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Found 24 results

  1. I really wish I'd stumbled into Smoke and Barrel at the beginning of an evening out rather than at the end, when, famished and a little tipsy, I devoured my pulled pork sandwich at approximately the speed of light. I can't, therefore, provide thoughtful details much beyond "yum!" The smoked meat is piled on a respectable bun with a scoop of good cole slaw, with the surprisingly spicy sauce on the side. And I don't think anything has ever tasted better after a night of beers with friends. A side of sweet potato home fries was excellent.
  2. John Brown General & Butcher Shop which once was a gas station and general store has been become one of my favorite spots to pop into on my way to Baltimore. Walking into this quaint shop is like taking a tour through the pages of Bon Appetite Magazine. From the meat case that showcases cuts , to the other case that houses an abundant selections to build a buzz worthy charcuterie board, and there is no shortage of options. As you head back of the building, you will find an array of spirits ranging from wine to liquor as well as local beer. In the few visits that I have made, I have feasted on cold cut subs, hamburgers, house cut french fries, and more recently hot chicken. All prepared in house, and lip smacking delicious. Heading into the warmer months, you can cross the street and pick up flowers and produce at a market stand. Anything you could ever need to prepare a delicious meal can be found at this charming little outpost.
  3. It's been over two years since I have been coming to the Horse Inn, or as the locals simply call the Horse. In all my years of dining out, there is no other place that comes close to what this tavern delivers. Horse is the quintessential neighborhood spot. Its located away from the city's main hub of eateries, and not in downtown Lancaster. They don't really advertise, and there is a no reservations policy, yet each and everyday there is a line out the door prior to opening. The consensus is that is has everything to do with the owners, Matt & Starla Russell, have built along with their well informed staff. I have been hesitant on writing about the Horse, cause I wanted to keep it a secret for as long as I could, but I feel everyone deserves to know how truly awesome it is. For starters, in true speakeasy fashion, the Horse can be a bit hard to find unless you know what you are looking for. Located on a residential street on the East side of Lancaster City with no distinctive marquee or sign, you have to trust GPS to lead you to it. Word to the wise, park in the designated parking lot otherwise you can be certain that once your evening has come to the end, you'll be greeted with a parking ticket courtesy of Lancaster Parking Authority. There is a clear sign on the front door of the Horse directing patrons not park on the street, and to use the parking lot down the block. Once inside, you immediately head to the second floor of the stable. The decor of the Horse in an instant , welcomes you. It's as if you have been hear before and feels familiar. There are two bar areas, several tables , and old horse stables that have been crafted into dining tables. If you arrive any other time other than prior to opening, expect to wait for a table. A wait could be as a brief 30 minutes or as long as 90 minutes. I suggest you get there prior to opening at 4:30, or come later like 9 on weekends, if you don't want to wait long. So what do you order at the Horse? I suggest anything from the cocktail menu, and for dinner one must have the Burger. Of course there are several other delicious choices, but they vary from month to month depending on what Matt can pick up from the local producers. Matt Russell directs the kitchen, and his charismatic wife, Starla, leads the front of the house. On any given night you can see both of them at the Horse. Actually on most of the five nights they are open, you can find both of them. They are both graduates of Johnson & Wales and spent several years working at some of Charleston, SC finest restaurants. So on their menu, you can see influences from the South married with culinary traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Music City's 'Hot" Chicken sandwich,($11), is definitely an item that you won't see too often north of the Mason Dixon line, but the Horse executes it so well. The sandwich is composed of a crisply fried sweet and spicy chicken thigh that is garnished with blue cheese slaw served on a Martin sesame seed bun.A Horse favorite as I mentioned earlier is the Burger,($11). On occasion I have ordered it as an appetizer. It starts out with a proprietary blend of short rib, brisket, chuck and 10% aged beef. The garnishes to the burger are deliberate to include shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced tomato , red onion, American cheese, and special sauce. No substitutions are permitted. The burger is crafted as is to deliver optimal flavor. The burger is an permanent fixture on the menu. so luckily you can get it any time. The menu changes pretty frequently to reflect the best the season has to offer. During the summer I had the joy of having zucchini blossoms .The blossoms had been filled with ricotta which were lightly fried and served over a salad of fresh sweet summer corn and patty pans dressed with arugula -pistachio pesto. Delish. Most recently I had the Short rib, ($28). A 12 -hr braised short rib served over puree of potatoes so delectable you wish you could order an additional side of it. I would say they are as delicious as the mashed potatoes at Corduroy, maybe a bit more. The rib is garnished with a bevy of root vegetables and finished off with a richly developed Bordelaise sauce. Technique in deft preparation does not go unnoticed, and you taste it throughout the menu whether it be in the prep of the burger or any of the delicious entrees.Now onto the cocktails. Cocktails. They are on an entirely different level than any other place I have visited , ever. I know back when I was living in the District, I was spoiled with endless options for a great drink. In Lancaster, the Horse Inn stands out as the most incredible bar program in the Central Pa, perhaps in all of Pa. I know , I know. Have I been to all the spots in Pa, No. Would I put money that Horse Inn is the best out there, absolutely. Each cocktail, no matter who shakes it, taste exactly the same. Why? Each component added to the drink is measured for consistency. Are the drinks strong? Well that depends on your spirit of choice. Of course the flavor of rum is going to have a different finish then rye whiskey, but every part of the drink is balanced as to not deliver a boozy cocktail. As I get older and my palate is maturing I tend to drink spirits as is,with a splash of water or plunk of an ice cube or two. That is my preference, but as far as cocktails, the Horse serves them expertly with mindful garnishes. The drink menu is presented in different categories which include Whiskey Proper, Botanicals, Grain & Barrel, and alternative spirits. Drinks on the menu are crafted with home made bitters as well as extracts. Seasonality is taken into account in composing their drinks as well. Currently there are a few of my favorites on the menu. The CIder Buck ($10) is mixed with local cider, Lairds Apple Jack , Ginger Beer, Angostura & Lime. Then there is the Chai if I want to ($10) made with Sailor Jerry , spiced rum, Chai cream, cinnamon & finished off with a shaving of nutmeg. I am certain you can find a cocktail you will enjoy on the menu , if not the bar keep cant certainly whisk up something to accommodate your liking. They also have an extensive selection of bourbons and whiskeys. Beer and wine round out the selection.Interested in something other than craft beer and just a good ol low cost brew? Order the Mystery Beer ($2) that are chilled in an old lion foot tub. So there you have it my best kept secret in Lancaster, Pa! Its a little hard to find, but once you are there , you'ill understand why I love it so much. If I am any where near Lancaster, I can be found at the Horse. #horseinnaround, kat
  4. They're hoping for May. It's going to be Asian accented southern dishes. You may remember him from Top Chef Texas or most recently on the bourbon episode of Mind of a Chef. "Edward Lee To Open Southern-Themed Succotash At National Harbor" by Tim Carman on washingtonpost.com Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era at National Harbor.
  5. I thought there was a thread for this restaurant but I can't find one. I stopped in this evening and got a Troegs DreamWeaver beer and a small plate. The food was pork and veal meatballs cabbage all'Amatriciana. The vinegar on the raw cabbage made the whole thing work super well. Wow, that was good. It was $13. (Beer was $7.) There were maybe 5 meatballs, but it was enough for me and what I wanted. I've heard mixed things about this place, but I think the most critical comments were about the bourbon selection, which is not something about which I claim any expertise. The meatballs and cabbage were awesome.
  6. In an attempt to make their mediocre product seem more upscale, Beam Suntory is raising the price of Booker's Bourbon to $100. There isn't a single liquor store in town where it isn't sitting on the shelves right now for nearly $40; I guess they think The Idiot Wind will blow people into the liquor stores if it costs $100. What a joke. People seem to be intimidated by Fred Noe because he uses the word "fuck" a lot; he sure seems like nothing but a huckster to me. For him to peddle that God-awful Red Stag cherry Bourbon of Jim Beam's with a straight face is a crime against humanity. "Is Booker's Bourbon Set To Go Up, Up, Up in Price?" by Chuck Cowdery on thewhiskeywash.com "Beam Suntory To Increase Booker's SRP to $99.99" by Fred Minnick on fredminnick.com If you only follow my advice once in your lifetime, make it right now: Don't buy into the psychological manipulation that Beam Suntory is attempting to implant in your brains. Booker's is a middling product, at best, and always will be - this is a blatant attempt at duping the consumer into believing that "if it costs a lot, then it must be good," and once the media frenzy dies down, people will be walking into liquor stores, staring down bottles of Booker's "marked down" to $95. Listen to me here: Don't buy another bottle of Booker's - not even at $40 - and make this giant conglomerate pay for their greed. If nothing else, this is one of the shrewdest marketing schemes I've ever witnessed: Right in time for the holidays (isn't that convenient?), consumers are being alerted that if they rush out to the liquor stores, they can stock up on this product, soon to be $100, and get all they can purchase for only $40-50 a bottle ... what an amazing opportunity! Yeah, right. Blow me. Do yourselves a favor and buy *two* bottles of Donnhoff Spätlesen instead. Please? Or if you want one, widely available, special bottle as a gift, walk into any Total Wine and buy a bottle of Graham's 30-Year-Old Tawny Port for $100 instead of buying a bottle of Booker's. Please trust me on this one. The best idea of all? Call Joe Riley at Ace Beverage and ask him what he thinks.
  7. Hello Fellow DR'ers, I am chairing a Kentucky Derby Party that benefits the Campagna Center at Belle Haven Country Club on May 7, 2016 from 4:30-8:00 pm. Caleb Stine and The Golden Eagles will be playing, there will be charitable betting on horses, a great silent auction, food and bourbon cocktails, as well as, other beverages. It should be a really great event, and it all benefits the Campagna Center, a non-profit in Alexandria that provides a host of educational programs for children and families in Alexandria. Learn more and buy tickets here, http://www.campagnacenter.org/events/bowties-belles .
  8. I just got a bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey. Any ideas on cocktails, recipes, etc.? I think if I drink it straight, I'll end up with a sugar rush and hangover.
  9. Wild Turkey makes a couple of wild turkeys - just like they all do (I'm looking at you, Jim Beam) - but the 101-Proof Bourbon and Rye have always come through for me. Some Bourbon aficionado friends of mine maintain that 90 Proof is the "sweet-spot," below which Bourbon and Rye dare not tread, but I've found some offerings in the mid-90s that seem to have declined in recent years - in particular, I'm thinking of Bulleit, whose Rye I used to really enjoy, and is offered at 95 Proof; however, that product is not what it once was - maybe I'm the only one who's noticed, but I used to like it, and no longer do. Having always enjoyed both Wild Turkey 101 offerings, I tried the "Rare Breed," which is a barrel-proof offering that was introduced to market in 1991. There have been varying degrees of strength over the years, but the current offering at VA ABC stores is at 112.8 Proof, and I'll take this over 90% of the Bourbons out there, any day (Bourbon has become subject to the same marketing game that wine, and then beer, have succumbed to, and the only way to be sure you're getting a good product is to either know someone, or educate yourself). Rare Breed is widely available, and sells in the $40s for a .750 bottle and in the $20s for a .375. I've had two experiences with really *bad* service at walk-in stores lately, and this was one of them, but I'm writing this one off to "youthful over-exuberance" - it was *so* over-the-top that it was laughable. Two other related threads that could, for now, justifiably be merged into one "Wild Turkey" thread: Wild Turkey "Forgiven" Wild Turkey "American Honey"
  10. i had brunch at bourbon (aptly named as they have dc's largest bourbon selection) early this afternoon. it was solid, far from great but definitely sufficient for a very tired guy and his hung over friend in search of brunch, with a patio, and a place to watch the game. we settled on bourbon. one of the nice things about their brunch is that they offer both a brunch menu - fairly standard dishes executed reasonably well - and their regular menu - think upscale diner food with a slight southern tilt. i had the cheese steak sandwich which was mad from strips of black angus, pepper jack cheese, roasted red peppers, and caramelized onions (can't remember the bread). in contrast to most cheese steaks, one could clearly identify the beef in this sandwich. it contained too much gristle to be eaten as a sandwich, but once i grabbed a fork and knife to sort through a little bit it was well worth the effort. my friend had the bourbon toast - a french toast that was made with a bourbon egg batter and bourbon laced maple syrup. i was allowed one bite - but that bite was pretty damn tasty. after brunch on the patio which unfortunately during the late fall does not get much sun until the late afternoon, we moved inside to watch football. while sitting at the bar i noticed that bourbon serves allagash curieux beer. this is truly amazing beer. it is made from the allagash triple which is already a reserve beer. after brewing, some of the triple is then aged for six months in old jim beam bourbon barrels. the result is a beer that is resplendent with golden malt, a rich lingering finish, and well-balanced hops. it is an extremely small production beer - i have been told by the distributor that less than two dozen cases are brought to dc (allagash's number one market) every six months. i am not positive about this, but i think that bourbon and café saint ex may be the only places serving it. it is offered in a 22oz bottle and it is simply manna from the beer gods. two pieces of caution if you plan on ordering one: 1) the curieux has 11% alcohol content, so don't plan on drinking them all night, and 2) it ain't cheap; $22 per bottle at bourbon. i also need to make note of the very gracious and professional service. most saloons provide service that tends to lack polish. bourbon was a very pleasant exception. patrick, our server/bartender, was knowledgeable, extremely pleasant, and executed his job in a way that suggested some fine-dinning training in his past. i have been to bourbon a few times since it opened a few years ago - only for a quick cocktail or to meet friends. i am very happy to be able to add it to the list of places that provide solid food without expectation or pretense, and one of the best beers on the planet. if you go there and order one and don't like it, bring the mostly full bottle to me for full reimbursement.
  11. "Some Times the Bully Wins - Bomberger vs. Chatham" on thebourbontruth.tumblr.com
  12. This story inspired me to go have a sip of my 20 yo Pappy, which is now sitting at the side of my computer. Nice stuff! It's been a long while since I've had any -- I think I still prefer my Noah's Mill, but WTH. My bottle is still about half full, but there remain full bottles of 15 and 12 yo Pappy to tide me over. Unfortunately, if it really is $220 a pop these days, when it's gone that will likely be my last.
  13. Prince of Petworth sleuthed out this sign a couple months ago, wondering what was to become of it. Yesterday, I ran into Bill Thomas (the owner of Bourbon) at Bourbon, and he informed me that Jack Rose will be opening up next Spring at 2007 18th St. NW (May 1st is currently the target date). This is around the intersection with Florida Ave., and is the former home of Third Power Fitness. This a large space, 6,300 square feet, and the restaurant will feature, needless to say, plenty to drink, with a strong focus on Scotch. Construction delays will be mitigated by the fact that they own the entire building. Congratulations in advance, Bill! Cheers, Rocks.
  14. I just watched a great documentary called Bourbontucky on the Audience network. It covers the history of the industry in Kentucky, with many of the important players interviewed. It also included discussion of the impacts of bourbon being in great demand, future trends, and the related spin-off products and industries. There is a pretty extensive segment with Bill Thomas of Jack Rose. Worth a watch if you can find it. (It's on again today March 15 at 1 pm)
  15. The just opened restaurant, Vino Rosina, located in the Harbor East area of town is helmed by former Top Chef contestant Jesse Scandlin, formerly of Abacrombie. The concept is supposed to be a wine bar with tapas dishes. 507 S. Exeter (Bagby bldg) (410) 528-8600
  16. My brother and I hosted a bourbon tasting last night, and you could go blind trying to read all of the small print on the backs of the bottles. After successfully reading all the small print, you'd then go crazy trying to separate the BS from the stories that might have some truth. The winner of the night for me was Black Maple Hill, which is the best $40 bourbon I've found. Added bonus is that there's no marketing fluff on the package.
  17. Has anyone had either of the orphan barrel bourbons from Diageo yet? I know a bunch has been written on bourbon blogs and other sites about the validity of the marketing claims and the source of the bourbon, but I've read very few reactions from people who actually own a bottle and have poured from it. I'm hoping to get one in the mail shortly, and once Passover ends I'll share my thoughts. I wanted to get the thread started, though, to see if anyone else has partaken yet. For a little background from Diageo's marketing materials via BourbonBlog.com: "The goal of The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Project is to share old and rare whiskey from our barrel houses with discerning whiskey adorers. The first two whiskies to be released from the project will include the 20-year-old Barterhouse and the 26-year-aged Old Blowhard. Both are American Kentucky Bourbons, hand bottled in Tullahoma Tennessee and are expected to begin appearing on select shelves throughout the U.S. in early 2014 under strict allocation due to limited supply. Additionally, Diageo is creating a separate new-to-world bourbon called Blade and Bow. Blade and Bow is anticipated to hit shelves in the second half of 2014 and is not a part of the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Project."
  18. Anyone have the Bookers 25 yet? I found the last bottle on the shelf of my local ABC today, and will probably crack it open and start a thread this weekend. Just curious if anyone else has tried it yet. Thanks for reviving the Whiskey thread, btw, I didn't even know it existed. Makes for a better place to have bourbon conversations, with the other threads related to particular bottles. From the press release: "The original Booker's Bourbon, a cask-strength spirit with a proof that usually ranges from 120 to 130, is normally aged for six to eight years. The special-edition batch is over 10 years old, giving the product some extra characteristics and making it a fitting tribute to an important character in the Bourbon industry."
  19. The Weller Antique 107 has started showing up on the shelves a lot more in the Richmond ABC stores, so I'm ready to make it the every day under $25 house drinker that I've been waiting for. My only real problem, and it's hardly a problem, is that I find it has to be neat for me to enjoy it. The few times I've put in an ice cube, the flavors and any bourbon intensity seem to disappear. It doesn't happen instantly, but as soon as any of the ice melts the water washes away everything I like about it. Does anyone else find this happening with this or other whiskies? Is this also a sign to steer clear of throwing this into a cocktail for fear of losing the flavor?
  20. Assuming it's accurate, this is the most useful chart of Bourbon distillers I've ever seen. It has made the rounds on the internet recently, but I wanted to give it a permanent home here. Kudos to Colin Spoelman for his brilliant rendition of: 1) The 9 Corporate Owners 2) The 13 Distillers And their "family tree" of Bourbons - incomplete, but complete enough to be very useful. It's a simple, easy-to-read, well-designed chart for anyone wanting to reference Bourbon. I'll go so far as to say that it's groundbreaking (assuming, of course, that it hasn't been done before). Here it is. Bookmark it, and refer to it, over and over again. "The Bourbon Family Tree" drawn by Colin Spoelman, explained by David Haskell, on gq.com
  21. This is one of the bottles that Joe Riley selected for me, and it's a fascinating whiskey, supplemented by an even more fascinating backstory. Whether it's true or not will be left up to the reader. I'll just quote straight from the canister: "Introducing our small batch blend of Bourbon and Rye Whiskies"¦. The batch we never intended. With just one taste our Associate Master Distiller, Eddie Russell, knew their mistake was more a master stroke. Because it married the very best qualities of our robust Rye whiskey and a fine Bourbon: vanilla, oaky taste pointing perfectly towards a cinnamon, clove, and pepper finish. Aged, of course, in our No. 4 alligator charred barrels - something we'd never leave to chance." And on the other side: "When our Distillery's crew unwittingly mingled a very rare, high proof Rye with perfectly aged Bourbon, our Associate Master Distiller discovered they had created something exceptional: a whiskey blend that's big, bold and spicy, yet exceptionally smooth. Needless to say all was forgiven." The whiskey is exactly as advertised - you can distinguish the Rye, you can distinguish the Bourbon, and you can enjoy the blend: it is indeed big, bold, spicy, and smooth - definitely mellowed from some age. My only question: is the backstory bullshit? I've also looked into the two spellings: whisky, and whiskey. Here is an interesting post explaining the difference (worth reading if you're curious about such a thing). An excerpt:
  22. A friend of mine was looking to take her husband somewhere with good food and a great bourbon selection in northern Virginia. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a place that qualified as that. I know places with a "decent" selection... She's taken him also to Bourbon AdMo. We suggested to her also Bourbon Steak and Jack Rose. If someone was looking for bourbon specifically, any other suggestions out there? I really need to go more to places owned by people other than the Brown brothers and Bill Thomas sometimes...
  23. Joe Riley just brought this item to my attention. Diageo rumored to be restarting the historic Stitzel-Weller distillery. http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2013/01/13/stitzel-weller-distillery-to-start-making-bourbon-again/ The Straightbourbon forum is already alight with speculation. Personally, I'm intrigued by the statement that Diageo is still sitting on stocks of mature bourbon from before the plant was shuttered nearly 21 years ago. What the product will taste like, and how it will be marketed, remains to be seen. This plant produced the legendary Fitzgerald bourbons, but those recipes and brands, along with the contributions of the master distillers, continue elsewhere under the ownership of Buffalo Trace (Weller, and Fitz) and Julian Van Winkle (Van Winkle). Bourbon being greater than the sum of its parts, it's hard to imagine all of the components ever being reunited.
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