“Hi, Neighbor! Have a ‘Gansett!” Narragansett Pint Night at the Flying Saucer

Ah, NC Girls’ Pint Out… even when you throw together an event last minute, you are always fun!

Last night, I ventured over to Raleigh’s Flying Saucer with a few of my favorite princesses of pilsner for an impromptu GPO get-together featuring the special of the night, the Narrangassett Lager, and their GORGEOUS 20 oz glass that went along with it!

Brews for ALL!

It was a packed house at the Flying Saucer and, for my first time visiting the establishment, this place ROCKS! They have a fantastic club called the UFO club where, for $18, you can join, get a sweet shirt, and a magnetic card to track all the unique beers you drink. After 200 unique beers, you get a saucer on the wall with your name for all the world to see!  If I lived a little closer to this joint, I’d be there ALL the time.  Luckily for my wallet (and my liver), it was a bit of a hike… But I still love it.

ANYWAY, Melissa and I grabbed ourselves some veggie-friendly (and tastebud friendly) nachos, which were fantastic, as well as a beer for each of us.

Fun fact: Narragansett was the official beer of the Red Sox for 32 years! Melissa clearly knew this, and dressed accordingly:

And adorably

The beer was what all of us at the GPO table called “A Beery Beer”. Refreshing, tasty, and crisp, we struggled to find words other than “Lager-y” and “beer-like”.  I know, I know, all those beer education classes for naught, right?

I volunteered to help Jim, who came all the way from Providence to pub the beer, out by running around and taking pictures, as well as handing out some raffle tickets for swaggggg.

The Holy Grail for swag-grubbers all over!

I schmoozed with strangers, even pestering a few for pictures with Jim… Luckily, they obliged my blogging tendencies.

Jim and a few of his buddies

I also got to try some of the fancy (and seasonal) Narragansett Bock (that fancy green can pictured above) that was definitely more my style.  From the brewer:

Gansett Bock is a deeply flavorful beer with a rich golden color and a full body.  It is drier, hoppier, and slightly more bitter than a traditional bock, but still with a relatively low hop flavor.  It offers an extremely approachable craft experience not to be confused with the double and triple bocks out on the market.  The beer pours well, producing a large creamy, persistent white head, and moderate carbonation.  Despite its full body, the flavor is not overly malty and delivers an elegant spicy character from the hops that produces a balanced, smooth finish.

From the ME:  I liked this beer a LOT more than the lager. Though I received it in a can, I promptly poured into my new Narragansett glass for consumption. A little sweeter, a little fuller in the mouth, and with a drinkability that I don’t always get from the aforementioned double and triple bocks “out on the market”, this beer was a slightly more complex tasting brew without being too intimidating for the average beer drinker (you know, the one that might not be interested in a Habanero Pale Ale or something crazy like that…)

ANYWAY, as with all the nights with NCGPO, my favorite part was socializing and, after collecting all the signups for swag, it was time to kick back and relax with my ladies.

Ladies of Lager, repping it so hard.

And a few of us even managed to walk away from the event with some new swag of our own….

You better believe I’ll be rocking my new, kelly green ‘Gansett shirt come March 17th.  No pinches for this girl.

What’s the “weirdest” or most “out there” beer flavor you’ve ever tried?

I make it a point to try any and every wonky brew I can find.  I definitely did try the habanero pale ale (not my favorite) and the “bacon beer” of Fullsteam’s Hogwash still stands out as a pretty intense flavor-profile.


Putting the FULL in Fullstreet Wings!

I LOVE chicken.  I love it roasted, fried, grilled, slow-cooked, and slathered in sauces.

Perhaps my favorite style of chicken consumption is in wing-form.  Wings bring people together, they’re my favorite eats during sports events, and they are actually finger-lickin’ good.  As in I shamelessly lick my fingers every time I eat wings.  The only problem is that, more often than not, they’re deep-fried and loaded with a buttery sauce.  And while that doesn’t negate the tastiness at all (on the contrary), it does stop me from eating wings constantly.

Well, I might be in trouble.

Wing me, baby!

Look unto the works of Carmen from Full Street Wings Cafe, Durham’s newest gourmet chicken wing spot!

These  never-frozen chicken bits are grilled and, trust me, the pictures don’t do them justice.

All smiles, wings for miles!

Carmen Settles, owner and chef, invited a number of folks from the Durham area to show off her delightful drumettes and have a little meet and greet.  She was also spreading the word about her KickStarter campaign which, if you like wings, you should consider donating to… I just love KickStarter, it gives community members the chance to back local projects they’re passionate about and be part of the entrepreneurial process.  Exciting, no?

Just some of the good stuff.

Carmen set out all of her favorite flavors and what kind of wing-eater would I be if I didn’t try them all?

  • Naked (Okay, I lied, I didn’t try this one, but can imagine if it’s anything like the other, it’s a clean crisp and juicy chicken wing)
  • Garlic Herb & Parmesan – Our first wing, the Parmesan and garlic pair up perfectly for a savory, flavorful bite. Delicious.
  • Classic BBQ – Sweet and saucy, though, I’ll admit, it was not my favorite wing.  Not because it wasn’t tasty…. but because the others were beyond tasty.
  • Papi’s Original – A medium heat wing, these are the recipe that Carmen’s father started her off with, and she never looked back. Loved the spices without hitting you in the face with salt.
  • The Full Street – Carmen’s classic wing, these are the closest to a classic wing-heat as I think we tried, and I could eat a dozen. Crisp skin, plump chicken, with all the right spices.
  • Jerky – See that sexy and proud wing on the top of my pile in the picture above? That was the jerky. It was excellent! It was savory with a nice heat, though, obviously a very different flavor than the next one.
  • Just D*%# Hot – The heat on this one was a nice, slow burn. It was a nice “hot” flavor and avoided the gimmicky “THIS IS SO HOT YOU NEED TO SIGN A WAIVER AND MAN VS. FOOD WILL BE HERE IN 15 MINUTES!”  I love this.  I’d probably get a number of these if I were making a big order. I don’t even need blue cheese to cool my mouth down (though I bet it’d be great with some blue cheese!)
  • Honey Hot – Our surprise favorite. I never would’ve thought that the flavors of honey and spice would pair so nicely, mostly since I don’t consume honey all that often.  Honey + chicken + spicy = a sneaky heat that creeps up on your palate and rocks your tastebuds like a hurricane of flavor!  Definitely sucked the bone dry on this wing…

Hungry like the wolf!

I think the best part of this whole experience was the fact that, despite eating 7 large, juicy wings, I didn’t feel sluggish, stuffed, or sleepy after the dining experience. These wings filled me up, but didn’t weigh me down or have me craving the usual post-wing coma.

Seriously, if you have the chance, TRY THESE PUPPIES CHICKIES! And the next step to getting Carmen all around the Triangle is to check out her KickStarter and, if the spirit moves you, donate! Every little bit counts and pushes her closer to the goal of getting a trailer to bring her wings to the masses.

Do you like chicken wings? 

And what’s your favorite flavor of chicken wing sauce? (or, if you’re not a meat-eater, ever try those veggie friendly wingz? I wonder what those are like…)

A Very Jordan Birthday: Food, Sweat, AND Beers

Good morning, y’all! I’ll be honest, I’m either at a training for work right now or on a plane. Either way, while I’m being a busy bee (not unlike that time I went to the Busy Bee Cafe with NC Girls’ Pint Out) I figured it’d be nice to finally write up my amazing birthday of Joy and Joyness.  And honestly, since that fateful birthday where I finally wrote my feelings on the Healthy Living Summit and y’all responded with an outpouring your feelings, I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly had time to breathe.



Let’s do this thing.

I started my birthday the only way I know how: Wearing a tiara.

Tiara before 8 am = totally normal.

I opened a package from my tumblr buddy (a secret penpal I’ve had for the past year, can’t wait to find out who (s)he is so I can thank her!) that I’d been saving for the previous 2 days.  And that’s friggin’ hard because I hate waiting.  I’ll shoot you straight: It was worth the wait.


All my goodies.

  • Frames, wooden pirate flags, and glitter glue to make em!
  • Duo Penotti (from the Netherlands?! WAH!)
  • Eiffel tower journal
  • gorgeous glass bottle for my fragrance of choice
  • J-letters
  • Birthday Cake Candle!! SMELLS LIKE THE BEST DAY EVER!

Well, I knew that the rest of the day was bound for greatness.

Lunch was served by my all-time favorite food truck: Klausie’s Pizza

The most delicious automobile

Klausie’s offers a delicious slice (or four, if you’re a birthday girl buying for your beau) of thick crust, OH SO CHEESY, incredibly flavor pizza. Their toppings are always fresh and tasty and the crust has a foccaccia-like texture that ends up greasy and good by the time you eat it.  It’s not what I would call “diet friendly”, but it’s very Jordan friendly.

My haul. I promise, two were for the beau.

I got a veggie slice and a meaty slice (put em together, that’s a Hypocrite slice!) and enjoyed it with a Coke Zero. Heavenly. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable birthday lunch, enjoyed with my studly man (who had just de-planed a work flight from Maryland less than an hour before!) Somehow, I managed to get through the rest of the work day, completing what needed to be done before scampering off long enough to prep and primp for my big night out.

Thanks to Veri for brightening my day with some sunflowers!

The plan? LivingSocial Adventures was hosting a Pub Crawl with Craft Beers and Organic Bites in Downtown Raleigh. My friends and I met up at my home and before I knew it, we were en route to Tir Na Nog (our first stop of the night!)

The schedule, printed up nice and neat

While we waited for our beers to show up, we enjoyed a spinach artichoke dip and some pita points.

No beers = toast with appetizers!

Unfortunately, the beers took a little while to come out, so we were just waiting after finishing our foods. But when the beer came out, we were in for a treat.

Hibernation... No breathing!


Great Divide Brewing’s Hibernation Ale was first on draft for me. A boozy winter ale that I’d never heard of, so I figured why not?! It was tasty, it was drinkable, and it did the trick.  Never one to drink alone, I decided to make friends. Friends…. with chicken wings.

Kim and Tim, thanks for the chick'n!

They were just a few of the many folks who I met/celebrated my birthday with that fateful August 24th. I actually kept going up to new folks and saying, “Happy my birthday!!” Some laughed. Those were my friends. Others…. well, we just walked away from them.

I even earned my Birthday Brew Badge on Untappd!! Untappd is my very favorite way to track/rate my beers, and if you wanna be my friend, DO IT! My name’s JPreezy22!

Happy Beer-day!

Great friends, great beers = great night!

Up next was The Oxford, a “gastropub” in Raleigh. The appetizers here were…. insane.

Words don't do them justice

Panko fried avocados and beef wellington bites

While I didn’t love the beer options (Carolina Pale Ale… not my favorite), Panko fried avocado is not of this world. It’s the crunch of a mozzarella stick, the creamy of brie, and the taste of avocado. All my dreams come true. I even tried some of Ryan’s Wellington Bite, and it was so savory, rich, and delicious with a crusty pastry around it. Every nibble was better than the last.

My knight in sharing armor

We all ended the night at The Big Easy, a Cajun spot in Raleigh with live music (at least there was live music on Wednesday!)

I’ll admit, the appetizers at this spot were teeny tiny, and left much to be desired. But the beer (and the company) were great.

Sweet sweet Brinnea

Ry and one of our hosts, Danny!

Ryan even surprised me with a massive brownie sundae and a candle!

Making a wish!

Chomping like a champ.

It wouldn’t have been half as fun without my buddies along for the ride!

And Ry even surprised me with a flower of his own. And by flower… I mean giant leaf.

I heard 3.5 years is the "leaf" anniversary. So nice of him to remember. Note the extreme tilt of the tiara. Yup, that's the end of the night.

We had a total blast, and big shout outs to the folks at LivingSocial and all the venues we hit up. I actually love the idea of LivingSocial adventures and hope to do some more in the future. I think that the process could’ve run a little smoother with the drinks and foods being out/coming out at the same time, but other than that, blast in a glass (several glasses.)

All in all…. a killer birthday. 24 on the 24th. Golden as ever.

What’s been your best birthday party?

Have you ever done a LivingSocial Adventure? Or would you? What would be your perfect adventure?





North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out: We’re Busy Bees

Hey there friends and neighbors! Hope you’re all surviving Irene, that clap-having jezebel who seems to be ruining everyone’s plans. I was supposed to be in Ocean City, NJ prepping for my cousin’s bridal shower. Instead, the whole island was put under a mandatory evacuation, and I spent some time gathering the essentials in the Wilmington, Delaware Total Wine.  Which. Is. Epic.

3 bottles of wine, a handle of rum, pick six, pretzel crisps, AND 40 lbs of ice. We're ready for anything.

And I have a hot date tonight with this little scene:

As I said before, Happy hour is my happy hour.

But even though my spirit of choice is rum and coke with my mom and dad tonight, it wasn’t too long ago that I joined the fine ladies of North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out at Busy Bee Cafe in downtown Raleigh.  Not too long at all…….

(cue hazy cloudy mist that brings us back to August 18th, 2011. Or maybe just imagine Wayne and Garth waving their hands for a flashback….)

Party on Wayne, party on Garth.

After another successful glass night at Rockfish with the folks representing Palm Brewery (a new tasty beer from Belgium!) I bid everyone a fond farewell.

Thanks, for repping it hard, fellers.

I only enjoyed a single brew, but knew that there were some tasty ones in store at Busy Bee.

The Hive gets a little crazy with their beer list!

The options seemed endless.  The two beers I personally featured in my writeup were:

Dogfish Head Namaste, often translated as “The spirit in me respects the spirit in you”, is Dogfish Head’s way to respect your thirst for beer in the hot summertime. This Belgian White is made with dried organic orange slices, fresh cut lemongrass and a bit of coriander, and is perfect to pair with spicy fare, so try to get some kick from Busy Bee’s Pork Burger, featuring sriracha and Bok Choy slaw.


St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition: (alas, this beer ran out faster than we had the chance to feature it!) Interested in stepping up your beer game? Step outside the bottle and try this sour, traditional Geuze style beer. A tart beer with lemony fruitiness, you can enjoy the crisp, clean mouthfeel that puckers the lips and makes you crave the creaminess of cheeses, such as Busy Bee’s Baked Mac and Cheese.

Here's me screaming my face off as I talk about beer. (photo credit to Ben Woodward, click to hit up the facebook source)

There were some amazing little treats (for free) provided by the glorious host, Busy Bee!!

Tots are ALWAYS part of my happy hour.

Although this was only our second event, we had over 30 craft beer lovin’ ladies (and some especially brave gentlemen!)

Wow. We're popular.

We upped our profession game:

Sign in sheets! You want a shirt? SIGN OUR SHEET!

We also met some local folks who are keeping it real in the craft beer scene!

Ted from Bottle Revolution!

Ted from Bottle Revolution came and handed out some camo koozies (in case we have to drink while undercover… in the forest).  His store’s going to be opening soon with awesome features like A Year of Beer Club and pre-packaged craft beer coolers (LIKE IF YOU NEED THEM FOR FOOTBALL TAILGATING!!)

I may have even met my soulmate in Somer, a fellow blogger in the Triangle who’s interested in reproductive health and advocacy, UNC, craft beer, and my brother! (well, maybe not my brother yet…. but one day.)

True True and we didn't even know it!

I’m so proud of my fellow planners and coordinators, and I hope that they’re all proud of what we put together!!

Just a few of the founding gals. Again, photo credit to Ben Woodward, click for source!

If you’re a lady, and you like craft beer, and you live in/around the Triangle (or LOVE to travel wicked far), and/or you want to be my friend (duh.), follow NCGirlsPintOut on Twitter or check us out on facebook!

Word on the street is we have another excellent event coming in Mid-September…. Stay tuned!

What’s your favorite appetizer to pair with beer?