Monday, August 19, 2013

bar hoppin in dallas - whole foods spirit of '76

Spirit of '76 coaster
People always say that becoming an adult is no fun, that it's full of responsibilities like paying bills, work and grocery shopping. Thanks to Whole Foods, one of those aspects of adulthood just became a lot more fun. Not only can you shop for vegan friendly, stress free organic meats and crackers, you can now sit back and enjoy a local brewski (or vino for that matter) in the store itself. The Whole Foods Spirit of '76 in Addison offers 25 taps (some of which are for wine), many of which are local options from Community Brewing, Peticolas, Revolver, Lakewood and Armadillo Ale Works.

You remember in college when you would go out to the bars and then stumble to the nearest Jimmy John's to gorge yourself in post bar foot longs with fresh bread, then make your way to the nearest burrito stand for dessert? That was just me? Well, this is kind of like that. After a couple of drinks at the Spirit of '76 bar, every single aisle becomes a snack haven with foods that seem to glow. Do I really need a pre-made platter of assorted artisan cheeses and Asian dumplings? No, but damn it sure sounds good! Oh shit, don't forget the organic cookie dough!

Peticolas Velvet Hammer
I mean seriously, how can you not be satisfied with being able to drink the beautiful bitterness of Peticolas' Velvet Hammer in a grocery store? In addition to the rotating taps, they also do tap takeovers, which I was lucky enough to be shopping there during one with Lakewood Brewing. Side-by-side comparison of The Temptress? Check. Pils? Check. Lion's Share? Check. Flights are only $7 with your choice of any four beers.

The one on the end was a bit nutty
Next time you are in Addison, check this place out. And don't forget your growler, they fill those at damn good prices.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

rant of the day - budweiser select not craft beer

Photo Credit: @jwall4
It's not a craft beer. No shit Sherlock. That's like telling me I Can't Belive It's Not Butter isn't real butter.

Honestly, what kind of marketing genius asshat came up with that one? The only part of beer consumption that is rising is with the craft beer segment, and their solution is to let people know that they're NOT craft? Genius. 

Here's our chance to come up with better slogans. AB-InBev, you can thank me later.

It's not craft beer, it's just shit.

It's not craft beer...'insert sad face'

Budweiser Select. It's like Budweiser...but worse.

Here's a beer review I found for Budweiser Select on RateBeer.

Pours a pale straw with a starch white half finger of fizzy boring looking head. Really have to snort at this one to gather much of anything. Corn and sweet subtle grains. Wet grass. Slight metallic zing in front with a corny bread flavor as it fades. Mouthfeel is akin to urine. Overall, you’re better off drinking soda.

Look past the big advertisements. Drink craft. Drink local. Support your local brewers. Cheers!

Friday, August 9, 2013

the common table - dinner for two

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to come to The Common Table while visiting Dallas. However, it just never seemed to have worked out...until now. Moving to Dallas has presented an opportunity to finally visit the many great beer spots Dallas now has.

I felt like I was on Rainey St. walking up to The Common Table. Tucked in an eclectic neighborhood, it looked like a house that was converted into a restaurant/bar. Walking in you could see it was a very young atmosphere with a lot of energy.

This place is known for their obsession with beer, and the selection was spot-on with many different styles to choose from so nobody's palate would be left behind. I believe they had about five or six local options on draft.

I started off with a Revolver Blood & Honey, a favorite go-to Dallas beer for me. It's a full bodied wheat beer with a hint of sweetness from the honey and a fruity kick from the blood orange peel.

We started off our eating adventure with the avocados on the half shell with lobster. Flavors were clean and mellow with the dressing bringing everything together but the lobster was a bit overcooked. 

The mussels we had were superb. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't turn out well (probably because I was knee deep in butter sauce and couldn't get out). I wish I had my own private room when eating mussels. Not only do I make a fool of myself when I haphazardly splash the butter sauce all over myself, but I tend to eat the entire bowl without sharing. However, there is no judgement when Meggie is eating with me so we tend to just drink the delicious butter sauces like soup, and Common Table's was exceptionally buttery with a nice kick of spice and hints of ginger and lemongrass. Damn good.

The gargantuan pork filled with Spanish chorizo over creamy cheese grits was next. The pork was flavorful but a bit dry, but damn that chorizo brought some flavor to the table. And the grits. Ohhhh those grits. Creamy, cheesy and delicious are the only words to describe the grits. Oh, orgasmic may be another adjective. My only complaint would be the onions and peppers were not cooked and caramelized enough, but that's a personal preference.

Overall, a great first experience with exceptional service.

Two gripes:

$2 charge for spliting/sharing. I didn't even know places did this anymore. Luckily our server was kind enough not to charge us.

Expensive beer prices. Go on Monday for the 'Pour Man's Dinner' which is 4 courses and 4 beers for $29. Or, go Tuesday for $2 off 20 oz pours. This takes it from $7/$9 to $5/$7, a more appropriate price in my opinion.