Fit with Fitbook: Week 2

Another week, another dollar.  Only it’s been a week and a day, and I’ve only spent dollars (you know, on important stuff like wine tastings and half-pints of beer). So, in truth, that phrase doesn’t apply, whatsoever.

Another 8 days, no dollars.  BUT I can chalk another week off in my fitbook endeavors.  I’ll be honest, this one wasn’t quite as successful as the first.  Then again, when you have two days where entire daily food entries read “Didn’t eat much other than brie… but there was a lot of brie”, a one pound gain isn’t really worrisome.  In fact it’s somewhat impressive.

I only eat carbs when they're paired with wheels of brie. #healthy

Luckily, the half-pound of soft cow’s cheese that I inhaled over the weekend and the massive quantities of beer and chocolate from Wednesday at Big Boss did not actually translate to the gain that I feared when approaching the scale.  And I’m gonna give a lot of credit to this little guy:

I haven't come up with an official name, but it feels like a fellow

Looking back at my weekly wrap up, here’s a little summary:

  • The Good: Worked out before my glass night on Thursday, avoided my standard fare of pickle chips with my beer buddies, burned 4,140 calories during the week (over a quarter of that was just from Monday’s INSANE workout), and despite a few minor/major bumps on the road, I never fully “gave up” on a day by succumbing to fully eating awful from start to finish
  • The Bad: 2 days where “Brie” was a major food group, skipped dinner on Saturday, missed my workout on Sunday due to kind of feeling sorry for myself (I know rest days are great, but this was just laziness).
  • Notes: Unless I’m like… on an epic vacation, there’s really no need for an entire day of indulgence, it’s nice to treat treats like what they are: special. Meal skipping makes me cranky and hungry and lame. My weekend eats need more structure.
Other updates:
  • This “no soda” thing is really easy now that I’ve stopped, you know, buying soda.  I think it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things.
  • Grapes are nature’s candy.  Seriously. They’ve totally owned my sweet tooth.  Gotta stop at Target to pick up more.

    Grapes should always be eaten out of wine glasses. New life rule.

  • I did my first official “Meatless Monday” last night and it was a SMASHING success!! More on that later.
  • I love the calm post-sweat session where I just sit down in the gym and write up my workout and my daily eats in the fitbook (if you’re interested in getting one, and don’t wanna click through to the last post, here’s a link to the fitbook store!)
  • I forget how amazing wearing a HRM during a workout is. Remind me to never forget that again, thanks.
So yes, abbreviated update:  Weekend spent eating brie by the chunks + overindulgence on Wednesday – two rest days = 1 lb gain
However, I felt so much stronger in BodyCombat and CX30 on Monday, and the moves are getting easier, so I’ll say progress is progress.
UNRELATED: Anyone have a favorite method of cooking 4 lbs of country style ribs/pork butt?  Because when I see it on sale for $6, I can’t resist.  And now I have 4 lbs of meat.  And I live alone. And ate vegetarian last night.
Smooth, Jordan.

 

 

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Vineyards at Southpoint and a Ladies’ Day Out!

You’d never think a day that started out riding in the bed of a truck could get classier, right?

Wow, it's much breezier back here

After confirming with our lawyer buddy that having passengers in the bed of the truck was “legal… enough” (what does that even mean?), I accompanied 6 of my coworkers to the picturesque Vineyards at Southpoint. Sometimes, even beer girls like myself need a few antioxidants in the form of a few glasses of the fancy stuff.  Located only a few minutes from Southpoint mall, this is a little taste of wine country virtually in my backyard! Impossible to pass up.

The weather was glorious and, as we dismounted from our spacious truck bed (trust me, it’s the only way to travel), I spotted this little sign outside the vineyard welcoming us.

This is bound to get fun

I knew we were in for a treat.

Moments later, we were set up with souvenir glasses, tasting sheets, and some tasty things to nibble on while we boozed.  For $6, this was quite a deal.

I'm ready to drink learn!

Our tasting was conducted by our friendly and knowledgeable hostess, Kasha.

This was a PERFECT way to spend a day with some buddies.  Vineyards at Southpoint was fully welcoming, and had brie and gorgonzola cheese, a fig spread-type thing, and fancy chocolates.  Also, after we tasted about 6 wines, we were able to pick our favorite by the glass for $6 (and enjoy them on the deck, in the sunshine, in January.) Love that NC weather!

What a day!

Though, I’ll be honest, none of the wines really blew me away, I think that the day wasn’t made by the wine, but by the experience.  If you’re in the area and in need of an affordable date or a day out with some buddies, look no further than Vineyards at Southpoint! Plus, it gives you a reason to day drink AND eat chocolate and cheese.

As if you needed an excuse….

Six Pack Sunday: I Live My Life from Bathrobe to Bathrobe

Wow, long time, no Six Pack Sunday. Let’s get right into it.

1. More like No-Tein

Grosser than Gross

Once, long ago, I got a coupon for some free Sambazon product.  It wasn’t until much later that I remembered said coupon.

This protein “Superfood Smoothie” was narsty. It was chalky, very low in flavor, and made me just wish I made my own smoothie.

No bueno

The stats weren’t even that impressive, and and after finishing almost half, I tossed the rest. I hate to waste, but I hate to drink gross things more.

2. It’s Britney, Bitch.

Stolen shirts always fit best.

Years ago, I borrowed this little gem from Shaina, one of my best friends from high school.  And now, when I’m feeling particularly badass, I’ll wear it to the gym.  And then, I just assume that I look as good as Brit, back in her glory days.

Bonus, if I ever slip and fall, I’ve got the best catchphrase around.

“Oops, I did it again!”

3. Heroes with the Half Pint

The Very Best options

Know what’s an excellent option at bars?

Half pints.

Spanky’s in Chapel Hill had a cellar clearing event with so many different NC beers, I would’ve been wasted had I not stuck to half-pints. It’s a great way to try several beer options without getting more buzzed than you’d like to.

Hear that, restaurants?! OFFER MORE HALF PINTS!

4. All Bathrobes, All the Time

Basically me. Mostly.

Basically me. Mostly.

If you ever wonder what I do the moment I get home from the gym (I know that’s all you’re thinking about), here’s the answer: change into a bathrobe.

And if you’re wondering how I sleep, it’s in a Slanket.

(The ORIGINAL blanket with sleeves, this fleece dream-come-true was an ACTUAL dream come true for me. I woke up in the middle of the night, arms freezing, and texted Ryan a very simple message. “Sleeves on a blanket. Keeps your arms warm. blanket sleeves.”  After a careful search online, I realized this was a reality, and immediately ordered one.)

Anyway, as many folks already know, these sleeved blankets are really just bathrobes backwards. And, I realized the other day that, after I take off the bathrobe I wear around my cold apartment to get into bed, I’m really just putting on another bathrobe.

This is my life.

5. Romance Corner

In two weeks, I’ll be celebrating four years with my boyfriend, Ryan. And guess what we’re doing to celebrate?!

Sparkling Wine and Tasty Treats!

Although I don’t know if I could afford to STAY at the King’s Daughter Inn in Durham, for $30, we can pretend for a few hours that we’re as fancy shmancy as the other patrons while sipping 5 different sparkling wines and food pairings!

I love bubbly.

I love Ryan.

Can’t beat it.

6. Say No to Say Yes to the Dress Marathons

Because I certainly can’t.

So many tears, so many emotions.

I can’t pull myself away.

Coconut French Toast and Body Attack 75

I’m officially a dirtball.  At this very moment, I’m gearing up for today’s BodyJam class.  But here’s the dirty part: I still haven’t showered from last night’s workout.

Oops.

Oh, Les, you know my body so well...

As you can see from my Garmin Connect report, it wasn’t just some easy-peasy workout, either.  I was a sweaty mess, my booty is sore, and I LOVED the new release!  However, at track four, a super plyometric-heavy track, my tummy started going nuts.  And that’s when I knew I had to GET OUTTA THERE! It felt like my body was a soda can about ready to explode.

So I booked it.

Moments later, as I was washing my hands, feeling so much better post-bathroom break, I raced back in to finish the tail end of the arm conditioning track. Walking burpees…. not my friend.

After getting home, whipping up a fantastic, cheesey, melty, eggplanty dinner (Save that for later), I realized that the next time I’d leave the house would be for another workout. So I washed my face, did a little mini-body wipedown, and said “Fuggetaboutit!”

Yup.  Next morning, still no shower.  But, at least there’s coconut french toast on the menu.

The cast and crew

My past experiences cooking with coconut oil have been kind of meh.  I realize now that it’s because I was cooking the wrong treats in that coconut oil. I bucked up, grabbed some coconut shreds, and said “Let’s DO THIS!”

Sizzling in coconutty goodness

When I scrambled together my egg batter, I used 2 EB eggs, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, AND sweetened coconut shreds (though it would’ve been just as tasty sans sweetened, I’m sure).  Also, next time, I think I’ll drop a little bit of almond extract in the mix, just for a flavor punch.

Didn’t matter, the coconut was the star of the show. And cooking in coconut oil WITH coconut shreds… can’t beat it.

A taste of the islands

There was coconuts in the batter, coconut shreds on top, chia seeds sprinkled for a nutritional boost, and LOTS of lite butter flavored syrup (it’s all I have left in the apartment!).  Good to the last bite.

Or, in my case, the last lick. Because I licked my plate clean, not unlike an animal.

At least animals don’t have to shower.

What’s your favorite sweet treat for breakfast?

Ryan’s a pancake man, through and through, but I’m ALL about french toast.  Somehow, though, I’m sure we’ll make it work.

 

North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out Takes Big Boss by Storm

There’s been oodles of fitness lately, and plenty of  food, but you might be wondering where the beer’s been.  Well, don’t worry, because Wednesday night, I’m pretty sure I drank all of it.

See, one of my goals that I wrote in my fitbook was to drink less during the week. Namely, limit myself to drinking one weekday.  And yet, when there’s a special occasion like this one: NC GPO Big Operator Tour and Belgian Beer Tasting, hosted at one of my favorite Triangle breweries, Big Boss.  My resident beer buddy, Melissa, and I headed to Raleigh after work and, after cashing in a coupon for a free pizza at Brixx, hit up Big Boss for our private tour, tasting, and some other shenanigans. For $10, each lady received a tour of the brewery, a tasting of three Belgian style beers, a box of Elemental Chocolates, and a gorgeous etched glass to take home.

Sweet glassware

Talk about the deal of the century! But, as with all GPO events, the company stole the show.

New friends!

Oh goodness, the company and the beer.

Big Operator Lovin' by Melissa!

Big Boss was releasing their divine Big Operator black ale.  The brewery describes the beer as so:

Big Operator Belgian Black Raspberry is a full-flavored black ale.  The beer is infused with locally roasted cacao from Elemental Chocolate Company of Raleigh with added raspberry overnighted to us from the Pacific North West. Coming in at 8% abv please enjoy responsibly in a chalice of your choosing.

It was a truly decadent brew. It smelled malty and rich, a little chocolatey.  I didn’t really get the raspberry on the nose, but when I tasted it, that’s when I got it.  It was a hint of fruity perfection. So smooth, and not as boozey as expected.  It drank dangerously easy, but no worries, I wasn’t driving.

Ah, the tongue came out. Classy.

And the chocolate…. wow! I don’t throw around fondness for chocolate lightly, and tend to be more of a vanilla girl.  Well, consider me a convert.  From Elemental:

Elemental Chocolate brings you dark chocolate with whole, shelled cocoa bean centers. They are picked by hand. Roasted by hand. Crafted by hand. Just for you.

The company sources direct from co-ops and purchases certified organic cocoa beans. We are committed to sustainable business practices that help conserve the rain forests and let farmers make more than a living wage. We do not use GMO ingredients to make chocolate.

Elemental Chocolate is based in Raleigh, NC.  Thank you for supporting independent specialty food artisans, like Elemental Chocolate, & spreading the love that was used to make our fine products!

Fair trade, gourmet, and oh so dark.

Dig in, ladies!

I could eat my way through the entire rainforest that they get the cocoa from, it was that tasty.

Chocolate and beer, a match made in heaven, right?

As always, I had a blast with my fellow ladies and it made me wish that I lived closer to the Raleigh-based brewery so I could bask in its glory more regularly.  Then again, with beer, chocolates, and food trucks all around, I can’t imagine my waistline would appreciate that proximity.

Huge thanks to Dave and Robin at Big Boss for being such wonderful hosts. Oh, and for being adorable and in love.

True true true

I know everyone had a blast.  And for the sake of all you voyeurs, here’s some more pictures!

Educating us on the ingredients in the Belgian style beers

Trying a little Abita Abbey Ale!

BEER SCIENCE!

Lovely ladies

Now my tummy is full of shrimp & grits, and all that Wednesday night partying makes for a sleepy Thursday night. Fingers crossed the white noise app knocks me out fast.

 

Don’t Skimp on the Shrimp (Omelet)

Ooooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth?

OOooh, Heaven is a place on EARTH!

And that place is in my kitchen. Or, I guess, now, my belly.  But first…

CX30 + BodyCombat = WHOAH!

Les Mills, you’ve done it again.  O2 Fitness Clubs launched the newest releases of their infamous Body____ classes and, since Saturday, I’ve tried BodyJam, BodyCombat, and CX30.  Each one was more hardcore than the last.

Yesterday, it was a double whammy. CX30 was up first, followed by BodyCombat.  And I kept the HRM on the whole time.  An hour and a half later, 1,227 calories blasted, and approximately a hand towel’s worth of sweat drenching my body, I felt like a superwoman.  I also felt like I needed to eat a house.  I didn’t, I enjoyed a homemade whole wheat, eggplant, spinach, Parmesan, mozzarella, and Sockarooni pizza (I should’ve shaped it like a house).  And then, with the help of my new favorite app, I slept like a rock.

But today is a new day.  A day that I was craving seafood.  The pickin’s at home were slim, but there was something beautiful in the fridge.  Well, a few somethings beautiful.

Shrimp, avocado, tomato

Come to MAMA!!

Inspired by this Shrimp and Avocado Omelet recipe from Whole Foods, I scrambled the heck out of two eggs, chopped my ingredients, and hoped for the best as the eggs fried in some EVOO.

Sizzling

I have to use up my never-ending supply of spinach, so I added that to the innards of this omelet, along with the (pre-cooked) shrimp (from Target… not exactly the local fishmarket, but it’ll do in a pinch.)

This totally screams “throw me inside some eggs!”

And, after a flip and a fill, followed by a fold, this omelet was ready to be topped with the always-decadent combination of tomato and avocado.

You should want this in and around your mouth

This protein-packed omelet will certainly get me through the rest of the day and, though it was jam-packed with shrimp, I can’t help but feel like I have a seafood itch that needs scratching. And I know just the shellfish to scratch that itch.

Yummmmm

Yummmmm

Oh, Aqua Grill, take me home…

Do you eat seafood? If so, what’s your favorite? ANYTHING I CAN MAKE?!

I don’t think I even tried fish (other than canned tuna) until the past year or so….  Now it’s become one of my favorite ways to eat flavorful AND healthy meals.

Getting Fit with a fitbook

Long ago (March 2010, to be more specific), I started Weight Watchers with the help of my mom, aunts, and cousins. I’m the only one of us that really stuck to it, long term (I know that they gradually dropped off the plan one by one), with busy things like children, jobs, running households, etc. I was lucky enough to have a fairly empty plate, though (not literally!) which allowed me plenty of time to focus on meal planning and the like.  It was a fantastic method, for me.  However, after about 6 months, with a weight loss of about 40 lbs, I was working out 3-5 times a week and was much more active in my life. Ryan and I were living together, I started playing volleyball, I met new friends, and started getting interested in craft beer.  The idea of tracking my points was getting a little boring, and there were too many things I wanted to try without adding up points and doing math all the time. Plus, tracking all the craft beers I was drinking was getting a little shameful.

450 calories for 12 oz? I'll take two!

Well, new year, new you, all that jazz. Only it took me a week or two of the new year to really kick into high gear.  After a busy first weekend with all sorts of St. Anthony Hall fun times followed by a crippling sickness (ok, I’m being a baby, it was just a nasty flu), Martin Luther King Day was the start of my new year.  And, since I fare better with a plan, I had a handy tool to help me out.

Presenting the FITBOOK!

My fitbook was sent to me after participating in a little Twitter chat, and it’s been waiting for me to open it up for quite some time, now. When I opened it, there was a WEALTH of information to fill out including weekly goals, daily logs, and spots for inspiration!

Week 1 Wrap Up

The fitbook has room for 12 weeks of recording and normally costs $22.95, with a 4 pack going for $79.95.  The focus is both on nutrition AND fitness, which I like (instead of just tracking my food). There’s not a specific focus on calories, but a more general attitude relative to food (and SMILEY FACES!)

Easy peasy

The left side is for fitness.

Shakey arms are the sign of a good workout, right?

I think this section would probably make more sense if most of my workouts weren’t group fitness classes, but would be great to record weight-lifting sessions.  It’s nice to have somewhere to record my fitness workouts other than just on Garmin Connect, though.

Can't really tote this JPEG along with me

Anyway, I think I just needed a handy, portable way to track my eating and exercise in one location. And, since I can basically palm the fitbook, it works out perfectly.

Note of progress?

At my doctor’s appointment a little less than 2 weeks ago, I weighed in at 178 lbs.  Today’s weigh in? 173 lbs!!  I also tested my body fat percentage, and am happy to report 24.8%.  Making progress, folks.

And, don’t worry, calories or not, there’ll always be room for craft beer…

 

Taking the Plunge… Literally.

I needed a change, fitness-wise. I was getting bored and, as much as I love to Zumba with the best of them, a girl can’t live on Zumba alone. And then, the other night, at Dick’s, I decided what that change would be.

I grabbed about a dozen different sizes of bathing suits (what the FORK is racing suit sizing?! Luckily I found this website to help with bathing suit size conversion). After wiggling, jumping, hopping, and tugging the bathing suit (which I’ll now refer to as a batherbecause that’s my term of choice) into place, losing any and all sex appeal, and ogling my goodies in the mirror, I knew it was the right move. It’s the TYR Women’s Alliance Team T-Splice Maxback Tank Swimsuit Doesn’t that sound badass?

And, since my mom loves me, she treated me to my newest workout gear.

For whatever reason, I already have goggles. They’ve been sitting next to my tower fan for over a year now and, honestly, I just needed a reason to look fiercer than I normally look.

And, when I was at the store looking at swim caps, I thought “Go big, or go home” and grabbed the neon pink latex cap.

Sexy, Can I?

It’s funny, when I was younger (from about 7-13) I was a HARDCORE swimmer. Practicing all my days (summer and winter), a bather was my second skin, and I was so fast at flipping a swim cap on, you’d think I was born to be bald.  But, when I got to a point where the juice wasn’t exactly “worth the squeeze” I transitioned to the “tall girl sports” of basketball and volleyball, leaving the chlorine and swimmer’s ear behind. As I fiddled with my swim cap, wondering how on earth all my hair was going to get in that latex glove, I actually had to give myself a pep talk.

Come on, Jordan. You’ve done this THOUSANDS of times before. Your head can’t be that big, right?

Well, I was correct and after no more than 4 failed attempts at donning the proper head gear, I was ready to do the damn thing.

No, that's not a picture of 10 year old me. That's yesterday.

I headed over to the pool, dove in, and it just felt so right.  I’ve never liked running, so I can’t just “throw on some shoes and run.”  I can, however, throw on a bather and swim.  So I did.

Reunited, and it feels so good.

I swam 40 laps, alternating freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke.  After that, I grabbed a kickboard and did ten laps of kicking (again, either freestyle, breaststroke, or backstroke).  I felt so strong, I was breathing hard, and my total yardage was 1,250.  That’s 510 yards short of a MILE!! And I think that’ll be what I can shoot for, next time.

This is the perfect addition to my workout repertoire.  It’s a full body workout, it’s low impact, AND it lets me live out my Mermaid Woman dreams in a safe and healthy fashion.  Win, win, win, all around.

Have you ever picked up a sport or hobby you left for years?  How’d it go?

 

Philly’s More Fun When You Sleep Over

I love Philly.  And that’s saying something, considering realistically, how little time I’ve actually spent in the city. Growing up, there were field trips, of course. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, classic destinations for any Pennsylvania school student. I’ll admit, though, it was the closest city to me so, like anyone who lived in some sort of Philadelphia suburb (or anywhere nearby), I claim it as my own.

The City of Brotherly Love

Since I’ve grown up (to the ripe old age of 24? It’s a process), I’ve gotten to experience a different side of Philadelphia. I’ve been there for New Year’s Eve celebrations, foodie visits, a bachelorette party, numerous other random parties, and, of course, the Healthy Living Summit last summer.

The only way to jam in everyone's smiling face!

But it’s a very rare occasion I get to go to Philly without a real “reason”, an event or some sort of scheduled activity.  That’s why this past weekend was such a treat.

I flew into PHL on Friday night and took the train to Ryan’s stop, where he met me, bundled up in my “puffah” (the pet name of my Michael Kors puffy coat, one of my very favorite Christmas presents) to brave the Pennsylvania freeze. We enjoyed a beer, we snuggled, we watched some goofy movie about the Rock who plays a chef and el gato and Stifler is a mobster’s son and there’s lots of guns? I don’t know, it was awful, so [inevitably] Ryan loved it. (EDIT: Looked it up, it’s called The Rundown. In case you’re into ridiculous films like that.)  Despite the cinematic fail, it was a perfect, relaxing night.

The morning just took it to a new level of wonderful.

Bob’s Diner, in Roxborough. I would’ve taken a picture of the adorable outside, but that would’ve been risking my life in the middle of traffic, and I hate being hit by cars.  It was perfect, though, like a little trailer cafe met one of my favorite, long-menued diners in Jersey.  I originally ordered French toast with bacon, and then I saw it.  The Holy Grail of breakfast meats, in my opinion.  PORK ROLL! I quickly replaced my bacon order, and was soon greeted with a warm plate.

Golden and charred, my favorite things

The French toast was so light, it was like a cloud. A cloud I doused in syrup.  The pork roll was the star of the show, though, thick, charred, and salty.  I made quick work of my plate, forking up a combination of French toast and pork roll together in each bite.  It didn’t stand a chance.

Nice try, breakfast.

Ryan enjoyed a giant chocolate chip pancake, which I enjoyed too, because I’m his significant other, and that’s a rule in the dating world, right?

What's yours is mine.

Trust me, there were plenty more chocolate chips in the pancake.  And then, they were in my belly.

While at breakfast, we spotted a fraternity brother (one we’d seen just a week before at GC!)  I stayed true to myself by obnoxiously asking his dining buddy, who was definitely NOT someone we knew, to take a photo of us.

Delta Psi in Philly!

I love the ease of Philly. I love the chance to chat it up with all the waitresses at the diner, I love strolling around and seeing the historical mixed with the modern, I love the food, I love the Regional Rail system, and I love the people.  Maybe I’m biased because my boyfriend lives there (oh, and I met him there 4 years ago), my friends live there, and it’s the city I’ve been to the most.  But if you can’t love your city, what can you love?

…well, you could love pork roll, I guess.

What’s “Your” home city?  

What’s your favorite aspect of it?

Freebies, Flights, and Frites

It’s been a long time, but nothing TOO eventful happened this weekend other than a romantic lovenest weekend with Ryan. Lots of football was watched, zero soda was consumed (yay!!), and snuggling was had.  It was top notch.

However, as of 8:25 a.m. Tuesday morning, I was back in the RDU airport, and back to reality.  It’s okay though, because I had amazing goodies waiting for me in my mailbox.  It may have been the best mail haul I’ve ever had, at least in this apartment.

The good stuff

Free Wings, Free Pizza, AND my new Garmin FR60 HRM!! I know I mentioned before that I changed the batteries on my oldy and was ready to get back into action but, as I was making the change, I realized that the back of the watch was pulling apart from the plate that holds it all together.  It was time to get a new one, and since I already had a ANT stick, I got a great deal on a watch and heart band.  And, though it took me a bit to get the new one set up and figured out (that “bit” was about 10 minutes in the middle of my Zumba class yesterday) it paid off.  Check it out!

Killing it!

Average Heart Rate, 173 bpm and 627 calories burned, and that wasn’t even counting the first few minutes that I couldn’t get the dang thing working…

Also in the mailbox? 6 free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings when they open the new location right down the street, and a free Brixx pizza “just because.”  Seriously, if you like free foods, sign up for EVERYTHING!

On a less free note (but just as delicious), I headed back to Bull City Burger and Brewery (after a successful first visit) with a number of my brothers and sisters from my fraternity to celebrate the 165th anniversary of the founding of St. Anthony Hall.  The menu was just as delicious as I remembered….

Mouthwatering…

Since I’d already had an egg and Morningstar sausage before I left, I just stuck with fries and a beer (if it’s four tiny beers but served on one paddle, it’s still just one beer, right?)

The duck frites were glorious: Skinny, French cut, finished in duck fat with fresh rosemary and Fleur de Sel

For $3 I got a whopping serving and the rosemary totally made them worthy of me gobbling them in a reckless manner *wipes fleur de sel from her face…*

And, for $4, I received a flight of four of BCBB’s own beers!  On my paddle included: Littlen Horny, Clay St. British Style Ale, Snow Hill Winter Warmer, and Youngen Horny Barley Wine (hee hee Youngen Horny… I get it.)

The first three, while tasty, were sort of what I expected. Good, quality beers that were clearly made well and tasted wonderful.

It was the Youngen Horny that really excited me.  It’s their Barley Wine, but it’s not made with any grapes, just grain (sorry, gluten free drinkers!) At 9.5% ABV beer with “fruity fig and caramel aromas”, this beer had by far the best and longest lasting mouthfeel of the bunch. It was smooth and delicious, good to the last drop.  What I really liked about the beer, though, relative to the rest of the BCBB brews, was that it tasted like they’d gone out on a limb and done something a little riskier.  Like they fully committed to a flavor, and just went balls deep (I’m certain that was their exact thought process when brewing…)  They owned the fact that it was a “different” flavored beer, and they took barleywine, to me, to a different level with big and bold taste without being too cloying or overly sweet.  Admittedly, I haven’t enjoyed (or even tried) many barleywines in the past, but I think I’ll approach them with a more open mind in the future.

Ah, my bounty!

Thanks to BCBB for not being annoyed when we brought in a giant late night crew and for having a table big enough for the whole group!!