10 July 2011

The Most Epic Day Ever II

While maybe not quite as epic as our first dude day, this day was still pretty amazing. Boys, let's get to it.

I had a haircut at 9am. As usual I arrived a few minutes early to partake in the goodness next door at the Cockeysville PA Dutch Market. MMmmm, doughnuts.

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I also nabbed two sexy NY Strips for dinner later that night.

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Afterwards I hauled ass to New Market to C's house and from there we commenced the insanity. Our ultimate destination was Gaithersburg, but before we raped our livers we needed some sustinence. After a quick search I'd found that for the most part Gaithersburg was a food wasteland, but one recommendation that kept coming up was Taco Bar located in a quaint little strip mall liquor store. Authentic tacos out of a liquor store? Count me down.

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We walked up to the counter and I went with my go-to choices of chorizo and lengua (beef tongue.) Since C was a little less educated in the taco arts he mirrored my order. Our order was up moments later so we hit up their sweet fixin's bar and went with the traditional toppings of raw white onion and cilantro.

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I tried their spicy salsa verde on the chorizo and their spicy salsa rojo on the lengua. We chose to sit outside for the natural light, although the heat and humidity made it feel like we were dining in a bayou whorehouse.

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Both tacos were definitely great, but my favorite was the lengua.

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The salsa rojo complimented the flavors well, and the lengua was a smaller dice than I'm used to and had a strong beefy flavor with an underlying layer of funky musty goodness. Beef tongue at its finest.

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The chorizo had great little caramelized bits from being cooked on the flattop, but it was a tad dry, and it wasn't nearly as spicy as the chorizo I get from La Familia in Bel Air. It was still a damn fine taco, the salsa verde was bright and fresh.

Bellies adequately full, we made haste to our true destination: The Gaithersburg branch of the Dogfish Head Alehouse. Giddy up.

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Immediately upon entering we were greeted with the beer list for the day:

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They had a lot of my favorites and many more that I'd never had before. My mission was to try them all...

We grabbed two spots at the close end of the bar by the windows to, again, make use of the natural light. The interior was like any other decent brewpub.

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I was sad to find out that I couldn't customize my own sampler, but the bartender did tell me I could taste any beer I wanted before committing to an order. So I opted to try the 90 min IPA and the Chicory Stout.

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Mmmm, don't those water stains look delicious? I immediately fell in love with the 90 min. It had all of the great qualities of the 60 minute, just turned up a few notches. The chicory wasn't great, it tasted overly roasted and too bitter. Next up I sampled the Black & Red which was one of the most unique beers I've ever had.

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This beer literally smelled like Ande's Mints. If only it tasted as good as it smelled. It tasted great at first, but then it finished on this bizarre syrupy Robitussin note that immediately turned me off. C felt the same way. So with that we decided to start ordering like men, C went for the Theobroma and I went with an old favorite that I hadn't had in quite a long time: the Sah'tea. While they look virtually identical, they couldn't taste more different.

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The Theobroma had pleasing, but surprisingly faint notes of dark sweet chiles and chocolate. It was very sessionable and one of my favorites of the night. Bonus that it had a badass tap handle:

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The Sah'tea had more of a witbier flavor than I'd remembered, which would usually turn me off, but the flavor from the tea curbed the bandaidy and rounded it out nicely. I had to physically restrain myself from guzzling both snifters myself. Our first round was definitely a great one. Round two featured Palo Santo Marron for myself and Sah'tea for C.

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While PSM is one of my favorite beers, it is in no way a session beer. It is a sipper through and through. For a visual guide of the art of sipping please refer to the visual guide below:

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Sexy little monkey, aren't I?

I sipped away, like any real man should, while C and I discussed the finer points of love and life and entertained a drunken local. Since C was driving he nursed his Sah'tea while I sallied forth on to the 90 Minute IPA.

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I would say the 90 Min was definitely the discovery of the day for me, with the Theobroma coming in a close second. I can't really pinpoint what makes it so damn good, it just is. It's not overly bitter, and it hides it's 9% abv surprisingly well. A new favorite, for sure.

We decided to go out with a bang so we opted to split a bottle of the World Wide Stout as our last DFH beer of the night. The bartender said that this particular batch was a whopping 20% abv. Holy hell.

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While the Palo Santo is a sipper, I'd call this an eyedropper. Meaning the only way you could enjoy this beer is to drink it drip by drip. Holy hell this drank like cybernetic joint lubricator. This is the shit that the Autobots bleed. After that many rounds of delicious beer we could only stomach a few sips before we waved our flags of surrender. The bartender simply refused to charge us for it and whisked away our glasses. The price of the bottle was directly rolled into his tip. A fine bartender, indeed.

We departed Gaithersburg and on our way back to C's place in New Market we rocked out to such artists as 3 Inches of Blood, The Lonely Island, and Krypteria.

I'll be honest. After getting back to C's house, the details become somewhat fuzzy. Kinda fucked up, considering this just happened last night. Ummm, I remember booting up FF3 and eating some cold pizza.

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I thought it was funny that when I bit into my slice two pieces of pepperoni fell directly onto my crotch, so I took a picture of it for you:

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I chastised C constantly for his inability to perform Sabin's Fire Dance.

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At some point we cracked open the sixer of Flying Dog and Brewer's Art collaboration beer Table For Two.

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I've had it before and its good, not great. Very roasty toasty, and would probably go really well with cheese and crackers. We played a round of darts in the basement and then the time came to make some dinner. We ran out to the produce stand on the corner and picked up some sweet white corn from the good old Eastern Shore. This was by far the best corn I've had this year, and, honestly, it was some of the sweetest corn I've ever had. It was like candy. I tried my new method of cooking burgers on our steaks and they turned out phenomenal.

As before I preheated my cast iron skillet on C's gas grill for 15 minutes with all of the burners on high. I rubbed our steaks down with bacon fat and a thick layer freshly ground black pepper. When I threw those bad boys on there they hissed like a burlap sack full of rattlesnakes. 4 minutes on one side, 2.5-3 minutes on the other. I definitely lost more than a few arm hairs flipping them, even using tongs. The grill was showing temps beyond 450*. This is how you should cook your next steak, it is amazing.

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While I let them rest I busted out the bomber of Flying Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo I'd brought.

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While it didn't necessarily go great with our dinner, it was definitely a great beer. It had all of those uber-dark flavors, but drank surpisingly smooth. After a few more minutes, our faces made sweet sweet love to our plates.

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Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I want to open my own restaurant in the semi-near future, do you think these pictures would tantalize potential investors? Just leave a comment and I'll tell you where you can mail your checks.

The rest of the night featured much, much more FF3 and at some point I'm pretty sure we made Manhattans. C likes to make his on the rocks and never uses bitters. I told him I'd show him how to make a real Manhattan next time he visits the Micro residence. Well, I'm off to Chicago in a few days to celebrate the big 3-0. Yep, I'm gonna have a shitload of stuff to blog about, and I just ordered myself a shiny new camera (happy birthday to me) off amazon that I'm hoping gets delivered before we leave. Until next time...


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