#CampCampbell: Tasty Traditions

Two PhDs, a yarn expert, a circus performer, blogger, and a lawyer walk into an apartment….

Nope. Not the beginning of a hilarious joke (YET! Accepting any takers.) But it was the beginning of a night filled with some of the most interesting and inspiring ladies that I know (well, at least those that live in Philly. Maybe I’ll try to scoop some more distant buddies next time).

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but I’m a member of a lovely network of women organized by Campbell Soup called Camp Campbell. It’s made up of women 18-34 who are passionate about food. Change makers and tasters and movers and shakers. Apparently, I qualify as one of those, so when they reached out to see if I wanted to host a fall dinner, I jumped on the opportunity. I invited a handful of inspirational women in my life, and we went back and forth with what to eat from the ingredients sent over. Although I received a generous box of Campbell family products, when I described them to the ladies, one option came out as clear.

Taylor ogles the spread

Taylor ogles the spread


Prego Pizza Sauce, unknown to me before delivery, is part of the family often known only for their soups (and like…. a bunch of other brands. Learn something every day, right?)

PREGO: Not just for pasta anymore!

PREGO: Not just for pasta anymore!

Almost all the other stuff was brought and supplied by my buddies. And we were fully loaded. Prego, pesto, two crust types, sausage, salami, roasted vegetables, cheese far as the eye can see, spinach, pine nuts. SUCH GOURMET, am I right?? Not only are we inspirational. We keep it classy. Since my dear friend Susan let me bogart her home for the evening, I played cook.

Chef BoyarJay

Chef BoyarJay

Pizza a plenty

Pizza a plenty

And Ame brought the treats.

Ame's got dessert covered (she also brought the snickerdoodles)

Ame’s got dessert covered (she also brought the Snickerdoodles)

Despite most of the photos, though, the night was not only about pizza…

Dinner is served!

I mean, it was a lot about pizza.

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and kicking off the holiday season, we decided to share some of our favorite traditions. From singing with wine to rotating hosts of Thanksgiving dinner to choosing who brings the novelty butter (you guys haven’t LIVED until you try some turkey-shaped butter) to putting together Thanksgiving hoagies the next day with all the leftovers, it wasn’t surprising that some of our best holiday memories revolve around food.

Since two 'zas is never enough

Since two ‘zas is never enough

But here’s the thing. Although I was provided some choice ingredients courtesy of Campbell’s, and I deeply appreciate that, the best thing that came from the night was not the food (despite the fact that the brussels sprouts pizza was off the chain).

The MVP(izza)

The MVP(izza)

The best part was the promise of a new tradition. These are women that I know from different walks of life. School, work, friends of friends. And they all came together, by my invitation, to dine. To dish. To gossip and reflect. And then, at the end, we were like “Wait. This was great. Let’s do it again around Hanukkah!”

So we will.

Sure, anyone can be a girl who grubs… but we’re going to be ladies who latke. And that can be our new tradition.

Wahoo’s Fish Taco Comes to Philly!

Gwen would totally love these tacos...

Gwen would totally love these tacos…

The first CD I ever bought with my OWN money (hilarious to think what a big deal that was growing up) was a Reel Big Fish album titled Turn the Radio Off. I have distinct memories of hearing these ska tuneskies and experiencing this uncontrollable desire to mosh with sweaty strangers. As I was about 10 years old at the time, I can’t say I followed up on that urge, but I always had this dream alterna-life where I was a Cali beach babe, maybe a hybrid of Hawaii hottie Kate Bosworth a la Blue Crush and Gwen Stefani. Other than a brief stint in during Halloween 2011, I can’t say I really embody this imaginary persona. But there’s a new spot in Philly that might let me live that dream, if only through my eats.

Wahoo’s Tacos, California’s premier fish taco joint, has somehow found their way to Philadelphia (specifically 3180 Chestnut Street). Recent graduate of UPenn and current employee in University City, I’ll let you know that few things excite me more than a new lunchtime opportunity nearby. And when I had the chance to check out UC’s newest West Coast transplant last weekend, I had no choice but to joyfully attend and snap photos when I wasn’t stuffing my face.

The story is nothing new. Just your standard Bro meets bro, one of those bros meets taco guru at snowboarding events, taco spot inspires bro, bro brings delicious taco spot (and guru) to City of Brotherly Love. We’ve all heard it, so I won’t bore you. But let’s get to the good stuff. The vibe is super Cali cool, skater and surfer and all that jazz.

Too cool, right?

Too cool, right?



The menu is simple and all about freshness. I learned that they literally only keep one small freezer in the back (for fries and onion rings). The rest of the stuff is straight up never frozen. Proteins, vegetables, slaw… All about that.

How is the food, you may ask? Well, luckily, I was able to try a bunch! (Though feel free to scan the menu yourself.)

Quesadillas and chicken taquitos!

Quesadillas and chicken taquitos!

Wahoo bowl and a delicious  Big Wave Golden Ale

Wahoo bowl and a delicious Big Wave Golden Ale

Can we just get on a new level about that spicy fish and that crunchy slaw? I really feel like slaw is what’s MISSING in my taco/burrito/bowl life.

Nachos topped with chicken, steak, and all the fixins!

Nachos topped with chicken, steak, and all the fixins!

With a full bar, some tasty brews on draft, and totally reasonable prices, I am certain this location is going to rock. But what really blew me away was the love that these two Philly owners, Bill Van Gilder and Jeff Mattes, seem to have for their franchise.

Pictured with Wing Lam, one of the original cofounders!

Pictured with Wing Lam, one of the original cofounders!



Listening to them speak about their new business is like hearing someone talk about their child. I can say that, having met one of Bill’s little ones….

Can't say no to this face, right?

Can’t say no to this face, right?

So come for the tacos…. stay for the atmosphere, the incredibly flavorful slaw, the taquitos, and maybe you’ll get lucky and stumble across the absolute cutest little Wahoo Mascot.

It’s a new addition to the Philly food scene that I will welcome with open arms. And an open mouth, waiting for spicy fish.

Craft Beer for Breakfast

I recently entered a contest for tickets to the legendary Brewer’s Plate event in Philadelphia. The rules, a la Philly Beer Scene:

Don’t forget about our contest to win a pair of VIP Tickets (a $280 value) to this years #BrewersPlate ? Send us a picture of your favorite beer (local only) and food pairing along with a brief description of the dish and pairing. Fair Food Philadelphia will help us pick a winner.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to enter as my pairing and, though my mind initially went to cheese (as it almost always does) I figured let’s pair a PA beer with a Philly favorite. And thus, my perfect pairing was born. A craft beer breakfast to please my palate. And it’d be selfish not to share it with the rest of the world, right?

The best part of waking up

The best part of waking up

As a general rule, I don’t enjoy coffee. Unfortunately, this means that when I make my way to Federal Donuts (long-time readers might recall the time that I staked my place outside to be their first customer in their Center City location), I can’t sip on the legendary cold brew that Michael Solomonov and his team whip up as I nibble on my hots and fancies. Luckily, I think I’ve found a combination to fill the mug-shaped hole in my heart.

Check out that cereal crumble!

Check out that cereal crumble!


The perfect match to Federal Donuts’ French Toast Fancy. Lancaster Brewing Company’s Milk Stout, a flavorful, roasted cold brew of the alcoholic type, provides a rich and malty complement to Federal’s take on my favorite breakfast dish. The sweet, cakey donut glazed with a brown sugar icing and crumbled cinnamon crunch cereal is a the ideal match for this coffee-flavored stout. As the beer warms, hints of chocolate cut through some initial bitterness, coating the tongue with just the slightest hint of sweetness to round out the experience. A match made in Heaven, if Heaven was located both on Sansom Street and in Lancaster, PA.

While I romantically love the French Toast donut on its own, the experience is only heightened paired with the right beer.

What would be your dream food and beer pairing?

OR if you hate beer (which is such a shame, and I’m sorry for your loss), what would be your perfect match to a delicious donut?

Scenes from New Belgium

The Saturday after we went to GABF, we got the chance to do one of the things I’d been looking forward to more than anything. Yes, I was excited to head to the festival. Yes, I was excited to try Biker Jim’s. Yes, I was stoked to see Denver.

But there’s a little spot about an hour and some change away from Denver called Ft. Collins, CO. And Ft. Collins is the home of this not-so-little brewery called New Belgium.  This brewery consistently puts out some of my favorite beers including, but not limited to:

  • Shift
  • Tart Lychee
  • Ranger IPA
  • Somersault
  • La Folie
  • Cocoa Mole (OOoh baby)
  • Kick
  • Vrienden
  • Valentine’s Day Beer (does this have another name I’m unaware of? Either way, it’s DELICIOUS!)

Unfortunately, New Belgium doesn’t (yet!) distribute to PA/NJ/DE. I’ve been itching to get my fix. What better way than to go straight to the source?

We had a brief (2 hour) wait in the tasting room since we missed our scheduled tour time…. but that was okay, there was plenty to do drink.

I’ll take one of everything.

Just a sample of the samples…

Can this be my bedroom wall?

Two hours of enjoying some delicious NB Brews, and we managed to squeeze into a tour.  YES!! The luckiest of ducks.

I’ve been on a number of brewery tours in my day but there are few that truly stand out as both educational and fun.  Yuengling had the title before this…. Now, I’m not so sure.

Our AMAZING tour guide, Lauren (who I mistakenly called Kate maybe 3x)

Our tour guide was incredible. She taught us to romance our beer, warming it with our hands (and our hearts).

Getting pretty intimate

We tried a number of delicious beers as we traveled through the brewery, getting up close and personal with the inner workings of New Belgium.

Gotta catch em all.


Mmmm it smelled like oatmeal.

We even got to check out some of the barrels they use for whipping up those tasty barrel-aged beers (one of which we got to try later).

Beautiful Barrel

Oooh la la, Leopold?! (Which we tried later that night!)

True Love

At the end of the tour, full of beer and overflowing with happiness, I couldn’t resist nabbing a sweatshirt (that I’m currently wearing). AND a chance to model that shirt in front of their sign.

Sorta Sorority Squat

This tour was whimsical, educational, and DELICIOUS! If you’re ever ANYWHERE near Ft. Collins, please, do yourself a solid, and book the tour! For the low cost of $Free.99, you, too, can enjoy the heck out of a magical Willy Wonka-esque beer factory.

Just make sure you are careful when you slide your way back to the real world.

Too fun.

What would be your ideal factory/brewery to tour?









Scenes from Rockfish Seafood Grill’s Annual Crawfish Boil

Ah, my love of crawfish boils (but not regular boils, ew) lives on…

My home away from home

Rockfish Seafood Grill has basically become like another home to me this past year and a half.  The waitstaff are my friends and so last night was basically a family dinner.  Not just any family dinner, though.  With a BOGO on pounds of crawfish, it seemed like every crawfish lover in the Triangle came out of the woodworks.

Tables were provided with entire rolls of paper towels because, let’s be honest, crawfish consumption is messy business.  Last night was no different.  My hands were coated in spice and juices and, luckily, I had a tasty beer to wash it all down.

Beautiful, delicious, and fantastic

We (my buddy Amanda and I) ordered a side of corn + sausage, and got down to business (not before taking a quick snapshot, before digging in!)

Do you like my shirt? I obviously have no problem with self-esteem...

Lips on fire, I pressed on, even sucking an occasional head. The potatoes were a welcome respite from the heat of my order (I chose the “Spicy” version, and can’t imagine the kick that would’ve come with the “Extra Spicy” version!) and the corn and sausage were icing on the cake.  If the cake was made of mudbugs

The aftermath?

Shell graveyard

Two pounds of crawfish?

No problem.

We wrapped the night up with a little treat from the Triangle Bucket List… but that’s a story for another post.

Any culinary adventures on the agenda this weekend?

I’m got some tasty tricks up my sleeve…. Fingers crossed the best laid plans come to fruition!

How to Eat Free All Birthday Week Long

Hey there friends!

True Story: I’ve been an Absent Agnes.  Sometimes, after I take weekend trips, I immediately hop in my car and drive an hour or two for work. And then I work like a worker bee and stay in a swanky hotel (which I’ll write up soon, because it was a blast.) But then it’s back to reality, the house a little roomier (minus one beau) and the laundry a little dirtier. It’s times like these when I think that the best thing I can do for myself, and for you, my readers, is to share a (not-so-)secret secret! The secret is how I ate, for free, all last week. And that secret starts with a little thing called a Swag Bag.

Swiggity Swag.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Jordan, if you paid for the Healthy Living Summit (which I recapped here and here), you technically paid for the Swag. Well, if you’re thinking that:

a) you’re a stickler

b) you might be right, but just roll with me on this one.

Snacks from this bag are MORE than enough to serve as breakfast every day for a week (if not more!) There’s coupons for cereal and yogurt, granola to sprinkle on top, Clif Bar, granola bar, nuts, you name it. So I’ll admit, for breakfast, I enjoyed swag e’rryday. Maybe that’s a cheat. I’m not mad.

For Monday lunch, I thanked my lucky stars I’d joined Moe’s eWorld! If you sign up, on your birthday, you get a totally free entree, just print up a coupon sent to your email. You also get a little treat just for signing up. But I don’t remember what that stuff is. Regardless, I picked up this taco salad fo’ free!


Romaine lettuce, chicken, black beans, tomatoes, salsa, onions, cucumber, jalapenos (GOODNESS I always forget how hot they are fresh!!) and a little cheese, just for good measure. No need for dressing, the salsa takes care of that, and the salad is crisp, fresh, and tasty! I made my order, I handed the fellow at the cash register a piece of paper, and VOILA. And they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

For dinner, I enjoyed a most-excellent Cajun grilled flounder stuffed with crab and drizzled with Pontchartrain sauce. It was served with grilled asparagus and black beans (I nixed the normal rice pilaf base).

So fancy. It's like the date you take yourself on.

How on EARTH did I get this freebie? Simple.

Rockfish Seafood Grill strikes again.

When I first signed up for their email club, I just did it to keep abreast of what was going on (since I’m there so frequently, anyway). Then I realized I got a free dessert just for receiving emails. Bread (as in croissant-bread) pudding with bourbon sauce, anyone? (yes, yes, a thousand times yes.)

Enjoyed with a Fullsteam, of course.

Full of fish, crab, and birthday joy, I slept easy.

Tuesday lunch, very appropriately, was sponsored by none other than Ruby Tuesday’s So Connected email club. Sign up, and you get a few more emails than most. But most I just delete without glancing at them. Come birthday season, though, you get a free “burger” with fries. However, the burgers include grilled chicken sandwiches, and you can get ANY of their sides instead of fries (They offer Spaghetti squash as a side!! WHO DOES THAT?!)

Also with a side of celebrity gossip!

The chicken sandwich was topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon and avocado. The bread was really thick and tasty, but I still tossed most of it away. SO FILLING!

For dinner, I decided to go off the beaten track a little and head to Chapel Hill. School had just started so, of course, I spotted about a thousand Jack Rogers sandals within moments of parking my car. Despite my rampant shoe envy of the cult of co-eds, I had my eye on one prize. A meal from the infamous “noodles” courtesy of the Noodles & Company Noodlegram!

When you sign up for this one, you can get a BOGO coupon and then, come your birthday, pop goes the freebie!

Sweet coconut curry, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, a light portion of rice noodles, served on cabbage with black sesame seeds and shrimp!

Their Bangkok Curry is bang(kok)ing. Seriously, a nice little bit of spice (not too much), light, and the shrimp was cooked to perfection (well, fast perfection). I loved the extra crunch of the sesame seeds, and this was swell with my first pumpkin beer of the year.

For lunch… technically it wasn’t free, BUT it was discounted from my favorite pizza-mobile, Klausie’s. Coming from a food truck, I’ll take it.

Oh, Klausie's, you know my heart.

I already discussed my dinner of beers, appetizers, and THE GIANT ORGASMIC BROWNIE SUNDAY from my LivingSocial birthday crawl.  What I didn’t tell you, though, is that my LivingSocial adventure was FREE because I encouraged my friends to buy through my link.  Best. Deal. Ever.

And best friends, too.

For Thursday, I’d recommend getting other people to buy you meals.  That always works, too.

Vegetable Pizza a la Brixx

Gyro platter thanks to the BEAU!!

Handsome fellows don't come free with meal

There were a number of other email freebies that I got emails for that I just didn’t manage to get to (birthdays are only so long, right?) BUT for an excellent list, check out Goob’s COMPREHENSIVE list at HeyItsFree!!

I hope that you, one day, can live the glamorous lifestyle of a birthday recession-ista (and moocherama).




No Pants Wednesday!

Hello friends!

Just whipped up a DELICIOUS meal of breakfast for lunch.


In this little number was:

  • 3 egg whites, one egg yolk as the base
  • Sauteed spinach
  • Banana pepper
  • Reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil (from my own plant!)
  • Pizza sauce

After eating a tasty homemade pizza last night, I was not ready to let the pizza party end quite yet.

I rounded out the meal (and my sweet tooth) with a Vita Top in Dark Chocolate covered with a little dollop of some Harris Teeter branded caramel delight.  The only reason I “splurged” on the Vita Tops (which are normally a little outta my price range, read: $5.69 for a 4 pack) was because they were BOGO at the Teeter. Hard to say no to a BOGO….

Chocolate... ice cream... pizza plate. Totally appropriate.

In other news, a lot of you have been asking (haha not even one person has asked this, but I wanted to talk about it. I always wonder when bloggers post this whole “a lot of you have asked… wondered about _____” if that’s true or if they just felt like chatting about it.  The world may never know)…

What I meant to say is: I felt like talking about why I always drive home for lunch.  Part of the reason, of course, is the fact that I can whip up delicious treats like eggs and sauteed spinach and grab my own ice cream. But the real reason is the following:

PANTS! (ugh these ones are looking a little loosey goosey, I promise they look classy IRL)

I hate wearing pants. I really do. I think there was a span of 3 years, before I made my Glorious Transformation (aka lost 40 lbs), when I didn’t wear pants. I wore dresses, skirts, leggings, and athletic shorts…. but I avoided pants like the plague. Mostly that reason was due to the desire to not wanna jump up a size. But now that I’m at a size I’m comfortable with…. I still hate em.

So every day, at lunch time, I sweep myself home for a brief, shining lunchtime. The very first thing I do….


And for that period of time, while I’m making my meal and writing my blog post…. the pants of the workday are gone. GOOD RIDDANCE!  So even though the title of this post is No Pants Wednesday…. for me, it’s always No Pants day.  And I like it like that.

Do you like pants?  If not, GET EM OFF! (unless you’re in public, don’t cause a ruckus, y’all)

Where do you eat your lunch? At your desk? In a conference room? Out in some restaurant?

I tend to avoid eating out during lunch, mostly to save money (but also because most of the time, I’m too busy wearing no pants to wanna be out in public.)

Tri-Foodie Tweetup: Jujube Style

Hey all you crazy dreamers out there….

So, I’m sure a few of you out there like to enjoy that wonderful social network of the Twitterverse.  And if you haven’t, you’re missing out on a lot (namely: following me!!) But honestly, Twitter’s given me the chance to go from just an onlooker of food, beer, and wine events in the NC Research Triangle to an active participant. And one of my big goals with this year, as well as this blog, was to become even more active in the awesome world of food and beer in this blossoming culture.

To sum it all up in layman’s terms: I wanna be more of a mover/shaker and less of a parasite sucking off the teet of the shakers and movers out there.

One of my favorite recurring events that goes on is called the #trifoodietweetup. In the past, they’ve been hosted by such fantastic Triangle locations such as Four Square, Six Plates, Fearrington Village, and (most recently) Jujube in Chapel Hill! Andrea Weigl and Johanna Kramer know how to get great venues, and set up some classy evenings.  Tonight’s theme: Asian Tapas and Artisan Rum Cocktails.  I believed, when I was going, it’d be more like a small sampling of cocktails and tapas all included in the cost (a bit more than $11) but when we showed up, the menu listed the food as included and the drinks were separate.  Also, nothing felt all that Asian (except some spring rolls they served later in the night, but that weren’t on the menu).

Tasty menu offerings!

I couldn’t resist one of the drinks, listed, a Traditional Daquiri with white rum, luxardo maraschino, lime, and cane syrup for $8. I have to agree, this was a delicious cocktail, and I was pretty happy to pay for it, I think it was worth it.

Close up on the drinkies!

I also saw there was a Dogfish Festina Pesche that I knew would be my last drink of the night.  But anyway, onto the foods.

First Course: salads

The pink salad on the right was a Watermelon Cucumber salad with piqant mint dressing and Johnston County country ham. This. Was. Brilliant. Seriously, I was so surprised by how well the watermelon paired with the ham. It was almost as if it drew out the natural flavor and maybe some sort of spice in the fruit. The cucumber was nice and crunchy (which actually was a wicked bummer with this tooth infection, but would’ve been enjoyed otherwise). The salad on the left was an Octopus-arugula salad with orange and sorrel. The octopus… was not worth writing home, in my opinion. Loved the orange and arugula mix though, good little wilted quality.

Won ton (and some progress on the cocktail in the back...)

Up next was a fried lobster-shrimp won ton with lemon, miso butter. The first batch of these were great. Alas, when I got another one a little later, it was more won ton and less filling, and was just too much crunch for my liking, like the flavor was fried right out of it.  The blend of lobster-shrimp inside was fantastic though, and left me very excited for the next offering.

Been spending most our lives living in a fried-stuff-paradise...

This is where the party really got started. Clockwise from the upper left: Tempura fried prawn (and okra, eaten already) with a little heirloom tomato conserve; Porcini and tellegio stuffed rice fritters (the tan fried balls of awesome); Shrimp-zucchini fritters with grilled chile aioli (cute pink phone… that’s mine.)  The breakdown: the tempura fried prawn was great, mostly because it was so simple. Just a prawn, covered in fried batter. hooty hoo. That being said, the fried okra was no bueno, just too dried out.

The rice fritters: ethereal! The tellegio cheese inside kept the fritters moist and delicious, and though I’m not normally a fan of mushrooms (pretty sure that’s what porcini is, right?) they just blended into the tastiness.

The shrimp-zucchini fritter might have been my very favorite, though. The chili aioli added the perfect amount of spiciness, and made me wanna guzzle down my daquiri (which I did. Classy.)

The star of my show

I’ll admit, I’d been waiting anxiously to try the Dogfish Head Festina Peche.  From the brewer:

It is delicately hopped with a pale straw color and served as an aperitif or summertime quencher. To soften the intense sourness, Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with a dash of essence of woodruff or raspberry syrup.  In our Festina Peche since the natural peach sugars are eaten by the yeast, the fruit complexity is woven into both the aroma and the taste of the beer so there is no need to doctor it with woodruff or raspberry syrup – open and enjoy!

I’ve said it before: I love summer seasonal ales, especially if they’ve got some fruit in there somewhere. And this was one of the finest I’ve tried. The peach was there and more reminiscent of a peach I had last year from the Durham Farmer’s Market, fresh and even a little earthy. Not all all like I imagined it would be (which would be like when a candy company tries to make a peach flavored treat… overly sweet and chemically). Coming from a bottle, I didn’t have a glass to check the color, but it had a nice medium amount of carbonation and was tart enough to compete with my fried frittery treats.  It rounded out this evening perfectly.

Big thanks to Jujube and the fine ladies who threw this event together (even though I didn’t win a cookbook) and it just goes to show you the moral of this story:

Even if you have an aggressive gum infection on your wisdom tooth, you can utilize half of your mouth to enjoy the flip outta some fried Asian tapas and badass cocktails/brews.

Tastes like Summer: Fullsteam Summer Basil Ale

Hello friends!  I greet you this evening with tasty beer in my belly and having spent a wonderful night with friends and even a few strangers (aka new friends)! Once a week, I host a Glass Night Meetup on behalf of the BEST meetup group in the Triangle area, Tri-Beer (seriously, if you like beer, and you live in the Triangle, join this sucker.)  We meet up at Rockfish Seafood Grill at Southpoint mall for $2 pints and free (or DEEPLY discounted) glasses dependent on the beer of the night, and almost all of their appetizers are half off until 7. It’s basically the primary reason I so look forward to Thursdays.

Tonight was a special occasion SUPER BONUS because, other than being a glass night, it was a glass night in honor of Fullsteam Brewery’s summer ale: Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale. I will precede this entry with the following. I am a HUGE Fullsteam fan.  Photographic proof:

Fullsteam, my love!

I also have a Marry Durham commemorative glass somewhere in this apartment, but it wasn’t easily findable.

So maybe that makes me a bit biased favorably, but I will be as objective as possible.

Light and Summery!

This beer, straight from the tap at Rockfish, is definitely a summer staple in my house. The growler in the above picture contains the Summer Basil ale, and I had two glasses of it tonight.  This cloudy beer honestly smells more like basil than it tastes like basil. As a huge basil fan (I have three adorable basil plants growing on my back porch in a pot), I was bound… nay, destined to like this beer.

At first sip, I was pleased with the amount of carbonation in the beer. It was  chock full of bubbles, and that got me all tingly. I think the picture to the left is an accurate portrayal of the golden color, and the oh-so-sexy glass that I bought with it. The taste was slightly sweet with a bit of spice in it. I didn’t taste the basil until it got to the back of my tongue. And it is totally drinkable. I definitely saw several people get 2-4 glasses of the beer in one night. Having purchased 2 myself, I can attest to drinkability. My plan for this weekend is to make a shandy in my NEW SEXY PITCHER FROM A SOUTHERN SEASON! This will basically contain a growler of the beer, some lemonade, and (if I can get my hands on it) ginger liqueur.

Basically, what I’m trying to say, is if you get this beer, and have access to a pool, combine the two. If you like beer with a bit of earthy flavor to it, this is the brew for you. (I PROMISE one day I’ll review a beer I don’t like.)

From the brewer:

A cloudy, rustic country beer brewed with local wheat and local whole-leaf basil. Summer Basil pours with a  creamy, white head and a bouquet of herbs and flowers, with a subtle basil finish. A refreshing thirst quencher that’s a lawnmower beer…if you mowed over your herb garden. This was the very first batch we brewed on our big brewing system, and we offer it only when basil is in-season.

Availability: MAY through NOVEMBER.5.4% ABV.

Feeling a little Good Juju

Yesssss!!! A beer post!!!!

Definitely feeling some Good Juju!

Tonight’s beer was again courtesy of the GREATEST SALE ON EARTH at A Southern Season. We have a new girl at our office who I knew was from Denver so, in true “I have no clue what the heck I want… oooh pretty bottle!” fashion, I picked up a bottle of Good Juju from Left Hand Brewing Company.  I was not disappointed (only further supporting my belief that beautiful beer bottles tend to yield delicious brewskis).  I also noticed on the bottle that it mentioned it was a beer brewed with ginger and my love for ginger in new things knows NO BOUNDS!

I poured a glass into my fancy-pants Fullsteam commemorative glass from their Triangle Restaurant Week Kickoff Party this weekend. It looked sort of like a lovely light amber/copper color when I initially poured, with no real foamy head (which is indicative primarily of my expert poursmanship).

I could smell the ginger, but I think that was mostly because I had my eye nose out for it. Slowly savoring my first sip (like I do with my food) I instantly tasted the ginger in a way I would’ve even without the hint from the bottle. It wasn’t very carbonated, which was a bit of a bummer, but it was still light and totally drinkable, especially paired with the shrimp from my dinner. To be honest, I’d get this beer to share with some of my foodie friends who love weird flavor mixtures (i.e. beer and ginger). I don’t think I could’ve drank a lot, but perhaps one more would’ve been the perfect dessert for my dinner.  At only 4.5% ABV, too, I wouldn’t be buzzing after more than one and a light dinner (another bonus). All in all, I’d definitely buy it again, and would LOVE to share it at a dinner party with a crowd!

From the Brewer:

Fresh ginger kisses the lithe malty body, copulating with the hop in this pale ale ancestor. Emancipate yourself from the dead of winter, none but the vernal equinox can free the light. A refreshing frivolity. Hey mon. Shuccha fwangaa! Better a witch doctor than a trouble maker. Quit yor’ bitchin’ an’ get to witchin’.