Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thirsty Thursday: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

Yeah, I know it's not Thursday. But it was a boring, rainy, Cowboyless Sunday. So what better way to end a dreary Sunday and prepare for the coming week than to try a new brew.

When I first heard about this beer I was very excited to try it. So when I saw it at the Whole Foods Wall of Beer I had to grab a 4-pack even though I was not in beer drinking mode.

So let's start off with the flowery prose of the Dogfish Head website:

An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means "holy tree" and it's wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.

Wow. How could you not want to try that. Oh, did I mention it's 12% ABV? Interested now?

Palo Santo Marron pours and almost headless dark, dark brown. It's aroma is that of a rich porter. The first taste is that of bitter chocolate. I do taste a bit of caramel. But i'm not feeling the vanilla.

This is the very definition of a dessert beer. In fact it would probably be very tasty over a premium vanilla ice cream.

A good beer, but not one I would drink a lot of. If you're looking for something interesting to drink after a fine meal, I would highly recommend Palo Santo Marron.


Area Dog Enjoys Local Mudhole

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stuff I’m Thankful For

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's Christmas without all the shopping and horrible music. So here's my quasi-snarky list of the things I'm thankful of in no particular order:
  • That people don't get their panties in a bunch when you end a sentence in a preposition anymore. Otherwise there would be literally hundreds of comments complaining that I've done it twice already. Oh, and that people don't complain about using "literally" when you exaggerate.
  • The Soup – it gives me the cultural knowledge of the goings-on of the horrible Kardashians and the Gosslins without having to sit through hours of dreadful television. It's homeopathic TV. It's greatly diluted, but still makes you just as sick as if you had taken the full dose.
  • My iPhone – most of the time whenever I get a new play-pretty, it is quickly tossed aside and largely forgotten. But there are very few waking or even sleeping hours that go by without some contact with my iPhone. And having spent a week outside of Dallas, I now appreciate how great it is live in the city in which AT&T is headquartered. The rest of the country has terrible service, but not here! – well usually.
  • White Rock Lake/Trail – I've bike 2200 miles this year (so far) the vast majority of which was done here. It's a beautiful enclave within the blandness of Dallas. It truly is one of the few things Dallas does right. Sorry, I guess that was a serious one.
  • Facebook – it reminds me why I lost contact with so many people. Oh, and if you're reading this on Facebook, I don't mean you. I mean those other people.
  • Yeast – My favorite activities these days are brewing beer and baking bread. Neither of which you can do without the greatness of yeast. Fresh baked bread and brewing beer are some of the great smells of all time. And those wonderful little critters also bring us wine and scotch. Yeast, is there nothing you can't do???
  • The Internet – with Christmas shopping season kicking off the day after Thanksgiving, I am more thankful than ever that the internet exists. Why do people camp out at Best Buy at 5am Friday to get $20 off an Xbox? Is your time worth nothing??? Is your sanity worth nothing?? You can get anything you want on the internet and usually at a good price. And you don't have to spend an hour looking for a parking spot.
  • U Fleků – up until I went there I was thinking I never had to go back to Prague. Been there, done it. But this place was special. Plus it introduced me to the greatness of pig knuckle and Bercherovka.
  • The Ticket – My buddies on the radio that I've never actually met. Well, except for running into Gordo a few times walking to or from brunch at Terrilli's. Without The Ticket I'm not sure how I would get through the day. It (they?) are my constant companion at work and working out. Without them I would be left with only my own thoughts to occupy the dull parts of the day. What a horrifying prospect!!!
  • Blogging – it allows me to bellyache about everything around me. And since no one reads it, I can't offend anyone.

Happy Thanksgiving

Eating Dallas: R&D Kitchen

There has been a near constant grumble emanating from Germany about the lack of content on this blog. Pretty much, if I'm stuck in Dallas there's not much getting written about. The problem is largely that in order for something to be blogworthy, it must be awesomely awesome or abjectly awful. So the vast mediocre in-between gets no mention on these pages.

I spend a lot of keystrokes complaining about shit. I'll be honest. It's more fun that way.

So please be patient with me as I gush some praise on R&D Kitchen. Or is it R&D Café? It's called both, but I like the Kitchen better.

Since it was born from the minds that gave us Houston's, I wasn't expecting much. That's not a knock on Houston's. I've never had a bad meal there. But it's always been nothing more than an Applebees done right to me.

R&D is no Applebees!

I immediately fell in love when told that their beers on tap were: Pilsner Urquell, Chimay White, Spaten Optimator and two or three equally worthy beers. Granted, this is not The Gingerman or The Flying Saucer. But most restaurants don't bother to have one good beer much less six.

The special of the day was a pan seared Barramundi with a butternut squash sauce on mashed potatoes. The fish was as fresh and delicious as I've ever had in Dallas. For a few seconds I felt like I was in Seattle. The slight drizzle on the patio also helped.

I'm very proud of my mashed potatoes. And these were worthy competitors to my mashed tater supremacy.

Since I need to complain about something, it would have to be their signature appetizer – deviled eggs. I'm not a fan of deviled eggs in general. And while they were edible, unlike most, they did not seem to me anything special. The tuna mango roll was something special. Its freshness and lightness would make a delightful summer appetizer its own self.

So it really can't get any better than this, right? How about carrot cake with mascarpone icing? Yeah, it was as good as it sounds.

R&D Kitchen is what every restaurant should strive to be. Everything about the place was geared toward maximizing customer experience and maximizing deliciousness.

A stark contrast to Bella.


8308 Preston Center Plz
Dallas, TX 75225-5304

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Eating Uptown: Bella

I am seldom here to shock you. I am here to entertain and quasi-enlighten. So please brace yourself for a truly shocking revelation.

I'm not exactly the trendiest dude.

If, by the time I've spotted a trend, then chances are that trend is probably three trends ago. Shit, now I've wasted my allotment of "trends".

So it is with some measure of sadness that I must place Bella into a what appears to be a growing fashion in Dallas of having "restaurants" with impressive looking menus but really people just go there to drink – and, of course, to be seen. Let's call these places Doucheterias.

It was, after all, the impressive looking menu that drew me to Bella – lambburger, seafood trio, chili rubbed pork chop. It all sounded good.

And, while waiting a substantially long time for our meals, we observed from our patio table, a veritable parade of overly tanned, roided up, faux hawked "gentlemen" drive up in high end automobiles with their "dates" replete with double Ds. So, in other words, they looked like me on Halloween.

If only the food could make up for the stench of douchebagguery.

After taking well over 30 minutes to present our meals (in a nearly empty restaurant when we placed our order) we were finally presented with our slop.

The seafood trio was like something one might expect at Captain D's. The shrimp were simply horrible – rubber little beasts tasting of yesterday. But to make up for the bad flavor of the shrimp, the scallops were simply flavorless, but also rubbery. The only pleasant part of the dish was the seabass. It was perfectly flacky and tasty. But it's fucking seabass. It's hard to screw up.

But as bad as the seafood trio was, the chili rubbed pork chop was the real star of the show. But by star of the show, I mean it in the way that Mike Myers was the star of The Love Guru. If you're a restaurateur and care so little about food as to serve something that resembled a flattened (yes I said "flattened") McRib, then just serve your silly expensive drinks and maybe some finger foods.

Do yourself a favor and just get some fish and chips at Black Friar a few blocks away.


2626 Howell St. Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75204

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

But Will They Still Serve Car Bombs There?

Well this is disappointing -- a mediocre sangwuch shop taking over the old Blarney Stone. So many good times to be swept away like so much shredded lettuce.
clipped from

Jimmy John's Sandwiches coming to Lower Greenville....

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches will open a store on Lowest Greenville Avenue in the former Blarney Stone space within the next few months.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

He's So Ronrey

I'm not sure why I thought this picture was so funny.

If anyone has a hilarious caption to offer, please do so.

File Under DUH!

This article from Ad Age describes the personality of a person based on the beer he/she drinks.

Here's the funny stuff:

Michelob Ultra drinkers rate high in superiority; that is, they think highly of themselves and can be a little bit conceited.

Heineken: There's a slang term that could sum up Heineken drinkers: posers. These self-assured people believe they are exceptional, get low scores on modesty and high scores on self-esteem. They love their brand badges

The personality traits of people who prefer Blue Moon, a Belgian style wheat beer, tracked similarly to the same type of people who prefer craft beers—which means Blue Moon drinkers probably don't know it's a Molson Coors Brewing Co. family product made in Colorado.

These specialty made beers get lumped into one category both because there are fewer fans (and thus less statistically significant data) of them, but also because the personalities of one type fairly well describe another. This group is more likely to spend time thinking about beer rather than work. They are more open-minded than most people, seek out interesting and varied experiences and are intellectually curious. Craft-beer drinkers also skew as having a lower sense of responsibility—they don't stress about missed deadlines and tend to be happy-go-lucky about life.

The article did fail to acknowlege the obvious awesomeness of lovers of craft beers.