Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend away

So as you get to know me, you will eventually understand the beautiful irony that for my first entry I will discuss going to a Brewery. Unintentionally I might add, but none the less.

Kay and I set out to Cooperstown NY this past weekend. B&B, Baseball Hall of Fame, and the prospect of somewhere we had never eaten before. Plan for dinner is Saturday night. We arrive early, check into a B&B we find while driving in. The house was beautiful. Built in the late 1800's it has all the Victorian charm one could ask for. We get a dinner recommendation of Inka's and Alex. The owner mentioned they serve Lamb. Sold. It's early afternoon. What is there to do in Cooperstown?

Drink. That's what you can do in Cooperstown. And you can drink WELL! About 4 miles from our B&B is the Ommegang brewery. Now if you live in the northeast and enjoy beer, you've heard of them. Delicious Belgian style beer. Come to find out they do tours of the factory. Perfect. So away we go to take a tour and hopefully have a nice little tasting.

Bad news. They are re tiling the factory and tours are not available. Good news. They just opened a bar behind the brewery that is in it's second day of operation.

Meet John.
John is my bartender today. Not his usual gig, he actually works in the Promotions department. He's helping out since they just launched this new bar.

Meet Kay.

She is undoubtedly my better half. Not much a beer drinker, she wanted food. So they bring out the menu.
Color me surprised. A huge menu of crepe's, salad's, a whole array of chocolate and dessert offerings (including waffles), and Frites (or french fries). Given the unknown of dinner, we decide smaller is better. Frites it is. But the decision was not that easy.
Sauces. Delicious sides of sauces. I have an affinity for heat, however Kay does not share this disorder. We agree on the Chipotle (a compromise from the Spicy Chili) and the Truffle/Soy Aioli. Whilst we wait, John buys me a beer since the tour was closed.
Duvel Green. New to me. I have had Duvel in the past, but the "Green" has a softer, lighter feel to it. Not overly yeasty, not very hoppy, a lovely introduction into the Belgium world of beers if it was your first time. But, this is not my first time.

Rare Vos....hello old friend. Caramel in color and in up front taste, immediately followed by either pare or apple, hard to tell. Incredibly smooth for as dark as it is and refreshing as all get out. And a perfect compliment to something salty!
You will quickly learn I am a SUCKER for presentation. This was great. The fries were fresh cut (which is a taste you cannot fake), definitely fried in peanut oil (huge improvement in taste for my palette), and the side sauces were fantastic.
Chiplote sauce - tasted a lot like a Rick Bayless (Frontera Chef) creation. Smokey, clean, not super hot but a nice spice throughout.
Truffle/Soy Aioli - WOW! As you can tell, this one got a TON of use. The soy note was incredibly subtle, but offered a really nice salty contrast to the richness of the Truffle. This is something I will undoubtedly try to recreate. A great idea.
They were delicious. Not overly greasy, not too salted, perfectly complimented by the dipping sides. A win.
Three Philosophers. A dessert beer if you ask me. Luscious, silky, smooth, rich, sweet, and oh-so-delicious. Also roughly 9% alcohol. Vanilla, fruits, chocolate, even coffee jumps on the tongue during a single sip of this.

Needless to say, both the Three Philosophers and the entire experience was enjoyed to the last drop. However, it left me in NO position to go truly enjoy a nice meal. So instead, we retired back to the B&B, grabbed a slice of pizza and some snacks, and relaxed.
This blog will be about food for the most part. In this case, an adventure presented itself, and as I have a tendency to do, I dove in head first. And I wouldn't have changed a thing. Off to look for something else to eat...

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