This post really underlines why I like to make multiple visits to places when possible. It's not always practical. But if a place shows promise, I try to visit more than once if possible. Iron Pig is a good example, though sometimes it takes a while.
Back in November, Iron Pig Alehouse opened in PB; you can read Kirbie's post on the place. soon after opening, I visited with a friend of mine.....
And while the service was nice and the beer selection decent; I thought the meal left a lot to be desired.
From the nicely flavored but rubbery skinned smoked wings, to the baby backs with a decent rub, but quite dry and mealy texture, to the mushy brisket. The sauce seemed what my friends would call "competition sauce".....tasting like a doctored up base. Not bad mind you, just quite generic.
And yet, there seemed some potential here; the flavor of the wings were quite good........
So it took me six months to convince my biggest BBQ critic, the Missus ("your rubs is too bitter"...."the ribs you made are too dry"......."that pork butt needs to be smoked a bit longer") to check out Iron Pig. And we're glad we did.
Take a look at this version of the smoked wings ($9.99).
Nice and crisp, smoky, perhaps edging on being too salty, but I'll never complain about anything being too smoky. The wings were also moist and tender....just about perfect for us.
Of course the Missus "needed" a salad....sigh.....but, She made the right choice in ordering the "Man Salad" ($12.99).
Our Server/bartender was awesome.....she actually warned us that the "salad has French fries on it....and some folks take exception to that!" Really? It's ok to have fries in the burrito, but not in a salad? This was a huge salad. The blue cheese, brisket (much better than previously encountered), and arugula worked really well for us.
The only item we both didn't care for were the rib tips. I'm a big rib tip fan....I love maneuvering around the chewy cartilage, through all that rich fatty tissue, and the burnt crust for that perfect bite. This was too mushy, mild, and frankly ruined by all that sauce. You really didn't get the joy of having a nice rib tip. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but crunchy, crusty, fatty, rib tips just do well on their own with sauce on the side.
Overall, we had a nice meal. The service was very friendly....actually, I wish I got the name of our bartender/server. She was awesome. I'm sure we'll be back...especially since most draft beers are half price during Happy Hour. I need to have those wings again.....just to see....which version is the norm.
Iron Pig Alehouse 1520 Garnet Ave San Diego, CA 92109
I woke at 530am on our second morning in Utah. The previous day, had been quite amazing....well, the views, not the food. We decided to head off to a district of the massive (337,598 acres) Canyonlands National Park, known as Island in the Sky, a mesa that towers a thousand feet over the rugged and picturesque terrain below. I got the Missus up at around 6am....we showered, packed up and headed out into the dark morning.....pretty much like the day before. This time though, our target was much closer, a bit over 30 miles or so away. The classic location for viewing the sunrise in the Island in the Sky district is the Mesa Arch which frames the East rising sun. We had run into maybe two cars on our drive to the Mesa Arch, but were surprised when the parking lot was almost full! Taking the short half mile walk to the arch, we could see an entire line of paparazzi folks with camera gear already set-up!
It was crazy. I heard one guy telling another he'd camped out overnight and got to his "spot" to set-up at 5am! Serious folks!
I just headed off to the side to photograph the dramatic sunrise.
The Missus hung back and took a photo of the sunrise through the Mesa Arch.
And while it was a bit of a hazy morning, the views were still quite dramatic.
We walked back to the car and headed off to the Grand View Point Overlook and took the 3 mile hike around the rim of the mesa.
I really enjoyed this hike. The views were just stunning. I probably enjoyed this more than the Delicate Arch, which was the Missus' favorite.
You can see for miles in the distance; view the amazing terrain, and just try to take it all in.
The hike is easy, you can read more about it here and here.
And no, there aren't any fences or barriers......which just adds to the drama. (Click on the photos to enlarge)
We made one last short stop at the Shafer Canyon Overlook, before hitting the road and making the 200 mile trip back to Salt Lake City.
I made a short stop in Green River to refuel, then drove all the way through.
Our destination? The rather hip neighborhood in SLC called Sugar House. During our stop at Whole Foods a couple of nights back. I got into a nice conversation with the very friendly young lady at the deli counter. When I mentioned we were from San Diego...she bent over and whispered; "do you like to drink beer???" I whispered back, "we sure do....but why are we whispering?"
Anyway, she recommended a stop at the Annex by Epic Brewing. So that's where we went. The place has this "club license" which means they can serve alcohol without having to serve food. The server was really nice and explained things to us...took our IDs and scanned them and did the whole thing.
I would have really enjoyed this place except for one thing....the bartender was a jerk. Apparently he didn't like us, and decided to serve and chat to his "friends" rather than pour us our beer, which took 25 minutes to get to us. Other than the three people at the bar, the place was totally empty. I think the last straw was when a group of eight came in after us and got their drinks before us. Even our server profusely apologized telling us, "I'm sorry, but I don't have control over pouring your beer". Too bad, my Belgian Style Golden Ale was quite nice.
I felt really bad for our server when I told her, "I think we'll be headed out." And asked for the check....so I left her a nice tip...after all, it wasn't her fault the wanna be hipster behind the bar was a jerk. Nuff said.
The Annex by Epic Brewing 1048 E 2100 S Salt Lake City, UT 84106
In retrospect, maybe it was fate that drove us from the Annex to Wasatch Brew Pub next door.
This place was a bit more busy and our server was wonderful. I also loved the names of the beer; Chasing Tail Golden Ale, anyone? This almost made me forget I was in SLC.
And then the Missus saw the beer I "just had to order".... the Polygamy Porter on Nitro....yep, you heard that right. I just can't help but crack up. I loved the glass....in fact, the Missus and I should have bought a couple for our friends. And then there's the beer's tagline; "Why have just one...." You gotta love it...
This was pretty light, mild coffee, nice and creamy from the nitro. Not the best Porter I've had....but surely one of the best names!
The Missus ordered the Jalapeno Cream Ale, which was quite good. Unlike a lot of chile beers, this one had a nice kick that came through. Great fragrance of jalapenos as well. It went well with the food we had.
The Shishito Peppers could have been roasted a bit more.
But the Missus really enjoyed it.....the portion size was quite large. It needed a bit more salt, but the peppers were really fresh. Some of the larger, older ones had a bit of sneaky heat as well.
The Missus really wanted more veggies and we had dinner reservation for what I thought was going to be a rather rich meal, so I didn't veto the "Super Food Beet Salad". The beets were really tasty, having that balanced sweetness I really enjoy. The vinaigrette was nice, slightly citrusy, never getting in the way of the ingredient's flavors.
I honestly have to say; I'm still not a fan of fruits in my salad...especially mandarin oranges...though the Missus enjoys them.
In the end, I'm glad we ended up here. The service was pleasant, the food, while nothing special was ok, and we got a couple of good laughs as well. The beer will not make you forget about San Diego, but you'll never forget that sign.....
Wasatch Brew Pub 2110 Highland Dr Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Thanks to Cathy, you probably didn't even notice I was gone for a few days, did ya?
A few weeks back, I could tell that the Missus, who had been working really hard was just itchin' for a trip. I had just finished watching an episode of Inside Man...a rarity for me since I've been too busy to watch television over the last couple of months. The episode was about America's National Parks. When the little tidbit about the average age of the typical visitor to a National Park was mentioned, I was shocked. Can you guess what it was? 57? I recall living vicariously thru the stories that kids I knew whose parents would take them to Yellowstone, or some other national park over the summer would tell. We were too poor to travel, but I'd always told myself "someday....." The Missus had been wanting to visit Arches National Park for a while; so I guess "someday" had arrived.
So I quickly planned our escape. An evening flight to Salt Lake City. I decided to stay in Provo since it would cut off an hour of our drive time. We'd be getting to Provo by about 830 pm or so. I did a bit of research to see what was open after 9pm......yikes....not much in Provo or Orem. So what I decided to do was to take an extra hour out, head to Whole Foods in Salt Lake, grab a salad, some nuts(which would keep us the whole weekend), some charcuterie, and head to Provo. So our first real interaction with folks in Utah was at Whole Foods and let me tell you....I just couldn't believe how really nice the two young ladies who helped us were. I'll have more on the young lady at the deli counter later. Strangely, Whole Foods was almost totally empty, at 730 pm...so were the streets of downtown Salt Lake City. We loved the Residence Inn in Provo, full fridge, sofa, living room...even though we'd only be staying the night it made us feel at home.
We headed out before 6 am the next morning. It was hard to see much since the sun didn't come up until almost 7 am.
The drive was interesting....we saw unmelted ice by the side of the roads....snow had fallen as recently as the week before we arrived and if I recall correctly, more snow is set to fall there Wednesday into Thursday this week!
We stopped for fuel, some vitamin D, and a good stretching of our legs in Price.
We arrived at the gates of Arches National Park at around 845am, and managed to drive past the gates by 9am. The Missus wanted to check out the Visitor's Center so we made a stop there. Here's the deal. We had made no plans (except for one must see) and decided just to let the road be our guide. I knew it was going to be amazing just by the view out the window of the Visitor's Center.
I had printed a map earlier, off the National Park Service Website. Maps tell you distance, you can determine location....but they don't indicate what the area looks like. Which was pretty darn beautiful.
We stopped at the trailhead called "Park Avenue" because it resembles the towers that line the famous boulevard in Manhattan.
We then drove just a short distance when I couldn't help but stop and just look in wonder.
In this panoramic shot (click on to enlarge), you can see "the Organ" (second from the right) and the "Three Gossips" (three little nubs to the left of the Organ).
If you ever visit, Balanced Rock should be a must stop. there's an easy short trail...we saw a woman using a walker on the trail. It's pretty amazing.....the Missus kept saying "who knows.....this might just fall and crumble any day now" during the entire time here.
There's this strange sense of scale when looking at these large sandstone formations...it really doesn't look that large from a distance....but up close..... So including people in our photos actually helps to illustrate scale.
From Balanced Rock, it gets a bit more crowded. After all, the Windows area is a must stop.
This is another very easy trail. You can visit the North and South "Window" and also the Turret Arch across the way, via a very easy trail.
It's a very popular area.
As is the "Double Arch" (right across the parking lot), two arches that meet at a single spot....formed by water in a "pothole" according to the signage.
My favorite view were the formations named "Parade of the Elephants"....which really looked like elephants!
Our next stop was the one the Missus was really looking forward to. It meant stopping near an area called Wolfe Ranch. Near here is a side trail where you can view petroglyphs......one of my favorite sites on this trip.
Beyond this point lay what the Missus wanted to see. It was easy trail to this point. Beyond this was a fairly steep trail of what they call "slickrock". Still, I saw many a mom and dad making their way up the side of the mountain with a baby strapped to their back. Granted, they were decades younger than me....but still......
The big payoff here was a close-up view of a iconic symbol of the state of Utah. the Delicate Arch.
It is striking....and as the Missus said, "you know.....this might just fall and crumble any day now!"
The descent was actually harder on my joints than the ascent. But we finally made it back to the car and onward to Moab. I wasn't really inspired by any location in Moab, so I let the Missus choose. She decided on Moab Brewery.
Utah has some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the US. And Moab Brewery is located almost at the end of the one major thoroughfare, Main Street.
We decided to eat in the bar area. The woman who served us was so nice. We asked about the local liquor restrictions and apologized for not quite knowing it. Her reply, "oh, no problem......I tell everyone who is not a local anyway, so they know." Anyway, anything draft is less than 4 percent ABV, you can get bottled beer, which is considered "liquor", as in hard liquor. There are "tasters", but no "flights".
Anyway, I went with a Hefeweizen, which was decent, non-descript, fairly generic, though quite refreshing.
We weren't too hungry and decided on two things......
Starting with the Jalapeno Beer Fries ($6.59).
We both actually enjoyed this. The Jalapeno Powder gave this a bit of a "kick", the fries had been dusted with flour and were crisp. The "beer sauce" was like nacho cheese with salsa....but was strangely addictive...in a "college dorm room" kind of way.
We also ordered the Gazpacho Salad with Grilled Chicken ($9.99).
The vinaigrette was decent, this hit the spot as we wanted something cold and light for lunch.
The service was nice, the food...well, I've had much worse in San Diego.
Moab Brewery 686 S Main St Moab, UT 84532
And so we hit the magical hour of check-in. Which we did....followed by a short nap.
Upon getting up, we decided to head back to Arches for the sunset.
First we visited the area called the "Garden of Eden".
Then it was off to the Windows for the sunset.
The difference in views and how things look at various times of the day is fascinating. Also, you start noticing more on your second visit.
And so we watched the sunset from the Turret Arch.......
Thank you for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is out and about today and so is Ed (from Yuma), so Cathy is writing a short post.
Continuing my quest of stopping at bars and pubs near the Jack MurphySan Diego Chargers football stadium, McGregors was noticed one weekday.The frontage faces North and around noon, the sun is just right above the buildings in this mall, located a block West of the San Diego Mission and in the first block East of the football stadium.During the week, you walk right up to the end of the bar area (above), order, pay and have a seat; the food will find you.There is a billiard/pool table area with shuffleboard and darts. Plenty of seating inside and out in front.Above, the 1/2 lb corned beef sandwich ($11.25) on grilled rye with Swiss cheese and a spicy (horseradish) mustard. Really good, lean corned beef; this sandwich could be shared (and it was).One Friday during Lent, I was alone and decided the 'Seafood Combo' ($8.95) would be a good choice. Homemade clam chowder bowl (excellent) and aBaja fish taco (fresh, crispy with a light beer batter), made this a perfect meal.Another visit had me trying a bowl of the homemade chili ($6.75) which was a really filling, tasty meal. The spices were perfect, and even the black beans were complimentary along with the meaty chunks of coarse ground chuck.The half spinach salad ($6.25) is also a perfect size for a meal. Baby spinach leaves and plenty of crispy, thick chopped smoky bacon pieces topped with a house made Dijon based salad dressing made this a very good choice. The other day, The Mister and decided to share a McGregor Burger ($8.25). A 1/3 lb burger made with fresh (never frozen, as are the burgers at all the bar-pubs in this part of town) ground beef, served with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, grilled onion and pickles as well as a choice of sides (you can see we chose the onion rings). This was a very good burger and was cooked to a medium-rare, as requested. The beer battered onion rings were excellent...whomever works the fryer here is an expert.
There are still a few more bar-pubs in the area, and I'll be 'researching' those soon. Have a great weekend!
McGregors Grill & Ale House 10475 San Diego Mission Road San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 282-9797 Website
It was actually a nice walk. The sky was overcast, but it never rained.
We crossed the Willamette on the Burnside Bridge and passed the iconic Portland White Stag sign.
Traffic looked pretty heavy along Burnside.
You could tell spring was approaching as the Cherry Blossoms were starting to bloom. It was quite a lovely sight.
Our destination was a restaurant named Davenport, which I had read used local ingredients in simple dishes, with excellent and refined technique. The idea is to let the ingredients shine. The Chef Kevin Gibson is a semi-finalist for the James Beard; Best Chef: Northwest category.
There area couple of interesting things about the place, there's no large sign, you have to find 2215 East Burnside, then look for the "red door". Also, the phone conversation for making reservations was, well, interesting.....a woman picked up the phone with simply "hello"...... I had to ask if this was Davenport. At the end of the process, I noticed they hadn't asked for a phone number, so I inquired if they needed one. The answer, "no....if you show up, you show up...if you don't, you don't." Ok.... Well, we did show up.
The menu is ever changing.....in fact, it changes almost everyday.
We loved the menu and it was quite easy to choose our courses.
We had heard that Co-owner Kurt Heilemann curates an amazing wine list. So we asked our server, who was just perfect, efficient, professional, but not stuffy if he would select a glass to pair with each dish.
I will say, that even though I'm not an oenophile, I really enjoyed the pairings. I'm not going to go into detail about the wine, though I will say, the first glass...that Riesling, pared with the foie gras mousse was just perfect. It was without a doubt the best pairing of the evening. When I mentioned how beautiful the stemware was, our server told us it's hand-blown Zalto stemware.
The foie gras mousse was nice, smooth, rich, all you could ever want.
The pate was good, quite refined, balanced in flavor.....perhaps a bit too perfect. Loved the bits of hazelnut which gave it a nice contrasting texture.
For us, it was the pickled sunchokes that really got our attention, great crunch, perfect flavor. The salad was my least favorite....it tasted like it had been dressed with plain white vinegar, as it was way too sour; the pomegranate seeds didn't help adding another layer of tart and tannic flavor to everything.
The rapini, which was beautifully charred, bitterness subdued, smokey flavor enhanced was wonderful.
The addition of the breadcrumbs which added more crunch, only to be balanced with the boiled egg white and richness of the egg yolk just elevated the dish in my opinion. The anchovy was a bit too strong for the dish as just a squeeze of lemon was perfect.
We finished with the grilled lamb shoulder.
Slightly toothsome, but still tender enough considering it was shoulder. The lamb flavor made the perfect, "yes, you are eating lamb" statement. It was perfectly seasoned, a bit too rare for the Missus, but I loved it. The salsa verde really didn'y play into the flavors for me.
Overall, a very nice meal. In terms of service and timing, things were just perfect for us. While we enjoyed our meal, which was good, nothing really extended it into the "great" territory for us. Now the prices, well the food only came out to $60! The wine at $45 almost matched the price of the food. We weren't complaining though as in terms of cost, we thought this to be a reasonably priced meal.
Next time, I think something more along the lines of Le Pigeon would be the Missus's cup of tea.
Davenport 2215 East Burnside Portland, OR 97214
Of course, we weren't quite ready to call it a night. Candice had recommended that we stop in at Belmont Station. So the Missus decided we needed to work off at least a portion of our dinner....so add another mile-and-a-half to the tab. The streets looked rather dark on SE Stark Street and Belmont Station shone like a pearl in the night.
Basically an amazing bottle shop, with a huge 1200+ bottle list. Connected to the shop is the "Biercafe" which has a nice selection of items on tap.
Our "beertender" was a very nice...cool guy. The Missus got a sour and I ordered something that looked quite interesting - the New Belgium Cocoa Mole Spiced Strong Dark Ale. I was asked if I like "interesting flavors" and said yes. The guy behind the bar said, "folks here either love it or instantly dislike it". Me, I loved it....
Like a pseudo porter, with a pronounced chili-chocolate aroma. Since I love chili beers, I really enjoyed this. Mild spice that very slowly intensified, but never really got too hot. The flavor was quite complex. Even the Missus, who is not a big fan of porters really enjoyed this one.
It was a nice way to end our evening.
Belmont Station 4500 SE Stark St Portland, OR 97215
By this time, the Missus had figured I'd done enough walking for the day and decided we could catch the bus back. She did have a change of heart as we crossed the Belmont Bridge and decided to ring for a stop. But after all the walking I had done that day. The stroll back to the hotel was nothing.
Such is a typical day for us when travelling...lots of walking and lots of good food....and drinks!
Thank you for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Today, Cathy is writing, because Kirk is just too busy and has no time to write, while Ed (from Yuma) is doing something associated with retirement (in Yuma) .
Yes, there are many, many,many small 'pubs' near the Jack MurphySan Diego Chargers football stadium.Each of these purveyors of adult beverages are open during daylight hours and serve food. I did post about Camel's Breath Inn back in 2009, am now less fearful of taking photos and figure an update is due.
People familiar with the area of Friars Road East of the Stadium may have noticed an Armstrong Nursery just along Friars road, with a Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Steakhouse on the corner. Camel's Breath Inn is located with other businesses in that parking lot. There's a theme to the decor here. There are specials listed on the chalkboard (to the left in the third photo up) and usually there's a placard on the tables. This is a link to a current menu. We were here on a Sunday (but not during football season, when there are even more specials between 9 and 10 a.m.). Brunch was available.However, The Mister wanted a burger and ordered a 'build your own burger'($9). The 1/2 lb hand formed fresh ground beef patty, topped with His choices of cheese, avocado and mushrooms along with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles (bacon as well as a number of other items are choices and all for the same price). The burger comes with a choice of sides and, as you can see, slaw it was. The burger was cooked to a medium rare char on a flat top grill, was very good flavored. The lightly toasted sesame seeded bun was fresh and held up to the burger and toppings. The slaw here is very good. Still on my Benedict craving, the carnitas Benedict (alternately called a 'pulled pork' Benedict on the table menu) ($8) was my choice. Placed on top of a sliced and toasted slider bun, the large amount of in house cooked pork carnitas, topped with two perfectly poached eggs and a house made Hollandaise, was just right on that chilly morning. The sides of refried beans and home fried potatoes were plentiful and most were taken home as leftovers that day.
The food and atmosphere here are improved over our previous visits. There is a definite competition between the 'taverns' in the one mile radius area (yes, there will be more posts) with more quality food as well as beverage offerings.
Camel's Breath Inn 10330 Friars Road, #106 San Diego 92120 (619)281-1722 website
If you are looking for something by Kirk or Cathy, today is not your lucky day. If you want to read a fairly long post by Ed about a new brewpub in Yuma, sit back, relax and enjoy.
The old town/downtown area in Yuma was economically devastated by the sprawl caused by modern roads and highways and the explosion of population in Yuma in the post-World War II era. When I moved to Yuma 15 years ago, the area was still pretty desolate – a lot of for rent signs, empty buildings and vacant storefronts. These days, however, the area is undergoing a renaissance. Not only are new businesses opening, but a lot of places – wine shops, restaurants, and galleries seem to be doing very well.
One of the newest additions to Main Street is The Prison Hill Brewery. Located next to Da Boyz on Main Street; you can enter via the front door:
or the back door:
There is a dog friendly outdoor patio area:
as well as a large dining areas with bars and table service. Here's the bar area:
The main room:
I have been wanting to post about this place since the beginning of January, but I have had other things going on and then it seems like every week somebody else wants to eat at Prison Hill Brewery, so I keep accumulating pictures. Today, however, I am going to put them all together and try and do a post with as few words and as many pictures as I can get away with.
All of the sandwiches and many of the entrées come with one or two side dishes, so let's start with sides. The healthiest side is the grilled mixed vegetables, crispy tender and lightly seasoned, here pictured next to the decent thick chips which are served with many of the sandwiches:
Maybe my favorite side are the Sidewinder fries:
Though not made on premises, these fries are some of the best in town because each end is crunchy while the centers are potato fluffy.
The coleslaw is spicy hot with mustard (and cayenne?) and is fresh and tasty:
I also like the sweet beans:
but I think the macaroni salad is a little bland. Others however tell me that they love the mac salad because it goes with the stronger flavored menu choices. To each . .
The appetizers are kind of a mixed bag. For example, the giant pretzels are outstanding – it'll bring out the German in almost anyone:
Likewise, the tortilla soup (often a special, and sometimes available other times) is an excellent version of this Southwest favorite:
Remembering the soup, the word abundance pops into my head. It was packed with tortilla strips, the tomato Chile broth was outstanding, and the toppings were attractive and tasty.
I was less impressed by the combination appetizer plate:
The pretzels were excellent, of course, but the pieces of fried chicken breast were just adequate, and the two kinds of meatballs ranged from pretty good to pretty mediocre.
Similarly the hummus:
There are a few things that I love as much as good Middle Eastern hummus with the natural flavors of chickpeas and tahini – San Diego has many good Middle Eastern restaurants whose hummus I love. Prison Hill’s dry version lacks soul, and has a background citrusy taste that I suppose masks the missing flavors and freshness. Not to mention the tired and doughy bread.
On the other hand, a bunch of us really liked the poutine (good food, bad pic):
Covering the Sidewinder fries with a dark guinness gravy and patches of melted cheese only makes them more irresistible – if somewhat less healthy. To be honest, I have no idea how this dish would match up to the real thing in Canada, but it works for me in Yuma.
My salad eating friends like the salads – they are not just some "healthy" item to balance out the menu. Our friend Stacy enjoyed the vegetarian Big House Salad, impressed by the freshness and variety of the greens:
Tina loves the Cobb salad here:
In this case, she added smoked tri-tip to her salad, but she was also impressed by the mixture of greens and insisted that I take this picture to show how abundant and fresh they were:
Speaking of the smoked tri-tip, smoked meats are the main ingredient in most of the sandwiches and entrées. Behind the restaurant stand two full-size smokers, so all the smoked meats are smoked on premises:
Two of their popular sandwiches are the Verdict (brisket):
and The Tip (tri-tip):
I actually preferred The Tip because it seemed to have more going on; The Verdict was just a bit drier. The smoked meats in both, however, were perfectly flavored for my tastes, smoky without being only smoky, if you know what I mean.With sandwiches like these, your results may differ based on which piece if beef was just pulled from the smoker.
The cold smoked turkey sandwich (the Jailbird) is excellent also with bacon, tomato, lettuce, and mild cheese, sort of like a smoky club sandwich:
Though not the best I've ever had, the pulled pork is moist, smoky, and porky and topped with coleslaw :
Sometimes, the restaurant has a smoked turkey leg, sort of entrée at sandwich prices:
Lauren thought it was really good. Similarly, one of my favorite dishes on whole menu is the entrée they call The Quartermaster:
Along with the sides, you get a perfectly smoked, moist, tender chicken leg quarter. I loved it.
Of course, not everything is smoked. They make a good chicken salad (here pictured on a sandwich, but perhaps even better on a salad):
(Sorry about that picture)
The menu also includes burgers, hand formed thick and meaty. The American classic is like nothing from my childhood:
And the Shank has a cheese and bacon stuffed patty topped with a deep-fried avocado (yes that's yummy):
When I finish a meal at Prison Hill, I usually don't think about desserts, but the restaurant does do churros:
and a sundae:
and my memory tells me that both were sweet and tasty.
How did I get to the end of a post about a brewery without mentioning beer?
Oops! Prison Hill currently brews several different beers, however their brewing process takes a month and their production facilities are limited, so that they offer usually only one or two of their own. However there is a varied selection of other specialty beers. My beer drinking friends always leave happy, sometimes very happy if you know what I mean:
There’s also an adequate wine list – for small brewpub. The service, occasionally slow, is very professional and sometimes downright friendly. Truth be told, this is a place where I feel comfortable stopping in by myself or with friends. I consider the prices reasonable: sandwiches and burgers (with sides) run $9-$13, salads are generally under $10, entrées range from $11-$14, and appetizers from $6-$12.
Prison Hill Brewery, 278 S Main St, Yuma, AZ 85364; (928) 276-4001. Opens 11 am daily - closes at 10 pm most nights and 2 am Friday and Saturday.
After lunch at Kazuchan in Okonomimura we walked back to our hotel, the Granvia in Hiroshima Station. We took our time meandering through various streets and shopping arcades.
Fairly close to Hiroshima Station I noticed a photo menu....which looked quite interesting.....it had dishes both the Missus and I love. We headed down the alleyway. The place was closed, but we managed to speak, well that's not true either as the really nice young man spoke no English. Somehow, we got to understand that the place opened during the evening and yes, they served what we saw on the menu.
We took our much needed afternoon nap. When we awoke it was dusk. Time to find our little alleyway restaurant. The Missus had Her doubts, but I have a decent sense of direction and we found the place.
We found the place and headed down the alleyway. We entered the restaurant, but through sign language and my really bad Japanese came to find out that the place was booked solid. The woman then lead us the 2 yards across the alleyway and found the one young man who actually spoke a bit of English....about as much English as I spoke Japanese. Anyway, we could eat here, same menu, same drinks.
It was also mentioned that there were "appetizers" served with an automatic charge of 500 yen.....ah yes, tsukidashi...so this was an honest to goodness izakaya.
They seemed very concerned and wanted to make sure that we knew how the drill goes. It was of course, no problem. I actually think of it as a charge in lieu of a tip...since tipping is not done in Japan.
We were both quite happy to find a place like this....it was homey and comfortable, the staff was very nice.....the head bartender spoke a few words of English, not much, but enough. And of course there was a liquid refreshment. I went with a Miyajima Draft.....the Missus wanted something sort of local, so She had some sake from Saijo, which was really nice....clean, slightly sweet, easy to drink.
And then the fun really began. The Missus could make out some items since She could read Kanji. And I spoke really, really bad Japanese....except for some food.
Some of this was easy.....but some of it was plain hilarious...the bartender seemed to have fun....the Missus would point to something and he'd point to a part of his body, or the Missus would say, I think this is tendon and I'd say "suji"? And we'd get a grin and a nod and end up with a really tasty dish like this.
It was the photo of this dish that got us to come in. Classically flavored, sweet-soy, tender beef tendon and meat.......who could ask for more.
This was the spiciest thing I had in Japan, pickled chilies that brought some nice heat.
The Missus pointed to an item and said, I think these are onions....so I asked "Rakyo"? Which they were....
The Missus pointed to an item and the guy pointed to his abdomen......I asked "horumon?"
Nicely grilled intestine, chewy, well flavored....good stuff.....
Meanwhile, the Missus had another sake and was just beginning to hit Her stride it seems.....
Because when She pointed to the next item on the wall, the young man grabbed his ear! The Missus and I looked at each other and instantly knew we had to have this.
Now, I've had my share of pig ear, and while this isn't the most photogenic, I have to say it's among the best I've had. The pig ear had been simmered to where the external tissue was soft and sticky, it literally melted away on your tongue. The internal base piece was still slightly crunchy making for a fantastic textural contrast. The seasoning was plain, just a dip in salt and pepper, but it just perfect....especially with alcoholic beverages.
By now, the little ten seat bar was full....they actually had 6 reserved seats. So the anatomic charades were up. We had the bartender order something for us.
Which turned out to be a typical yakiniku, bulgogi like beef dish.
I was glad we arrived early. We would have not been comfortable taking up the bartender's time once things got busy.
It seemed like everyone at the bar was ordering the chicken wings; so I had to try the "teba".
A bit over battered and under seasoned and definitely not as good as the ears and guts......
The Missus and I had a blast here...it's our kind of place. I only wish I knew the name and address.
Update: Our FOY and fellow Food Blogger Kat did some sleuthing for us and seems to have found the place:
After dinner the Missus and I decided to take the tram to....well, wherever. We got off at random spot to have a bit of a post-dinner walk.
Things were lite up brightly as we walked through the various shopping street we passed earlier in the day.
Along the way we found a Don Quijote. I enjoyed walking around and looking at prices. The Missus had to use the restroom which was in the basement.
This area was were all the arcade games were......while the Missus "did Her thing", I took a walk around and looked at some of the "games". I thought the claw crane games the oddest....one had plastic food as the prize, another instant noodles. It just seemed so odd to me.....
Look at you, right back here at mmm-yoso!!! probably looking for food blogging. Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) are each busy with 'research' for future posts and Cathy is writing today, with 'results'.
Mission Gorge Road, just North of Interstate 8 is a mish-mash of businesses. Bookended by Starbucks, surrounding new and used car dealerships, banks, drug stores, numerous fast food drive thru lanes, a pizza parlor, sit down restaurants, a great vegan donut shop, as well as a Kaiser Hospital and Clinic. There are also more than several Purveyors ofadult beverageswhich also sell foodin this area of town.JT's is located closest to the Interstate, on the East side, just across from Rose Toyota and a few blocks South of Iowa Meat farms (sister of Seisel's Meats). The plain exterior is not a signal of things to come. The bar area has seemingly endless adult beverage choices, numerous televisions, seating and there are pool and ping pong tables in the back. There are several chalkboards mentioning beer specials, or you can ask. Menus are on tables. You walk up to the bar to order. Always on the lookout for specials, the back of the menu is usually what I read first.However, the bottom of the front page caught my eye on our first visit- beef from Iowa Meat Farms. Ground fresh daily.Here are the center pages, if you are interested. Don't pay too much attention though...the menu is going to be changing up soon. The same talented people who make the wonderful food I'm about to show you will be working on a new menu with all fresh (as in nothing frozen) items. Currently, the potstickers and fries and tots are frozen items. Basic Burger (cooked to a perfect medium rare, as I had ordered) ($8). Served on a fresh, toasted bun with crispy lettuce, tomato and onion, this is one of the best I've had in a while. It's 1/2 pound before cooking.Since it was a Monday, the $3 wings were calling. Medium Buffalo and Teriyaki were our chosen flavors this visit. The wings were meaty, fried crispy and the flavors not overwhelming (the Teriyaki was not sweet, a plus in my book).Another visit, on a Friday, had The Mister ordering a 16 ounce Cream Ale from (local) Mother Earth Brewing ($5).Friday Fish Sandwich ($6.25) was quite large, with the cheese melted into the bun, a nice touch. The fish was moist and the batter light, almost fluffy crispy. The cole slaw here is excellent, by the way.Sides can be fries, tots, slaw or a side salad. You can see fresh mushrooms on the salad, since they use fresh mushrooms for the beer battered mushroom basket. This visit, The Mister ordered the bacon and Bleu burger ($9.25). Again, the cheese melted into the bun-toasty bleu cheese...so good. You can see the bacon and now can imagine how good it was. It was, it was.
After walking around the Grote Markt area we headed down South. Stopping at various shops in the Fashion District, finally heading down to the area called T'Zuid, which basically mean "South".
This gentrified area is now a very trendy part of Antwerp. Eight avenues extend from Marnixplaats - Marnix Square. The statue in the square is named Schelde Vrij - Scheldt Free which commemorates the settlement with the Dutch that allowed free passage of ships on the Scheldt River.
Stopping here, we took a nice leisurely stroll back to Grote Markt via various side streets.
The weather was a bit strange, passing clouds would make it seem like rain was on the way, then a few minutes later the sun would be out. This pattern kept repeating itself the whole day.
Before we knew it, dinner time had arrived. There was a place I'd heard about, right across the street from Den Engel.
I don't quite remember how this place ended up on my list, but it did. Located on the main square, I had my doubts, but this pub/restaurant, ended up being pretty good.
There's a bar area and an attached restaurant, which looked rather rustic. The menu had a few Flemish specialties along with stuff like salads and spaghetti....spaghetti?
The Missus was overjoyed to be back in Belgium and be able to order stuff like the Oude Geuze Vieille, which She thoroughly enjoyed.
I just loved my draft Tripel Karmeliet, which seemed much lighter than here in the states. The was a definite spice-pepperiness to the flavor and it was much more carbonated and fizzy than I recalled. It was a heck of a glass!
What did the Missus get? Well, that was quite predictable...Sausage and Stoemp of course. This version came with Flemish style bacon, which was delicious.
It arrived in a nice sized pot. The flavor was nicely beefy and the sauce was pretty good...definitely beer in this one. Loved the texture of the braised chicory and the sweetness that cooking it this way brings out. The beef had kept shape but was spoon tender.
The meal came with frites, which I wasn't really impressed with...and mayo of course.
We must have been hungry as we polished off this very hearty meal.
I celebrated being back in Belgium with another beer; this time a draft La Chouffe, which was bit more hoppy than I recalled. Like the Karmeliet, this seemed really light for an 8% ABV brew. I was definitely enjoying being back....
De 7 Schaken Braderijstraat 24 Antwerp, Belgium
Dinner done, we headed west to the Riverfront....there's really not much to see here, parking lots and such.
Actually, the view of the Grote Markt area from here is much nicer.
One thing we quickly noticed about Antwerp. There were more folks riding on bicycles than anywhere else we'd seen on this trip.
The Missus quickly got into the habit of taking photos of bikes parked around Grote Markt. Here are a few from Her collection.
That little splash of color just makes them look so cheerful.....
While walking back to our flat, I noticed this beer store. I talked the Missus into taking a look. I love the collections some of these places had. While looking in the back of the store a name got my attention......well, it actually screamed out at me.
If you're a beer nerd, it would do the same to you....though probably more intense that what I experienced.
For some, the Westvleteren 12 is the holy grail of beer. It is often mentioned as being the "Best Beer in the World". I asked the clerk behind the counter about this and he sheepishly looked at me and said, "yes, it is the twelve.....have just come in today and I have not put away." He immediately grabbed the case and put it behind the counter. But not before I got a bottle. I was interested because I had worked this beer into a part of our itinerary later on during this trip.
So later in the evening, I opened the bottle.....and my goodness....now I like quads, but this was really boozy and bready....with sweet tones.....it was a bit much even for me. Needless to say, I started having doubts about what I had planned.
Still, we were enjoying our time in Antwerp. It was not overly touristy, the folks rather relaxed, the food decent.....there was nothing to not like.