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?

More Like Federal GO-NUTS! Federal Donuts in Center City

Ever see that flick, Wicker Park? The one where some girl dates Josh Hartnett, then she leaves him, and then some other crazy girl is obsessed with him or something. I clearly was only watching to ogle Mr. Hartnett, but I do remember the one quote from the end of the trailer.

Love makes you do crazy things, insane things… can’t help it.

Point in case? This morning, I woke up before the sun because I’m in love. In love with donuts. My crack-of-dawn-wake-up-call was all to be one of the first to taste the heavenly decadence of Federal Donuts‘ newest location in Center City.  Clearly, I was pretty amped.

LET’S DO THIS!

I got to soak up some of the Monday morning sights of Philadelphia… Namely, the piles of trash on the street, as it’s trash-pickup-day.

classy.

Smell that sweet, morning air.

As I crossed through the park, I was greeted by streaks of light and sunshine. And, as my stomach growled with excitement,

Good morning, world. Did you wanna share my donuts?

When I rolled up to their new location (1632 Sansom Street, if you’re wondering), the inside was bustling with activity.

No surprise, this go-getter was the first in line (a line of two for a while…)

I AM NUMBER ONE!

Before we knew it, the 14 minute wait was over, and it was time to get at the good stuff.  We were offered our choice of four of their donuts. This was absolutely not an easy choice for me, considering they had 6 fancies (flavors listed under the pictures) and 3 “hots” that were made fresh (flavors of hots included strawberry fennel, vanilla spice, and Turkish mocha).

(Clockwise, from Upper Left) Maple Bacon, Green Tea Sesame, Mint Chocolate (I THINK) and Butter Pecan (I think? I had tunnel vision.)

Right side: Spicy PB&J on the top, Lemon Bar on the bottom

Icing!!

Icing the Fancies

HOT hots!

I carefully observed and plotted and licked my lips.  And then, I decided on my four and excitedly walked out with a bag of goodies.

The Final Four

I went with 3 fancies:

  • Maple Bacon (White frosting with a brown drizzle, looks like a flower. I KNEW Ry would love that one!)
  • Green Tea Sesame (Green, with sesame explosion!)
  • Spicy PB&J (PB&J stripes!)

And ONE perfect, highly recommended hot:

  • Strawberry fennel (Pink fairy dust!)

As I walked back into the apartment, donuts in hand, Ryan assumed I was a heavily armed killer. Lucky for him, the only heat I was packing was my single hot donut AND I was ready to share.

We split two for breakfast (and are saving the other two for dessert tonight).  The Maple Bacon was mind-boggling. I didn’t see any bacon… but I tasted it in the frosting drizzle. And it tasted like a savory salty creaminess, one which I’ve never experienced before.  I didn’t taste as much of the maple, but it was still delicious.

The star of our morning, though, was the strawberry fennel. HOW DO THEY MAKE THE PINK STRAWBERRY FENNEL CRYSTALS OF GOODNESS?!?!!? This is a mystery to me, a delicious mystery that is best served warm and split with a loved one while catching up on your favorite cartoons.

FedNuts opens its Sansom location officially on Wednesday morning, and you better BELIEVE I’ll be back soon. For donuts, yes, and to finally try some of their infamous fried chicken. Yes, donuts and chicken.  The healthiest, right? I never said I was a role model.

Can’t wait to try round two tonight….

Which flavors would you have chosen?

Mix Six Monday

You know, if all my Six Pack Sundays are written on Monday, are they still Six Pack Sundays?

Probably.  But let’s not cheat.  Instead, let’s eat.  Or at least run through all the tasty things that I ate this past week!!

1. Trader Joe’s Pizza Party!!

It's not delivery, it's TJs!

Last night, between four of us, we almost ate two entire doughballs worth of Trader Joe’s homemade pizzas! On this one: 4 cheese sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, and pepperoni. On the other (with the garlic & herb crust!): a “sauce” of butter, garlic, and some oil, mozzarella, pepper bacon from the AMISH, and tomato.  I couldn’t even control myself.  So flipping tasty, so easy, so fun.  Thank goodness for pizza stones!

2.  Saison du BUFF!

VICTORY!

Ok, I didn’t eat that guy. But I DID drink the beer resting on his hulking arm.  Saison du Buff (the Victory version).  Alas, the verdict was that I was not really a fan, though it kind of reminded me of a more bitter Fullsteam Summer Basil (of which I’m a HUGE fan.)  I’ll just have to try the other Saison du Buffs to see how the trio holds up.

(PS: Would you believe, the day before this shot was taken, this guy underwent major, invasive back surgery? Yeah, I think it was all a big hoax, too.  The most elaborate hoax that involved multiple doctors and a hospital stay.

He’s a trickster like that.)

3. Keeping it Green

Healthy! And BRIGHT!

I’m convinced that, if my eye was a DSLR (instead of an eye), I’d wanna eat veggies even MORE than I do now (which is pretty regularly).  Those roasted asparagus stalks look sexy beyond belief.  That salmon doesn’t look too bad, either.

Down, Jordan. No need to get all worked up…. you can recreate this dish another time.

4. Federal Donuts: More like Federal GO NUTS!!

Oh, Federal... you do donuts RIGHT!

Wait, did I forget to mention I went up to Philly  this weekend?

Because I did.  And I bought myself (and a few other people) some donuts. Not just any donuts, though.  Federal Donuts.

Sure, the store is itty bitty and, yes, I may have scratched my mom’s car pulling out of the impossible parking area when a garbage truck blocked me in.

But that’s okay, because these things are AMAZING!

Only open from 7am-3pm (weekdays) or 7pm (weekends), this joint regularly sells out of their scrumptious ‘nuts. And their hots (Appollonia, Indian Cinnamon, Vanilla Lavender) were amazing, but I also go to try two of their limited edition “Fancies”:

Root Beer Float
Root beer glaze with vanilla ice cream icing.

Gingersnap Cookie  (pictured above!)
Ginger glaze with gingersnap cookie crumb

GET THEE TO FEDERAL, STAT!!

But don’t drive a new car. Just walk.

5. Farmers Suck at Popping Corn

I’ll admit, I mostly bought this for the novelty.

Where's my corn cob pipe?

But this little cob produced a seriously disappointing amount of actual popcorn.  And for about $3, I feel a little ripped off. If I see that Kansas farmer any time soon, I’m gonna ask him for some more popcorn (especially if we’re in a movie theater.)

6.Not Bad, Fake Meat Producers… Not bad at all.

Top Notch Pulled "shreds"

Even though I’m eating meat again (a lot of it), I had a package of these Gardein pulled “shreds” leftover from the Pescatarian Lent.  Last week, I used them as the topper of a few of my salads…. I was pleasantly surprised! Yup, they’re loaded in carbs. But the sweet sauce ALMOST tricks you into thinking that you’re eating slightly bland pork.  That doesn’t sound glowing, I know, but seriously, I’d definitely get these again.

Tonight, I take my first water aerobics class (which may help to counteract some of that pizzabeershredsdonut bloat I’m feeling.

Are there any food “crazes” that you’re 100% behind?  Gourmet donuts could be my latest obsession.