Hey kids, most probably you missed the Verboort Sausage Dinner, which explains why you have a deep-seated feeling of sadness.
The Verboort Sausage Dinner is one of those events that really keeps America great – ok, well fed at the very least. They’ve been doing this now they say for 80+ years. They put on a great down-home party with something for everyone from the craft fair through the “beer garden”.
Hey kids! While you weren’t looking we had a winery experience. Went out to pick up our wine club stuph from Maryhill. The place was cray-cray crowded. Mmmmm not much of an advertisement for being in their wine club, really. Anyhoo… after the mob scene we headed over to Marshal’s Winery – the exact opposite experience.
Our buddy Mr. Marshal was a welder in the Navy, met his wife in the Philippines. Spent years as a long-haul trucker. Looked around one day and decided that maybe the 100-year old grapes on his place maybe could also make wine.
Not fancy. Down-home, as they say. Comfortable.
Hello travelers, you’ll be glad to know you can find good beer in Buenos Aires:
These guys started home brewing, and just couldn’t help themselves. Now they have a network of pubs. We visited the one in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires:
Hey, guess what? These guys do a great job! The pub is airy, comfy and friendly. The food we had was toothsome, and the beers well crafted and dialed into their individual styles. The people who put this place together spent the effort and have the love to make all the pieces work. First class, all the way!
Iñaki samples a few…
Some tasting notes for you. Something for everyone here.
- Nice “lite” beer – good summertime drink perhaps a bit grassy-vegital.
- Playa Grande
- Happy wheat beer! Cloudy, and a little bitter.
- Clean, mildly malty. Quite tasty.
- Honey Beer
- Clean and a little sweet – 7.5%. Strong.
- Clean, a slight bitter bite – fortunately not as crazy bitter as many of our portland beers – better balanced I believe. Marc says he feels it is a bit sour. Iñaki says Argentinian IPA’s tend to be a bit sour.
- Not as strong as many scotch ales – but good flavor and nice light malty after taste.
- Barley Wine
- You bet, this is a barely wine. Marc says it has a creamy mouth feel, slightly bitter finish.
- Nice choco-malt finish, caramel flavor. Somewhat lighter body than other porters.
- Cream Stout
- “Wow, it’s like coffee” says Marc. Low carbonation N2O, very similiar to Guiness in flavor and mouthfeel.
- Imperial Stout
- Dark heavy malts, you could take a bath in them!
Our brief tour of bottled beer and vintage LP’s in Buenos Aires continues…
“Una cerveza rubia de color dorado, cuerpo y delicioso sabor intenso” or so reads the bottle. I guess you could say it’s got a golden color, but an intense flavor…? only in comparison to Quilmes’ mainline beers which appear to be the Budweiser of Argentina. The price is 25 pesos for a liter, with a 5 peso deposit on the bottle. I’d turn this one down, there’s better stuff on the shelf next to it for the same price.
12 Rounds of Exitos
Given all the song titles in Spanish on the jacket I thought I was getting something local, but this turns out to be a disk of late 60’s early 70’s US pop. Some of it familiar, some forgotten. Not a great purchase, but at least it came with an entertaining jacket.
Welcome to Buenos Aires. I brought along my portable LP player and bought some vintage LP’s. Here’s some reviews:
Imperial Scotch Ale and Edmundo Rivero
24 pesos for a liter in an old-school returnable bottle. That works out to barely more than $2 USD. Dark, malty and a little sweet. It’s a good beer.
A strong manly voice to go with these tangos. For listening, not so much dancing. Quality stuff. I don’t know squat about vintage tango. I picked this disc out of the stacks based solely on what I would expect from the jacket if it were a US product. I must have done well because the grumpy old guy in the shop lightened up and became friendlier when I pulled out something he approved of.
Palermo Cerveza Rubia and Tangos Michel Delon
This was tasty and refreshing, slightly malty with bright carbonation. A pleasant amber ale. So far beers in Argentina tend towards malty instead of hoppy. Also only 24 pesos for a liter! (aka, about $2 USD as of March 2015)
The record – usually if you need a hootchie-kootchie girl on your record jacket it means your music isn’t selling itself. This disk isn’t bad, pretty much standard stuff though recording quality seems a bit off.
Hey kids, Saturday night we dropped into Cooper’s Hall Winery and Taproom to check it out. It’s quite an impressive looking place – big open area, winery stuff in the back, long bar with more silver taps than Carter had little liver pills.
The short report – we’ll have to come back and try it again. At 8pm on a Saturday night they were clearly seeking a night club crowd with loud, dance-y music, lights so low you need a flashlight to look at the menu. Their schtick is their tap system. The idea is the product stays fresher and they aren’t throwing out hundreds of bottles. Ok, I’m willing to buy that. We had a bit of the red wine they make there. Good stuff. We like strong red wines that can hold up to a harsh universe and/or a good chewing.
The appetizer was pretty good, but for $13 I’d prefer my octopus dish to be more than 50% octopus instead of mostly potato.
In summary – has promise. We’ll try it again sometime when it’s not party hours.
On our way back from The People’s Pig we ran into Reverend Nat’s Hard Cidery & Taproom.
Since we were on the Beast Bike we were on the back streets of my old neighborhood in NE Portland which is how we stumbled across this fine place.
Located in the building where my former landlady spent a huge portion of her life (see this post for a taste of a rant about what north Portland used to be like) Rev Nat’s got a good place on his hands. There wasn’t a loser in the seven tastes we enjoyed, they only thing I’d recommend is some kind of cracker pallet-cleanser so your mouth is ready for the next flavor. I particularly liked the D’Anjou Nelson pear cider. Ok, the other thing I’d recommend is to not have gangsta-rap blasting in the background. Not a sit-down-and-relax sound track, eh?
The People’s Pig – hey, maybe you’ve read the reviews:
If you know the Wine Bastards, you know we like smoked meats. What made this place especially intriguing is that I lived around the corner from the Tropicana BBQ for years in the 90’s and never went in. In fact, never noticed it. I arrived in Portland in November 1993 and lived in the Lower Elliot area until about 2000 when the landlady decided she wanted her house back and we had to move.
Let me tell you what, gentrification has changed the place. You know how that story goes – good / bad. Saves some wonderful old buildings, loses long established local businesses, chases out people who can’t afford the new rents. Let’s just say it out loud – this was an area for working class black people and maybe not so much anymore. The poor people get screwed, and I was part of that by being in the second wave of gentrification by renting from the first wave of (dare I say White?) people buying and fixing up the neighborhood that’s lead it to being what it is today.
Irony: bet I can’t afford to live there today either. Those were the days before Toro Bravo. We had the Queen of Sheba and the Hostess Bakery Outlet, but not many other reasons to visit the neighborhood.
Ok, back to the Pig.
Two thumbs up for this place. Food: awesome. Smokey pork, generous tasty sides. Joyce had a cocktail with a giant cube of smoked ice. For more in-depth descriptions of the eats, see the reviews above.
This place is the anti-TGI Friday’s. The building really is a time machine. We’ve got plenty of places in Portland where an old building is stripped to the studs and rebuilt to look old. This place is the real deal. This is what North Portland was like until fairly recently. Big congrats to Cliff for what he’s done. The next step is to pass along the stories of the people who’ve passed in and out of that door before they’re forgotten.
We walked out of Vinn into a crazy downpour. So instead of riding off we strode across the street to New Deal Distillery. The New Deal tasting experience is quite the contrast to Vinn. New Deal has bounced around to a few locations and the current one is a quite pleasant mix of dark wood and decor providing a tip of the hat the era of the New Deal and industrial production space nicely showing off the shiny brass equipment.
And it was busy! Their staff was kept hopping serving groups of tasters. Fortunately we had no reason to hurry and spent the time exploring their location.
Products? Fine stuff. I skipped tasting their vodkas, because why bother tasting something that’s not supposed to have a taste…? I enjoyed their rum which has a big buttery taste. They had three gins yesterday. The standout one is not on their web site. I believe it was called Tom Strong. They age it in wine barrels for nine months and it definitely picks up an interesting character which I enjoyed.
They offer a short list of very tasty-sounding cocktails. Were we not on the pork trail for an overdue meal we would have stayed and taken those beverages for a test-ride.
This is Matthew, our tasting guide at Vinn Distillery’s tasting room in Portland’s Distillery Row.
If you’ve read any number of our other posts one of my interests is in the science of perception and how the environment around any food/beverage product is presented affects how it tastes to you. This continues to be a life-long study.
This blog focuses on the experience of tasting. There are so many great flavors out there, so many great products to buy. What makes us open our wallets and buy is something more than what’s on the plate or in the glass. Let’s see what we can learn, shall we?
We got a hearty greeting from Mike as we came in, and he graciously let us park our giant bike in the tasting room so the seats would stay dry. Vinn has an interesting history and story. In short they produce a Chinese style distilled spirit that’s made from rice. From what I could gather in our short introduction, there are some similarities in production to sake, but it’s not the same. Definitely worth stopping in and hearing the story for yourself.
Their number one product is a big drink in China – Baijiu. My favorite product they have there is the Mijiu Fire, which is made from the black rice.
I’m a sucker for a good story and learning new things. Had fun here, definitely will return.