Here's the patent
Beer's been on my mind as we have a new brew pub opening up on Main Avenue. Fruit flies abounded in Beth's office (upstairs from the new pub) at this month's book club meeting; we wondered if they were attracted by the fermentation activities going on below.
Brewing has become a serious business around here; it was recently declared the second largest employer in the county. With that in mind, instead of picking up Vietnamese food to-go yesterday, I stopped at the Urge Gastropub in Ranch Bernardo and ordered a meat loaf plate and an IPA beer bratwurst. The place was moderately busy at 5 pm; thankfully and surprisingly, the music wasn't too loud.
Their beer menu is amazing long and changes every day; they offer fifty-one types of craft beer and have over one hundred beers by the bottle. As my drinking and driving days are long since over I can only admire the libation list from afar. To that point they wisely offer several sizes presumably so you can taste a selection of brews without getting plastered. Most you can buy in half pint quantities or a "taste". The tastes run about $2.00. They have a detailed explanation of the beers and what makes them special.
One of the beers they serve is called Old Rasputin on Nitro. It's a Russian stout with 9% alcohol.We'll be in St. Petersburg for three days on a Baltic cruise in September, so I hope to drink something like this in its own terroir along with a genuine Russian pierogi. About Russian stout.....
Inspired by brewers back in the 1800's to win over the Russian Czar, this is the king of stouts, boasting high alcohol by volumes and plenty of malt character. Low to moderate levels of carbonation with huge roasted, chocolate and burnt malt flavors. Often dry. Suggestions of dark fruit and flavors of higher alcohols are quite evident. Hop character can vary from none, to balanced to aggressive.
The meat loaf, made of veal, chorizo, Angus beef and bacon was excellent and survived the ride home very well (including a stop at Home Depot for rebar - my life is so glamorous). The crumbly texture was particularly appreciated - very unlike the tough, compact loaf that you frequently find on diner or coffee shop menus. Minced chorizo added very nice heat at a level that complimented the other ingredients without overwhelming them. The beer bratwurst was another story. Undistinguished except for an annoyingly tough casing; I had to saw through it. I did detect a whiff of beeriness about halfway through gnawing on the thing. It's quite a feat to make sauerkraut bland but they achieved it. Disappointing. Turning my attention from the flat brat to the side order, I found the red potato salad tasteless, basically mayonnaise and red potatoes. One win for the meatloaf - it's the best! Stay away from the brat unless you have very low expectations for the wurst. Regardless of the mediocre brat, the meat loaf filled me with hope - I'd try the place again.
My other thought for the SS theme was related to cocktail umbrellas. Here's a cute alternate use for them in case you have too many on hand: