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Brooklyn Pilsner eruptions rumble on...

Can't/won't brew their own flagships, but they can spend the time/money/effort to open a brewery in europe. I would be a fan of their lagers if I knew their wouldn't be a good chance of getting a diacetyl bomb. I would suggest moving on to another brand if they cant be trusted to deliver everytime. Plenty of quality beer to choose from these days.

Apr 13, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Lamb Sandwiches

They are very inconsistent with the amount of tzatziki sauce they put on their sandwiches. And many times half the sandwich doesn't have any, and the other half has way too much. My wife and I take bets on who is going to get the tzatziki bomb and who is going to get shafted whenever we order gyros.

Apr 10, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Ain't nothin' but a ghee thing, baby!

Passable/ok food - horrible service. I used to go for the buffet lunch for a while and got tired of the lack of service. Went once for dinner with my wife and she refused to go back. Retail prices for Duvel though....

Apr 10, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Searching for a great Hot Dog as winter winds down.

I thought the jumbo dog at Fred's was bland too when I tried it for the first time last year- maybe because it was a little undercooked/barely warm in the middle. Guess I need to try again, or get the smaller dog or sausage and peppers mentioned above.

Apr 10, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Search for Everyday-Drinking Pale Ales

Always thought there would someday be a demand for interesting and drinkable lower abv american pale ales/english bitter styles that used american hops for unique flavors, just never thought they would have to be called IPA's to get anyone's interest though. ;-)

Here are some of the Session IPA's that I have tried:

Founder's All Day IPA - So far this is the king of this "new" pale ale for me, but only out of a can - for some reason the hop flavor is short lived on draft and bottle, but every sip out of the can is deliciously hoppy with tropical and citrusy flavors. Best balance/mouthfeel- which is pretty difficult to pull off for this style imo. 15 packs out now for ~$17 and this will be a staple in my fridge - Seems to keep its fresh hop flavor for 2+ months too.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA - enjoyed the heck out of it when it first came to market (~2yrs ago?)- lots of hop punch up front and good drinkable balance. Recent try lacked the hop flavor and was a bit astringent and watery.

Stone Go To IPA - Probably the hoppiest of the bunch that I have tried but bit too floral/grassy and out of balance (dry/bitter) for my tastes in something that I am going to drink multiples of in a session. Good when blended with one of the lesser hopped examples below though.

Ithaca Green Trail - a nice somewhat fruity pale ale and drinkable malty base, but doesn't push my hop buttons enough to consider it as an IPA

Uinta Detour - an easy drinking red ale - bandwagon jumping on the session ipa name though

Notch Left of the Dial - tried on tap last year. Very similar to Uinta Detour

Greenflash Citra Session - only had on tap, but nicely hoppy and drinkable until I had another beer and came back to it, then it just seemed wispy/watery.

Wachusett Light IPA - caramel malty body and somewhat bold old school (centennial ?) hop flavor. Nice drinkability when its cold, but gets a little cloying when it warms. As far as I know this is the first brewery to use this naming convention. IMO - if/when someone gains crossover traction with this name and the big lager producers jump on it, it could be the perfect storm that overcomes premium pilsner as the most popular style in the US - you will see a broad range of flavorless to full flavored beers called Light IPA's. Then you will see some serious hop shortages. ;-)

Apr 09, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Ain't nothin' but a ghee thing, baby!

Ive only had the buffet at these places, but frequently:
Ritu ki rosai
Kebab and tandoor
Little India - Waltham -probably the most consistent- may not be boldly spiced, but always a depth of spices.
Pongol - hit or miss

For menu ordering I liked Kushboo in Lex and Namaskar in Davis, but both now closed.

Had a good experience at Minerva in Natick -bold and depth of spices- and wouldnt hesitate to try again.

Apr 08, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Searching for a great Hot Dog as winter winds down.

Had a couple Chicago dog's at Spalla's on Monday. Authentic as can be - and the dog was served hot - unlike some that I have gotten at Windy City Eats or at Gold Coast stands in Chicago that weren't heated all the way through. Talked to the owner at Spalla's and she was given a recommendation to steam the dog for 1.5 minutes from her supplier - but she thinks that is not enough. I love this place, but its going to make me fat because now I have to get a chicago dog AND an italian beef whenever I am in the area.

Apr 02, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area
2

New Half Sour Pickles at my local Market Basket.

I picked some up from the burlington location last sunday, there were only 3 tubs on the shelf though, and its been kind of hit or miss at the billerica store the last couple of months I have noticed them. They can be found in the hot dog/sausage/prepackaged deli meat isle when they have them.

Mar 13, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Rogue Farms IPA: Beer Terroir? Will they evolve with aging or go flat?

That may be your opinion (and many other beer geeks) of what a west coast ipa is, but the reality of commercial brewers that market their beers as such is much more muddied. For one example, the namesake itself, Greenflash West Coast ipa is a very malt laden beer with a hefty dose of carapils and caramel malt in the grainbill. Used to have an impression of dryness due to the hop character overcoming the maltiness- but not so much recently though imo.

Mar 12, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Rogue Farms IPA: Beer Terroir? Will they evolve with aging or go flat?

If caps weren't airtight, bottled beer would lose carbonation and go flat in short time. It's oxygen introduced during the brewing and mostly bottling process that is of concern, not oxygen seeping in post capping.

And there's more to oxidation of hoppy beer than just a fading of hop flavor. Can also create unpleasant grassy, metallic, musty flavors - but from my experience most craftbeer drikers including knowledgeable beer geeks really don't know/recognize the difference between fresh hop flavors and oxidized hop flavor.

Mar 12, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Sierra Pale Bock Resurrection

Never had the pale bock, but I still miss Glissade.

Troeg's just came out with a pale bock this year. Well made and drinkable, but a little boring imo.

Mar 10, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Chinese Food in NW of Boston

There's also a Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham which is easier to get to if you are on the south side of acton/concord. The tables at the Billerica location are kind of crammed together - especially the two tops, more room at Framingham. Best chinese food I've had in the area - with most others that I have tried not even coming close to them- or the average chinese place in upstate NY for that matter.

Mulan in Waltham is another good option, but technically Tiwanese.

Mar 06, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Great restaurants, for a single course each at the bar, on multi stop anniversary night out near Kendal Square

Hungry mother would be perfect for this this - bar is kind of small though, so you might need to be lucky or early. Always some interesting well thought out beers on their small taplist. Plenty of small plate options.

Mar 03, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Lamb Sandwiches

For me Greek corner is all about the avgolemono soup and the gryo with accasional roasted lamb dinner or lamb kebabs for a change of pace. Love the light, garlicy dressing they put on the salad too.

Mar 03, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Why Yelp is useless (Boston discussion on their "Top 100 places to eat!" article

I find yelp useful at times - but I don't look at rankings or ratings as I don't find that kind of thing all that useful no matter what the subject - I tend to read some positive and some negative reviews to get a feeling for type of experience I might have. To me its usually obvious when someone is unfairly giving a bad review, or the opposite - which isn't all that much different than chowhound reviews imo. But usually more helpful when I want to know if the place is kid friendly, or has a particular item on the menu, types of beer served, or if it accepts credit cards, etc when there isn't any other info about the place on the internet. To me its just another tool at my disposal, not something to wholly base your judgement on. Nor do I just write it off because of some preconceived notion about the quality of its members and/or reviews.

Feb 28, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area
2

Random beer tasting notes....

Aging is largely a function of oxidation. Might be able to argue that bottle conditioned beers take up oxygen during refermentation, thus the effect of aging is more gentle/elegant on bottle conditioned beer. My understanding is that dark malts contain anti-oxidants that also slow the rate of oxidation. Since every beer contains different ingredients, brewed using different equipment, and is bottled on different bottling lines, its really beer/brewery specific.

I feel as though I have written this before on this site.

Feb 27, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Pabst Blue Ribbon........quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

I sometimes leave a green bottled lager out in the sun before chilling just for nostalgia sakes. Beck's bombers were my choice of skunky beer back in the day - every once in a while you would get one that wasn't skunked and I would just write it off as an inferior batch.

Feb 27, 2014
LStaff in Beer
1

Random beer tasting notes....

> I feel like I always run up against beer geeks who give lagers short shrift for not being IPA's.

Times have changed, now they praise lagers that taste like IPA's. ie Jack's Abby ;-)

Feb 27, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

>LStaff- Do you think that an advanced home brewing recipe is appropriate for a beginning home brew thread?

If Sam Caligione can write an advanced homebrewing book for beginning homebrewers, why not me? ;-)

To convert to extract, replace the two row english pale malt with 6.5 lbs of light dried malt extract (for 5.5 gal. batch) and steep the carapils and crystal.

Feb 24, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Home Beer Brewing--good or bad idea?

Here is my basic house IPA recipe. You can derive your own volumes based on your system to acheive the starting gravity.

85% English pale 2-row
13% carapils
2% 40L cyrstal

Mash at 152F - 154F for 45-60mins.

~85 ibus worth of high alpha hops (I use Nugget or columbus) for 60 mins

1/2 oz/gal. of Centennial (or whatever citrusy US variety you can get) for 10 minutes.

1/2 oz/gal (or more) of Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, Mosaic, Galaxy, etc. or any combo thereof post flameout (at 180 degrees F).

OG 1.058 - 1.060

Pitch 1.5 packs (per 5.5 gals) US-O5 directly in wort.
Leave in primary for 7-10 days at 66F, then keg or secondary.

FG 1.010 - 1.012
SRM ~5
ABV ~ 6%
IBU's 100 (calculated - reality is probably somewhere in the 60-80 range)

Dryhop with 1/2 oz per gal (or more) for 7 days with same varieties/ratio as post flameout additions. Take these out, add the same again for 3-5 days. Use your absolute freshest smelling hops for dryhopping - I prefer pellets.

Feb 24, 2014
LStaff in Beer

My First Delicious US Craft Beer

You mean Full Sail Session Black Lager?

http://www.fullsailbrewing.com/sessio...

Haven't tried that one yet, but I thought the Premium Lager was well made - I just didn't care for the type of hops they used (Willamette?), so have been hesitant to try the Black.

Feb 21, 2014
LStaff in Beer

Fenway for Guys Grabbing Beers

You shouldn't - a respectable choice for beer in the Fenway area. Even severely affected beer geeks will give praise to their beer specials menu - anyone else should be happy to choose from the plethora of everyday options available. I usually go for the house beers which are supplied by Firestone Walker. And except for the calorie count, I have been happy with the food I have eaten at the Yardhouse. Beer and food is much better than Beer works imo.

Feb 21, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area
1

Pretzel salt in Greater Boston

They do have large grain sea salt though. I thought it worked fine for pretzels.

Feb 19, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Bondir Concord Just Okay

I'm one of the few that thinks Dom's is just ok. THe bread being the best of what they make, sandwiches I've had there weren't all that. Language barrier with the servers just makes it impossible for me to order them exactly how I want. it That said, I was tempted by the oyster po boy tweets that went out last week - snow put a damper on getting there though.

Feb 17, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Yuengling returns to Boston.

Expect to see this pushed hard in the area - probalby replacing gansett, pbr, maybe sam adams, and slow moving local craftbeers on tap. Its their goal to be 5% of the beer market in the area. Rumors going around say they spent $300,000 just on the kickoff party alone.

Feb 14, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Yuengling returns to Boston.

Yungalingaling isn't any better. Both are sweet lagers of similar quality imo. Won't be buying either. Narragansett seasonals on the other hand are far superior to either of these lagers though.

Feb 14, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Hunt for the Best Calzone

First time I ordered a calzone here, I didn't know I had to ask for ricotta, since I was used to the NY style that just comes with it.

Feb 13, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Hunt for the Best Calzone

Anyone around here do a deep fried version? So lucious, so gooey, so artery clogging....

Feb 12, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Red Sauce in Suburbia

When I'm looking for a big plate of red sauce comfort food - the veal parm at Mario's is my goto. Even had it for my birthday dinner a couple years ago.

Feb 11, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area

Red Sauce in Suburbia

I;ve been dragged to the Chateau in Waltham a few times for work related lunches, and yes, the bread is the best thing I've had there. Sauce was like it was just crushed tomatoes with no seasoning.

Feb 11, 2014
LStaff in Greater Boston Area