Beer

WIAW: San Diego Edition

by agirlandhermutt on June 12, 2013

Well, this should be fun. If you haven’t noticed, my little weight loss ticker took a little jump. Oops. This What I Ate Wednesday will probably give you a clue as to why. I’m not worried. I weighed in on Tuesday right after we got back from San Diego (ha!) and I should have the pounds gained off in the next week. So with that in mind…

WIAW: San Diego Edition!

I was convinced that San Diego should be our vacation spot by the BF with the promise of tacos, refried beans and beer. I’m a HUGE Mexican food fan and could literally eat it for every meal. I have been low-carbin’ it for the past few months so this was a huge treat for me! I’m including only the non-healthy but drool inducing bites for this round.

Pacific Beach Bar & Grill for Taco Tuesday! The shredded chicken crunchy tacos and fish tacos were sublime.

Brunch at The Cottage in La Jolla. I had the California Benedict with sliced turkey, avocado, poached eggs and hollandaise. I drizzled a little hot sauce over the top because that is the way I like to live. Although I enjoyed my brunch company, I thought the juice that I had (pom) was the highlight of the meal. My benedict was a little cold and the turkey a bit dried out. The hollandaise didn’t have much flavor and since it was a little cold it had started to congeal. Eh. Not my fave benedict. I did enjoy sitting on the patio though.

Old Town is a must for any Mexican food lover when visiting San Diego. We decided to go with the majority of folks on Yelp and visited Casa de Reyes. We started with guac which had an interesting mix of radishes on the top. I actually loved the crunch and punch that it added. Definitely something I need to remember for my next guac batch.

For dinner I got the bean and cheese burrito “wet” style. Wet just means sauce on the top. I wasn’t a fan of the flour tortilla so I ate the insides with the sauce. Mmm…refried beans are my absolute favorite food. There was a decent sized salad going on over there on the side of the plate but it was dwarfed by the extra jumbo burrito.

Near the end of our trip we took a little trip out to Oceanside to check out their beaches. Spoiler Alert: Not as nice as Coronado or Pacific Beach. While we were there we stopped at Breakwater Brewing for some lunch. It had a very relaxed beach bar type of vibe. We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered up one of their beers and a pizza to split. The medium was huge! We had the Spicy Jerk Chicken pizza. Although I enjoyed the pizza, spicy this pizza was not. As a matter of fact, I didn’t taste anything that remotely reminded me of jerk chicken. Good pizza though! The crust was delicious.

One of the last meals we had in San Diego was at a place in Gaslamp called Neighborhood . I didn’t do my research enough so I didn’t realize this place was a hipster’s delight. No hostess. No ketchup. No vodka. I’m not really a ketchup fan, but any time people try to put down what others enjoy I get a little annoyed. I figured what the heck and put my own name on a chalkboard that I assume was the waiting list. We were seated pretty quickly and had a lovely server. The whole meal was pretty good, but what cracked me up the most was the Grilled Cheese Salad. We ordered this to split and for some reason we both thought that the grilled cheese part referred to something like cheese sprinkles or maybe some gouda on the top. We weren’t expected an actual grilled cheese sandwich to be surrounding the plate. Heh. I like all the goodies in the salad, but I was a bit bummed out that it was so wet. I think I officially like all dressings on the side.

Are you worried about me after all that cheesy carb-a-licious food up there? Eh. Don’t be. It was a one time deal. You know, until we decided to get drinks. 😉

There were $3 margaritas at Pacific Beach Bar & Grill.

Dueling Sangrias at Vin de Syrah in Gaslamp.

Beer tasters at Coronado Brewing Company and Ballast Point.


FYI…Ballast Point is awesome. They have a foreign export stout called Indra Kunidra that is out of this world. It has coconut, kaffir lime leaf, cayenne, cumin, and Madras curry spice to round out the crazy flavors in this beer. SO GOOD. I have to find this beer near me!

There was also some wine tasting, including a stop at The Wine Encounter in Hillcrest. Happy Hour included 1/2 off wine flights. Don’t mind if I do!

We paired our wine with some mixed olives (which I have a hard time resisting anywhere) that also came with some nuts and fruit. Lovely little platter.

There was also a tour (and tasting, of course!) at Stone Brewing Co. I had their oak-smoked barley wine. I am a huge fan of barley wine and this one was super unique. It didn’t have the super thick texture that I am used to, but the smokiness was just enough to make this drink stand out and be super drinkable. We also tried their Cask beer which was the IPA with honey, mint and chipotle peppers. Nope. Not a fan. Don’t put mint in things. *Shudder*

Fear not my healthy friends. I had plenty of salads, fresh fruit, yogurt and other healthy options. I even managed to snag a veggie plate at a pizza place.

The next time I have a WIAW I will be back to my healthy and not quite as cheesy meals.

Until tomorrow!

{ 6 comments }

Weekend Away: Provincetown, Ma

by agirlandhermutt on April 30, 2013

I have been sporting some serious love for my city the past few weeks, but when its time to take a break, it is time for this girl to take a break!

On Friday afternoon I left work early and  headed out to Provincetown on Cape Cod for a little weekend away.

A few of the highlights…

I can never say no to a brewery pit stop. We took a quick visit to Cape Cod Beer. Great beers and even nicer folks work there! A growler of their Summer beer decided to hitch a ride with us to PTown.

We arrived in PTown around 6p, just in time to watch the tide go out and the sun go down. Our house for the weekend was right across the street from a beach entrance.



After a quick cat nap (I’m a pro at the 20 min nap!), we bundled up to walk down the street to grab a drink at Harbor Lounge and then eat a lobster dinner at The Lobster Pot. The perfect New England night!

The next morning we were up bright and early. Almost too early for PTown. Very few people were out on the street around 8am. We found the Portuguese Bakery to have a bite to eat for breakfast (malassadas!) and then pulled out the bikes so we could head out to Race Point Beach.

I am NOT a biker. I like spinning. I don’t like traffic. I try my best, but it usually ends in crying. Fortunately, all my working out (and pounds lost) really helped me enjoy this biking experience a bit more. The hills were killer, but the views were gorgeous. The dunes definitely are not captures adequately on my iphone.


The ride was about 7 or 8 miles total, but RunKeeper thought I did such an awesome job that it gave me a few bonus miles. Oh boy. According to my HRM I managed to burn around 1,000 calories but I think most of that was due to sheer fear and terror of being on my bike in traffic.

The weather could not have been better. The beach was gorgeous and mostly empty. This was good because I was screaming like a lunatic when I pulled up on my bike about how awesome I was for riding without falling.

Once we arrived back in town, we just walked around a bit and grabbed some lunch. With full bellies we strolled down to the beach to do a little more growler drinking. The beach and beer just are meant to be enjoyed together.

I didn’t really have any plans for dinner so we just set out to find something. We ended up at the Squealing Pig, which has another location in Boston. It was chilly outside so comfort food was the name of the game for dinner.

  

The BF almost fell out of his seat when I ordered the fish & chips. I can’t remember the last time I ordered fried fish. Or fried anything. It was such a good choice. The breading on the fish was so light and tasty. The fries were some kind of truffle thing. It was all so wrong and so good.

Sunday morning we had to be out of the house by 10 so we got up early for a quick run on the beach. It sounds all fun and romantic, but really, it was just messy and really difficult. I ended up running for about 2 blocks total on the beach and then took the next path off back to the street.

  

After fighting with the bikes to go back in the car, we headed back to Race Point Beach to just relax and enjoy the sun. I just can’t get enough of it!


It was a quick decision to head out to relax for a few hours so the only thing we had with us was a bottle of Pellegrino and a pickle. Classy.

It was really windy, but not so much that I couldn’t take a nap right there in my jeans and tshirt. There were only a few people around, including some nutcase who went into the freezing cold water in the smallest bikini I have ever seen. The beach, the sun, and people watching. My favorite trio.

When the wind picked up so much that the sand started to pelt us a little, we got back in the car and started the drive home. No trip is complete without a pit stop and this time we stopped at Sundae School in Dennisport for some good ol’ fashioned homemade ice cream sundaes.


  

So to sum it up…beach, beer, lobster, fried fish and ice cream. Throw in a little walking, biking and some running too.  I loved every minute of this past weekend. This should be an interesting weigh-in week though! Heh.

I hope you guys had a good weekend and I’ll check back in tomorrow with some DietBet results!

 

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Recap: Sun Winefest 2013

by agirlandhermutt on January 29, 2013

On Sunday while some people were getting ready to head to church or maybe hit up an early morning workout class, I was on my way down to Connecticut to visit Mohegan Sun and the 2013 Sun WineFest. Cheers to Sunday drinking!

The Sun Winefest was celebrating its 10th anniversary with over 1000 wines, liquors, and beers to sample along with dishes from some locally loved restaurants. Let the games begin.

We arrived at Mohegan just in time to get in a little bit before the crowds and check out the layout. Most of the wine tasting events that I have attended have a single table for each vendor, but these all had 4 sides. Folks, that is a lot of wine. Come to discover, it is also an easy way to try the same wine 3x and not realize it until after you have tried it each time.

In addition to the drinks and food, there were also some demos and cookbook signings happening during the event. I missed my boy, Todd English on Saturday but I was excited to see Govind Armstrong was on the schedule for Sunday. He has been on Top Chef so that automatically makes him a fave in my book.

Finally it was time to grab a glass and get to tasting.

We had a strategy to start with the bubblies, try the whites, and then move on to the reds pretty quickly. Winter time=Red Wine.


  


  

Apparently wine by celebrities and musicians is a hot trend right now. I have caught glimpses of Dave Matthews wine at other events (ugh.) and on Sunday I found out that both Ed Hardy and Train have their own wine. Yep, you read that right.

I’d like to tell you that everyone surrounding the Ed Hardy table didn’t look like they stepped out of the Jersey Shore tv show, but I would be lying and I can’t lie to you. I gave them a try, but eh. Not a fan. I’ll leave it to the true Ed Hardy fans out there.

  

Train, on the other hand, had a decent wine. However, I don’t know if I could seriously serve Drops of Jupiter wine at my dinner party. Maybe the Calling All Angels Chardonnay though?  I’m not saying I won’t crank up my collection of Train songs on my ipod and drink this all alone though. Because I will. Train, if you are reading…I love you.

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The wine section of our day had some pretty great hits and unfortunately, a few misses. Rather than focus on the negatives, here are the standouts of the day for me.

Chocolate Shop– Chocolate Red Wine
Everywhere you turn there is another chocolate wine on the shelf but it is usually that spiked Yoo-Hoo kind. I don’t have any problems with that wine (big ol’ fan right here!), but I was really pleasantly surprised to try this red wine with chocolate flavors. The combo of oak and dark cherry from the red wine with the sweetness of the chocolate was the perfect sip. This would make a great dessert wine that isn’t too sweet. I could also stick a straw in this bad boy and go to town.

Montebruno– Pinot Noir
This winemaker from Oregon has one wine to offer and it was a standout. This Pinot Noir was light bodied with just the slightest traces of tannins and a touch of sweetness. This is a wine that is almost meant to be had all by itself rather than paired with food.

Montes Twins– Red Wine 2010
I was actually attracted to this bottle because of its creative label. I’m a sucker for advertising gimics. This blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect wine for those who enjoy a more hearty wine with hints of oak, blackberries and vanilla. I especially enjoyed the smooth finish that had a slight spicy taste to it with a touch of vanilla.

There was one brand that won me over totally. All of the wines that we tasted from Bogle were just fantastic. Lots of complex flavors, different finishes, and no weird aftertastes.

The first was one that I complete spaced on taking a picture of was Bogle Phantom. This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre. It was one of those ink colored wines that was heavy on the palette with flavors of blackberries, leather, black pepper and hints of cocoa. I loved this wine so much that I ordered a glass later on in the day with my dinner. I will be on the hunt for this wine in my area and this will be a staple in my wine cabinet.

The second Bogle that blew me away was their Petite Sirah Port. This is like blueberry pie in a bottle. Some ports are too alcoholy for me, but this was on the money. It was strong without being overpowered and just was the perfect way to end any meal.

The final wine that made the winners list was Pacific Rim Late Harvest Riesling. Sweet. Syrupy. Delicious.

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Food break! Decadent clams from 84 Tavern on Canal.

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Right around the time I was starting to get all wined out I realized that I hadn’t really seen that many beer vendors. We did a little exploring only to realize that there was an entire 2nd floor to explore. Holy crap.

 

There were quite a few of my favorites there including Lagunitas, Goose Island, Widmer Brothers, and Dogfish Head.


I also discovered the greatness that is Samuel Smith. Framboise Lambic and Chocolate Stout FTW.

I also really enjoyed Heavy Seas beer. I’d love to take a visit there. It seems like such a fun beer company.

Right around the time we finished rounding through the beer rooms it was coming up on 3p. It was starting to get a bit ugly. Lots of random kissing, a few people falling down and I’m pretty sure I saw some girl napping in the bathroom. All standard sightings for the end of any type of wine/beer fest.

As we headed down to check into our room I caught a glimpse of this stand. Hendrick’s Gin. Just what everyone needs after a day of wine tasting, right? That might explain the bathroom napper. FYI…Gin & Tonics should all be made with cucumber. Don’t worry I just sipped it. I wasn’t secretly the bathroom napper.

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After a little cat nap in the hotel room, it was time to head down to the final event of the Sun WineFest weekend. Bubbles & Bon Bons!

This event was held in more intimate spot, the Cabaret. There was plenty of seating and you could talk directly with the pasty chefs. I loved the atmosphere! There wasn’t a wine glass laynard to be seen.

Three pastry chefs teamed up with Moet Champagne to host an evening of decadent desserts paired with fantastic bubbly.

So many truffles and bruelees to choose from! The Grand Marnier shot was like a creamsicle in a cup. There was also an unpictured Apple Ice Wine frozen popsicle that I wanted to eat a whole case of.


Savory cocktail cookies are my new favorite dessert. The Sesame-Sea Salt are crave worthy!

 

Just in case you didn’t have enough…

Chocolate covered strawberries!

Chocolate fountain and all its dipping friends.



Mini donuts with caramel corn and chocolate dipping sauce.

And then we were DONE…I came. I tasted. I loved it. I might have diabetes now.

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Over the years I have attended my fair share of wine and beer festivals. None of them have had the sheer numbers of wine available to sample! I thought the event was well organized, in a GREAT location, and appealing to every level of wine/beer enjoyer. Next time I might study the layout of the event a bit better so I know exactly where I am going and make more of an effort to be early for the demos. I also might enjoy another plate of those clams.

Thanks a bunch to Mohegan Sun for having me down! Lets do this again, shall we?!

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My time at Mohegan didn’t end when the Sun WineFest did. We explored the casino, hotel and ate at a few restaurants. I’ll update more on that later in the week! Until then…DETOX.

Just a note: I was provided tickets to the WineFest and Bubbles & Bon Bons event free of charge. I was also provided accomodations. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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