Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Music Monday: Clarence Carter–Backdoor Santa

Back by popular demand is Clarence Carter with what has to be the best Christmas song ever.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

TWIB Notes

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Well it wouldn’t be a Summer of Steve weekly feature without it first missing several weeks in a row.  I’ve finally taken a break from drinking to sit down and update my progress in destroying most hepatic function.

Obviously much booze was consumed in Seattle.  I had my fill of Manny’s Pale Ale and several nice beers from Maritime Brewery.  Their Pilsner was particularly good.  Cocktails were also on the menu.  The highlights included a Dark and Stormy at Pie Bar* and The Southpaw at Zig Zag Café.  And if you’re looking for the dive-iest of dive bars,  we’ll there’s Bernard’s. You can have a cheap, inexpensive $2.50 well and wash that down with an Irish Car Bomb.

 

Wine School Update

You are now reading the blog of someone who has passed Wine FUNdamentals Level I.  I only scored 98.3 our of 100.  I guess that’s ok.  It’s one to Level II.  Sadly, while in Vermont this weekend, I’ll be missing the best class of the whole course, the one that goes over both Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Wine of the Week:  2013 The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay

This is what wine school has done to me.  I’m drinking Chardonnay.  Actually on a recent trip to Total Wine, I picked a bunch of varieties I would not normally purchase.  This was one of them.  I promise next week I’ll go back to Two Buck Chuck.

Appearance: Clear medium intensity yellow** with a clear rim.

Nose: Clean, with lots of sour apple and pear with a hint of vanilla from the oak bleeding through.  Pure aroma.

Palate: Dry with a medium high amount of acidity.  Medium alcohol and body with a similarly medium finish.  The sour apple is still there on the tongue, but the pear has been replaced with a bit of oak.  There’s also a strange soapy flavor.

I liked their Pinot Noir and thought I would give their Chardonnay a try.  It’s not terrible and probably does a good job representing a midlevel lightly oaked California Chardonnay, but that’s just not something I’m going to go out of my way for.  And at the mid $20s there are bound to be better options, I’m sure.  I’ll keep looking.

 

 

* Pie Bar may be my favorite place on earth now.

** I would call it vitamin piss yellow

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seattle 2014 Day 2

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Day two in Seattle centered around going to a Sounders game.  Along with Portland, the PacNW is pretty nuts about the MLS.  I guess it’s good that someone is.
Afterwards it was on to oysters happy hour followed by pie.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Seattle 2014 Day 1

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Oh Seattle, how I missed your abundance of seafood and craft beer.  My heart longs so, that I’ll even accept Hotel Seattle as a cheap alternative to downtown hospitality.   It seriously isn’t that bad when you know what you’re getting into.  And don’t forget to check out the $2.50 wells at the bar in the basement.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Music Monday: The Old 97s–Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On

There is a small chance I appear in this video since some of it was at a concert I attended.

On the next Music Monday….

 

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

TWIB Notes

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This week I began my long journey in becoming a sommelier. Let’s face it, this computer stuff is just a fad and won’t last much longer.  So to prepare for my future career in wine, I spend seven hours every Sunday at El Centro, where I learn about wine, observer its characteristics, smell it, taste it and then do what for the first several decades of my drinking life would seem unthinkable – I spit out good wine.  The first week we tasted 11 wines.  I would likely have passed out on the train home had I not spit.

As part of that journey, I want to share my growing knowledge about wine with my readers* by chronically the high and  low lights of my week of drinking in what I’ll call: This Week In Booze**.  It’s all a part of my plan to bring the fun back in being a functional alcoholic.

The first set of five wines we tasted had a Beaujolais that made us all wonder what all the fuss is about.  The best wine of the group was, not surprisingly, a Barolo. Regrettably I didn’t write down or Vivino the label. I’ll be sure to do better moving forward.

The second round of tastings focused on Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs.  The only highlight was a Rombauer Chardonnay that was oaky and buttery*** like a great California Chardonnay should be.  I’m not a fan of the grape, but this was a very tasty wine.

So armed with a wealth of knowledge about the grape, I have decided to share with you each week my tasting notes for the Two Buck Chuck varietal of the week.  This week I tasted **** Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Sauvignon Blanc.

Appearance: Clear, light intensity, very light straw color and almost clear around the rim.

Nose: Clean, low intensity, all aroma, citrus, sour apple with a slight bit of cat piss.

Palate: Dry, low acid, no tannins, citrusy with sour apple.  Not much body.  Not much length.

Conclusion: Well, for $3 what do you want?  This is drinkable like Coors Light is drinkable.  If your goal is not to experience flavor while getting your buzz on, I can’t think of a more economical way to do it than this wine.


*Yes, I know I don’t really have any readers.  But, as with the rest of my life, it’s fun to pretend others are participating.
**With apologies to the Late Great Mel Allen
***From malolactic fermentation.  Knowledge dropped.
****On my own, not in the class, we have some standards in the class.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 12: Chalons?

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I’m not entirely sure why we went to Chalons, sorry JT.  But we did have a nice meal in a mostly desolate town.  And there were some nice cathedrals. 

That’s it for Walkabout 2014.  If you play your cards right, you’ll enjoy some of the champagne I’ve muled back to the States.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 11: Hooterville!!

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Ok, it wasn’t really Hooterville.

Houses Visited

  • Alain Suisse – Easily my favorite champagne. Alain is so nice.  He does not speak any English and we communicated via the greatness of Google Translate.
  • Phillipe Martin – Wow do they overprice their champagne.  I don’t care how nice his daughter’s ass looks in her yoga pants, 25€ for an inferior champagne compared to Alain Suisse was just crazy.  MEH.

Walkabout 2014 Day 10: Boozie in Bouzy

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Today was to hot (yes actually hot) and hilly for biking.  Plus my taint had taken quite a beating from my bike seat the day before.  So we drove to Bouzy and visited a couple of houses.  And then ended up again in Épernay for a bit of a champagne bar crawl.

Champagne Houses Visited

  • Alfred Tritant – another tiny family champagne house. Only the wife speaks English.  Very good.
  • Jean Vesselle – Another great find.  Very nice champagnes.  And if you visit soon, a friendly English girl, Flo, will perform your dégustation.

 

Bar Crawl

  • C.Comme – the better of the two champagne bars on this block.  They were remodeling this year, so the selection wasn’t as broad as last year.
  • La Cave à Champagnehttp://www.la-cave-a-champagne.com/ – one of my favorite restaurants in the world.  And yes a lot of that has to do with where it is and all the champagne I’ve consumed that day.  Also some of the best pâte foie gras I’ve ever had.
  • La Fine Bulle – An ok champagne bar that only gets our business because the C.Comme closes early.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 9: Reims and Biking

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For those wondering, day 8 was spent traveling from Berlin to the ‘dorf and then from the ‘dorf to Reims.  So, not much worth taking pictures.

On to Day 9.  We headed out from the hotel on bicycle to Mailly, then Chigny and finally Rilly.

 

Champagne Houses Visited

  • Charles de Cazanove – Near our hotel in Reims.  It was ok.  A good way to start the day.
  • Christian Muller – Friendly with some very nice champagnes.  The better choice of the two houses across from each other in Mailly.
  • Mailly Grand Cru – Another Ok champagne.  The tasting room was so quiet you could hear a cork drop.  Go to Muller across the street for better experience and wine.
  • Pascal Mazet – The major find of the day.  Family run house.  So friendly and spoke virtually no English.  Excellent champagne.  But they only make 16,000 bottles a year.
  • Michel Fagot – With Alain Suisse, the pinnacle of craft Champagne.  So far. Open-mouthed smile

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 7: Berlin Day Trip

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When a friend is a mere four hour train ride away in a foreign country, what else is a person to do but take that train to Berlin for a day trip.  My only regret, I forgot to eat a jelly donut there.

And a great day it was.  We got to see a lot of history and drink a lot of beer.  And, according to the app on my phone, I walked a record 28000 steps.  So I have that going for me.  Which is nice.

I love working downtown.



via IFTTT

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Days 5 & 6

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One final beer at the beer fest and then it was back to the dorf for laundry and schnitzel.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 4: Belgian Beer Fest Part Deux

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It’s not just all beer guzzling at the Belgian Beer fest.  Brussels is a city of many museums, so we headed to the Museum of the Old Masters and played around of Spot the Bottom.  Those masters sure did love them some bottoms.

Afterwards it was a quick lunch at Mer du Nord, more beer at the fest, a great dinner featuring the best fries I’ve ever had and then a small pub crawl ending at a bar whose name I wish I remembered.  It was a tiny little bar run by a friendly family.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 3: Belgian Beer fest Part Un

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Brussels, the New Orleans of Europe – a little bit French and a lotta bit stanky.  This is truly the greatest beer fest in the world.  Not only is there a wide variety of the best beers in the world, but it’s in a picturesque setting.  Hopefully my pictures convey the esqueness.

After the fest, we were off for some hand pulled Chinese noodles.  The first time I had them three years ago, I hadn’t eaten in over a day.  I feared that my perceived awesomeness of the noodles was an artifact of my hunger.  For purely scientific purposes, I subjected myself to the same noodles with duck.  My findings were that they are truly awesome.

After dinner, more beer of course.

Walkabout 2014 Day 2: Walkin’ About Düsseldorf

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With nothing much to do on the second day, I took a long walk around the dorf and finished the day with fine meats and cheeses and wines.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Walkabout 2014 Day 1: Düsseldorf Altstadt

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Walkabout failure #1:  Taking loads of pictures during your Walkabout but having no means of moving those pictures from you camera to a computer to post those pictures.  My personal computer has a card reader, but my work computer does not.  I chose poorly by bringing my work computer.

It’s day number one in the ‘dorf so there is one thing and one thing only to do – head to the Altstadt and eat a pork sandwich at Schweine Janes.  This was a very special day in Düsseldorf as it was hosting the World Cup Champion German National Team’s friendly match against Argentina.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Men in Blazers Arsenal Preview

So far so good with a 2-1 victory over Chrystal Palace.

This is also a test of a new service that will automatically post my blog to Twitter which automatically posts to Facebook.  Yes, I am hoping to one day to manage the Social Media presence of the Piccadilly Twitz, but now I just bring the party.

Adorable Marmot Picture of the Day

Alex’s Mom posted this on my wall in Facebook since she knows I love me some marmots and Glacier Park.  But upon watching it the first time I exclaimed, “Fuckin eh, I’ve hiked up there!”

Want proof.

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And without my big head.

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From the video.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Worst Day of the Year?

I’ve chronicled a number of times about my disdain for August. I’ve suggested the end of the worst month and agreed with area celebrity Craig “Junior” “Junes” Miller about the worst month and day of the year and found modest triumphs in ordinary August occurrences.

But even today as Craig gave us his ways to get through not only the worst day of the year (the second Tuesday of August) but also the worst moment (2pm), I thought “This August is not so bad”.

Why?

  • The amazing weather we’ve had this year.  Usually by this time we’ve had double digit triple digit days.  This year we’ve had a only a handful.
  • I’m fully an Arsenal fan and the Premiership season starts this Saturday.
  • And Doctor Who Series 8 (with the new 12th Doctor*) starts the week after that
  • Neck deep in planning for Walkabout 2014, which starts Sept 2 on a blog near you.
  • Tuesday nights are Geeks Who Drink quiz nights at The Nodding Donkey SMU.  We won tonight again, of course.
  • Multiple Dark & Stormies** at The Woolworth this month to cool me down.

So really, not so bad this year.

* I may have a problem

**

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dogs Are the New Kittehs

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The interwebs are overrun with adorable kitty pictures.  Well fuck felines.  Dogs are the new cats.

Take that interwebs.

Recently in My Face: Momo Family Tibetan Food Truck

One of the advantages of working downtown is the availability of a variety of food trucks.  Well, at least that’s the theory.  Since working downtown, I’ve only encounter the same food trucks you see at Klyde Warren Park or every other beer festival.

Until today.

I was delighted to look down from my window in Thanksgiving Tower and see a food truck and an ethnic food I’ve never ever encountered:  Momo Family Tibetan Food Truck.  That’s right, for the first time in my life, I ate Tibetan food.  Who knew that was even a thing??

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Seriously, check this out if you see this truck.  It’s a dude and his Tibetan mom making delicious dumplings.  I had a combo of beef and chicken curry.  And be sure to double down on momma’s hot sauce.

Be sure to follow them @momotruck.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Recently in My Face: Chino Chinatown

JT was in town and he dragged me not once but twice to his friend Uno’s restaurant, Chino Chinatown.  It’s a good thing it’s one of the best restaurants in Dallas or I’d be pissed.

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Elotes.  The most delicious corn in the world.

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Tostones

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Ahi tuna nachos.

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Chicken Lollipops.

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Duck-fat Fries.

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Drunken Noodles.  I could eat this three times a day every day forever.

Regrettably not pictured, the duck fried rice with duck breast and a duck egg.  It’s a chock full of duck.

And while I a had my camera over there, I took another nice picture of the bridge.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Continental Pedestrian Walkway

It seemed a waste of a beautiful 78°F July 31 evening in Dallas (the likes of which no one alive has ever seen) to Uber from work to meet up with friends at Chino Chinatown.  Instead, I walked the entire 1.7 miles.  So suck on that Dallas.  While crossing the pedestrian bridge to Trinity Groves, I took a few ‘grams.

 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Someone’s Stealing My Schtick

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Someone on Untappd is calling his house The Wallagio.

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What else of mine is being stolen??

Recently in My Face: The Whole Fried Branzino at Mot Hai Ba

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Like any food nerd I take pictures of stunning dishes whenever I can.  But sometimes I forget to post them.  This was eaten about a month ago.  Mot Hai Ba is quickly shooting up to near the top of my favorite Dallas restaurants.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

White Rock

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What better way to spend the greatest Saturday in July than biking around Dallas’ crown jewel, White Rock Lake and it’s cousin the White Rock Creek Trail.

I normally don’t like lugging my camera around while biking, especially during the hot hot heat of July.  But it was just too nice a day.  Well, except for the two flat tires.

It normally takes about two hours to make this trip.  But with all the stoppings and picture takings, it took three.  And I can say with temperatures barely reaching 80, it was the chilliest July ride in my 10 years of White Rock bike riding.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Colonial NIT 2014

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I’m not going to call it the Crown Plaza Colonial NIT.  That’s so much bullshit. It will always be just the Colonial NIT to me.

This was a very fun day.  I trained it from Dallas to FTW via the TRE and then used Ft Worth’s B to do some biking around town.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I’ve Had Better May 22nds

Please don’t read into that headline that today is going badly.  It is not.  I’m working from home watching the Rangers put up 5 runs early for Yu.  However, thanks to The Facebooks, I have to admit, today is not the best May 22 ever.

I’m not that savvy with the technologies, so don’t berate me with comments such as “Uh, I’ve known about that for literally a billion years asshole.  Write about things you know something about like crapping your pants.”

Now I will get around to blogging about crapping my pants some day, but today I wanted review a new (to me) Facebook app – On This Day.

With this new “App” you can review your timeline On This Day for any given year.  So, for instance on this day in 2009:

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Oh, look, I was in France.  That’s a pretty good May 22.

And just last year:

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I was putting pig in my face in the Altstadt.

Today may be better than May 22, 2011 for me and all my friends as nothing shows up in my newsfeed for that day.  So I guess I can’t feel too bad about today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014