to the street sweeper schedule. It was nice having her home for the weekend! On the Sunday we took her up to Richmond to catch the train back to New York.
After we dropped her off we figured we'd hit The Veil for a pint and I also wanted to see if they had any cans left from earlier in the week.
Yeah, yeah I know they wouldn't. Doesn't hurt to try though!
Walking in we saw Carling behind the bar which was nice. I bump into her all the time in Virginia Beach. I asked if they had any cans left, which they didn't, but she said she might be able to dig up something in the back. Score! Carling came out with a couple of cans of their collab with Cloudwater - a brewery out of Manchester, England - called Cat and Taco. See it doesn't hurt to try :P Thank you Carling and The Veil for the hook-up, I brought back a Jester King sour for the brewery after a trip I took to Texas.
Of course Shelby and I ordered beers while the can thing was getting worked out. I sipped on our beers and investigated the food pop-ups happening outside the brewery. I was feeling like we would score again on some great food because when we pulled up earlier I smelled some woodfire cooking happening around the block somewhere. We we rounded the corner to enter the tasting room we found the source of that smoke and it was right there at the brewery.
There was not just one, but two pop-ups at the brewery that day. One was Brasa food stand, which was the source of the smoke, and another was a oyster stand by Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program. Walking up to the Brasa table you were greeted not only by the wonderful wood smoke but a huge Serrano Ham! Take a look at the shop above to see the menu, this is a pop-up that cooks its food on embers. We had a hard time picking what we wanted on the menu (everything!) because there are only two of us and we have to eat oysters too. We picked the Oysters Mushrooms and the Ham plates.
Since we were ordering from both pop-ups we grabbed two small servings of the oysters, plus a few "extra" that ended up on our plates...thanks guys! When sat down with all our food and dove in. It was so good! I mean we're at a brewery eating some high-end stuff in the parking lot. You can't beat it! I forgot to mention that we were meeting someone there too, I mean I was just really going for the beer but Shelby was chatting with a guy named Scott on Insta about dropping off some Distinction Magazines that just came out. He's friends with Todd Wright, whose work regularly appears in the magazine. We also messaged our friend Gerrell to meet up with us. Shelby and him used to work together in Virginia Beach till he moved to Richmond, so we try to get together whenever we're in town.
Shout out to the guys in the pic above, great job with all the food. It was amazing! I ended up with an invite to an event called the Shell-Raiser's Shindig happening later that month that included Brasa and a ton of other restaurants, the guy in the pink shirt is Todd Janeski and he is the director of the oyster shell recycling program I linked at the the beginning of the post. Great guy doing good things put together the event and The Veil was going to be there too in addition to oysters from 7 of the 8 regions. Sounds like heaven.
Sorry didn't mean to carry on, the gist of it was we stopped by The Veil and ended up experiencing a lot more than we thought we would and it was wonderful. Love ya Richmond!
Shelby saw that Cobalt Grille did a burger night where the burgers were 1/2 off! I mean Cobalt if fancy stuff so the chance to have a meal half off there was a no brainer. I had the Park Ave burger with caviar, mushrooms, and Havarti. Very good!