Monday, May 10, 2010

Burger month, week one

Now I have to start off my saying, I think I might have gotten a little excited when I first heard of burger month. Now the idea of eating a burger every single day sounds awesome, but it’s pretty unrealistic. Not to mention pretty expensive, especially when you’re trying to save to go on vacation. So where I haven’t been eating a burger every day, I’ve been trying my best.


The first place we went to for burger month was Jackson Hole in Englewood, NJ. There’s a bunch of Jackson Holes in NYC so I was really excited to find out that there was one in NJ because I really don’t like going into the city unless it’s absolutely necessary. So, first we stopped at Corrado’s because we needed to get some more sanitizer for homebrewing. That places is crazy. They have like everything you can think of for homebrewing. I wanted to buy everything. But yea, after Corrado’s we went made our way to Jackson Hole. It was not what I expected; it was located in a diner car basically, & I almost drove past it. It was kind of on the pricey side, but the burgers were huge.


Jackson Hole is the home of the 7 ounce burger. I wish I realized how big 7 ounces was before I ordered fries, because I didn’t even touch them. Now I got he Western Burger, topped with Jack cheese, fried onions, bacon, & barbeque sauce. The onions were a little overwhelming so I had to take some off, & the barbeque sauce was very tangy, more like a hot sauce, but other then that the burger was really good. It was very juicy & messy, but it tasted awesome. My girlfriend ordered the Soul Burger, with bacon, ham, American cheese, & friend onions, which was also very good (I make her let me try what she orders.) Overall, very good burgers, I just know next time not to order fries.

Now I know that Hamburger Helper & Wendy’s aren’t very impressive, but I’m trying to show homage to this lovely month by consuming burger meat as often as possible. They were my options. & they were good. haha Of all the fast food restaurants, I really don’t mind Wendy’s burgers. & $2.99 for a value meal is OK by me.

As far as beer goes, things have been realitively quiet. We are brewing a pilsner right now, which I am pretty excited for. I was going to go get some Mexican beer for Cinco de Mayo, but as I’ve said before, not really a fan of Mexican beer, so we had to stick with margaritas. For Sarah & I though, Cinco de Mayo is a lot like Christmas, so this was our tree.


We’ve began counting the days down until our vacation. In less than 2 weeks we will be in Vermont, drinking all their lovely beers. I really can’t wait. I can’t even begin to tell you how badly I need a vacation. & hopefully this year we will be able to get our VT beer passport completely stamped. & I think this year I’m going to get a hop tattooed. Last year I got a burger, so I guess it would be appropriate. I really can’t wait to get out of here. Bring on those Green Mountains!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh happy May.

I just stumbled across the little fact that May is National Burger Month. With this only one thing comes to mind: I’m going to have to eat a burger every single day this month. It’s ooon!


Monday, April 26, 2010


So yea, I know, I fibbed. I haven’t been posting like I said I would be, but hopefully now since it’s getting nicer out & things are slowing down at work, you’ll be hearing more from me. But yea, what’s up?! Lots of things have been going on in my little world. Let’s play some catch up.

Not too long after my last post, I ran into my friend Jeremy. We’ve known each other forever, but he moved to NJ so I don’t get to see him very much. Well, he came back to the OC to visit, & brought some lovely brews for Sarah & I for Christmas. He brought us all Ommegang, the Hennepin, Three Philosophers, & Chocolate Indulgence. They were all really good, but I have to say that my favorite was the Hennepin.


In February we celebrated my birth! Born February 22nd, 1986, I turned 24 this year. The only thing that I knew I wanted to do for my birthday this year was go back to Massachusetts to see my Emma, & to drink more beer! Now, this sounds pretty simplistic. What you have to understand, is that it snows every year for my birthday. This year, it didn’t snow on the actual day, just the day we were supposed to leave for Massachusetts. & of course this couldn’t be a mild snow, it was like a Nor’easter. Orange County, NY got about 4 feet of snow. It was insane. That didn’t stop Sarah & I from grilling, though.


God bless our mini-Weber. So once it finally stopped snowing & we were able to shovel ourselves out, we finally set out to Massachusetts. It was so weird because as soon as you got out of Orange County there was practically no snow anywhere else. Just my luck. We basically just hung out when we went to Emma’s. We had to go back to the Amherst Brewing Company because I love that place. We also went & checked out the Northhampton Brewery. I got a burger & the Northhampton Pale Ale.  I asked for barbeque sauce & got chili instead. It was weird. It was good but I like ABC better.


Also for my birthday, the lovely ladies that I work with enrolled me in the Beer of the Month club. Every month I get 12 beers; 4 different kinds, 3 of each beer. Nothing is more exciting then waking up & finding a box of beer on your front porch. The first month I received beers from Wild Goose & the Sprecher Brewing Company. From Wild Goose I got some IPA’s & some Brown Lagers. From Sprechers I got some Mai Bocks & Dunkel Weizens. I bet you can guess which was my favorite.


As I was typing this I actually got my second set of beers delivered. This time I got beers from the Farmington River Brewing Company & the Lakefront Brewery. From Farmington River there was some Brown Ales & Mahogany Ales. From the Lakefront Brewery I got their Riverwest Stein Beer & their new Wheat Monkey Ale. They look interesting, & I can’t wait to drink them.


As of late, my favorite thing to do is drive to New Jersey from the lovely food that they have to offer. I try to go at least once a month to a place I’ve either seen on TV (I watch a lot of Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, & Man Vs. Food,) or just random burger places. One of the first places we went to was the Country Pancake House in Ridgewood, NJ, which we saw on Man. Vs. Food. I know this doesn’t have to do with burgers or beers, but look at these pancakes!


Mine had cornmeal, bacon, ham, & cheese in them. They were amazing. We’ve gone back since then too. I got the potato pancakes the second time around. They were just as amazing. I’ve never seen so many different kinds of pancakes in my life. & it’s all really cheap! I love this place.

While in my travels in NJ, I’ve been searching for Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch EVERYWHERE. This then brought me to Bottle King, where I found this…


What is Bottle King thinking, putting Ed Hardy beer next to Flying Dog & Otter Creek? I was tempted to buy it, just to try it & since they didn’t have Raging Bitch, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Every time I go to NJ, Jeremy tells me about White Manna & how they have the best sliders ever. So after hearing about it so much, we decided that we needed to go. It’s located about an hour away in Hackensack, NJ, but it’s absolutely worth the drive. They really are the best sliders ever, located probably in the smallest “restaurant” I’ve ever seen. White Manna is amazing. I woke up the next morning still thinking about those little burgers. Our trip back will be sometime soon.


Although NJ will always have a large part of my heart, I think I might have found a new love; Connecticut.  My cousin is getting married so we went out for her bridal shower. Most of my family lives in CT, so I don’t know why I don’t go there more often, but I think I will be now. CT has some of the best food I’ve probably ever had, especially their pizza. My uncle knows all about my food adventures, so he had a bunch of things set up by the time I got there. First thing on the agenda was mashed potato pizza from Bar in New Haven, CT. It was outrageous. I would have never thought to put potatoes on a pizza, but it was delicious. & right across the street from Bar is Louis Lunch, the birthplace of the burger. I was really upset because they were closed the days that I was in CT, but it didn’t stop me from being a tourist & taking a picture.


Now I wasn’t going to leave CT without a monumental burger, & I got one. We drove out to Meriden, CT to Ted’s for their world famous steamed cheeseburgers. This is another place that Adam Richman went to on Man Vs. Food. I’ve never had a steamed cheeseburger before so I had to see what it was all about. It was outstanding. Super cheesy, really flavorful. Probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I think I need to try to find a steam box so I can make these myself.


As a side note, I’ve fallen in love. I’m in love with Samuel Adams Noble Pils. As big of a hop enthusiast as I am, this beer is just simply amazing. I’m sad that it’s about to disappear, but hopefully Sam Adams brings it back some day. Until then, I’m going to buy as much of it as I possibly can.


We recently went over to our friends’ house & they proceeded to tell us that they have never been to Cheeseburger in Paradise. This is not ok by me. So needless to say, we had to take them. It was cool though because I hadn’t been there yet in 2010. Now they plan on going at least once a month to CIP, in which I will inviting myself to every time.


& that’s really all I got for y’all. I have about 4 burger places lined up which I' will hopefully get to soon. We leave for Vermont in less then a month too! I seriously can’t wait. We’re going for 2 weeks this year, which means more time for more breweries. I want to drink Vermont dry. haha No, I won’t be greedy, but I do plan on making a dent. We’re also in the process of brewing a Pilsner. It should be perfect for the warmer weather. Good times, good brews, can’t wait! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Messed up blogging game

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Wow Steph, you’re really committed to this blog.” & I know I haven’t been posting as much, just with the holidays & everything, I haven’t really had the time to check out too many burgers, other then the ones I’ve been making at home. I really have no excuse. I’ve just been lazy. haha I know you’ve all been there. So let’s catch up!

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s amazing that we’re already here in 2010. I had a great holiday season. Although my job was absolutely crazy, there was lots of good eats & good beer, especially my girlfriend’s beer, but we’ll get to that later.

A little before the holidays, we made a trip to Poughkeepsie to check out Half Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie, NY. They have one of the world’s largest selection of beer. It’s really cool to because they have beers on tap that you can get in growlers, & you can also make your own 6 packs. It was just like Disney World for Sarah & I. We ended up getting 3 growlers, & we each made our own 6 packs.


The growlers were really tasty. For the big one we got Rogue Juniper Pale Ale, which was my favorite. The Half Time ones were Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Weisse & Magic Hat’s winter seasonal American Sour ale. I’m not a fan of sour ales at all, so that one was all Sarah’s. They didn’t last very long though.

Now onto the IPA’s. There were sooo many different beers to choose from, so I tried narrowing it down to just IPA’s, since they’re my favorite & all. The 6 pack consisted of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA, Stoudt’s Double IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, Cricket Hill’s Hopnotic IPA, Smuttynose’s IPA, & Coopertown Brewing Company’s Back Yard IPA. They were all really good, but the Smuttynose was definitely my favorite. It’s quickly become one of my new favorite beers. I really can’t wait to go back to Half Time to make more tasty 6 packs.

Now, this holiday season, my girlfriend got a couple requests for some homebrew for some friends of ours, so she made two different batches. One was a California Common, a typical steam beer, & an Irish Stout, which was on the dark size. Out of the 2 batches, we were able to make over 100 beers. It was great. Everyone loved them, & we still had a bunch left over for us to drink. My personal favorite was the Common; I can’t really handle stouts very often.

homebrew californiacommon

The California Common.


The Irish Stout.

While all the homebrews were definitely one of my favorite parts of the holidays, there were lots of other high points. One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is decorate the tree. Check out my awesome ornament.


And you know it wouldn’t be the holidays without the craziness of Christmas shopping. I was lucky this year & got most of mine done in one day. I did end up having to go out for a second round of shopping with my mom & sister, & afterwards we went to Ruby Tuesday’s & got one of their burgers that I’ve heard a bunch about.


I had to ask them to switch it up for me a little bit. I got their Smokehouse burger, with crispy onion straws, applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, & BBQ sauce, but I had them put their triple prime burger instead of their regular burger. It was really good & paired really well with my Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.

With Christmas came lots of good beer & nifty burger treats. A few weeks prior to Christmas there was an ad in our paper for Sam Adam’s Utopias. My mom showed it to me & my girlfriend & we immediately started our hunt for one. With a little help from one of my co-workers & my mom, we finally tracked one down!


It’s cool because Sam Adams sent us a free glass for it as well. Now we’re just waiting for the right occasion to drink it.

While in our travels we also found some other brews that I was really excited to drink. I found a 4-pack on Dogfish Head Burton Baton & a Smuttynose variety pack at the Monroe beer store. I loved the Dogfish Head, & the Smuttynoses were good, but my favorite is still their IPA.


2010 has been a good year for me so far, as far as burgers & brews are concerned. I think I might have found a new favorite burger as well. I got it for the first time at Buffalo Wild Wings, which isn’t a place you would think to go for burgers, but it has turned me onto a new craze. Burgers with cheese, pulled pork, & pickles. You need to try this burger. My father & I went to Clayton Delaney’s in Chester, NY, which is a BBQ place. I had to try this burger with some real BBQ, so I ordered a burger with a side of pulled pork & constructed it myself. I think they’re considering putting it on their menu now.


& I’m also very happy to say that I rang the new year in with Smuttynose IPA.


Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for the new year. For Christmas I enrolled Sarah & myself in the American Homebrewer’s Association, which allows us to get discounts at breweries & stuff. We already have 2 trips to Vermont planned out & definitely plan on returning to Massachusetts sometime soon. Sarah’s also working on new beer recipes. I can’t wait to see what else I’m going to eat & drink this year.