Hiatus

I officially have no free time, and any extra energy after working this much usually goes to my book, so I won’t be updating this for a while.

I have big plans for the Vicious Vegetarian, just not the time to execute them yet – expect to see big things come September!

A New Mexican Journey, pt 1

I had an alternate title for this one, something along the lines of “Love Lorn is Love Worn is Love Lost”.

To explain this mathematically, I suppose it’d go something like this:

If X = love, then (x+lorn) + (x+worn) = x/0

Or something. Shit, I didn’t pay attention in school. But I can tell you this much: that’s all I’ll say on the matter, although it sure does feel as if I’ve divided by zero.

I decided at the beginning of this year I wanted to revisit my roots, reconnect with my past and somehow remember what I’d done, what I’d gone through – and most importantly, make contact with those closest to me back then. It was 8 months, but somehow the most intense 8 months of my life to date, culminating with the most intense experience of my life.

I’m not really sure where to begin here, so I guess I’ll start where most good stories do – at the beginning.

6 years ago I attended New Mexico School of Mining and Technology – although I use that word pretty loosely, since most of my time wasn’t spent in class, necessarily. I moved into a house that became affectionately referred to as the Black Hole, or P.O.T house (Punks of Tech, not related to weed) with 8 other men. In a 3 bedroom house.

With a stripper pole in the basement.

And one bathroom.

The shenanigans we got up to were SO EPIC they rather defy basic explanation. I’m actually writing a book about the adventure, so you’ll have to wait for that. Suffice it to say we even had nick names for each other, things like Scuba Steve, Punk Rock James, Vegan Phil, Crackhead Chris, Classic Joe or Dirty Joe to name a few. All with justified and hilarious stories.

So my trip began by arriving in Albuquerque with less than 2 hours sleep, only to get a room at one of the shittiest, dingiest, hooker killingest rooms i’d ever seen.

The actually filmed the ending to 'No Country for Old Men' here. And there's a moose head on the wall. Yeah.

We then went to dinner with the Carrick Twins, two of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a lot of beautiful women. Cue a nice wine bar with a cute cheese plate (nothing out of this world, but hey, they tried), some epic conversation, and them going to bed early since they actually cared about college and all that.

The next day was the one I’d been waiting for – a trip back to my old college town, Socorro New Mexico.

Now, to describe Socorro. Picture the shittiest little town you’ve ever driven through. Now, compound that shittiness with nothing to do where the highlight of the town is a single bar.

Actually quite spectacular inside

The largest thing is the campus – everything else is either running out of business or running on no business. Population of around 18,000, but fuck if I know where they’re hiding. To look at the place theres maybe 100 people. Anywhere.

Yup. Thats pretty much it.

Still, I love it. So many memories…put it this way. The house we lived in was featured in the local newspaper – we were SO FAMOUS the campus talked about us for years after we’d disbanded. Seriously.

I ran the door at parties wearing my baby blue blazer with a sledge hammer on my shoulder.

Yes, I used it.

Charged 5 bucks and made enough to pay rent and several other…incidentals. Truly spectacular, if you asked me. For Halloween one year I was a priest with a makeshift 3 foot erection I’d crafted from Vacuum Cleaner attachments, with a realistic tip.

Got some amazing pictures that have conveniently disappeared.

From there it was off to San Lorenzo canyon, where I’d once camped with some friends and drank some tea a Navajo friend had given us. Although I’d imagined that mountain lion to be fake, I was sorely mistaken, and we spent the better part of that night in my ’93 Jeep Grand Cherokee whilst my friend smoked imaginary cigarettes all night.

Sans Mountain Lions

The amazing rush of memories that flooded my impotent brain can’t be described – at several points, most especially while touring the campus again, it became painful, causing me to sit down as hundreds of adventures assaulted my psyche, like that one time a few friends shot each other with tranquilizer darts just because they could – was I involved? Maybe).

Still, this was important. Nay, critical, so that I  could write this book, and come to terms with who/what I was.

From there it was a 2 hour jaunt up to Santa Fe, where we got so fucking lost I nearly punched an infant and I’m not joking, then back down to ABQ for some serious binge drinking.

Oh, and for all you drinkers, stay the fuck away from New Mexico! Many bars close at 12 AM. On the flip side, you can smoke in some where at happy hour you can get pints of Stella for 2 bucks.

Still, we posted up at Gecko’s on Central and enjoyed some Black and Blues and Jameson neat.

Perfectly Poured.

Nice location too.

Short crawl back to the second dingy apartment.

You stay classy, Albuquerque. Note the size of the 'TV'

I’ll post the rest of my mis-adventures, and possibly regale you with a few more of the less risque stories, tomorrow.

AFK

Sorry folks, its super happy awesome Crunch Time here at Treyarch – and I won’t have the time (let alone the day off) to do any cooking. I’ll be doing updates as possible,  but in the meantime, I present some funny pics.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I never trusted that honey bear

Stupid smug lil flowers...judging...waiting...

Just ask the guy in the floral sweater

A Mediterranean Father’s Day Frittata

I love my dad.

Many folks say their either a momma’s boy or daddy’s boy or whatever – personally, I love them equally. When I’m with my mom, I’m a momma’s boy – and vice versa with my pops.

So I like to do whatever I can for them to show my appreciation. Honestly, I think celebrating my birthday’s silly – WTF did I do? Shit, I actually tried to strangle myself in the womb, so its not like a whole lot of work went into my birth from my end. That was all my Mama, and partially my dad, so my birthday really should be me thanking them profusely for not just saying ‘fuck it lets try again next year’ since I was such a little pain.

Anyway, I digress. Last Saturday I picked up my dad’s dog Ralphie (sweet old boxer) and headed down to San Diego to see my dad.

From left to right - Ralphie, Myrddin (mer-thin), and Lady

This one’s for you Pops.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Cook Time: 40-45 minutes

Feeds: 3-4 people

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 pound pitted kalamata olives
  • 8 oz cheese curds of some sort (ricotta or mozzarella)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • cayenne
  • fresh cracked black pepper

The Puzzle

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. finely dice (very nearly mince) all your veggies except the kalamata’s. We want these roughly chopped.

3. Combine eggs, half and half, cheese curds, olives in a bowl and whip together vigorously

4. In a pan on high heat, saute your finely diced veggies with some oil, 1 tsp cayenne, and some fresh cracked black pepper until see through. No more than 5 minutes

5. In a deep casserole dish, ideally 7x7x4, place your sauteed veggies

6. top with the egg mixture and lightly combine. We still want most of the veggies on the bottom

I had some extra cloth bound cheddar sitting around, which i crumbled on top

7. Stick it in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a knife stuck in the center comes out completely clean. It should puff up considerably.

8. Once done, let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes

9. For an extra special kick, serve with tzatziki sauce. I’ll be doing my own version of this soon enough.

10. Remind your father just how much you love him, and enjoy!

YUMMM

Petulant Pan Fried Pot stickers

Its official. I fucking hate pot stickers.

Up until Wednesday they were my favorite appetizer – any chance I had, any quasi Chinese restaurant I’d go to, I’d order them. So it would follow that I’d enjoy cooking them, right?

No. Nononono. A thousand times no.

3 hours later, I’m pissed off, sweaty, and likely dehydrated thanks to all the salt I’d consumed.

APPARENTLY these are meant to be a group endeavor, not taken on by one man dead set on making as many pot stickers as he had filling of which he made WAY TOO MUCH.

I’ll add the recipe when I’m not so pissed. But I don’t recommend you make them, not at all, unless you’re some masochistic freak.

Simply Stir Fried

Recently I’ve come to relish my lazy Sundays. Given i’m often working the day before, its the only day I have to relax and pretend for a moment life isn’t so incredibly stressful. Sit outside in the afternoon sunlight with a refreshing cocktail or craft beer, read a book, and in the words of the immortal Tim Leary “Turn on, tune in, drop out”. So there I was with my BFF (grief me later, k?) Brandon craving veggies – raw, simple, no complex or cultured proteins. The reason I went vegetarian in the first fucking place – also, it occurred to me I have yet to share my stir fry recipe with ya’ll. Nothing particularly remarkable about this one, except that I cooked it, which makes it awesome.

So, yeah, you should do it.

First off – do you have a Wok? No?

Don’t fuck with me. Go out and buy one, then come back – its a goddamn necessity, not just for stir fry’s, but all kinds of fun kitchen related activities. Since I’m a younger male adult, I went with a standard flat bottomed non stick version (very Westernized, but works much better on these shitty stoves). If you can handle it, go high carbon or go home.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes tops

Feeds: 2-3 people

Still waiting on the new fancy cutting board 😦

  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 jalapenos – I went with red and green
  • 2 large stalks celery
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

The Puzzle

1. Combine your liquid ingredients (sesame oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sambal) with your paprika, salt, and pepper. Chill in the fridge to allow the flavors to combine

2. Julienne all of your vegetables. We’re looking for match stick style here – no more than 1/4 inch thickness, although the cabbage can be longer. And be sure to de-rib/seed your peppers

3. Heat 2 tbsp Olive Oil in your wok – just before it begins smoking, so it shimmers

4. Cook your rice as per usual. It won’t be cooking in the wok, so make sure its to desired doneness.

5. Throw your veggies into the super hot wok

I know what you're thinking - beautiful hands. Before you ask, I've already turned down several watch modeling jobs to pursue an illustrious career in...food...blogging?

6. Stir constantly, without reducing the heat. We’re looking to impart ‘Wok Hei’, or the essence of the wok, to these tasty lil veggies, and this requires a bit of work.

BAM - Wok action shot

7. Throw a bit of your sauce on (not too much, or it’ll steam) and when the carrots are just barely translucent remove from the heat.

8. Serve over rice immediately and top with desired quantity of sauce.

See, that steam, that smell – THAT is Wok Hei. Hard to really achieve, but if you do, you’ll know immediately. Special stuff.

Oh! Special Bonus Recipe Round

Perfect Potato Wedges

Gonna keep this short/sweet.

Slice however many Russet’s you like into wedges, thusly, and dust with rosemary and olive oil.

I was going to bake them, but that ended horribly...pan fry for great success!

Pan fry them in enough Olive Oil to coat each wedge until golden brown and AWESOME.

Next…dust with that delicious Truffle Salt I convinced you to buy already.

Bask in your friends adoration at how quickly you whipped up the best potato wedge thats ever graced their lips.

Reversing Entropy, A Simple Mind Fuck

So I recently read ‘The Last Question‘ by Isaac Asimov. Its a short story written in 1956 dealing with the concept of entropy and implying another justification for our existence – you can find the entirety of the text in the link above, I highly recommend you read it.

Ever since I’ve been plagued by this thought, this idea, that entropy seems to be the only true method to measure change, and consequently time.

Popularly speaking, there are two concepts of time, cyclical or linear, circle or straight line – in one interpretation this has all happened before, and will again, small variations on a theme, until we break free of the cycle. To the Hindu’s, this is reaching ‘Atman’ – call it what you will, I’m not interested in discussing religion. That’s a whole other discussion entirely.

Whether its a circle or a line, think about how you actually measure the passage of time…can it be done empirically? Perhaps. Given the absence of sensory input, how is one aware that time has passed? Firstly, this can only be done once the senses are regained. Following this, one evaluates their surroundings. If time has passed, the only way you’ll know is through the perception of CHANGE.

Now, Entropy.

“en·tro·py

//

(ntr-p)n. pl. en·tro·pies

1. Symbol S For a closed thermodynamic system, a quantitative measure of the amount of thermal energy not available to do work.
2. A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.
3. A measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message.
4. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.
5. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.”

The most important aspects of those definitions are 4 and 5, for my immediate purposes. Everything, no matter is form so long as it has one, is subject to entropy. The concept of something immune to entropy  equates to timelessness, an idea which further contributes to the theory that entropy defines time.
So take it one step further and analyze your own perceptions. Show your work.
Assumption: All knowledge is a result of sensory perception
Assumption: Extrasensory perception is a theoretical impossibility
Assumption: If it is perceived it is subjective.
Deduction: All knowledge is subjective
If we cannot know anything beyond a subjective sense, is this then the launch point for any further discussion? The acceptance of the absence of true knowledge should set you free, it would seem, to explain existence. Really, at this point, anything can be truth, since truth is what we make it, right?
then again, I leave you with this:
If everything is perceived, perception is subjective, then nothing is true, how can I make this statement?

Birthday Shenanigans, tofu squares and phyllo fuck ups

So for those unaware, last Wednesday was my birthday.

*pauses for applause*

Ever since breaking up with my girlfriend last year, I haven’t been particularly concerned with birthday’s – honestly, that was always her kick, not really a big thing for me. To be honest, my birthday should be about my mom, who did the work…I didn’t have much to do with the process.

After enough text messages and calls though, I had to acquiesce and throw myself a party. My poor non vegetarian friends would get another chance to sample some more of my awesomeness, and I’d get an excuse to clean the townhome and cook some more recent ideas.

I received the first idea from Lindsay over at The Kitchen Opera’s, and wanted to do some phyllo dough ‘nests’  filled with herbed Chevre and caramelized onions, topped with balsamic reduction and truffle salt.

Phyllo fuck ups

The Pieces

Prep Time: 5 minutes, unless you suck that hard at cutting onions, then its 10

Cook Time: nearly an hour, all told

Feeds: About 6 drunks and 2 stoners. If I had to guess.

  • 8 oz Chevre, or other herbed goat cheese
  • 4 large sweet onions
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 8 oz or so of Phyllo dough, properly defrosted and separated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (not EVOO, or canola, just regular fucking Olive Oil)
  • PAM, or some other spray non stick stuff

The Puzzle

Theres a reason I call this ‘recipe’ Phyllo Fuck ups. I fucked up. The original idea had been to use a muffin tin, place a few sheets of Phyllo inside, and have cute little nests.

Turns out I don’t have a muffin tin.

How this happened, I’m not entirely sure, but in a fit of improvisation I just used a few cookie sheets, and layered the nests so they were closer to sandwiches. So it wasn’t a complete disaster…just didn’t turn out quite as pretty as I’d hoped for

Lets be quaint and call this 'not the best presentation ever'

0. Preheat your oven to 400

1. Dice your onions (all four)

2. Heat your 1/4 cup of oil in a large flat bottomed pan – once its hot, but not smoking, reduce the heat to medium-high

3. Add the diced onions.

4. Stirring every 5 minutes or so, cook for about 30 minutes. By this time the onions should be quite wilted and browned

5. Add 1 tbsp sugar and stir to coat. Cook for another 10 minutes or until nearly black and sweetly caramelized. Set aside

6. Tear a bunch of phyllo sheets to create a 3″ square bed

7. Form your assembly line, pictured below.8. For each pasty, fill with a decent amount (no more than 2 tbsp) onion, top with crumbled Chevre, then finally a phyllo ‘hat’

9. For your cooking sheet – even if its nonstick, spray it down. Then once the pastries are placed on top, spray again for that golden brown color

10. Bake until golden brown, or about 10 minutes – during this time, make your balsamic reduction by simmering the vinegar with the last tbsp of sugar until reduced by half

Laura taking point on the balsamic reduction...in a rather stabby way

11. Once the pastries are done, drizzle with reduction, top with your crazy ass expensive truffle salt I just convinced you to buy because it will change your life and enjoy!

I’m kind of glad to get that one out of the way. Don’t get me wrong, they were tasty – damn tasty – but just…a mess.

Breaded Tofu Squares with Spicy Peanut Slaw

So, even before I started those little piles of fail, I’d gotten my tofu ready for the finale by marinating the slices in a mixture of peanut sauce, soy sauce, and Sriracha (affectionately referred to as ‘Cock Sauce’ around the house). The sauce was simple, the prep time low, and presentation was quite nice. Definite success.

The Pieces – Sauce (use half for marinade)

12 ounces pre made thai peanut sauce.

8 ounces low sodium Soy Sauce

4 ounces Sriracha (or more depending on how spicy you like it)

The Rest of the Pieces

8 oz bag of Panko Bread Crumbs

2 12 oz packages Extra Firm Tofu

1 fresh cucumber (although I guess ‘fresh’ is a given. Unless it was a pickle…)

1 16 oz package Broccoli Slaw

2 tbsp Olive Oil

The Puzzle

0. Toss your broccoli slaw with your sauce (this is half the mixture I listed in the ‘sauce’ section) and set in the fridge for at least 30 mins

1. Drain your tofu. Slice it in half horizontally, then cut vertically to achieve squares. Line up in your casserole pan, pour the marinade on top, as pictured.

If you don't have enough marinade using half, add more soy sauce

2. Once the tofu has marinated for at least an hour, dredge it in panko breadcrumbs

Whats with the hammer, you say? Good question

3. Heat your oil in a large flat bottomed pan and pan fry the tofu in batches til golden brown on each side

4. While this is happening, slice your cucumber thinly and as your squares come out of the pan, top them with one cucumber slice

5. After all the Tofu’s been cooked, top with a cute little pile of the broccoli slaw, thusly:

Let cool in the fridge for about 5 minutes, and enjoy!

I’ll be linking some new pics  here so check ’em out!

Hot Pepper on Pepper action

mmm…yeah baby…

Can you feel it?

Yea, you feel it.

Now run your hands down your hips…and pull off those ribs. A little lower, tease those seeds out and toss ’em on the floor, lets slip into something a little more comfortable.

Like…another pepper. Kinky, right?

Just wait.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook time: About an hour

That watermelon in the back was frozen and juiced for dessert - FUCK YES I RULE

Serves: A shitload of drunk people. 12 or so.

  • 2 habanero chile’s
  • 3 jalapeno’s
  • 6 large bell peppers (I used 2 red, 2 green, and 2 orange)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/3 cup toasted and crushed pistachios
  • 1 cup burrata
  • 12 oz veg stock
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • salt to taste

The Puzzle

Now, there are two ways you can do this: Vegan and Vegetarian. I went for the vegetarian route, since I had some left over cheese (think gouda infused with black truffle, look me in the eye, and TRY TO SAY NO), but if you leave this out you’ve got a damn tasty vegan dish on your hands

0. Preheat your oven to 375

1. Start chopping. Brunoise your carrots, celery, jalapeno (nifty trick here – slice in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out seeds and ribs), dice your onion, hull your peas, then open up your bell peppers end to end as shown in the pic below. Remove the seeds and ribs here as well, but leave the stems for effect. Looks nifty, and Jaime Oliver did it, so its cool.

Watermelon's in the freezer now, chillin

2. Boil your rice until its nearly done, but not quite, and set aside

3. Toast your pistachios. Use a nonstick pan on high heat, and toss constantly or they will burn. And you don’t want to be THAT asshole at the party.

4. Let the pistachios cool – you’ll need to crush them up later. I’d suggest pulsing in a food processor a few times – I had to use a fucking lemon juicer, and I don’t want to talk about how that went.

5. In another wider pan, with a lip on the sides at least an inch high, heat your oil til its nice and shimmery. Now the dangerous step…if you have plastic gloves, use ’em. If you have a vent above your stove…turn it on NOW. Seriously. I want you to break the habaneros in half…and put them in the oil. Just for a few minutes, long enough to season the oil, then get that shit out, or you’ll light your face on capsacin fire.

6. Add all your chopped veggies (NOT the rice/bell peppers. Don’t be silly now.)

7. Once the onion’s translucent, add your spices. Let them coat the veggies, then ‘deglaze’ by adding your veggie stock, followed by the rice.

8. Cook this down til nicely combined, about 5-10 minutes on medium high heat, then (if vegetarian) add the burrata

9. Stuff into your pepper halves, and line them up on either a baking sheet or ideally in a casserole dish thats been lightly oiled

10. Grate whatever cheese you like on top (remember that truffle infused gouda? OH YEAH)

So purty

11. Bake for about an hour, or until crispy crunchy.

Taken in a great hurry, as they were disappearing fast...

Grilled Cheese and Beer, a taste of paradise

DISCLAIMER: I broke some rules here. I ate meat, and I’m not sorry for it – I wanted to taste the sandwiches the way Andrew intended them be enjoyed. I understand some of you won’t like this, but I honestly don’t give a shit. It was high quality stuff, not the corn fed farmed garbage Tyson will pawn off on you, so don’t grief me and I won’t send monkey’s to fling feces on your pristine suburban house.

Now then – this post is dedicated to Andrew over at Andrew’s Cheese Shop. Salutations, sir, and many thanks for an incredibly memorable evening.

For the poor saps out there unfortunate enough to be unable to attend, you are lessened by your absence. I’m serious about this, if you live in LA, fucking get over there ASAP.

Allow me to set the stage: Its 7:30 on a Friday night. Beautiful weather outside, just enough light to see by, you approach a relatively unassuming storefront. Inside its all candles and soft light, surrounded by high quality wine, beer, salts, craft soda and best of all, under the quiet luminescent glow, wonderful cheeses.  A long table with beautiful flat ware and 2o seats confronts you –  an intimate setting, to say the least. You settle in and make idle conversation with your friends as the rest of the group files in – an interesting assortment of folks, from all apparent walks of life, each beautiful in their own way, especially those close to you.

Once all have gathered, the door is locked and the evening begins with a small speech from Andrew, preparing you for the glory about to be thrust upon you, and you dig into the salad artfully set in front of you.

Wasabi vinaigrette? Fuck yea.

Tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red bell pepper, red onion, all topped with a pleasantly spicy Wasabi vinaigrette. The purpose here, as Andrew elucidates, is to prep your taste buds for some bold flavors, and to whet your thirst for some top notch beer.

The first course arrives, more of an amuse-bouche than anything else.

Beer soaked baguette topped with 1 year old Grafton sharp cheddar

Beer: Called ‘Blanche de Chambly’, this light and cidery Belgian white is brewed by the wonderful folks over at Unibroue, who have given us La Terrible, my current favorite beer. A great start, paired with the richness of the baguette, as the sunny citrus sweet really livens up your palate.

This is dangerous. I can see myself drinking several bottles and running into walls before I even noticed I was drunk.

Sandwich: Very simple baguette topped with sharp cheddar cheese – the kicker hits once you bite into the bread proper, whereupon you realize what Andrew meant when he said ‘Beer Soaked Baguette’… simply bursts with flavor. And then, once you’ve finished the whole thing, a small tingling at the back of your throat – horseradish! I’ve never had the stuff used subtly before, very interesting.

A few minutes to settle, and on comes course two….

Very reminiscent of a Caprese salad...on bread...

Unfortunately these pictures aren’t going to do much justice…so much of the magic happens just under the cheese.

Beer: Saison Rue, brewed by ‘The Bruery‘ (a clever play on words based on the families last name). Quite similar to the last beer actually, with more of a bite on the back end. Pleasantly fruity ‘peasant beer’.

Sandwich: Hands down the best damn thing I’ve put in my mouth in years (and don’t you dare take that out of context…). A few others, including my wonderfully ascerbic neighbor, were a little underwhelmed by this one, and that’s fine…and its your opinion…but your wrong Lucy (true name omitted in the interest of safety)! I’M LOOKING AT YOU.

This shits the bee’s knees, or whatever the kids say these days…Olive bread, basil butter, prosciutto de parma, Burrata (OMFGYESSS), tomato, basil, truffle salt. Yea, you read that right, fucking truffle salt. It wasn’t simply the composition of the sandwich, which was impressive given the quality of the ingredients, but the BREAD! Perfectly soaked through with each one of the above mentioned flavors, lightly browned basil butter…..heaven. Heaven on bread.

Paired well with the beer as well.

And as I’m coming down from this euphoric height, considering whether or not I need to change my pants, in comes Course the Third.

Not a personal favorite, delightful nonetheless

Beer: Arrogant Bastard. Bitter, angry, unapologetic – you’ve had it before, and if you haven’t, or you didn’t like it, the fine folks at Stone don’t give a shit and neither do I.

Sandwich: Harvest (carrot, walnut, raisin) wheat bread, Isle of Mull and Quicke’s oak smoked cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, black forest ham, raisins. A nice sandwich, this one was probably the low point of the evening for me. A little too salty, a little too heavy – delicious, nonetheless, but a little much for me. Although, I will say this – the dijon mustard really accented the smoked cheddar beautifully.

Course Four, or how I discovered my ‘Jolly Face’ and appeal to ‘Alternative Women’.

Simple. Spectacular.

I’m not going to explain the last comment, needless to say its an inside joke relating to the conversation at hand.

Beer: Malheur 12. The 12 refers to the percentage of alcohol present, and I must say I found this hard to believe – honestly – since most high alcohol beers end up tasting like ass. For reference, try out Brew Dog’s 18% Tokyo some time; relatively popular, it tastes like sickeningly sweet ass, and I’m convinced the hipsters who drink it all despise it. No, this beer was wonderful. Smooth, nutty coffe chocolate flavor, absolutely no bitterness on the back end, which is off putting considering its color, which is remarkably similar to Arrogant Bastard.

Brandon, my roommate, didn’t like it much…but that doesn’t say anything to the quality of the beer. Homie doesn’t like pickles and has to eat a Hostess Cosmic Brownie with every damn meal, so, yeah. He also hates watermelon. WHO HATES WATERMELON SERIOUSLY.

Sandwich: This was all about the cheese – Morbier, Beaufort de Savoie, varieties of Gruyere, on multigrain wheat. It was topped with some amazing Fleur de Sel, which completely changed the taste, in an ‘OMG I CAN SEE INTO THE FUTURE’ kind of way.

At this point we’d all sort of settled into a comfortable food coma, contentedly sipping our beers and making idle conversation about traveling and the inherent dangers of Italian dentistry, when the Final Course arrived.

Gorgonzola, honey, mana from god

Beer: Meantime London Porter. Another tasty one, made with no less than 7 malts – very intense flavor, also reminiscent of chocolate.

Sandwich: Saison bread, with hazelnuts, walnuts, and raisins soaked in LAMILL coffee. Not sure why that’s all caps. The cheeses were gorgonzola, Munster Gerome, topped with honey – a nice sweeter way to end what was all around a damn spectacular night.

Good friends, new and old, tasty food and eye opening beers…I’m marking this one a downright success.

Thanks again Andrew!

Various info on the Cheese Shop:

Site

Yelp

Facebook