...but Five Guys said I wasn't allowed to take photos in the store.
The holiday weekend was punctuated by O’Connor Brewing Company’s Black Saturday Block Party inspired by last year’s Black Friday Hurricane Sandy benefit. A perfect chaser for the Thanksgiving and Black Friday craziness, I planned on stopping by O’Connor’s after a day of shopping small in Norfolk, VA.
I drove Shelby and Marleigh downtown to visit a few friends and support Shop Small. We stopped by With Lavender & Lace, Studio Posy, Nest Home, and Lorak Jewelry. The two of them wanted to walk around and hit a few more stores around Granby St. so I headed down to the brewery on W. 25th St. Pulling up I and hopping out of the car into the cold, the first thing I noticed was someone was grilling. Whatever it was, it smelled great. The brewery’s block was barricaded, restricted to foot traffic; a stage was setup with a band running through its set. I headed in.
As soon as I walked to the check-in table I bumped into AltDaily.com’s Hannah Serrano, who is also Marketing and Events Director at O’Connor Brewing Co. She walked me in and we chatted a little bit about how things were going. We passed by Bobby-Qs and CXB BBQ and Eats, this was what smelled so good when I got out of the car. I was definitely not going to miss out on that food. Porter Hardy of Smartmouth was near the street food so I snapped a photo of him and Hannah.
Checking out the food, I saw one of the Hoffmann Beverage trucks being manned by the local chapter of Barley’s Angels, a local group of female beer enthusiasts. The truck was pretty high-speed, LCD panels displayed what beer was coming out of the tap below it. All the O’Connor flagship brews were being poured: Green Can, Great Dismal, Norfolk Canyon, and more. I grabbed a Black IPA and walked around some more.
Several bands were slated to play that night: Nate Sacks, The Janks, BANTUSTANS, and The Wet Boys. Radiant patio heaters kept everyone warm outside in the docking area and street, though the amount of people in close proximity of each other and beer helped out a lot too. Approximately 500 attended the block party but it would be easy to think there were a lot more. Inside the brewery I bumped into Kevin O'Connor, brewer/owner of the brewery. He was all over the place, chatting and checking up on the event.
There were also small batch beers for the occasion and people could buy flights of these to get a taste of each. Traditionally, craft brewers will let the shop come up with their own recipes and formulas. Here’s what was offered:
Chincoteague Oyster Stout – Oyster Stout
Schwarzwald – Black Lager
Winter Pecan – Pecan Porter
Bockenspiel – Bavarian Weizenbock
The Dark Monk – Abbey Ale
Maes Howe – Wee Heavy
Session Quad #2: Insomnia – West Coast Style IPA
By the end of the night O’Connor Brewing Co. poured approximately 4.5 barrels of beer! That’s about 1,500 standard, 12-oz cans of beer! If you stacked those they’d be as tall as—I have no idea, but I bet it’s pretty high. Everyone was having a good time and the food was great. I walked away with some lumpia in my coat pocket, saving it for Shelby and Marleigh.
All-in-all a great night. If they do it again next year, and you’re in the area, you better go.
United Hope Typhoon Haiyan Benefit is holding a fundraiser tonight at The Jewish Mother Hilltop. This will include a lumpia eating contest!
Winner will pay $1 for each lumpia the loser eats.
The losers-each one of them-pays $1 for every lumpia the winner eats!
If you want to attend just donate $20 at the door and take part in raffles and food & drink specials all night. Live entertainment, DJs, belly dancers, and a bunch of other acts!
Doors open at 6:00 PM, event ends at 11:00 PM.
Every so often my birthday falls on Thanksgiving--that's what happened this year! Shelby always makes my cake and I like them simple: yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting.
I want the same thing every year. I think it might have to do with those Betty Crocker box mixes I used to see when I was a kid. They had this great looking yellow cakes with a thick chocolate frosting, so good.
This year Shelby made my cake and frosting from scratch and it was amazing! She baked it the day before because--as I mentioned earlier--my birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year. The kitchen was going to be locked up all day. After we had our Thanksgiving dinner she brought the cake out and there were 42 candles on it. So weird when I think about it...anyways, I blew them all out in one shot. Pretty good for an old guy.
Thanks for the cake baby, it was great :)
It's been a few days and I've been recovering from Thanksgiving Day!
I love Thanksgiving. The idea of being able to stay home all day and just cook that meal is a great feeling. I don't do a ton of planning and things are simple. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, and a couple sides.
When I get up in the morning I'll turn on the television to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year I do this every year and then I'll complain about how it's no good, but that's a whole other story. The past two years I've been brining our turkey, it's a cider brine with savory spices, seasonings and fruit. Quartered orange and a little lemon juice; salt, sugar, clove, sage, all of it soaks into the bird for close to 16 hours. Afterwards I wash it off and pat it dry.
I'll put the turkey on top a bed of carrots, celery, onion and various seasonings. I used to stuff our turkeys but now I'll fill it with aromatics: onion, thyme, citrus, parsley. The outside is sprinkled with a few dashes of Herbes de Provence, pepper and a little bit of salt. The brine had plenty of salt so no need to add much more. I'll roast the turkey breast side down, this allows the breast to be baste in the juices from the darker parts of the bird. When the pan fills with drippings, the breast sits in this and keeps it moist. The last hour I'll flip the turkey to brown the top. The whole thing has a nice, crispy skin. Everyone loves crunchy turkey skin!
While the turkey is roasting I'll make a stock from the giblets, these will be combined with the drippings for the gravy. I used to chop up the giblets by hand but I use Shelby's immersion blender to mix up the gravy and pieces now.
We gathered all the family we could in the area and had a great dinner. Shelby made me a plate while I finished in the kitchen. All in all, it was nice. Like it always is.
See what was for dinner here.
Sorry for the lack of updates the past few days but I'm sure you understand this holiday weekend was a crazy one! Putting together posts right now!
With Thanksgiving coming up I've been telling myself to get stuff ready before the big day arrives.
Gravy, stuffing…all kinds of things need stock and I'd usually bust out a box of store bought chicken stock. This year is going to be different though—I'm making my own stock!
Plenty of people out there have their own way of making a stock and broth. Technically what I'm going to spell out here is a broth. Stocks are made primarily from bones and some scrap—that's it! Broths will have more meat and seasoning in the pot. For my Thanksgiving stock (I'm just going to call it stock for the sake of simplicity) I won't add a lot of salt; a little goes a long way. I make a lot of soup stocks too. This is about the same, save for some seasonings I've omitted.
A couple of things to note before you begin:
Turkey necks are pretty cheap but are very meaty. The Herbes de Provence is something Shelby put together from herbs I clipped from our garden and dried in the kitchen. I used just a pinch to flavor. Careful with the salt and pepper; when I say add a little bit, I just mean a shake or two.
We're cooking here. We need a pot. Go grab a large stock pot, a 6-quart should do.
- 2 packages of turkey necks
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 2 ribs of celery
- 2 medium carrots
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 medium Bay leaves
- Approx. 6 parsley stems, leaves on if you like
- 5 quarts of water, heated (stovetop, microwave, even hot from the tap)
- Optional: Herbes de Provence
1. Chop up the turkey necks into chunks, about 2 inches.
2. Heat the oil a little over medium, we're going to brown the vegetables and turkey.
3. Brown the vegetables first, in batches if you have to. Add a little salt and pepper. I like cooking the vegetables first because any residual browned bits in the pot will mix with the turkey when it goes in. When the onions look a little translucent, you're good. Place the browned vegetables to the side.
4. Add the turkey pieces, brown in batches. Salt and pepper a little bit with each batch. They don't have to be browned all the way, I just heated up and a little done on the outside.
5. When the last batch is done, add the bay leaves, parsley and any other seasonings you're tossing in there. Put the vegetables back in the pot.
6. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to about medium-low. Skim the foam off the top of the stock.
7. Simmer for approximately 5 hours, stir occasionally. Scrape the sides of the pot when you do this. Get the dried bits inside the pot into the stock.
8. You’ll know it's done when the liquid has reduced to about half of the original volume. I ended up with a little more than 2 1/2 quarts.
9. Strain out the turkey and vegetables. Keep this stuff, put it to the side.
10. Refrigerate the stock.
What I like to do after it has been in the fridge overnight is skim the fat off the top. It’ll be easy to scrape the hardened fat off and toss it away. I don’t use the fat for anything, but some people say if you want to keep your stock in the refrigerator the hard fat on the top will help extend its life.
The neck bones, meat and vegetables can be used to flavor dishes or as a thickening agent. You could just throw them away but that seems like a waste. Enjoy and good luck. Leave a note here with any questions or comments.
Our son recently decided to enlist in the Navy. Luckily, we were given an opportunity to check out a couple of spots on a nearby base to give him a glimpse of military life. We're hoping he'll see something he likes and it'll help him make the right decisions while in (the Navy.)
We were waiting to meet our friend Maria outside of the Navy Exchange and we saw a little food truck (trailer) setup in the parking lot. It was Kapamilya's Fusion Bar & Restaurant that specializes in Filipino food here in Virginia Beach, VA. I think I've had some of their food before at one of the events the Exchange had the past couple of years. I hopped out of the car, I just wanted to take a quick look: Pancit, Lumpia, Chicken Adobo--all staples of Filipino food in the area.
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to grab a plate. I did add it to the mile-long list of places to eat in the area--those BBQ chicken skewers looked delicious! Regardless of missing out on lumpia, it was a good day and we had a lot of fun on base. It always makes me nostalgic for my time I spent in the Army and I'm crossing my fingers for our son.
I was recently asked to meet with someone to talk over some exciting opportunities coming along in the near future. We were going over places to grab a drink and Jarod (the guy I was meeting) suggested Lynnhaven Pub in Virginia Beach. Great idea!
Lynnhaven Pub has been around since the 60s or 70s and is tucked away off the old West Great Neck Rd. It would be easy to pass by the place and not notice it tacked on the end of a non-descript building, but inside you’ll find one of the better selections of beer in the city. Owner, Rob McGraw, has established the pub as a go-to destination for local beer lovers. He keeps a eclectic rotation of beer on tap and has much more in bottles in the case next to the bar. Old timers who haven’t been to the bar in the past several years might not recognize the selection and they’re going to miss their $1 domestic drafts. Rob has created an outdoor area where patrons can hang-out year round. There is also a bar, grill, and a smoker.
Speaking of food, in addition to great beer, they offer creative and delicious food. When we decided to go to Lynnhaven Pub, I messaged Rob that we’d be stopping by for a drink. He said he was looking forward to it and had a couple things he wanted me to try. Cool, I figured he had some new beers he wanted to share. I showed up at the pub and saw Jarod sitting in the back working on his laptop. I walked the length of the wooden bar, passing occupied stools; I saw that a few Victory brews were on tap and Founder’s Breakfast Stout.
After I settled in Rob came out and said he made some beer can chicken using Stillwater Classique beer he wanted me to try. He also had oak barreled smoked brisket coming out. He actually brings the barrels down from Blue Mountain Barrel House brewery nestled between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, Virginia. These are barrels that were previously used to age whiskey and bourbon, then used by Blue Mountain Brewery. The smoke produced by these barrels is recognizable and adds a rich flavor to the food cooked in it.
Mike Rowland, who I watched earlier, cooking in a small oven behind the bar, master-minded the following dishes he brought out: Beer Can Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Burnt Ends Tacos with Bacon, Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwiches with bacon and huge Chicken Salad Sandwiches. I wasn’t expecting this! I had enough to share with Jarod and we dug in.
I tried the Lettuce Wraps first, sweet and simple, the smoked chicken was tucked into Belgian endive and I shoved the whole thing in my mouth. You could taste that the beer had permeated through the chicken and there was a nice smoke flavor on top of that. It all blended well and I knocked out another one quickly. Mike said he wanted to showcase the chicken in the wraps so there wasn’t a sauce or anything on top of the chicken. Perfect.
Next I tried the Burnt Ends Tacos, if you all didn’t know it, I love BBQ. I really love Burnt Ends. Rob was telling me he would usually eat these when they made brisket in the pub but Mike told him they should sell them instead and Rob reluctantly agreed to part with them. I know this would be a hard decision for me too. Good on you Rob! The tacos were delicious and had a thick strip of bacon in there for good measure. The burnt ends were flaky with great smoke flavor. I swear I could even make out the alcohol from the oak barrels he uses. The arugula was a nice added touch. You can’t beat it.
I moved onto the Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich, moist and the brisket fell apart in my mouth. The brisket was thickly stacked between two pieces of toasted, dressed bread and the platter had a healthy serving of cracked pepper potato chips (which were hard to not to eat.) I ate about half of my sandwich and moved on to the Chicken Salad.
The Chicken Salad was piled high with some lettuce resting on top. The chicken salad was great, with grapes, almonds, paprika and bright red onion in the mix. The chicken was fresh and shredded perfectly. It was hard not to eat the whole thing but I was so full and had a beer I needed to finish up. I boxed up the rest and brought it home for lunch the next day.
I’m going to Lynnhaven Pub again to write more about the beer and how Rob runs the place, but I really wanted to let everyone know about the food. Like I said earlier I thought he was going to have me try some brews but I got a few plates of great food instead. Get by Lynnhaven Pub and grab a couple of good beers and make sure you get something to eat. You’ll not be disappointed!
First, I would like to thank Rex Sr., Lisa and Rex Jr. Hamaker of Taste Tidewater Tours for inviting me to the event. We had a great time!
Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads (BFBL) in conjunction with Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and Lynnhaven River Now (LRN) hosted an oyster habitat tour through Lynnhaven Inlet. There were two boat runs, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, taking approximately 50 passengers around Broad Bay Island. Between boat trips there was a reception where we were given information about the history of Lynnhaven oysters, the science behind increasing the population, and how oysters help our waterways.
The Back Deck was our rendezvous point for our group; we lucked out with beautiful weather, sunny and warm. We check in with Rachel Burns from BFBL who gave us our wristbands and drink tickets. At the pier we saw our ride and most of the patrons already on the boat. We jumped on and said our hellos and recognized some faces. I was happy to see Cappy Sinclair on board, also with BFBL, who was getting the wine uncorked and ready to pour once we were underway. We were introduced to Karen Forget of LRN, we also met Chris Moore and Kate Wilson of CBF; they would guide us on our tour.
Our ship’s captain—Jimmy Sollner—took the helm of the Bea Hayman Clark and talked to us a little bit about the boat, safety procedures and how we are all responsible for clean water and what grows in it. Ready and secure we left the pier, Karen began to point out a few things in the inlet. The first small island we passed (Fish Island I believe) was stacked with old concrete from the first Lesner bridge tore down in the 1950s. She showed us oyster castles that are used to help them cluster and grow. Along the bulkheads that protected people’s yards along the channel you could see little oysters glistening in the sun. Some people who have property on the water volunteer to help grow oysters with cages submerged just a few feet from their backyard.
We made our way down the north side of Broad Bay and passed by First Landing State Park—formerly Seashore State Park if you haven’t been here in a while. We saw several other spots where preservation efforts have taken place. Seeing the park from the water, people walking/jogging along the trails was very interesting. We made our way to the southern side of Broad Bay and headed back to our point of departure.
Back on land the event reception was ready and the next group to go out on the boat were there waiting for us to return. We were served rockfish bites, a buttery clam chowder, huge shrimp, and oysters. More information was given about the Chesapeake Bay and the tributaries that flow to it. CBF, LNR, and BFBL gave examples of the effort they go through to increase the health of the oyster population, and the Bay in general, for everyone to enjoy.
Chris Ludford from Pleasure House Oysters was on deck with some help from Cam Chalmers of Lynnhaven Oyster Company shucking oysters. Chris had a little talk with us about the oysters and showed off some monsters he pulled out of the water just hours earlier. These are the same oysters we had the pleasure of eating—so good, a little salty and meaty. There was a line for these things while the reception was in play. I also need to mention that they had great local beers on tap and Virginian wine available. I had a couple pints of Young Veterans Brewing Co.'s award winning Pineapple Grenade Hefeweizen.
We mingled for a bit and started to make our way home when group two stepped on board the Bea Hayman Clark. It was a great day with good people and food. The day was a great learning experience chased with delicious food and drinks.
Please check out the photos of the inlet and the rest of the trip here.
It's been a little bit since I've made it out to the market and I passed by a new table for Heads Up Hydrogreens. They grow lettuce that is packaged alive and they contain no petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides according to their literature. I chatted with John and Jacob from Heads Up for a little bit and they gave me a couple heads to try out at home. They handed me a bag with a Batavian Crisp Head and Butter Crunch.
The next day Shelby made spaghetti and meatballs (chicken meatballs!) and I made a Greek style salad with the Batavian Crisp. The Batavian Crisp had a slightly curly leaf, it was in-between the crisp (imagine Iceberg) and Romaine. It was crisp, clean, great flavor and the stems weren't bitter like they are on some lettuce. You could see the bulb and get an idea of how it was cultivated.
Shelby's mother was over for dinner and she really enjoyed the salad. I'm looking forward to trying the Butter Crunch next.
I finally made it to Zeke's Beans & Bowls in Virginia Beach, VA and I'm glad I did. Zeke's is located down Norfolk Ave. close to the Oceanfront (Virginia Beach's resort area) and inside an old building that's been around for as long as I can remember. They're sprucing the place up on the outside at the moment; it's been painted blue, looks good.
Inside, it feels casual and there were a several people in there eating or drinking coffee. I noticed that Three Ships Coffee is served there, cool. I talked to Victoria behind the counter and asked her a few questions about Zeke's. She patiently answered everything I asked and helped me with the menu. I ended up getting the Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl: Sashimi grade tuna, wasabi, sesame seeds and oil, cucumber, green onion, and some other ingredients. I also added rice to the order. I asked for take-out and while I waited I checked out the inside of the restaurant. Local art lined the walls with nice signage. A bicycle hung from the ceiling and nice tall windows let a lot of light in.
Once I got my food, I took a few shots of it and headed out. When I got back to my office I ate the bowl and it was amazing. The tuna was so clean and with a great texture. The sesame oil and sriracha really added to the flavors. When I finished I was already planning on my next trip.
Check out Zeke's Beans and Bowls next time you're in Virginia Beach, VA. Definitely worth it.
Check out more photos of Zeke's by clicking here.
We had a great night at Terrapin's Merroir Terroir event hosted at the bar. The restaurant has been hosting these exploratory dinners that allow guests to sample the affect “merroir” has the flavor of the clam. Climate, water, the beds the oysters mature in, all effect the flavor the bivalve. Brian Williams of Terrapin paired our oysters with a select wine that complimented the three different oysters we were served.
Merroir Terroir starts a little early before the dinner crowd shows up. At the bar, our places were set and the resident mixologist—Erika Caylor—helped Brian and staff get us ready. Our oysters were provided by Chris Ludford of Pleasure House Oysters. Chris is a local oyster farmer and firefighter; he’s been seeding and harvesting oysters since 2009. Before farming his own oysters he was a crabber, fisherman, and he sold other peoples oysters from stands around Virginia Beach.
After the seats became occupied, Chris began to give us some info about oysters and harvesting them. I learned that oyster harvesting starts around October here and ends April 30th. He talked about the different spots he liked to start his oysters and talked about the waterways in the area. He also told us a neat tidbit about oyster shells—oysters from the West Coast tend to have a scalloped shell while those on the East Coast do not. Before we started to eat the oysters he suggested we sniff, drink the liquor, then eat the oyster. Easy enough, let’s go!
While this was happening Brian poured our first wine, Domaine Jolly Petit Chablis 2011. He explained to us how the Chablis he served was from Portlandian soil, young and steely. The wine itself was unoaked to prevent it from overpowering the oysters. That brings us to the oysters: Kusshi oysters imported from the West Coast. They are small with thick shells, ours were tumbled and lost most of the frill outside of the shell. The thick, deep shells of the oysters held clean, sweet meat and a tasty liquor. West Coast oysters, at least the ones we ate, tended to be smaller than what we’re used to in the East.
The next wine we drank was a Louis Jadot Steel Chardonnay 2012, again this was unoaked and had fruitier notes. The sweetness of this wine was perfect for the salty Pleasure House Oysters, Chris’ own brand he breds in the Lynnhaven. In addition to the pronounced saltiness of the oyster, they were crisp, juicy, and had a little citrus. I like how that paired with the Chardonnay too. I loved the liquor in the huge shells on the plate. I think I heard the term “choker” used in reference of the size of these things.
Our last wine was a Lincourt Steel Chardonnay 2012. From the Sta Rita Hills in California, fermented in steel, fruit forward and low mineral. The oyster paired with this was the Kumamoto or “Kumis”. They were harvested from cold waters of the Puget Sound in Washington State. These were delicious—buttery, crisp, and nutty. I could have eaten a couple dozen of these myself. The shell on these were very scalloped, unlike the Kusshi we tried earlier and the color variation went from off-white to black.
After finishing our oysters Chris and Brian mingled with the patrons of the dinner and answered any questions we might have had. While Shelby and I got our things together I was already thinking about next month’s Merroir Terroir, hoping I’ll be able to make the event again.
Click here to more photos from the dinner.
Thanks to the efforts of our friends at the Sandler Center of the Performing Arts and WHRO, we were able to catch Alton Brown's "The Edible Inevitable Tour" in Virginia Beach. The show was great, Alton Brown knew how to get the crowd going and it was fun watching him pick locals from the crowd and help him with his cooking demonstrations.
I'll write a show review and get it up soon. For now, here's a photo of Shelby and me with the man himself:
The Porch, Whole Foods Virginia Beach's beer and wine bar, holds a beer school every Thursday. I've always meant to go to one, but my schedule didn't jibe with theirs and I heard it was always jam-packed. A little while back they started to limit the attendance to keep things under control. This past Thursday worked out perfect for me: I had the next day off, Chayce (my son) was available, and Kevin O'Connor from Norfolk's O'Connor Brewing Company was going to MC the event.
O'Connor Brewing Company wasn't the first craft brewery in Hampton Roads but when they opened over three years ago it proved a micro-brewery could be successful in the area. Since then, there have been several new breweries established in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Kevin introduced a few of his beers to us, my favorite being the Bells Beach Galaxy Saison. We had the Norfolk Canyon, Great Dismal Black IPA and the El Guapo Agave IPA. While we were there Chayce and I split a dozen oysters. We bought 6 Battle Creek Oysters from Chincoteague, VA and 6 Blue Point Oysters from Connecticut. Delicious, I was favoring the Blue Points, big, meaty, and juicy.
After the tasting Kevin walked around the room to talk to the patrons and answer any questions they might have had. It's always nice bumping into him, we chatted a little bit and took some photos. I had a good time. Check out O'Connor Brewing Co. if you're ever in the area.
Alton Brown was scheduled to call me at 2:15 PM. Beforehand, I made sure I put my notes together with a list of questions to ask during the interview. I’ve never done an interview as formal as this or with someone as widely known as Brown. I start to get a little nervous.
The phone rings at 2:15 PM on the dot.
On the other end of the line I hear, “Is this George?”
I say hello and ask if he minds that I put him on speaker. As I’m adjusting the sound on the recording kit I mention I’m a little bit nervous.
He says, “That’s OK! Don’t be nervous. I don’t want you to be nervous; whenever I talk to journalists I get nervous because I always say crap I’m not supposed to say.”Read More
For "Throwback Thursday" I figured I'd do something a little fun. Back in the first Gulf War my cavalry unit was positioned way out in the middle of nowhere. Where you ask? I have no idea where we were other than we were in the Neutral Zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. and there was a ton of sand.
When Desert Storm was about to kick off, they positioned us closer to Iraq's border. But before that happened they made us get rid of things we didn't need to take with us. Over the months I had collected all kinds of stuff. When we met other nation's soldiers we usually traded. I ended up with some of this:
Spam. I don't care what anyone says, I love Spam. Meaty, salty goodness.
Back to the story...I traded someone for this spam and I had a big block of margarine. The Margarine I got from a British soldier in exchange for some MREs and American cigarettes. Cigarettes were worth more than cash, you had nowhere to spend cash over there. This also meant smokes were scarce and a luxury.
I broke out the mess kit, toss in the margarine and started frying the sliced Spam. In the photo you'll notice I have the squad stove (a little gas burner) in a MRE box cover. It was windy there a lot. After it was done me and a couple of Bradley crews ate spam. Then we shaved our heads.
Wow, 20 years ago already.
We've been on a Pho (phở) kick this year, usually going to a place not too far from the house called Pho 79. With the cooler weather it's especially easy to pick-up something like this for dinner.
Shelby and I will split an order, so I pick up #4 Phở Tái, Nam, Gâu. Honestly, I have no idea if that is spelled correctly or what it translates into but I gave it go (copied and pasted from their site.) It's the broth with round steak, flank, and brisket. The beef is cooked when you get it. Some pho places we've been to serve the meat raw and the hot broth cooks it in the bowl. If I order in restaurant, I'll get the tendon and tripe in addition to the beef cuts.
I'll ask for extra sauces and vegetables, which they'll give you at no extra charge, and another container of broth. The extra broth is only $3. Sometimes I'll pick extra mint or Thai basil from our garden if it's available and cut up a little extra onion.
Driving home with it in the car makes me hungry. The whole car is filled with the smell of savory broth, I can't wait to open it.
Pho Night Bonus: Pretty sky tonight on the drive home.