Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ludwig Farmstead Creamery

While attending a beer event at Larder & Cupboard in Maplewood, a woman from Ludwig Farmstead Creamery was handing out free samples.

Sales rep, Stephanie Peace (great name), offered me a couple of cheeses to taste and write about! Stephanie let me take home Jake's Habanero Havarti-Style and Jake's Dutch Garden Herb cheese.

Who's Jake you ask? According to their website, Jake Ludwig was a 2009 University of Illinois graduate  who developed a passion for cheese making using the morning-fresh milk from his family's Holstein dairy cattle. Unfortunately, Jake died before creating his first cheese and his father, Dave, hired a Dutch Cheese maker to carry out Jake's dream of producing award winning European-style cheeses.
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery Cheeses
Luckily, I had a day trip to Hermann scheduled to drink wine with the girls and I shared the cheese samples with them. Both flavors were snatched up quickly!

I was most nervous about Jake's Habanero Havarti-Style, but the spiciness was only felt a little bit at the back end of the bite. Instead, you mostly get a creamy flavor to help balance out the heat.

The fullest-flavored cheese was actually the Jake's Dutch Garden Herb where you get a lot of dill and garlic with each bite.

Try a taste test for yourself! Stop by Larder & Cupboard to stock up!

Or, you can order online from the Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, located just east of Champaign, IL.

Resources:

Ludwig Farmstead Creamery = https://www.ludwigfarmsteadcreamery.com/

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old Bakery Beer PW Pizza Beer Dinner

Patience and I have tasted a lot Old Bakery Beer thanks to Larder & Cupboard, but we have yet to stop by the brewery since they are way up in Alton. It looks like they are worth a visit some time for sure!

I think the first course might be the winner overall, believe it or not, this was no regular salad! Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with the easy to drink Citrus Wheat. Eric Weber, head brewer, said this is their most popular beer that pays the bills. I am not surprised at all!


Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushroom
My favorite pizza of the night was the Steak Burger Pizza. It really did taste like a cheeseburger pizza with "Sambal ketchup" as the sauce, giving it a tart flavor. I do admit that the North End IPA was a good pairing since it cut through the pizza toppings to help mellow it out.

Steak Burger Pizza

The Pulled Pork Pizza was definitely heavy on the pork so I didn't have too much of it, but it didn't really matter since the Oktoberfest is easy to drink by itself.

Pulled Pork Pizza
Another top pairing was the Smoked Chocolate Donut Holes, but unfortunately there was bacon mixed in to the Salted Caramel. The donuts definitely had a smoky flavor that was perfect with the Porter. A perfect dessert beer...although I personally recommend it with chocolate of course!

Smoked Chocolate Donut Holes

Menu

Hopefully, someday we'll actually make it to the brewery and not just pass by!

Resources:

Old Bakery Beer = http://www.oldbakerybeer.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Evangeline's

For Patience's birthday in early October, I had been planning on taking her to Evangeline's for a long time since it's a NOLA-themed restaurant. With River Bend closing several months ago, we were due! I had previously attended a crawfish boil earlier in the year while Patience was out of town so I really owed her big time.

To make things easy, we just sat at the bar even though I had made reservations, but it was still pretty quiet at 6pm on a Friday night.

I let Patience order all her favorites, although we ended up going with the pasta special instead of having a more traditional gumbo or jambalaya dish, but that just means we want to go back!

We started off with cocktails and mussels, both were winners. The cocktail was a bartender's choice, but since it's Patience, there was definitely some bourbon in there.

Bartender's Choice...with bourbon!

Mussels
The seafood pasta special meant even MORE mussels with shrimp and pasta - not too spicy so we could split it.

Seafood Pasta Special
The bartender and owner were very generous and put a candle in our pecan pie birthday dessert!

Bread pudding...with a birthday candle!
This kind of hospitality made me wish we lived in the neighborhood so we could stop in more often. We really felt at home there and can't wait to go back.

Resources:

Evangeline's = http://www.evangelinesstl.com

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, September 29, 2017

Main Street Brewing PW Pizza Beer Dinner

Patience and I have been to Main Street Brewing before a SLAM football game. We really enjoyed their beers and the food menu is plenty extensive.

At PW Pizza this month, we had the first cool day of fall so we got to start out on their patio for the first course. The Oktoberfest is so easy to drink and smartly paired with Housemade Bratwurst. The brat was carefully placed on top of a potato pancake with cabbage and dried cherries.

Housemade Bratwurst
The Pecan Brown is a little "grainy/malty" tasting, but it's still another smooth beer. This was the best pairing since the Pecan Braised Short Rib Pizza was amazing.

This pizza reminded me of the all time favorite "Prime Rib Pizza".

Pecan Braised Short Rib Pizza
A Baja Fish Pizza was paired with their Two Hop IPA. This IPA had big grapefruit citrus flavor, which helped to cut through the fishy flavor.

Baja Fish Pizza
The Assalted Caramel Pecan is definitely a dessert beer since you smell the caramel right away. So of course it's paired with an Apple Fritter with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Definitely a clever name!

Apple Fritter & Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Menu

Resources:

Main Street Brewing = http://www.mainstreetbrewingco.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Two Brothers PW Pizza Beer Dinner

I had never heard of Two Brothers Brewing in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, probably because they don't have all that much distributed here yet. Luckily, more of their beer can be found on the east side of the area. (Good thing I go up to Chicago a time or two!)

The first pairing was amazing...because there was shrimp and because the sweetness of the lemon risotto was a good match for the Ebel's Weiss. Already starting strong!

Rosemary Grilled Shrimp
The second pairing was another delicious course due to the salty chicken confit on the pizza and the brown ale, Domaine Dupage, really mellowed everything out.

Chicken Confit Pizza
The third pairing had a lot of heat so it wasn't my favorite, but it made sense to pair the Red Thai Curry Pizza with the Wobble IPA. The beer tasted spicy as well!

Red Thai Curry Pizza
The last pairing was fun to say: Pohuehue (POE hooey hooey), which is made with coconut milk and you can smell it while you drink! Definitely a dessert beer! It was paired with a very sweet dessert... I would have gone with chocolate on this one if I were picking though. hehe

Rum Babas
Even better... the brewery is on a way to a friend's house in Chicago!

Menu
Resources:

Two Brothers = http://twobrothersbrewing.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Nudo House STL

Nudo House...just say it fast and you can hear what the restaurant is all about! Even better, it's near where I grocery shop a couple of times a month. YES!

Since Patience is a Ramen FREAK, we had to go right away and we have been several times since then. I order take out and it comes up SO FAST! Perfect for a meal during the week.

I've gotten to try most of the ramen dishes and my favorite, hands down, is the Hebrew Hammer. (Google the reference.) Chicken cooked in schmalz? You KNOW it had my name written all over it.

Hebrew Hammer
We finally remembered to order the spring rolls and those were a winner too.

I know there is Pho and sandwiches, but I'm really not sure I'm ever going to be able to break away from my favorite. I hope they don't mind...

Resources:

Nudo House STL = https://www.facebook.com/nudohousestl/

Mark Twain Brewing PW Pizza

The Mark Twain Brewing PW Pizza was definitely a good one since it features one of the handful of women brewers in the area AND we got to sit at the brewer's table for this one. Cat Golden was fun to sit and talk with!

Woah...the Huck's Habanero Apriot Wheat had quick the kick! Good thinking to pair it with peppers, but the beer was way too spicy for me.

Summer Pepper Salad
The BLT Pizza was an interesting pizza paired with Halley's Blueberry Saison. Nice and light for me!

BLT Pizza
The Chicken and Waffles Pizza was the most fun (and it had Gruyere!) and was well paired with the heavier Oatmeal Pale Ale. Chicken and Waffles...STILL good on a pizza too! hehe

Chicken and Waffles Pizza
For dessert, the fun to say A Wee Bit Foggy Scotch Ale, with high ABV (although referring to fog in Hannibal) was plenty heavy since it had to stand up to a very heavy Puppy Chow Rice Krispy Treat. I don't think anyone was able to make it through the entire dish!

Puppy Chow Rice Krispy Treat
I am definitely think road trip up to Hannibal needs to happen!

Menu
Resources:

Mark Twain Brewing = http://www.marktwainbrewery.com/

PW Pizza =  https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Das Bevo

Well this is really embarrassing. It just turned into September this week and my last post was from the end of June. That's just sad.

I do admit that a lot has happened in that time, but I really wish I had time to write more. I was laid off at work and immediately, the first week of July, I went on a road trip visiting friends for nine days. Unfortunately, I came home with a cold and only had two days to get ready for the new job.

Without any work from home days and work days that go at a much faster pace, there isn't much writing time. Then early August brought our annual vacation, so that was another ten days gone. The summer flew by, but at least we ate and drank a lot from Milwaukee, to Iowa, to Phoenix, to Oakhurst, to Dana Point.

The one restaurant I did get to visit in July was Das Bevo, which as gotten nothing but rave reviews from, well, everyone, and my friend Jill lives down the street! Perfect meetup for us!

Das Bevo!
Jill was also a willing participant for sharing "all the things". This is definitely a place where I really would love to try everything, so I'm looking forward to going back again. I was a little happy that I did wait so long because there were plenty of open tables on a Sunday night.

Bierhall
You know we had to start with the Pretzel-Crusted Cheese Curds...amazing!

Everyone bragged about the Kraut Balls so we got some of those too.

I had to go traditional with the German board because I had to have bratwurst, sauerkraut for sure and I loved the pretzel with spicy beer mustard too! And then there was their version of potato salad as well. I probably could have split all of that.

German Board
All this with a pint and I was definitely ready for bed! hehehe

There are so many Sandwiches as well as Entrees that we didn't make it to...can't wait to go back again, although I'll probably stick with the traditional German foods. hehe

Resources:

Das Bevo = http://dasbevo.com/

Friday, June 30, 2017

Southern

Yes, we know we're a little late to this game, but it took getting up early for the ALS walk to get us out of the house and in need of some lunch!

We shared a Buttermilk Biscuit with flavored butter a sweet fruit-flavored jam.

Buttermilk Biscuit
Since I could tell it was going to be a lot of food, I only ordered two chicken tenders, one Original and the second one Mild. The Mild was not too bad at all!  The dippin' sauce was a tame mayo-based sauce too.

And you know I ordered a side of Mac + Cheese Casserole!

Chicken Tenders with Mac + Cheese Casserole
 Patience ordered her favorites: 2-piece thigh, Medium heat. with two sides: Pickled Beets and Southern Greens with Smoked Pork.

2 piece thighs with pickled beets and greens

If I ever make it back, I might be daring enough for a Medium....how hot do YOU like it?

Menu
How hot do you want it?
Resources:

Southern = https://www.stlsouthern.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Piccione Pastry

We have walked by Piccione probably hundreds of times and finally, while sitting at the intersection, we saw a sign for brunch!

Luckily, we had brunch plans with Nathan that weekend!

He had the largest breakfast since he ordered a Popover along with a Frittata. The potatoes were a popular side option.

Popover

Frittata
I kept it simple with the Sausage Breakfast Panini and upgraded to a side of fruit!

Sausage Breakfast Panini
Patience surprisingly skipped Ricotta Panackes to try the Piccione Benedict that was smothered with hollandaise. Check out the pretty crispy pancetta on the side.

Piccione Benedict
Only a few items and crazy affordable. Plenty of seating!

Resources:

Piccione Pastry = http://www.piccionepastry.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hi-Pointe Drive-In

I had a day off so that meant a chance for a good lunch! Since this was my first time, I went with my favorites, but I certainly hope to go back some time to try all the other items!

I got a double patty... I think a single would have been fine!

Hamburger double patty with cheddar
Washed it all down with a  cold chocolate shake. Perfect for summertime!

Chocolate Shake
I had to save the mac and cheese side for later... way too much.

Mac and Cheese
All the sandwiches that came out seemed pretty huge so you can share them for sure.

I even wanted to try some of the specials on the board... so bring some friends so you can try a few things!

Specials Board
Resources:

Hi-Point Drive-In = http://hipointedrivein.com/

PW Pizza Oskar Blues Beer Dinner 2017

I believe Oskar Blues has done a PW Pizza beer dinner recently in the past, but looking through my blog, I don't see that I've attended one, so their beers are fairly new to me. I do see 'em in the store all the time.

A cleverly named Mamma's Little Pils started things off. Still a little too hoppy for me at 35 IBUs. This was paired with a beautiful Radish Trifecta Salad.

Mamma's Little Pils
The Priscilla American Wit (where fun and fantasy meet?) really helped cut through all the goat cheese on the "Wheat Wit?" Pizza. Of course the Wheat Crust was used for this one!

"Wheat Wit?" Pizza
The high ABV (8.7%) and high IBU (60) G'Knight was definitely needed to cut through the Romesco Sauce on the Charred Shishito Pizza. Monterey Jack, chicken, corn, and red onion made for a heavy pizza.

Charred Shishito Pizza
And the funniest laugh was for the Old Chub Scottish Ale served with the dessert course: Caramel Apple Crisp with Whipped Cream.

Caramel Apple Crisp with Whipped Cream
Certainly a brewery that doesn't take themselves too seriously!

Resources:

PW Pizza = http://pwpizza.com/

Oskar Blues Brewery = https://www.oskarblues.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Snax Gastrobar

Since Snax is another Stanley and Arlene Browne restaurant, the cocktail menu, wine list, and draught beers list is well done.

Rieger 75 cocktail for me...bottle of wine for Jamie and Shannon....and a beer for Patience. Everyone was happy!

Rieger 75
I went with my usual attack of focusing on the small plates for the first time at a new place. I ordered two starters: Pickled Bits and Cheesy Bits!

Awesome cheeses: Morbier, an aged cheddar, and a triple creme. Heavenly. Fairly upscale for a "casual" restaurant.

(Why yes, there ARE Meaty Bits and Bar Kibble for more fun dish names to say!)

Pickled Bits

Cheesy Bits
I was leaning towards ordering a sandwich until I heard that the "seasonal vegetable salad" was an heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella and basil.

Heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella and basil
Our server said that Meatloaf and the Burger were their best sellers and Patience had a hankering for meatloaf, so that worked out. It is a blend of beef and pork with a sweet and spicy glaze and included mashed potatoes, green beans, and carrots!

Meatloaf
Shannon stepped up and ordered the double patty burger with cheese, which I got a third of (AND SO MANY FRIES!!!)

Burger
Jamie appeared content with the BLT, but I was just happy I got his fries too! :)

BLT
With a healthy main course, I also added a side of Mac N Cheese. I had to take most of this home and it made for a perfect lunch the next day!

Mac N Cheese
Since I was pretty full, I had to settle for a "shooter" of ice cream. Isn't it cute?!?!?! Baby scoop of chocolate Serendipity ice cream!!

Ice Cream Shooter
Jamie and Shannon were all in with three scoops of Cookie Monster ice cream. (It's not just for kids!!)

Cookie Monster ice cream
And Patience managed to finish off her Creme Brulee with no problem.

Creme Brulee
It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside at picnic tables. (Sorry for all the shadows in the pictures.) Since it is more of a casual place, kids were everywhere so just a heads up that it's not near as fancy as the last two restaurants that stood at this location.

Resources:

Snax = https://www.snaxstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon