Westvleren XII is frequently called the world’s greatest beer, so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the hardest to find. The beer is brewed by Trappist Monks at a monastery in Belgium, and that’s the only place you can purchase the beer. The monks are intensely private and only brew enough beer to cover their expenses so as to afford being monks.
The monks needed a new roof for their brewery, so they made the once-in-a-lifetime decision to export their beer around the world and raise money for repairs. The beer went on sale today, 12/12/12, at a price of $85 for a 6 pack. Did you pick up any?
I had the pleasure of trying Germany’s Monkey 47 brand of gin. If you like Hendricks… you’ll love this stuff.
I’m fairly certain you can’t buy Monkey 47 in the states; I drank a bottle that a friend brought back from Germany
My trip to New York was filled with trips to restaurants and bars I’d been planning to visit for months. If you asked me to pick my favorite meal from the weekend, it would be hard. But if you asked me to name the best place I happened to stumble upon, with no pre-conception of its very existence? Well, that’s an easy question: Gasoline Alley Coffee.
The place is tiny - you can see the entire width in the photo above, and there’s less than 10 seats. But the coffee is exceptional.
A few weeks ago, pre-Hurricane Sandy, I made a weekend trip to New York for the expressed purpose of eating and drinking. One of the trip’s many, many highlights was Mission Chinese Food.
My friends and I made sure to arrive early, right when the restaurant opens at 5:30. Guess who else was at the restaurant that night — none other than Mr Anthony Bourdain. We ate the famous kung pao pastrami, the chicken wings, the pickled vegetables, and the nuts.
Pictured is the restaurant’s entrance and the pastrami. Thanks NYT for photos.
Chicago’s Wicker Park has a brand-new spot for southern food, and I’m glad to report that Carriage House is a great spot to spend a few hours. The menu is divided into two parts: traditional preparations and ‘reimagined’ courses. Menu titles like this would cause most restaurants to implode under the weight of their chef’s very egos (it sounds like something from Trenchermen). Instead, Carriage House turns out remarkably good southern food like cornbread, fried green tomatoes, and shrimp & grits.
But the true standout from this restaurant? The Sweet Potato Hot Sauce served in a bottle with the fried chicken. Bottle that sauce up, sell it from your restaurant, and you’ll have me as a customer for life.
(Photo: Carriage House)
A few hundred people crammed into Chicago’s Union Station for last weekend’s Chicago Beer Festival. For $40, we could sample beers from about 50 different brands (mostly microbreweries based in the Midwest and surrounding areas). The goal? Sample lots, and drink as much as we could in 3 hours. When the event let out at 9, we high-tailed it over to Greektown and loaded up on souvlaki and spanakopita
(Photo: Chicago Beer Geeks)
Well known and loved across Chicago, the legendary Tank Noodle is an absolutely perfect place to get a great bowl of pho. In a neighborhood packed with Vietnamese restaurants, Tank Noodle is easily the fan favorite, and the only thing longer than Tank’s menu is the line out the door on weekends.
A friend and I recently visited Tank to eat beef pho, shrimp spring rolls, and a chicken curry dish. Feeling satisfied and full, we walked down the street and saw Beach House live at the Riviera.
Pitchfork calls The Raveonettes’ new album Observator the soundtrack for a late night after you’re done clubbing, “when all your friends have abandoned you and you’re not sure how you’re going to get home.” That description may be slightly too cheery - I don’t think clubbing should play a part in the scenario. This is music to listen to in solitude, with eyes closed, while you replay the last week’s events and make promises to yourself for the future.
(Listen: “She Owns the Streets”)
My preference in music changes by the season, as I’m sure yours does as well. This time of year, I like nothing more than surrounding myself with warm, heartfelt and natural tones that remind me of fall and winter. So I was super excited to finally catch Jens Lekman at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall this week. Music for the season if I’ve ever heard it— his recent I Know What Love Isn’t will be getting some serious play this winter.