Archive for August, 2012

28th August
written by Arthur

Sometimes a meal fails, but the experience is still worth the price of admission. A recent Living Social deal offered a brunch boat tour for $40.  I was lucky to make the trip with Nick and Becca, not only for their fine company, but because Nick drove us in Becca’s car to the dock down in the Southern tip of Brooklyn.  The final couple of miles took us along a bay–the smell of the sea filling the car. Worried that the boat might leave without us, we arrived with time to survey the water from the dock.  Swans and a variety of seagulls (I learned there is more than one kind) meandered above and on the water until it was time to board. As we sat at a table with a panoramic view of the shore the crew began to pass out mimosas.  Horribly sweet mimosas. Possibly made with Sunny-D rather than real OJ.  But respectably strong.  They tasted great with the view, the sun, and fresh air.

The “brunch” buffet turned out to be be much more lunch than brunch with wrap sandwiches and various salads.   The wraps were more or less edible, with the exception of the eggplant, which was as dry as sandpaper.  But the Cesar pasta salad was satisfying and lunch was lifted by two of the best words in the English language: “open bar.”  We sipped mixed drinks from the bar and refills on mimosas as we floated on the water.

On returning to land, Nick was in the mood for some digital violence in form of Big Buck.  I’m never one turn down a game of buck.  Various bar closures and fails at internet searching lead us to trek north to Cherry Tree.  I had seen this bar on a couple late night cab rides and had been meaning to check it out.

On arrival, after a long walk, we learned the Sunday special: a pizza pie from the attached South Brooklyn Pizza shop and two pitchers of PBR for $20!  PBR isn’t my favorite beer, but I’m easily lured by the siren song of a bargain.

Before the arrival of the pizza, we sipped beer and explored the Cherry Tree.  The bar is a large space with a generous with a junk filled and closed patio space.  However, fresh air and sun could be found near a large open window on the second floor. Renovations appear underway to portions of the interior.  Seemingly haphazard planning (odd spaces, protrusions, unlit nooks and crannies) and the halted construction left me feeling like I had dropped into an M. C. Escher drawing or H.H. Holmes’ hotel.  But the beer was cheap, the patrons pleasant, animated animals to be shot were of plenty, and the pizza good.

The pizza encompassed the best the New York style, with a thin crisp crust.  A higher end version of the New York pizza to be sure, but fantastic.  With football season quickly approaching, it may be a while before I’m able to make a Sunday return, though I look forward to it.

15th August
written by Arthur

There are very few I would trust to make a drinkable bacon beer.  The beer nuts over at Rouge Ales are among of those few.

Much like Dogfish Head, Rouge Ales is willing nurture and execute insane beer ideas.  While the mad scientist concoctions may not fit my everyday drinking style (or budget),  I’m constantly impressed by the expanded conceptions of beer.  The Bacon Maple Ale–ingredients including Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt, House-smoked Hickory Malt, and Applewood-Smoked Bacon–was no exception.


Appearance:  Rusty haze.

Smell:  Maple and a lot of smoke.  Like opening a pack of quality thick-cut smoked bacon.

Taste:  My first thought actually wasn’t bacon, but breakfast sausage drizzled in maple syrup.  As I tasted and smelled the bacon flavor grew into a sweet and savory combo.  However, as the beer warmed, a sharp bitter finish began to develop.

Mouth:  Medium carbonation.  A little creamy.

Overall:  This beer is a ton of fun.  Though the bitter finish rains on the parade a bit.  I can’t see myself drinking this often, but feel it would make a great morning beer with a plate of eggs.

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9th August
written by Arthur

Ah, the summer has been great.   Insanely busy, but great.   Lots of travel, social activity, that whole real job thing keeping me off the blog.  But after next weekend things should calm down a bit.  Almost perfectly, the Fifth Annual Minnesota State Fair Day is coming up on August 18th to mark the wind down of summer–just as the real MN State Fair marked the wind down of my childhood summers.

Last year’s MN State Fair Day was fantastic.  And, having been involved in the 2012 planning, I know this year is going awesome:  Sweet Martha’s Cookies,  cheese curds, Midwest beer, fried pickles, corn dogs, fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, and funnel cakes!   I can feel my arteries clogging just thinking about.

So CLICK HERE and buy your 2012 Minnesota State Fair Day tickets.  The fun starts at 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 18.