Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs

I’m a lover of many things.

The University of North Carolina. Sour beers. Sleeping in. Philly soft pretzels. Hot dogs. Chilly mornings. Swimming in salt water. Learning. Jellyfish. Fancy cheese parties. Melissa.

You know, the best things in life.

On Friday, after waking up at an ungodly hour on Friday morning (equivalent to 2 a.m. Denver time), walking to the train station, training to the airport, and flying off to the Mile High City, I was greeted not just by one of those things (my hostess, MELISSA!) but, shortly after, 3 more of them.

I thought I’d be a zombie after traveling all day but, considering I slept about 2/3 of the 4 hour plane ride, I was surprisingly refreshed. When offered the chance to nap or to nibble, guess what I chose?

Not just ANY hot dogs

Biker Jim’s, according to the internet and the Colorado natives, is a Denver staple. These charred and grilled dogs are not your standard summer BBQ fare. Instead, the casing is filled with exotic meats like reindeer, wild boar, rattlesnake, elk, and buffalo.  Knowing that we had much beer ahead of us, we knew that we needed to fill our bellies to fuel our day/night.

I was initially a bit overwhelmed with the choices.

Too many options

While my North Carolina aching heart was initially distracted by the options of fried mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes and the side salad (HA, no, not even a little), Melissa reminded me of my real goal. The dogs.

After much deliberation, we decided to split two. Elk Jalapeño Cheddar and a Linguisa (Portuguese style  pork with paprika and red wine). When asked for a suggestion of what to top them with, the answer was nearly immediate:

[get them] torpedoed with Coca-Cola soaked grilled onions and a swizzle of cream cheese unloaded from the front end of a caulking gun.

Well, who am I to say no to the wisdom of the natives?

And, as I waited for my brats to cook, I watched the restaurant gradually get filled with a Friday lunch rush. You do NOT wanna stop in any time shortly after noon if you’re in a rush.

Quite the hood

And then, they were ready.

Stop drooling

The verdict?

Admittedly, the Linguisa was a little lacking with flavor. It was slightly sweeter than I like my dogs to be.  Luckily, I had my jalapeño cheddar half waiting for me in the wings.

It was juicy, it was full of flavor, and those onions should top any and all of my future meals.

Paired with some house-made potato chips which were crunchy (and also great with the onions), this food was the ideal energy boost for a LONG day of beer consumption.  And that’s what awaited us…

But I’ve got school to learn. So thanks, Biker Jim’s, for filling our bellies with the best brats Denver’s got!

Let’s DO THIS!

More GABF next post. Or, at least some sort of beer-related post.

 

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?

Big Apple Eats

I love being back in the North. The drivers are crazier, the rolls are pork-ier, and the proximity to my friends is at an all time high.  So, instead of planning a huge weekend that involves flights and taking off work, I can just hop in a car, then onto a train, and VOILA I’m in the city!  Since I saved all that money on flights, I figured that I’d spend it all on food.

Priorities, right?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of tasty treats in the Big Apple, and I take big bites.

First up, Flea Food Under the Archway from the folks that brought you Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg.

Yeahhhh buddy!

First up, Landhaus. Farm to Sandwich, this spot’s steak sandwich with cheddar sauce was flavorful and juicy, with a nice salty mouthfeel. I’ll admit, the potato chips were a little soggy, but the star of the show was the sandwich, and that’s what I was in it for, so I wasn’t disappointed. Next time, I think I’d like to enjoy their Bacon on a Stick. That just sounds orgasmic.

Up next: Brooklyn Oyster Party!

No party like an oyster party, right?

There’s the La-la-la-lovely Laura in the top left, nabbing us a fried oyster plate.

And then, on the bottom right, the oyster plate itself, complete with pickled onions and Old bay Aioli.  While I normally go for the raw oysters, these were practically bursting with tasty brine and the pickled onions added a fresh acidity to the mix. And you can’t really go wrong with aioli, right?

Right.

Later that night, inspired by one of my very favorite bloggers, Lauren of Sugar Coated Sisters, I made a rez for my brother and I at Mesa Grill.  Though her post is SERIOUSLY detailed and delicious, here’s a fun collage of my Restaurant Week Meal!

In no real order. Because this photo collage thing does crazy things to my pictures.

The appetizer (bottom right?): Fresh Tomato Tortilla soup with Avocado + Queso

The OTHER appetizer (NOT from the restaurant week Menu, but we HAD to get it!) (bottom left): Cremini Mushroom Quesadilla with Fontina, Ricotta, Fried Egg + Salsa Verde

The entree (Upper left): Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno filled with Roasted Eggplant, Manchego Cheese with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce + Balsamic Vinegar

Dessert (top right): Vanilla Bean Custard with Summery Berry Salad

Though I know that Lauren RAVED about the soup, I will have dreams about that Quesadilla and the Chile Relleno. Seriously, maybe I’m just a cheese fiend, but fontina, ricotta, manchego OH GOODNESS!! And topping a quesadilla with a fried egg?

BRILLIANT!!

My beverage of choice

I’ve already raved about the Chipotle Ale, but seriously, it was that good.

Birreria did me dirty

I have only see La Birreria completely swamped every time I’ve gone. Admittedly, I’ve only been twice, but both were in the middle of a weekday before work lets out, so I was surprised at the crowds (maybe everyone else is enjoying some funemployment like me?) When we asked for a seat for two for lunch, we were told that we could wait for 30-45 minutes OR check out the bar upstairs, which was standing room only. We opted for the bar, to at least grab a drink before lunch time.

When we reached the rooftop, it was hot, sweaty, and crowded, but a beautiful day. After spotting a small family getting ready to leave, we obtained a seat without hardly waiting at all. We ordered our beers, of which they had an excellent selection of Dogfish Head and house-brewed brews, and were offered some homemade bread made from the spent grain from their brewery (Upper Left). We didn’t try any cask beers this time, but next time I’ll be sure to.

Despite getting the text to let us know a table had opened up, we opted to keep our seat at the bar for the bonus of people watching and proximity to the bartender. I’ll say that the Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold was nothing to write home about, but all the other beers I tried were thoroughly enjoyed. For lunch, my partner and I ordered a cheese plate with gorgonzola, taleggio, and robiola bosina (Upper Right) which was served with a sort of honey hazelnut thing (Bottom Left). Along with the spent grain bread, this was the ideal dish before our “main course” the ProBusto sausage platter with coriander potato and mustard greens. While it seemed a little pricey initially, the sausage was more than enough for the two of us, and was plump and juicy (Bottom Left). Not usually a fan of mustard, this was especially fantastic to enjoy and the potatoes were so well seasoned and well mashed.

And now, I’m on an all salad and omelet diet.

Well, until Happy Hour tonight…