Friday, April 24, 2009

Palomino, with pictures:

I’ve posted about their happy hour before, but wanted to provide pictures to help. Palomino’s happy hour is pretty nice. The only downside? If you are ordering food you pretty much have to love garlic. A lot of garlic.

Here’s the lowdown. Some $4 cocktails and house white and reds, $4 drafts—they have a Barrel House and last time we were there Pyramid on tap as well as the usual favorites, all pizzas are $5 and select appetizers are ½ price. Happy hour runs until 7 PM. They also feature David’s favorite martini ever, the Collection Martini which is made with more vermouth than you’d think, as well as Laphroaig Scotch.

Palomino is located above Tiffany’s and Macy’s across from Via Vite and Fountain Square.

David and I visited last week.

I tried the Pyramid Thunderhead IPA, which I thought was very pleasant. David tried the Barrel House on tap.

Here’s the deal with Palomino’s pizzas. The ones that state garlic in the ingredients are ideal for garlic lovers. They put garlic paste underneath the cheese in some of them.

I’m a fan of garlic in moderation, so I chose the pepperoni pizza. Just cheese, marinara, pepperoni listed.

only $5 during happy hour!

I also got the calamari.

Maybe I’m getting more sensitive as the months progress, but I still found it to be too much. The pizza was good, the bread crispy and the pepperoni flavorful, but the garlic,Dear God. The calamari was crispy and well prepared and served with a type of lemon cream sauce I really liked, but someone had snuck garlic in the batter for it too! I could not escape.

I ordered the house chardonnay to try, and I thought it was pretty decent. David went with a side salad, which he said was very good but needed some sort of special dressing to spice it up a little. He also tried the cream of mushroom soup, and said it was excellent.

Our bill for everything was around $44.00, which is pretty good for us. As we left, we saw a bum sitting outside with a sign that read the normal “anything helps, God bless”. We gave him our leftover pizza. Palomino has many nice things about it that I really like, and it’s very classy with a great view. I just wish that it was not so infatuated and enamored with garlic.

Palomino also gives you these little fortune cards, another thing which I really like.

Avery Brabant:

Brabant--Procured from Findlay Market spirit shop on a nice Saturday morning. Pours thick, very dark reddish black hue. Head disappears quickly, leaving some lacing.

Smells very fruity, floral, Flemish ale aroma. Medium wood notes. I could smell the zinfandel.

Tastes a little sour, probably from the wild brettanomyces yeast used, as well as the aging barrels, but David and I found it to be an empty sour flavor, and medicinal and tannic qualities appear if you swish it around. Trace of dry red wine, lingering bitter finish and a little astringent.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, this tingles in the mouth and on the way down. Medium thickness. More alcohol warmth is apparent as this beer moves up to room temp.

Overall—not sure if it is worth the cost, but this might be a good “gate way” beer for a wine drinker.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A non-edible, but still important PSA:

David and I were at the Hyde Park Biggs yesterday when we saw something that we knew people did, but never had the dismay of witnessing.

We had put our own groceries in the car and were backing out of our parking space when we saw a middle aged man—let’s call him Mr. Lazypants— place his groceries in his Z 4 convertible, and then carefully maneuver his cart into the cross section between spaces in front of his car and casually turn to walk away.

I admit, I was pretty cranky. I had endured a long morning of Defendants yelling at me and a very busy afternoon. But Mr. Lazypants sent me over the edge. Here is picture I made to help illustrate.

To understand why the rage, I’ll have to tell you a little story…

It was a dark and stormy night in 2005 in the Mitchell Avenue Kroger parking lot. We had picked up our groceries and were heading back to our Clifton apartment. All the sudden, there’s a strong gust of wind and we heard a large “BANG!” on the rear passenger side of the car.

Upon investigation, a shopping cart, left carelessly in the parking lot had been pushed by the wind and rolled into the back of the car as David was backing up. The resulting impact left a large dent and scratch in the rear panel of the car. It was David’s first dent.

David was mad, I was mad, but what could we really do? We didn’t know who had left the cart in the lot. It certainly was not us. We have always returned our cart to the corral, even if it is raining or snowing or far away. Because we are considerate of other people’s vehicles.

Unlike the person upon that fateful night in 2005, and Mr. Lazypants yesterday.

A few different options rolled through my head at that time. Should I keep it real? Say nothing? I was not sure. I quickly decided that I was not going to let some jerk damage someone's car. Also, anyone who reads the signs understands that not being lazy keeps grocery costs low, because the stores don’t have to pay employees to waste their time running around the parking lot wrangling carts.

I rolled down the window and shouted.

“HEY! That’s not where you put your cart!”

I received a knowing smile, a “HUH?!” and his hand cupped behind his ear as a response.

Nice try, Mr. Lazypants.

“That’s not where you put your cart!”



“Oh, well where do I put it then?”

Since pretending to be deaf didn’t work, Lazypants obviously had opted for playing dumb at this point. David and I looked at each other incredulously. Had he never shopped at a grocery store before? Did he not see the cart corrals 20 feet away he had walked by on his way in and out of the store? Unlikely. He was just playing stupid because he got caught being an inconsiderate jerk.

A few scenes danced through my head at that point. I have provided some more high quality artwork to help illustrate.

One was looking at David and proclaiming “avast, turn to the starboard side, ramming speed!” and hitting Lazypants, sending him spinning over the top of our car and sending his cart flying into his little convertible. Really, what’s another dent?

Option 1

The second option involved me getting out of the car, walking over, and explaining very clearly what I was trying to communicate while taking his cart and ramming it repeatedly into his Z4 for punctuation. “You should” *bang!* “really” *bang!* “put your cart”*bang!* “in the corral”*bang!* “you never know what kind of” *bang!* “damage it could cause to someone’s car.”

Option 2

The third option involved getting out of the car, punching him in the face, shoving him in the shopping cart and taking both the cart and Lazypants to the cart corral.

Option 3

The fourth option involved pointing to the cart corral.

I chose number four because I would prefer not to be arrested for vehicular assault and especially didn't want to have our car insurance go up.

So we pointed. At both cart corrals. At that point in time, people were starting to take notice of why someone was yelling at someone else in the parking lot. This seemed to embarrass Lazypants enough that his face was turning red and he somewhat sarcastically said “Thanks for reminding me!” and began pushing his cart to the corral.

We waved and drove off. Hopefully, we embarrassed him enough that he will return his cart to the proper place from now on. We'll be watching.

The pub:

Before we went to go see a Sunday afternoon movie, we stopped by the pub for lunch. I decided to get an old favorite, the Kentucky Bourbon barrel ale, from Alltech brewing.

This is served in a little snifter, and ranges from 7-9 % ABV depending on the bourbon barrel that the beer is stored in.

You can find this on draft at most Tavern Restaurant group restaurants, including the Pub, Nicholson’s and Polo Grille. It’s also available in 4 packs from the Party Source and Cork N Bottle. This beer is a little bit salty, with strong vanilla and bourbon flavor. This goes well with medium aged gouda.

We were pleasantly surprised by the pub pizza, which we chose not to go fancy with—just cheese. The marinara sauce was light and the bread was crispy. We recommend this pizza.

It’s not a visit to the pub without a perfect picturesque pint:

David chose to go with the roast beef and cheddar Panini, which is served with steak fries and small salad.

And of course, wings.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beer and Burgers, BBC Brewing:

We attended the inaugural "Beers and Burgers" at the Party Source last Thursday. Last week, the BBC brewery was represented, with a special “hot brown” burger served.

So here’s the deal. Outside on the patio, $15 per person, five samples of beer (around 2-3 oz) and a special burger. Possible raffles and prizes, possible live music. If you wanted to make reservations (like we do) and view the schedule, it can be found on the Party Source’s website.

We got our first sample, the dunkelweizen, (5.0 ABV) which had just finished brewing yesterday from a special keg that Phil from BBC dispensed on our way outside to the patio.

Our assessment—meh. Pretty weak and watery for a Dunkelweizen. Inoffensive, though.

Whenever you were finished with you Dixie cup of beer, you could head up for another sample. We quickly finished our first sample and moved onto the second, the Nut Brown Ale. ( also 5.0 ABV)

This beer pours a copper color, a teeny head, with sweet and fruity aroma. Very nutty flavor with a little but of bitterness in finish. Pleasant and well rounded. I tasted a little chocolate malt.

By the time we were ready for our third sample, I realized I had made a miscalculation dressing that morning. We were sitting in the shade, which was a couple degrees too cold. And with my breezy dress, I was soon shivering. I got my coat out of the car, but I could not warm up.


Phil from BBC

Third on the list is American Pale Ale (6.0 ABV). This poured into our little cups deep amber, with very little head. Noticeable floral hops, somewhat mealy and piney. Sweet flavor, strong astringent and bitterness in mostly herbal qualities. I thought this needed a little more work to make it balanced.

By this time, the Party source was starting to serve burgers. I was pretty hungry and we had been smelling the grill for the last 30 minutes, so I was excited. However, they started serving the entire opposite side of the beers and burgers first. Another miscalculation on our part.

I kept watching cheeseburgers pass us on plates. Oh beers and burgers, you tease. I was now chilly and hungry for cheeseburgers, and getting a little cranky.

We moved on to # 4, the Dark Star Porter. (5.8 ABV) this beer pours a very dark color, with a nice blanket of foam. Chocolately, soft fruit aroma. Definite smoke flavor, followed with mold—blue cheese/brie taste. Very light smoky bitter finish.

The last beer is one of David’s favorite, and in our opinion, the crown jewel of BBC. Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. (8.5 ABV). This beer is very dark with a red tint, bourbon aroma dominating among toasted malts. Beautiful bourbon flavor and sweet smokiness, a bit tart. More bourbon flavor and a slight bitterness in the finish.

After we finished # 5, we sadly still had no cheeseburgers and I was on my way to becoming a nomerati popsicle. David had a variety of sensible suggestions, such as sitting in the car to warm up in the sun, or wandering around inside, but I didn’t want to go alone.
So, because I am lame and was cold, we left. We decided we would try the burgers out next time. And sit on the North side of the building, not the East, so we would be in the sunshine. And I would bring a blankie in the car, just in case.

As a final thought, the burgers really should be served from the grill starting outwards. It’s just plain mean to make everyone watch them cook, then be delivered past you for 35 minutes. Also, I am sure that if beers by the bottle would have been offered, people would have bought them to wash down their burgers after the samples had been consumed. This time we may run into party source and buy a six or four pack.

We are really looking forward to this weeks beers and burgers—it’s Goose Island, which we like. (You can see the Goose Island Beer and Cheese Tasting at Catskeller in a previous post). See you there

the Party Source on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dave and Busters:

Dave and Busters is our happy place.

You get bonus points if you can spot the microsoft error message

See? Happy place.

When David turned 21, it is where he started his celebration. When I turned 21, I insisted upon being taken there as well. After our wedding, we headed over for a few drinks and to play House of the Dead in our wedding outfits.

So, sometimes I get the craving for lots of fruity, girly drinks and video games and drag David up to tri-county. I was able to lure him up there last Saturday in exchange for a new apple keyboard, purchased with our Christmas Best Buy gift cards, because I'm crafty like that.

On weekdays, they have a pretty decent happy hour, ½ price cocktails and also 1 hr of video game playtime for $10.00. They also have another deal where you can get incremental hours of play time and select entrées for $23.99. That sounded good to us, so David got the double cheeseburger combo.

I started with my favorite drink, the Belaire Pear Martini ($7.09) . It’s delicious and comes with green sugar around the top…usually. Some bartenders put it on and some do not, so if you want sugar, it’s best to mention it beforehand. That way everyone is happy.

yummy yummy yummy

David got a large Bass.($6.19) They have Newcastle, Bass, Blue Moon and a few others on tap. And these big mugs are heavy.

I decided to order the chicken nachos ($6.59). I’ve come to the conclusion that Dave and Busters chicken nachos are superior to all the other nachos I have had, and this is why:

They are not just a pile of nachos with toppings. They are an array of nachos with evenly distributed cheese, chicken, black beans and pickled jalapeños. I really like not having to dig around the nacho pile to get a nice amount of toppings. I can also vouch for their chicken fingers.

Next drink is another favorite, with a bunch of rums in it. It’s called a “walk the plank”. ($7.59)

Dave and Busters also has good fries, and they don’t feel the need to over season them, like Friday’s typically does.

And an over under cherry bomb:

And a mai tai ($6.79):


David got the banana split, ($5.59)

And I got jealous and wanted something frozen too, so I got a nilla gorilla ($8.09)—pretty much a pina colada.

We wandered around and played video games for a little while. I like to play the lost world every time we visit. We were sad when we played, however, because my gun was not calibrated right and I kept dying. David’s very good at video games, so he could compensate for my problem, but we still didn’t get to the end like we usually do. Also, there was no sound so Velociraptors and Compsagnathus kept creeping up on us.

We then played Gauntlet for a little while. We have our own characters saved, so it’s pretty nice. David’s character is a Wizard and I am a Valkyrie. I somehow am a level 10 guardian and the #2 Valkyrie in the game. I’ve accomplished this pretty much by pushing the “fight” and “turbo” button manically and dying often.

Last up was a racing game. David beat me, and I beat a little kid who was about 10. I then had finished my Nilla Gorilla and had the hiccups (I know, imagine that) so we went home to take a nap before dinner, which was at 11 PM at Beluga. Stay tuned for our fun evening of new friends and nostalgia.

Dave & Busters on Urbanspoon

Special Reserva Oerbier:

Special Reserva Oerbier--Purchased from the Dilly Deli, it’s a 3 year old Belgian Flemish sour ale style. Smells like cherry candy. Wild ale characteristics, light brown in color. Thin head fades quickly. Very tart, fruity and dry—a little bitter at first, but it builds with every sip. Light carbonation. Split this one with David. this is pretty complex and flavor heavy, so I recommend sharing.

Alesmith Holiday Ale:

Yulesmith: Pours deep amber, ruby color, persistent head that can be revived with a swirl of the glass.
Smells of strong sweet caramel, malt, moderate fruity hops.

Tastes a little salty, with a pronounced herbal quality to the hops, faint sweetness, long finish with bitter vegetal qualities.

Mouthfeel is light carbonation, moderate viscosity. Very little alcohol smell.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Risotto V. 4.0:

Butterfly pork risotto with Sage and Marsala wine and cream sherry reduction.

You know the drill—first dice the onion, which was smaller and milder than last time. We are still experimenting with the size and variety of onion. we recommend a white or yellow onion--stay away from the strongly flavored reds or amber colored ones.

We used both cream Sherry and dry Marsala wine this time, as well as sage to complement the rich flavors of the pork.

We sweated the onions:

David fried fresh sage sprigs in extra-virgin olive oil until they were crispy (flavoring the oil in the process), then set them aside on a paper towel to drain.

added broth to the risotto.

and the obligatory stirring commences

Then David sprinkled the the chops with a generous amount of sea salt, dredged them through flour, and then placed them in the pan with the seasoned oil. He then sauteed them for about 4 minutes on each side, then set them aside under a foil tent.

David cooks by the clock.

And now it's time for a beer break!

A large bottle of Scaldis is in order.

The butter and Parmesan finish that makes our Risotto extra creamy and delicious:

David then deglazed the pan with about a half a cup of cream sherry, and let it reduce until it was syrupy. The chops were served with the reduction drizzled over them, and a few crispy sage leaves on top.