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Best Bottle for EXTENDED cellaring

I'm not arguing with what SN says about their fill level. Nitrogen purged or not, unless you're corking in a O2 free clean room, O2 will be introduced into the bottle at corking. The larger surface area exposed to O2 in the neck can have an effect on ageing.

Maybe "low fill" is why you're jumping on this but I can't of a better description for packaging that exposes more than normal surface area, intentional or not.

A huge majority of commercial beers are counter pressure filled and purged. But that doens't stop oxidation from occuring.

I remain open to the possiblity that the beer will age well but also remain skeptical that it will go a decade for the reasons I've stated. I'll be happy to be wrong.

Apr 08, 2010
Kevin B in Beer

Best Bottle for EXTENDED cellaring

I'm not coming at it from a volume, just a head space issue. The more head space involved the greater the potential for early oxidation. It's a really nice beer. I reviewed it on BA.

Apr 07, 2010
Kevin B in Beer

Best Bottle for EXTENDED cellaring

I'd go with Lambics too.

But I've had mid 80's Samiclaus that lost their carbonation but were still good. I've had good 10 year old Stille Nacht that made it fine and Old Crustacean is a good candidate. Bigfoot will go that long. It won't be peak but it will be enjoyable.

Apr 07, 2010
Kevin B in Beer

Best Bottle for EXTENDED cellaring

Time will tell but I don't hold a lot of hope for "Fritz & Ken" to survive extensive aging.

All of my bottles have enormous amounts of head space / low fill levels. Bottles are probably purged of oxygen but that's not a good sign. I've laid down four anyway. A year or two will probably be great but I really doubt it's got decade potential.

Apr 07, 2010
Kevin B in Beer

Favorite SF Microbrew Beer Bars

Tips for the Toronado Barleywine Fest. (Some of you probably know these and I stole them all by observation.)

Go Early! Before they open! Like an hour at least! By noon on day one you will not be able to find a seat or likely even some standing room. By the end of day one the first, second and third place judging winners will be gone.

Go with a group. (I blew this one my first year.) Even at 4 oz it's better to share with 3-4 people than to try to get through all the breweries you want to try (or all the taps, good luck) and still make your way home.

Bring a couple empty cardboard six pack holders. The small sample glasses fit perfectly and wouldn't you rather be at your table sampling 12 beers than at the bar fighting for a bartender's attention?

Have a Merguez sausage at Rossamund's and some German potato salad. Or the massive Falafel sandwich at Aladdin.

Jan 15, 2010
Kevin B in San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite SF Microbrew Beer Bars

Toranado is a great place but beer week also coincides with the Toronado Barleywine Festival (Epic in it's own right.) So go to the Toronado early in the week if you want to try a variety of local micros in a vast number of styles. (Don't miss the fest if your stay lasts that long.) La Trappe is very Belgian Focused and totally awesome but if you're looking for local Pales/IPAs that kind of thing, not so much. Want the freshest keg of Lagunitas IPA you're likely to find? Go to the Hog Island oyster bar in the back of the ferry terminal.
Most neighborhoods have at least one good multi-tap alehouse with local offerings. So depending on where you're staying you could find a good "nightcap" place. (Jack's Taps in the cannery for example if you're staying in the Fisherman's wharf area has a lot of locals. It's also staggering distance from LaTrappe.)

Jan 15, 2010
Kevin B in San Francisco Bay Area

Beer Pairing for Eggplant Parmasan?

Something that is malt dominant will do. Bock or Doppelbock or a blegian Dark ale (not a brune). Try to see if Morretti LaRossa is around.

Jan 08, 2010
Kevin B in Beer

Major League Beer

So I have a project trying to see every major league park a couple a year. There aren't very many I've been to that don't have some form of "better" beer available.

$8-9 seems to be the norm on a draught 16 oz. premium or bottled micro. Don't know if they still do it but Kauffman in KC had guys with 5 gal. kegs of Boulevard on packpack things roaming the stands in the early 90's. The Big Phone (S.F.) and Petco stand out in my memory of having good local beer available.

Among the worst, Dodger ($8 Corona bottle (obscene) and $9 Gorden Biersch (price/quality ratio way off), New Busch field (obvious reasons) Toronto (I think it was 100% MGD and Miller Lite) and Tropicana.

I think $7 for a Stone IPA 12 oz at Petco is about the best I've seen from a quality to price ratio.

With few exceptions I think I've found a specialty bottle stand at most parks. The ones that feature local offerings I'm willing to let the price slide. But I remember going to Anaheim in the mid 90's and seeing Bass, Guinness, Corona, Heineken for $8 each. To me, that's not even worth considering.

Some of these parks have probably changed since I started in 1990.

Aug 27, 2009
Kevin B in Beer

Any Philly Cheesesteak's in SEA worth trying?

So I'm a big cheesesteak fan, have relatives in Philly. (The best ever came from a roach coach near University of Pennsylvania.)

Tat's for Hoagies, absolutely. For Steaks, no. I'll throw in my vote for Philly Fevre as the best in Seattle. Stay far far away from Elo's.

BTW, if there's no grease dripping down your hand 3/4 the way through, you have an inferior steak.

Aug 19, 2009
Kevin B in Greater Seattle

Favorite Seattle brewpubs?

Pike has had cask ale every time I've been there since the Finkel's got it back. I don't mean to be rude, but have you been there lately? If you're basing your opinion on the bad days of the Merchant Du Vin ownership, give them another try. Everything about Pike is way better now than it was a little over a year ago except maybe the service.

Towards the end of MDV's ownership my friends and I who work nearby would do happy hour @ Rock Bottom because the beer was better. That was sad.

Jan 28, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Favorite Seattle brewpubs?

I have to disagree with your assessment of the atmosphere at Pike.

1. It's in the market
2. The museum room is a must see for beer geeks
3. It's in the market.
4. The main room has tons of beer memorabilia
5. It's in the market

I also don't get the thing with Jolly Roger. Good food, average or below beers. I'd drink a Pike IPA over Maritime IPA. XXX Stout is better than any offering by Maritime. Naughty Nellie over Old Seattle. But Elysian beer is usually better than both of them.

Just my opinion.

Jan 28, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Haggis (Sea)

I did a pretty thoruogh search to get one for my wedding and this was the only supplier. I did find some people around the country that would stuff imported canned haggis into the stomach for cooking.

Jan 22, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Seattle Dtown Fish and Chips?

Jack's.

With the bustle of the market, live live oyster display and all the fresh fish around it. Hands down a great place for the kids. If you see the live fish and shelfish and then eat something that came from the same stand, the quality "seems" obvious. All the others might just seem like a restaurant that happens to serve fish and chips. But that would be an early dinner. They close at 5.

I'm not overly impressed with the others but I'd say Lowell's for view/atmosphere and Anthony's for quality.

Jan 14, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Best Rueben?

It's O.K. I lived at 82nd and 3rd for about 2 years so I know the place and the menu very well. I always figure if you're going to re-interpret a classic it better be a big improvement or it's not really worth doing.

Jan 13, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Best Rueben?

In Seattle proper I dig the Reuben at Pike Brewing more than the others I see mentioned here. (I'm not down with the 74th/hilltop/Columbia version. If there's no sauerkraut, it's not a Reuben.)

Out where I live now in Issaquah, The Front Street Cafe has a fine Reuben, razor thin sliced meat and enough of it. I'll have to check out Goldberg's.

Jan 08, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Crab Pot in SEA worth going?

This time of year, no. The food is cold long before you eat a fraction of it.

I don't love or hate the Crab Pot. It has a certain pull since I took my grandma there on one of the last times I saw her. I probably go more often than it deserves. It's like an old time clambake. Toss a bunch of seafood, potatoes and corn in a pot, boil it up and go wild. Any meal that comes with a wooden mallet seems cool.

But it is drafty in there and in the winter months you will be eating cold, average seafood.

Jan 08, 2009
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Ballard and ten dollars in my pocket

Salmon Burger at Ballard Brother's. In this cold weather, Than Brothers brisket Pho.

Dec 19, 2008
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

baby friendly dining

I was lucky that my baby until about 3 months old, if I timed it right, would sleep in the car seat for 3-4 hours so anyplace not 21+ was cool.

But places that I like with changing tables and decent food include:

Tutta Bella (Previously mentioned)
Montlake Ale House (more for the beer selection for the adults than the food but not bad)
Front St. Cafe (Issaquah, I live there and now I have a second infant.)

Places that are kid-friendly but not necessarily have full amenities like changing tables:

Barking Dog Alehouse
Collins Pub
Rialto (formerly Greenlake, now Fremont)
Senor Moose (Ballard)
Queen City Grill (Really it's just quiet enough for a baby to sleep but loud enough that a lightly fussy baby can't be heard)

Now if you have a sleeper you can expand your horizons a bit and go anywhere that the tables aren't pushed so close that the car seat thingy is in the way. Places that I took my infant but would have bolted as soon as she started crying for the benefit of others:

Chandler's (not great but good for out-of-towners wanting seafood)
Cafe Campagne
Oliver's Twist (not 21+ surprisingly)
Zoe

Good Luck!

Dec 10, 2008
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Dining alone, the city or Marin

Thanks! Laiola looks like a winner unless I end up with a flight delay. I have to pass the Buckeye and I had kind of forgotten about that place.

Aug 21, 2008
Kevin B in San Francisco Bay Area

Dining alone, the city or Marin

I had a plan. My wife and I were finally getting back to my old home without kids. I was going to take her to Fog City Diner because: It used to be my fall back need an upscale but not expensive meal. Sitting at the counter by the kitchen alone was O.K. because I could pick up techniques and recipe ideas while waiting. I cook her stuff out of the F.C.D. cookbook pretty frequently. I've been there many times and many memories but she's never been.

But now she can't come this weekend.

So where would you go to dine alone on a Friday night that is quality but not expensive, not so oozing ambiance that being alone is uncomfortable?

Aug 21, 2008
Kevin B in San Francisco Bay Area

Gourmet brewpub

If you asked me which of the Trappist strongs (Westy12, Rochefort 10, Achel Extra & Koenigshoeven) is my least favorite, Koenigshoeven is the one. They've done a big marketing pitch with the re-branding from LaTrappe and within the last year I've seen it a Beverage, Barking Dog, The Duck, Old Town, Stumblin' Monk...

Every time I've been at Taphouse they had Weihenstephaner Korbinian on. In my book that forgives many sins they might commit.

Aug 21, 2008
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Gourmet brewpub

Shame to hear that about Elysian. I'll admit that I haven't eaten a meal in any of them since my second was born 6 mos. ago. I think Pike has really turned things around since the Finkel's took it back. The menu is bigger and the quality of food/beer is way up.

I'm a beer first, food second type and the beer list at Quinns both times I've been there had nothing to set it apart. All beers that I've had many times and nothing I can't get at an average pub in this town. Food, pretty freakin' outstanding!

Aug 20, 2008
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Gourmet brewpub

Not a brewery, but Collin's Pub has great food and usually great taps. You could also hit Brouwers but their taps sometimes lack local beers.

My ranking of food at local breweries (but not necessarily best beer) is:

Elysian Tangletown
Elysian Fields
Pike
Elysian Cap. Hill
Jolly Roger Taproom
Elliott Bay Brewing

If you're near the U. go have a beer, but don't eat, at Big Time.

Aug 20, 2008
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Baranof for B'fast today

I'm a big fan of Pete's eggs nest on Greenwood. But a little less hectic is Patty's Egg Nest on Holman road in the same complex as QFC. My times at Vera's have been cheap, decent and utterly unremarkable. I also have a thing for Beth's on Aurora but only because greasy hash browns are a weakness of mine. Everything else is just O.K. but damn I like those has browns.

If you're willing to go to Baranoff (I went once) then those aren't too far.

Jun 22, 2008
Kevin B in Pacific Northwest

Best Workin'Persons Lunch in Downtown Seattle

I'm right across the street from there. I get a pastry or a bagutte sandwich from Belle Epicurean at least once a week (in the Olympic hotel on the 4th street side.) Duke's chowder bar next to BofA on 4th & University is pretty quick. There's a newish deli (don't remember the name) on Universty just west of 4th with a good salad case and some other interesting stuff. They have a really good beer selection, not that I'm advocating that for lunch.

Jun 19, 2008
Kevin B in Greater Seattle

Help for a west coaster, dinner in DC on Friday

Thanks for the tips so far all. Food is fairly important but I kind of like to get a local experience whenever possilbe.

The beer thing is really me personally, not the group dinner. Looking for local or Eastern craft beer that isn't always available to me. Last time I was at the Brick I made my way through their selection of Heavyweight Brewing (R.I.P.) selections. Good Times! If there's a good tap house is always worth killing a few hours.

Jun 04, 2008
Kevin B in Washington DC & Baltimore

Help for a west coaster, dinner in DC on Friday

So the males in my family take a trip to a ballpark every summer (seen about 90% but they keep building new ones.) We need a dinner spot on Friday night. Dad wants to go to Legal Seafoods. I'm O.K. with Legal, but we're not at Fenway so it seems a little wrong.

Is there a decent reasonably priced local institution type place that I could suggest as an alternative? Even the ones you might dismiss as touristy are O.K. 'cause we're tourists.

Also, I'm a beer snob. I'll be hitting Brickskeller and RFD at some point in the weekend. Been to Capital City on several business trips but I'll probably skip it this time. Any places that I should make the effort to visit?

Jun 04, 2008
Kevin B in Washington DC & Baltimore

bbq in seattle

I've never had a pork rib in Houston that sucked. I've had brisket in Kansas City that I thought was pretty good. I've had a pulled pork sandwich in Dallas that was above average but not incredible. I've had some nasty stuff here in Seattle but I've found some nuggets of goodness. If there were a place here that had one great item and everything else was above average, it would instantly be my favorite. Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never had anything nasty in the south. (Except maybe Shiner Bock to wash it down. Now that could start a war...)

May 01, 2008
Kevin B in Greater Seattle

bbq in seattle

Just wondering, you trying to start a flame (pun intended) in this thread?

I'm sure your goat leg was tasty, but if you didn't stew it, you didn't make Birria.

Nah, never been to the south. I think the best bar-b-que EVER comes from Toronto. Man, get me some Poutine with a slab of elk, hold the sauce...MMMMM. (Yes, that's a joke.)

This gets back to the whole "there is no X." The point of needing to go to several different places is different here than in "BBQ States." One can go to any good BBQ joint in the south and everything will be pretty good. Nothing will be awful. You definitely need to be more picky and situational with your ordering here in order to not get things like the Ribs at the, I guess, now departed Steel Pig.

May 01, 2008
Kevin B in Greater Seattle

bbq in seattle

Amen Brother!

Lots of places have one transcendent dish among a menu of mediocrity. I've mentioned in another thread, if I could find a great Birria (real goat, thanks) in this town, the rest of the menu could be truly awful and I'd still go there.

Apr 30, 2008
Kevin B in Greater Seattle