Friday, May 23, 2008


What's the pleasant version of the the word "anxious?" Positively anticipating? Excitedly looking-forward-to? Whatever it is, that's how I felt about celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary at Meritage, the new French restaurant occupying the site of A Rebours on St. Peter and 6th in downtown St. Paul.

It took a few minutes longer for a our server to say hello and take our drink order (a free glass of wine by mentioning the ad in Metro magazine) than I would have expected from a restaurant of this caliber, but they easily made up for it by bringing some amazing sushi-style tuna tacos, gratuit. Seriously. They asked if we had been waiting long, I said "Yes, a few minutes," and BAM! Free tacos. I wasn't rude or assuming, and I was taken care of.

On to the meal.

My lovely-as-ever wife had the rabbit confit with tarragon pea sauce, and I ordered the pork chops with mashed-potato-like polenta. Both were simply amazing; if I'm paying upwards of $25 for pork chops, this is how I want them to taste. Yum-my.

The entire experience was enjoyable. The only thing that would take Meritage a step further is the beer list. Summit, New Castle, Stella Artois, and Amstel Light. Really? No Duvel? No Chimay?

Aside from that I would totally recommend Meritage. The quality as well as the quantity was spot on.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Homebrew Update

As you may remember, in our brewing escapades, we brewed a mai bock with chinook hops, a hop usually found in American IPAs. A lovely hop for an IPA, but really, we learned that's where they should stay. Not made for mai bocks. At first we thought the beer might be infected, as it had a sort of a cooked brussel smell and tasted a little metallic. Not really what you want in a beer. We had kegged the beer, so it made sense that maybe one of the many parts was dirty.

[Yes, you have to sanitize EVERYTHING. The first couple batches I ever made I wore gloves and sprayed anything that might have some into contact with anything potentially dirty. I've let it slip a little. You pay me money for my beer? I'll put the gloves back on.]

Needless to say, we cleaned the the tap line, just to make sure. And the beer tastes better. Still a little metallic, but much better. Not your typical mai bock, and I'll probably never brew another one like this. But it taught me that a lot of beers are brewed the way they are for a reason.

Although a little ginger may have been good in it....

The 3rd bock from the same yeast is wonderful. It's almost a porter, a dark lager, kinda what I expected the schwartz to be like. Another 6 months will do it well.

We brewed a hefeweizen this past week. I'm not too much a fan of the style; it's nice a couple times every summer, but I'd rather have a good Saison. It's a perfect party beer though. I guess I have to think of a reason to have a party in a month or so.