The Garden State Ale House Opens Its Doors and Throws Down The Gauntlet

As a foodie and a Certified Cicerone the opening of a new Gastropub gets me about as giddy as a sci-fi geek hearing that Joss Whedon is working on a new show. However, since these craft beer slinging, epic eateries are popping up faster than a Lindsay Lohan relapse, I tend to be slightly apprehensive about getting too excited before visiting these potential honey holes.

In the last year or so, within my immediate review radius, there have been several new taverns, pubs, lounges, saloons, and bars that opened their doors promising true craft beer with epicurean eats, only to leave this Blue Collar Foodie, wanting and melancholy. Some of them fell short on delivering genuine craft beer, offering a plethora of Anheuser-Busch InBev owned brands masquerading as bona fide craft, while others advertised high-end pub fare, but instead offered dishes that were basically frozen chicken fingers with a side of Sriracha mayonnaise. Then there were one or two that hit the food and drink notes like a trained vocalist yet failed to stick the dismount, due to their décor, customer service, and douchey clientele.  If I believed in bad reviews, I would insert the names of theses asshat asylums, but I don’t, so I won’t, but you will know them as soon as you walk through the door.

I know what some of you are thinking. WTF, man, you are being uncharacteristically critical, and leaving douche droppings all over the internets. You must understand, that my high expectations for a gastropub stems from the fact that I live within 3 miles of one of the best craft beer and food emporiums in the North Jersey region, and therefore, I hold all establishments to the standard that is The Twisted Elm, in Elmwood Park.

Garden State Ale House LOGO

Enter, the new kid on the block, and I am not talking about Donny and Joey, I am talking about the Garden State Ale House, located at 340 Paterson Ave., in East Rutherford, NJ. When I say new, I don’t mean opened two months ago either, I mean like opened on December 28th, new.

As a rule, I normally don’t visit an establishment during their first month of operation, because I have worked in the restaurant industry before, and I completely understand it takes a while to work out the kinks. With that said, this joint is within walking distance of my friend’s apartment and we decided to break my tenet and check it out on opening day.

I was not going to write this review to be honest, because I expected a general shit-show, which is to be expected from a restaurant that is literally minutes old.  However, The Garden State Ale House, spoiler alert, fucking nailed it so hard, I felt I was doing my readers a disservice by not spewing these glowing words all over the interwebs.

Look, it is all shiny and new.

Look, it is all shiny and new.

As we entered, a smiling hostess greeted us, and seated us almost immediately, even though the dining room was quite crowded. The excellent customer service continued, when Christian arrived at our table with the food, beer, wine, and cocktail menus. Since, they just opened their doors and it was obvious that we had not been to Garden State Ale House in the past, Christian took the time to explain each menu, and informed us that if we had any questions to flag him down.

The beer menu was solid, offering a wide selection of not only exceptional brands, but varied styles as well. Of course, the menu was IPA heavy, but that is to be expected, because ‘merica. However, Stouts, Porters, and Saisons could be found as well, which is always a bonus. For those of you that have friends or fathers that feel that hops, barley, water, and yeast should taste like, well, water, they got you covered too, with a few not so craft beers that will wet their whistle.

Welcome to the Garden State Ale House.

Welcome to the Garden State Ale House.

We ordered our beers and began to peruse the food menu. Although, I like my gastropubs to push the epicurean envelope and deliver a diverse menu, full of  an assortment of cuisines, I actually judge them first on their burger. I feel that this item embodies what a gastropub should be, and is the perfect vessel to express the chef’s creativity and flavor. Therefore, I immediately flipped to the burger section, and began the decision making process.

Normally, it takes quite a bit of time for me to choose the perfect burger to test the wherewithal of the cooking staff, but not on this occasion. The Garden State Ale House literally must have been thinking of me, and my kin, when they created the prodigious Das Burger. Described as an 8oz, 100% certified Angus Beef burger, topped with fried Gouda, fried egg, bacon, Taylor ham, a jumbo onion ring, and chipotle mayonnaise. Holy hell, I could feel my arteries constricting, and I fucking loved it.

My comrades also made their choices rather quickly and we flagged down Christian to place our order. Kat went with the Pickle & Horseradish Steak wrap, Buro decided to join me on my burger adventure with the Blazin’ Cajun Burger, Steph rocked the Adult Grilled Cheese, and Alex chose the Guinness Stew. Since we were all damn near starving we also ordered the Taste of Thanksgiving and the Smokin’ Calamari for the table.

Smokin' Calamari

Smokin’ Calamari

The appetizers arrived shortly after we ordered them, and they not only smelled fantastic but they also looked appealing, which is a testament to the kitchen staff’s attention to detail. The Smokin’ Calamari was described as lightly battered fried calamari, sauteed with hot peppers, served with a citrus aioli and marinara sauce. The calamari itself was prepared extraordinarily well, and the spicy flavor of the hot peppers was present, but not overbearing. My only critique of this dish was it was missing the citrus aioli, but the marinara was flavorful enough to make up for this minor infraction.

The Definition of Amazeballs.

The Definition of Amazeballs.

Since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and the food that is served on this highest of holy days, is in my opinion, foodgasmic, I am cautious when ordering menu items that attempt to summon their essence. But, when dining with a crowd, democracy rules, so I went with it. All hail democracy friends! These fried spheres of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes were nothing short of amazeballs. I mean it; they were literally balls of amaze! When you bring your ass to this spot, and after reading this article, why wouldn’t you, do yourself a favor and put these in your food hole.

You can't go wrong with Beer Stew.

You can’t go wrong with Beer Stew.

Before, I wax poetic about my legendary burger, I will touch on the entrees that my cohorts chose. Firstly, Alex’s Guinness Stew, which was described as a hearty stew with generous chunks of tenderloin steak, slowly cooked in Guinness, finished with Jameson Irish Whiskey, served over mashed potatoes. This dish was rich and hearty as advertised, complete with an excellent robust flavor. The gravy, was the star of this meal, and I could not help but dip a nice chunk of bread in the ooey, gooey deliciousness when Alex tapped out, and I was not disappointed at all.  The portion size of the entree was concerning at first, but each item that comprised this meal was so sturdy that it was more than enough to feed an average eater.

Fire Goooood!!! Napster Baaaaad!!!

Fire Goooood!!! Napster Baaaaad!!!

As a spice fiend, when restaurants describe things as “Spicy,” “Ultra Hot,” or in this case “Blazin’,” I expect a weak, half-assed, attempt at tantalizing my taste buds. I almost always have to add hot sauce just to get the dish to an acceptable level of heat. This was not the case at The Garden State Ale House. After the first bite, Buro began to sweat, and with a smile on his face he housed the whole burger. This burger was not all about heat though, it was the perfect melody of burgery deliciousness, bready awesomeness, and  jalapeño fierceness.  If you are a fan of flavor, this could very well be your go to order when you visit.

The Blue Collar Baby Maker approves this sandwich.

The Blue Collar Baby Maker approves this sandwich.

We all grew up eating Grilled Cheese, at least we should have. If you didn’t, I call your parent’s parenting into question, but that is a topic for some other blog, maybe called TheBlueCollarBabyMaker.Com.  This grilled cheese, however, was not your grandma’s Wonder Bread and processed cheese sandwich. This son of a bitch is two slices of Texas toast crammed with cheddar, pepper-jack, and smoked gouda, served with house chips and tomato fondue. I am all for nostalgia, but you can’t tell me that this sandwich doesn’t crap all over your G-ma’s bullshit ass Grilled Oil on GMOS! I was impressed with the melding of the three cheeses and this dish was exactly what I would want an adult grilled cheese to taste like. Unfortunately, it was delivered to the table without the tomato fondue, which would have brought this meal to whole other level. We chocked this faux pas up to an opening day oops and I will order this again to see how the tomato soup adds to this already impressive sandwich.

Steakey...Steakey...Steak...I love Steak!

Steakey…Steakey…Steak…I love Steak!

Since it was a Monday, Kat was trying to be somewhat healthy, so she went with the Pickle Horseradish Steak Wrap with a side of Cole slaw. This wrap was full of chopped steak, smoked Gouda, hot cherry peppers, hot pepper brined pickles, baby arugula, sliced tomatoes, red onion, and horseradish honey mustard. Although there appears to be a surplus of ingredients joining the party within this wrap, they all play very nicely with each other. No one piece of the puzzle overshadowed the other and thus complemented one another quite well. For a healthier option, I feel like this dish was a resounding success, and Kat seemed to be happy with her selection.

Untimely death be damned, I fucking love this burger!

Untimely death be damned, I fucking love this burger!

Now for the pièce de résistance, the magnum opus, the crowning achievement of the evening. THE DAS BURGER! First off, I ordered this beast at Medium Rare, and it arrived expertly cooked. I  was slightly nervous that I would not be able to fit this monstrous slab of yummy in my mouth, but with a little squishing, and cutting it in half, I was able to take the perfect first bite. As, angelic music was playing in my head, I chewed that first bite, savoring each and every second this amalgamation of salty, spicy, and meaty was frolicking with my taste buds. Lucky for me, after swallowing that first lovely mouthful, TWSS, there was so much more burger to be had, not to mention the pile of BACON, RANCH, CHEESE FRIES!

BaconRanchFriesGSAH

Look at that beautiful pile of cholesterol and death!

You know there is no way I couldn’t mention the Bacon, Fucking, Ranch, Fucking, Cheese Fries. I mean come on dude, look at that beautiful pile of cholesterol and death! As good as the fries were, the superstar of this plate was definitely the burger. It was juicy to the last bite, the bun held up, and I have to confess it was the first burger, in a long time, that almost defeated me. I had to force the last flavorful tidbit of super tasty burger in my mouth, but it was a labor of love people.

Every element of the Garden State Ale House seemed like it was painstakingly taken into consideration. The décor, the placement of the televisions, and even the tables themselves seemed like an interior designer was hired to construct the prefect atmosphere to enjoy the food and drink they serve. Furthermore, the beer selection was on point, delivering the perfect blend of high-end Cicerone approved rarity and approachable brews for general consumption. All in all, The Garden State Ale House, was extremely well received by the motley crew that I rolled in with and that is high praise, especially on their first night open. In the immortal words of the Terminator, “I’ll be back!”

The Essential Epicurean Guide To NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015

restaurant week NYC 2015For numerous years I have been an avid fan and participant of the NYC Restaurant Week movement. I know there are hundreds of haters that disagree with the savings, despise the menus, and talk shit about the service, but I am not one of them. If you are, kindly piss off and save your hate mail for some other blogger. However, if you are trying to choose an interesting restaurant to venture to this year please continue reading.

If you are like me and this is not your first time rocking Restaurant Week you are tired of the regular RW haunts.  If you are a virgin to the Restaurant Week game this post is really not for you.  Please go to the NYC GO website and do some research, I assure you it is totally worth it!  However, if you are tired of eating where Frank Sinatra punched Elvis in the junk, where Edgar Allen Poe wrote some words on a napkin that he blew his nose in, or at a spot that used to be hostel for starving artists that you have never heard of, this is the post for you!

This year my top 15 really has nothing to do with history, decor, or prominence.  My methodology was simple. I scoured the menus that were available for every restaurant on the RW list and picked out the ones that gave me a food boner.  Feast your eyes and get ready to hide your erection because without further ado, here are my selections for the summer session of the 2015 Restaurant Week!

Burke&WillsBurke & Wills:  This Australian eatery ain’t the fucking Outback!  It is the real deal and they serve actual Australian Cuisine. Their menu for this RW session offers the likes of Kangaroo, Octopus, Lamb, Veal Sweetbreads, and Prawns.  In other words, if you are looking for a little down under strange,  this is the place to visit!

The Cecil HarlemThe Cecil:  In the immortal words of Monty Python, “And now for something completely different.”  The Cecil is described as New York’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie and it serves some exceptional dishes.  The highlights from their Restaurant Week Menu include Crispy Squash Blossoms served with Shrimp and for a ten dollar supplement you can sink your teeth into a Grilled Lamb Saddle topped with a Spicy Tomato Peanut Sauce.  Make sure you also sample a beer direct from Africa if you stop by the Cecil!

DBGB Kitchen And Bar DBGB Kitchen and Bar:  This downtown hot spot is what you get when a French brasserie meets an American tavern, has one too many and slips one past the goalie.  Normally, I would not recommend a burger during Restaurant Week but one look at their menu and I was dreaming of The Frenchie Burger, which is described as a 7 oz beef patty topped with confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote, and morbier cheese all served on a peppered brioche bun.  Not to mention DBGB offers 25 taps and 75 bottles of beer to wash down that behemoth burger.

InakayaInakaya:   It is true that not all sushi is created equal but for the most part great sushi is all pretty comparable.  Inakaya not only boasts remarkable sushi, which you can find on their RW Menu, but they also provide a show while you eat.  Inakaya uses the traditional method of Robata-Yaki, or Grilling Around a Sunken Hearth.  In other words the Chefs play to the crowd while they grill each dish in their open kitchen, using only the freshest ingredients they can find.

JunoonJunoon:  I am a sucker for Indian food, so I knew at least one of them would end up on this list.  The aroma, the depth of flavor, and the occasional heat not only intrigues me, but entices me like a bag o’ blow speaks to Charlie Sheen.  Junoon won me over the second I viewed their menu and saw the Bhut Jolokia which is described as a Ghost Chili Yogurt served with honey and 65% Chocolate.  Sure they have several great appetizers and entrees as well, but who cares… GHOST CHILI YOGURT!!!

Kin ShopKin Shop:  Kin is the Thai word for eat, and at this casual yet hip establishment that is exactly what you will want to do. In a sea of Thai restaurants that are popping up faster than pimples on a teenager, Kin Shop really is one of the Stand Outs.  What caught my eye of this menu was the Steamed Bouchot Mussels that are served in a Siamese Curry Sauce and the Braised Hampshire Pork served in a Panang Curry.  Deal with it, I am a curry whore!

L'Ecole, The Restaurant Of The International Culinary Center:L’Ecole, The Restaurant Of The International Culinary Center:  Ever wonder where tomorrows top chefs hone their skills?  Question no more, L’Ecole is the culinary world’s Minor Leagues and some of these powerhouses are ready to be called up to the Bigs.  I am a storyteller, as you can tell, so the chance to eat a dish prepared by a Chef that potentially could be the next James Beard is just too good to pass up.  Not to mention, their menu is quite extensive! If my ass lands in one of their seats I will be dining on the Country Pate with Truffles, Pistachios, and Cornichons and The Roasted Duck Leg served with House Made Pappardelle.  I don’t care what Daffy says, for me it is always Duck Season.

Le ColonialLe Colonial:  Both the decor and the menu serve as a “tip of the hat,” to a forgotten time when Southeast Asia was colonized by France.  The fare is generally traditional Vietnamese but possesses a French flair that adds a subtle, yet wonderful uniqueness to each and every one of their dishes.  If you choose this spot I recommend the Suon Nuong: Grilled Baby Back Ribs served with Lemongrass and a Sweet Soy Sauce paired with The Trio: Grilled Prawns, Beef Brochettes, and Cha Gio Herbed Vermicelli Salad.

Miss Lily'sMiss Lily’s:  My Boxador, half Boxer and half Labrador, is named Lilly, so I immediately checked this restaurant’s menu out  when I saw it was participating in Restaurant Week.  Furthermore, ever since I got back from the Caribbean I have been craving Jerk, just about anything.  Enter Miss Lily’s, bringing Jerk BBQ Ribs, Jerk Grilled Corn, and Jerk Chicken to the RW world.  To top it all off their is a Curried Goat dish that needs to be in my belly immediately!

Mr. Chow'sMr. Chow’s: This ain’t your corner Chinese Restaurant!  The menu is not delivered to your door, nor is it depicted by 1970’s photos on a giant back lit rectangle that hangs above the counter.  The menu at Mr. Chow’s is comprised of a combination of old Beijing cuisine and original recipes that have been delighting New York’s fashion and music elite for damn near 30 years.  The name of the game here is Family Style Dining, so bring people that like to share, and don’t miss the Famous Mr. Chow Noodles.

Park Avenue SummerPark Avenue Summer:  Talk about trendy!  This epic eatery not only seasonally changes their menu but they change the entire decor as well.  P.A.S. makes my top 15 due to the amount of choices they offer on their Restaurant Week Menu.  Most places offer a very limited selection but Park Avenue Summer is offering 6 different options for both the appetizer and the entree portion of the meal.  If you are looking to hit up RW with a semi-large group, I assure you that everyone will be able to find something that tickles their fancy. However, if someone doesn’t order the Dr. Pepper Baby Back Ribs you have failed Restaurant Week and you should be ashamed of yourself.

RaymiRaymi:  Raymi is an upscale Peruvian Restaurant that blends the flavors and culinary traditions of Spain, Japan, Chinese and Peru itself. The star of Raymi’s Menu is the Ceviche that captures the savory yet elegant taste that only this delicacy can deliver.  Not only can you score some of this amazing seafood but you can pair it with some Carapulcra, or Roasted Pork Belly.  If you are not into Ceviche, I suggest you rock the Pulpo Meloso, or Charred Octopus, which I might suggest Kat gets when we go, so I can try both.

Roots and BonesRoot and Bone:  No food sticks to your bones like Soul Food, and even though it is summer time I simply can’t say no to this Uber comfort food.  If you enter this restaurant and don’t order the Award Winning, Fried Chicken and Waffles you are no longer allowed to read my blog, so lucky for both of us it is on the RW menu!  I am sure the other items are solid but FRIED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES!!!  As a bonus, if you are ginger and eat here enough, you might acquire a soul…  I kid, I kid, there is no way for gingers to get a soul.

smogas chef Smorgas Chef:  Raise your hand if you knew a Scandinavian Restaurant resided in the Big Apple.  Keep it up if you can tell me what the hell Scandinavians eat. Unless your name is Thor or Dag I doubt you are well versed in the viking way of life.   Well one night out of this establishment and you can school all your friends about this obscure cuisine. I highly recommend The Classic Smorgasbord from the menu simply because I can’t pronounce half the items that are on it and that is how I roll! Furthermore, I am like 80% sure it will taste as good as most Scandinavian ladies look.

Yerba BuenaYerba Buena:  Yerba may be somewhat small compared to other restaurants in NYC, but their flavors are gigantic.  Not to mention their menu had me drooling all over my keyboard.  They are dishing out Duck Confit Empanadas and Suckling Pig Carnitas during this session of Restaurant Week and if that doesn’t make you wanna jump on the Subway right the fuck now, I feel like I don’t know you anymore.

That is my list ladies and gentleman!  Remember, Restaurant Week is all about exploring the greatest city in the world and sampling the amazing culinary treats it has to offer.  The summer session is running from July 21, 2015 until August 15, 2015 and I highly recommend not only stepping out of your comfort zone while dining at these establishments but leaving it so far behind you that you never think about stepping into it again.

 

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Pub & Steakhouse Serves This Foodie Up A Slice Of Nostalgia Pie

If you are like most people, you probably enjoy nostalgia. It allows us to reminisce about times that we hold dear and memories that make us smile. Even though when you were living those moments you were inevitably thinking back to an even simpler time, ruminating about the past is always an amusing endeavor. This feeling of joy and serenity when recalling past occurrences is what makes Throw Back Thursday so much fun on Facebook. Well, that and the fact that your friend’s Mom constantly posts pictures of him at the age of 7, dressed up like Jem! #TrulyTrulyOutrageous!

A large majority of people tend to embellish and exaggerate stories from their past, even when discussing them with friends that were there as well. As the memory gets older the tale gets bigger and better, I call this phenomenon, Legend…wait for it…Darism. Think of a game of telephone, but everyone is in on it, slightly altering the story each time it is told, to make their past lives seem somewhat more epic.

Much like that abstract memory of the dude that ate his own dingleberry in college for a buck 25 and a loosie evokes the highest of high fives amongst friends, there are certain establishments from your past that will always arouse emotions of happiness. Unfortunately, these emotions are usually misguided by the aforementioned illness. That sandwich place with the best sandwich in the world when you were 18 was only good because it was two pounds of food for 3 bucks, and you were stoned; the band that you swore was going to be the next Beatles was called Sum 41, and that sentence sounds just as dumb now as it did back then; and the beer you drank in college was horse piss, and I don’t care if it won a blue ribbon in1893, it still tastes like the dingleberry our friend ate!

Rarely, however, you get the chance to return to an old haunt that exceeds your expectations of awesomeness, and this is what I experienced a few days ago. I was feeling nostalgic, so I suggested to Kat that we go visit our old watering hole that got us through college one beer at a time, The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Pub & Steakhouse, located at 529 Belmont Avenue, Haledon, NJ 07508. Kat must have been feeling sentimental too because she instantly agreed, and we were on our way.

Welcome to the Shep!

Welcome to the Shep!

I am well aware that The Shepherd & The Knucklehead should have been posted on this blog a long time ago, since they have been making waves in the local craft beer market for a while now. With 90 microbrew taps, a menu that would make any foodie squee, and an atmosphere perfect for a laid back beer snob like myself, I have somewhat failed my audience and this establishment by taking this long to visit what was once my go to bar. My explanation for this monumental gaffe is quite simple; I was petrified I would not like it. I was nervous that the bar that existed in my head that was connected to so many wonderful memories was going to be tarnished by what the bar had become.

To make a long story short, I am an asshole. The Shepherd & The Knucklehead is not only as good as I remember, but it is even better. Their beer selection is second to none in this area, if not in this state. Did you read the sentence above? That was not a typo, 90 Mircrobrew taps that are constantly changing as they kick. The beer menu for The Shepherd & The Knucklehead is almost as thick as the menu for the Cheesecake Factory! Furthermore, the wait staff and the bar tenders actually know what they are talking about when it comes to craft beer, so if you can’t decide exactly what to drink, they will talk you down off the ledge and make sure you choose the right beer.

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Beer Taps

…And this ain’t even all of them people!

It took us some time, and some serious deliberation, but eventually Kat and I were able to choose our first beer. While we awaited its thirst quenching arrival we perused the food menu. The Knucklehead’s kitchen offers a variety of food options for the different social situations that could occur at a bar and/or a restaurant.   There are quite a few appetizers that are perfect for sharing amongst the table if you and your friends get a little noshy during your stint at the bar, such as the Knuckle-head sized Wings, The Shep’s Pork Poutine, or the Beer Mussels. If you are a bit hungrier, are a germophobe, or just a selfish twit, they have a myriad of soups, salads, wraps, burgers, and sandwiches, such as a Half-Pound Angus Burger, BBQ Pork Sliders, a Philly Cheeseburger Wrap, and even a Vegetable Curry Wrap for you veg-heads.

However, if like me, you were on a date of sorts and wanted to dine on something a little more refined, have no fear the Shepherd has you covered. After some serious hemming and hawing, I decided to order the Shep’s Paella which was described as Shrimp, Mussels, and Chorizo served over saffron rice; whereas Kat did not think twice about ordering the 12 oz. NY Strip topped with Bourbon-glazed onions paired with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli Rabe.

With our orders placed and our beers at the table, we were free to reminisce about the small hallway of a bar that the Shepherd and The Knucklehead used to be. Back in the day when we would open and close this small local tavern they had 20 taps and no food. Yet we kept coming back. Why you ask? The atmosphere was amazing. There were board games you could play, books that adorned the walls begging you to read them, a dart board, craft beer, and some of the nicest drunk people you would ever meet. It was a Hippie bar through and through, all the way down to the cardboard sign that hung on the wall that read, “If you yell or anything no coming for 2 months.”

NO YELLING

By the way this sign can still be found on the Shep’s website, which leads me to believe that they agree with the wise words of H2O, Don’t Forget Your Roots!

Funny thing about The “New” Shepherd and The Knucklehead was it felt the same, just larger and more spacious. There were still board games, books, craft beer, and great people, but now there was food and room to roam like the free range hippies we always wanted to be.

While Kat and I continued to go story for story about The Shepherd and our college years like prized fighters, we could not help but bask in the wonderful feeling of being home. You know the feeling I am referring to. That sensation you get after traveling for an extended period of time, when you walk through your door and are greeted by your animals and splash into your own bed. The calming and friendly atmosphere that we fell in love with at The Shepherd & The Knucklehead all those years ago, surprisingly is still alive and well. I was ecstatic to see that even though the walls have been expanded, The Shepherd still feels cozy.

Meanwhile, as Kat and I were bar dreaming, the kitchen was apparently working fervently to prepare our meals because in no time our meals were being placed in front of us. As the food was being placed down, the delightful aroma of our entrees sent food chills down my spine, which elicit similar symptoms to the douche chills you get from seeing Bryce Harper, but are much more enjoyable.  I almost could not wait to dig into my meal, but alas, I have to make sure to get the perfect food porn shots, and of course another beer had to be ordered. While I was snapping photos our waitress was kind enough to help us pair our dinner beers perfectly with our meals.

Knucklehead's Steak

Look at that sear!

After the obligatory photographs were taken, we slowly but surely devoured our dinners. I, of course, got to taste a portion of Kat’s entree because she is the best foodie wife ever! Not only was her steak expertly seasoned but check out the preparation. This masterpiece had the perfect cross pattern sear which gave the outside of the steak an amazing char broiled taste, while the inside… well see for yourself. I assure you it tasted just as good as it looks in this photo; it was juicy and absolutely delicious.

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Pub & Steakhouse Steak

I don’t care if foodies don’t like this word to describe food, this steak was f-ing moist!

I also was afforded the opportunity to try the side dishes that Kat ordered. The Broccoli Rabe was not immensely bitter but still had the tried and true minor bitter bite that a fan of the side dish looks for. Furthermore, the texture and seasoning of these veggies was spot on, and I am convinced the Chef must have had a Nonna that taught them to respect the Rabe. I will confess that I am a sucker for sweet potatoes. So, I may be a little biased when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Shep’s mashed sweets but Kat seemed to like them too considering her plate was clean by the end of the night.

Shepard And The Knucklehead Paella

Paella may be hard to spell, but this dish was easy to eat.

After taste testing Kat’s wonderful meal, I was nervous that I was going to have food envy. That is until I took the first bite of my Paella. Holy freaking flavor country Batman! The saffron rice was tender and extremely tasty thanks to the world’s most expensive spice, proper cooking, and the deliciously spicy chunks of magnificent chorizo that were floating around in this dish like savory depth charges. Furthermore, the mussels were some of the best mussels I have eaten in quite some time, and I have had some pretty serious muscles, my friends. Not only were they flavorsome, but the consistency was perfect, not a hint of rubber to be found. The entire dish was a fantastic marriage of flavor, texture, and aroma, so much so I forgot Kat’s dish even existed. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, her steak was freaking awesome!

I am pleased to say that my preliminary trepidation was completely unsubstantiated, and The Shepherd & The Knucklehead Pub & Steakhouse remains a force to be reckoned with in the Craft Beer Nerd Realm. Furthermore, they have now broken into the foodie world as well. If you are looking for a serious Craft Beer spot with a menu to match, I highly recommend you come visit The Shep. The nicest thing about going there for dinner is when you are done eating; you can retire to the bar and have a nice nightcap without even stepping outside. Considering we live in the good ol’ Garden State, I feel obligated to quote Bon Jovi here, Who Says You Can’t Go Home!

 

 

Shepherd & the Knucklehead on Urbanspoon

A Drink A Day Keeps The Sober Away: The Blue Collar Foodie’s Daily Excuses To Drink Your Face Off!

A While back I was playing beer pong at a family barbecue, and a well-seasoned relative walked up to the table. He stared intently as the game progressed, and we could almost see the gears working in his head. Finally, I asked if he wanted to play the next game. To this our kin simply replied, I don’t think so. I then asked him why not. To that he said what will go down in the annals of our family as the single best response/rant that has ever been uttered by anyone that has ever climbed our family tree.

He once again gazed at the table and then glared back at us while he slowly stroked his gray and sparse beard. You see, he said, I have studied this game for quite some time, and I believe it to be not only dumb but a gigantic waste of time. We began to protest, but he merely lifted his finger, as if to say, let me finish, and we all allowed him to go on.

If I got the rules right, he continued, the team with the ball is trying to throw the ball into the other team’s cups. If the team on offense makes said ball into said cup then the other team drinks. So essentially, your idea of a drinking game, is not to drink, he asked with a smile on his face?

Once again we tried to answer this obvious rhetorical question, but the finger interrupted on more time. Let me show you booze toddlers the only drinking game I have ever played. It is far better this one of the countless others I have watched you play over the years…

Then he paused for a moment. He knew he had us on the hook. We all thought we were about to learn an ancient long lost drinking game that we could post to Reddit and gain thousands of Karma Points. The anticipation was killing us.

The silence was broken by our kinsman lifting his beer slowly to his mouth and taking a large sip from the cup. He lowered the beer from his mouth as slow as he raised it and began to speak. “I Win!” he said.

We all tilted our heads like a puppy who just heard a word that his owner had never uttered before. He slowly lifted the cup back to his mouth and took another long sip, and said, “I win again.” We all groaned, the others that started listening halfway through chuckled, and our dear old relative walked away while taking one last sip proclaiming under his breath and almost to himself, that he won again before releasing a slow soft snicker.

The moral of this story is that most Americans, at least the ones that were born in the 70’s or later need a reason to drink. Apparently, science has decided that drinking on a random Tuesday is called alcoholism, but drinking on a Tuesday because it’s St. Patrick’s Day is normal social behavior.

With that said, I have devised the perfect plan to not feel like a pariah for drinking on any day I damn well please. May I present to you, The Blue Collar Foodies’ 365 reasons to get CRUNK! Pick a day, any day, find it below, and celebrate whatever silly ass holiday is listed. Now drunken holidays are not only for the Irish and The Mexicans, but for the Americans as well! ‘Merica!

Craft Beer AmericaBorrowed From Here

January 1

Bad Hangover Day

Excuse to drink: To hell with science, hair of the dog just makes sense!

 

January 2

Happy Mew Year for Cats Day

Excuse to drink: Cats can’t, that’s why!

 

January 3

Women Rock! Day

Excuse to drink: If you are a woman, raise a glass to yourself and If you are a man, take a shot in honor of a woman that rocked your world!

 

January 4

Isaac Newton’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: I fucking love Science and so should you!

 

January 5

Bozo the Clown’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Clowns are freaking scary, drink to forget their creepiness!

It is ScaryBorrowed From Here

January 6

National Smith Day

Excuse to drink: Drink a Samuel Smiths today! You are also traditionally supposed to hug anyone named Smith.

 

January 7

Fruitcake Toss Day

Excuse to drink: Lawn sports and drinking go so very well together!

 

January 8

Elvis Presley’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Celebrate Fat Elvis by drinking your carbs one pint at a time. I suggest drinking Sweet Baby Jesus, a chocolate peanut butter porter.

 

January 9

Word Nerd Day

Excuse to drink: Scrabble and Scotch make you feel like a freaking aristocrat until you start spelling nothing but obscenities and sexual positions.

 

January10

Peculiar People Day

Excuse to drink: People are strange but drunk people are so much fun!

Strange DaysBorrowed From here

January 11

International Thank You Day

Excuse to drink: There is no better way to say thank you than giving the gift of booze.

 

January 12

National Pharmacist Day

Excuse to drink: Self Medication!

 

January 13

Blame Somebody Else Day

Excuse to drink: Nothing encourages unprompted finger pointing like tying one on.

 

January 14

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

Excuse to drink: Question: What is better than a pet in a costume? Answer: A pet in a costume while you are drunk!

Atata Dog Borrowed From Here

January 15

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Excuse to drink: Everyone should pour a little out for this dude.

 

January 16

National Nothing Day

Excuse to drink: Ain’t nothing better than Drinking and doing nothing!

 

January 17

Ben Franklin’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Ben loved himself some beer, and you should too.

 

January 18

Winnie-the-Pooh Day

Excuse to drink: If Christopher Robin can trip, you should be able to at least drink some booze.

 

January 19

New Friends Day

Excuse to drink: They don’t call it Social Lubricant for nothing.

 

January 20

Cheese Day

Excuse to drink: Cheese goes with Wine, Beer, and Hooch like NPH and awesome.

 

January 21

National Hugging Day

Excuse to drink: Drunk hugs are better than sober ones, and sometimes lead to naked hugging!

 

January 22

Answer Your Cat’s Question Day

Excuse to drink: Your cat is obviously asking, “why aren’t you drinking?”

 CatquestionBorrowed From Here

January 23

Spouse’s Day

Excuse to drink: Nothing says I love you like sloppy drunk sex.

 

January 24

“Just Do It” Day

Excuse to drink: The name of the damn day says so!

 

January 25

Fun At Work Day

Excuse to drink: The only way to have fun at work is to drink a few special lattes in the morning.

 

January 26

Australia Day

Excuse to drink: Aussie’s know how to drink and you need the practice!

Aussie Greg

January 27

Mad Tea Party Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate Lewis Carroll by getting as drunk as the door mouse.

 

January 28

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Apparently you have never played with bubble wrap while drunk?

 

January 29

Free Thinkers Day

Excuse to drink: Alcohol and free thinking are better friends than Hugh Hefner and Pfizer.

 

January 30

National Croissant Day

Excuse to drink: Mimosas anyone!

 

January 31

Jackie Robinson’s Birthday  

Excuse to drink: Baseball!

Jackie Robinson Borrowed From Here

February 1

National Freedom Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate your freedom one drink at a time

 

February 2

Groundhog Day

Excuse to drink: If there are six more weeks of winter drink your sorrows away, if spring is coming it is a celebration bitches!

Ground Hog Day Borrowed From Here

February 3

Halfway Point of Winter

Excuse to drink: Doesn’t matter what Punxsutawney Phil said yesterday, winter is officially half over!

 

February 4

Rosa Park’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Rosa Park was a bad ass bitch and she should be celebrated!

 

February 5

Peter Pan Day  

Excuse to drink: I will never grow up and neither should you!

 

February 6

Pay a Compliment Day

Excuse to drink: Compliments flow better when booze is being poured liberally.

 

February 7

Dump Your Significant Jerk Day

Excuse to drink: Lose the zero, and start drinking with a hero!

Jerk StoreBorrowed From Here

February 8

Mike Day internationally recognized focal point of month-long celebration Mikefest

Excuse to drink: Considering it seems like 75% of the world is named Mike, I am sure you can find one to drink in honor of. Hint: My name is Mike!

 

February 9

National Bagels and Lox Day

Excuse to drink: Best Brunch Food Ever!

 

February 10

World Marriage Day:

Excuse to drink: Whether it is your own or somebody else’s, raise your glass in honor of the love and commitment that makes marriage work.

 

February 11

Promise Day

Excuse to drink: Lower your inhibitions and make a promise to yourself that you force yourself to keep.

 

February 12  

Darwin Day

Excuse to drink: Beer and spirits are proof of evolution, drink to Darwin!

Evolution Borrowed From Here

February 13

Get a Different Name Day    

Excuse to drink: Sounds like a fun drinking name.

 

February 14

Valentine’s Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate being loved, or drink your sorrow away.

 

February 15

Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Chicks can vote because of this brolick bitch, take a shot for her, hell take two.

 

February 16

Do a Grouch a Favor Day

Excuse to drink: Go to your local bar and by the grumpiest curmudgeon you can find a shot.

Cantankerous people need booze too.

 

February 17

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Excuse to drink: Buy a round for your friends and tip well.

 

February 18

Pluto Discovered (1930)

Excuse to drink: Drink one for our fallen planet homie.

 Pluto is SadBorrowed From Here

February 19

International Friendship Day

Excuse to drink: Here is to friends, without them we would never know when we are acting like a douche.

 

February 20

Love Your Pet Day

Excuse to drink: Raise your glass to unconditional love and constant affection.

 

February 21

Ash Wednesday

Excuse to drink: You have dirt on your head and everyone is staring at you.

 

February 22

George Washington’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: G Dub did not open a can of whoop ass all over the British so you could lollygag around and be useless. He did it so he could grow hemp and drink whenever the hell he pleased. Since the federal government still disagrees with the hemp part, drink up, because it is was our founding fathers would have wanted.

 

February 23

National Rationalization Day

Excuse to drink: Be honest, you are reading a blog to find an excuse to drink. Let’s use today to come to terms that you are a functioning alcoholic and move on. DRINK!

 

February 24

National Tortilla Chip Day

Excuse to drink: These Tortillas are making me THIRSTY!

 

February 25

Quiet Day

Excuse to drink: Drinking is quieter than chewing.

 

February 26

Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Excuse to drink: Drunk stories are always better than sober stories.

 

February 27

No Brainer Day

Excuse to drink: DRINK!

 

February 28

International Pancake Day

Excuse to drink: I smell Brunch!

Uncle Buck PancakeBorrowed From Here

February 29

Leap Day

Excuse to drink: You only get an extra day to drink once every four years!

 

March 1

National Pig Day

Excuse to drink: Always follow the pig!

Follow The Pig Borrowed From Here

March 2

Old Stuff Day

Excuse to drink: Time to break out the good stuff, nothing aged under 18 years today.

 

March 3

What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day

Excuse to drink:   They would crack open a beer and so should you!

 

March 4

Hug a GI Day

Excuse to drink: While you are at it, buy them a shot too.

 

March 5

Mother – in – Law Day

Excuse to drink: With her or because of her, bottoms up!

 

March 6

Alamo Day

Excuse to drink: REMEMBER THE ALAMO!

 

March 7

National Be Heard Day

Excuse to drink: No one is louder than a drunk.

 

March 8

Aunt’s Day

Excuse to drink: We are not talking about Aunt Flow here either people; invite your favorite Aunt out for a pint.

 

March 9

Employee Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: We are all employed by someone, this time we get to celebrate ourselves.

Dwight Awards Borrowed From Here

March 10

Harriet Tubman’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Harriet Tubman was born a slave; escaped, used the Underground Railroad to save at least seventy enslaved family and friends, and was a Union Spy. If that is not reason enough to drink, I do not know what is.

 

March 11

Ezra Jack Keats Birthday (The Snowy Day)

Excuse to drink: Books are great! Drinking is great! Coincidence I think not.

 

March 12

National Organize your home office day

Excuse to drink: I guess, “move a few sheets of paper around every now and again so your significant other thinks you’re working, while you get drunk and play Playstation Day,” was too long of a title.

 

March 13

Planet Uranus Discovered

Excuse to drink: Drink in honor of the only planet that makes even grown adults chuckle every time someone says its name.

 

March 14

Pi (3.14159265…) Day

Excuse to drink: Seriously! Come on people, it is a day that is also a mathematical symbol! If you don’t know why you are celebrating today, I ain’t telling you!

Twisted Elm PiBorrowed From Here

March 15

True Confession Day

Excuse to drink: Nothing brings out a good old fashioned Catholic style confession like a bottle of hooch.

 

March 16

Everything You Do Is Right Day

Excuse to drink: If you do it, it is right!

 

March 17

St. Patrick’s Day

Excuse to drink: I will not dignify this with a response!

Pig BeerBorrowed From Here

March 18

Awkward Moments Day

Excuse to drink: As Big Bird would say, Today is brought to you by the Letters A.B.V.

 

March 19

Let’s Laugh Day

Excuse to drink: Everything is funnier when you are lit up!

 

March 20

Snowman Burning Day

Excuse to drink: Seriously people, read up on this day. Then grab some friends, some booze, a giant paper snowman, and some matches!

 

March 21

National Single Parents Day

Excuse to drink: Drink because they can’t!

 

March 22

As Young As You Feel Day

Excuse to drink: I see shots of Fireball and Jägermeister in your immediate future!

March 23

Near Miss Day

Excuse to drink: Back in 1989 a gigantic asteroid barely missed turning Earth into a flaming donut of death. Have one now because you never know when we are going to have to try to send Bruce Willis to outer space to save the world.

Asteroid Impact Borrowed From Here

March 24

National Family Day

Excuse to drink: Drink with your relatives!

 

March 25

National Waffle Day

Excuse to drink: BRUNCH AGAIN!

 

March 26

Make up your own Holiday Day

Excuse to drink: Now this sounds like a solid drinking game!

 

March 27

Michael Jon Arp’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Your kids will be celebrating this day in the future; you might as well get a head start.

 

March 28

Something on a stick day

Excuse to drink: Nothing goes better with anything served on a stick than a nice cold beer.

 

March 29

National Mom & Pop Small Business owners Day

Excuse to drink: Fun fact: Most bars are small businesses and family owned. Furthermore, most family owned businesses are B.Y.O.B.

BIMS-Pizza-BldgBorrowed From Here

March 30

Pencil with Eraser Patented (1858)

Excuse to drink: Mistakes are meant to be made, keep drinking.

 

March 31

National Farm Workers Day

Excuse to drink: They work harder than you will ever work so you can have fresh vegetable in your salad. You better drink in their honor.

 

April 1

April Fool’s Day

Excuse to drink: You were had all day, you might as well have one.

 

April 2

Reconciliation Day

Excuse to drink: Patch up an old friend ship over a few drinks.

 

April 3

World Party Day

Excuse to drink: What is a party without booze!

Earth PartyBorrowed From Here

April 4

Walk Around Things Day

Excuse to drink: Might as well drink while you are walking around things.

 

April 5

Stories Day

Excuse to drink: You can’t tell a story about being drunk properly unless you are drunk.

 

April 6

Tartan Day

Excuse to drink: Tartan Day is the celebration of Scottish Heritage, so eat some haggis and drink some scotch. That is unless you are a racist.

 

April 7

World Health Day

Excuse to drink: Science says one drink is good for me, so several much be better.

 

April 8

Astronomy Day

Excuse to drink: Have a stargazing party. Party = Booze remember.

Arp GalaxyBorrowed From Here

April 9

Winston Churchill Day

Excuse to drink: That is Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill to you! Drink because he said so!

 

April 10

National Sibling Day

Excuse to drink:Have a drink with your sibling and act stupid, just like old times.  

 

April 11

National Cheese Fondue Day

Excuse to drink: Whether you choose to pair your cheese with wine or beer you will not be disappointed you celebrated today.

 

April 12

Reach as High as You Can Day

Excuse to drink: You will look stupid doing this if you are sober

 

April 13

International Plant Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Hops are a plant, Drink!

April 14

Ex-Spouse Day

Excuse to drink: If you left ‘em, drink to that. If they left you, here is hoping they get Nuclear Clap.

 

April 15

Tax Day

Excuse to drink: The Government sucks, that’s why!

Tax SeasonBorrowed From Here

April 16

National Eggs Benedict Day

Excuse to drink: I’ll give you one guess. It starts with a B and rhymes with Lunch! B R U N C H!!!!

 

April 17

Blah! Blah! Blah ! Day

Excuse to drink: BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! DRINK!

 

April 18

Pet Owner’s Day

Excuse to drink: Pets are awesome!

 

April 19

Patriot’s Day

Excuse to drink: If you don’t drink today, you are a communist!

 

April 20

International Weed Day

Excuse to drink: You can’t smoke all day, take a break, and have a beer.

Hemp AleBorrowed From Here

April 21

Big Word Day

Excuse to drink: Listening to your friends try to pronounce and then define words like Anachronistic is going to be funny as hell after a few drinks.

 

April 22

Earth Day

Excuse to drink: Mother Nature is the shit!

 

April 23

International Nose Picking Day

Excuse to drink: If you are drunk, you can blame your disgusting habits on the booze.

 

April 24

Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day

Excuse to drink: Beer and tiny hotdogs are a match made in heaven.

 

April 25

Arbor Day

Excuse to drink: Hug a tree and drink a beer!

The Tree Of LifeBorrowed From Here

April 26

Hug a Friend Day

Excuse to drink: You are out with your friend you might as well stop by the bar and have at least one drink.

 

April 27

Mule Day

Excuse to drink: Drink something that kicks like a mule!

 

April 28

Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day

Excuse to drink: When you get home you are going to need a drink

 

April 29

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day

Excuse to drink: After a nice calm, relaxing Tai Chi session a nice stiff drink will taste awesome.

 

April 30

National Honesty Day

Excuse to drink: Nothing brings out sincere honesty like a few cocktails.

 

May 1

Couple Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Have a drink with your significant other in honor of your tremendous union.

 

May 2

National Baby’s day

Excuse to drink: Have one for the baby’s in your life because the man says you can’t put a little whiskey on their teeth anymore.

Success!Borrowed From Here

May 3

Sun Day (Day of the Sun)

Excuse to drink: DAYTIME DRINKING!!!

 

May 4

International Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You)

Excuse to drink: Google Star Wars drinking games and then watch all six movies.

 

May 5

Cinco De Mayo

Excuse to drink: No explanation needed. This holiday was created to be on this list.

 

May 6

National Beverage Day

Excuse to drink: It would be disrespectful to not drink on Beverage Day!

 

May 7

National Tourism Day

Excuse to drink: Pretend you’re a tourist and drive into the city, do touristy things, and then finish the night off with a fancy dinner at Apple Bees complete with a few drinks.

 

May 8

National Teacher’s Day

Excuse to drink: I am sure you were the reason many of your teachers drank, so now you can return the favor and have one in their honor.

 

May 9

Tear the Tags Off the Mattress Day

Excuse to drink: You are going to need some liquid courage if you are about to violate federal laws.

DAMN THE MAN!Borrowed From Here

May 10

National Nightshift Workers Day

Excuse to drink: What shift do you think Bar Tenders work? DRINK UP AND TIP WELL!

 

May 11

Eat What You Want Day

Excuse to drink: This includes liquid bread.

 

May 12

Limerick Day (Edward Lear’s birthday)

Excuse to drink: Dirty limericks are hilarious when you are drunk.

 

May 13

Native American Day

Excuse to drink: Our ancestors were douchebags, the least we can do it raise a glass in their honor.

 

May 14

Crazy Day

Excuse to drink: Go ahead, Get Crazy… It is your duty!

 

May 15

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Excuse to drink: Even if you don’t like them you got to admit dying to protect others is pretty admirable.

Police Memorial Borrowed From Here

May 16

Wear Purple For Peace Day

Excuse to drink: To Peace!

 

May 17

World Telecommunications Day

Excuse to drink: If you are going to call your ex-girlfriend you might as well do it drunk.

 

May 18

No Dirty Dishes day

Excuse to drink: Only way to have no dirty dishes is if you go out to eat and while you are at it you might as well order a few drinks.

 

May 19

Armed Forces day

Excuse to drink: They suffer so you don’t have to! They fight so you can drink whenever you want to!

 

May 20

Flower Day

Excuse to drink: Flowers and a bottle of wine go a long way with the little lady.

 

May 21

National Waitresses/Waiters Day

Excuse to drink: Yet another excuse to go out to dinner and have some drinks, as always TIP WELL!

Mother Fucker

May 22

Buy-A-Musical-Instrument Day

Excuse to drink: If you are going to be a musician you gotta drink! All musicians drink.

 

May 23

National Pickle Day

Excuse to drink: Pickle Back Shot!

 

May 24

Scavenger Hunt Day

Excuse to drink: What is better than a drunken scavenger hunt? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

 

May 25

National Something day

Excuse to drink: Drinking is something right? Right?

 

May 26

Senior Health and Fitness Day

Excuse to drink: Raise a glass to the old folks in your life!

 

May 27

International Jazz Day

Excuse to drink: Listening to Jazz and drinking booze go together like a beer and a camp fire.

 

May 28

Morning Radio Day

Excuse to drink: I always need a drink when I am forced to listen to the Z-morning Zoo.

Morning RadioBorrowed From Here

May 29

Honor your Ancestors Day

Excuse to drink:   Make sure to spill just a little out for your descendants.

 

May 30

Hug your cat day

Excuse to drink: Alcohol is a great pain killer and Fluffy tears your skin up.

hug your cat day Borrowed From Here

May 31

National Meditation Day

Excuse to drink: While you are relaxed, why not relax some more.

 

June 1

American Zoo Day

Excuse to drink: Animals and Booze! Animals and Booze!

 

June 2

Leave the Office Early Day

Excuse to drink: Can you say Happy Hour!

 

June 3

National Trails Day

Excuse to drink: Hiking without beer is like Fishing without beer, boring and useless.

 

June 4

Socrates’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: He was one of the founders of Western philosophy, go find a bar and wax poetic about all things undebatable.

 

June 5

World Environment Day

Excuse to drink: Drink draught beer today because it is a renewable resource!

 

June 6

D-Day Anniversary

Excuse to drink: Cause Fuck The Nazis!

 

June 7

Freedom of the Press day

Excuse to drink: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! You should be drinking!

 

June 8

World Ocean Day

Excuse to drink: The Ocean is freaking amazing, and so is drinking.

Ocean DayBorrowed From Here

June 9

Best Friends Day

Excuse to drink: Drinking with your BFF is more fun than drinking alone.

 

June 10

Race Unity Day

Excuse to drink: Drink to diversity! Bonus points if your friend circle is a diverse as the cover photo of your local college’s website.

 

June 11

Abused Women and Children’s Awareness Day

Excuse to drink: To prove that not people who drink are abusive assholes.

 

June 12

Magic Day

Excuse to drink: Now you see my drink, now you don’t! We all like magic why not celebrate it.

June 13

Weed Your Garden Day

Excuse to drink: Because you earned it, toiling in the garden all day.

 

June 14

Flag Day

Excuse to drink: ‘MERICA!

Craft Beer Flag Borrowed From Here

June 15

National Photography Day

Excuse to drink: Drunk selfies are so much more fun!

 

June 16

No Orange Clothes Day

Excuse to drink: Today is a built in drinking game, if you spot anyone wearing orange, DRINK!

 

June 17

Eat Your Vegetables Day

Excuse to drink: Hint: Drink garnishes count.

 

June 18

National Splurge Day

Excuse to drink: Go ahead, splurge away!

 

June 19

World Sauntering Day

Excuse to drink: Drinking adds a swagger than simply can’t be matched.

 

June 20

Bald Eagle Day

Excuse to drink: The Eagle is majestic as fuck and it represents our country.

 

June 21

Summer Solstice

Excuse to drink: I hope you saved your Christmas Tree.   Light a fire, and burn that son of a bitch. While you are at it have a drink.

Christmas Tree FireBorrowed From Here

June 22

Stupid Guy Thing Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate all the dumb shit guys do, including drinking!

 

June 23

Let It Go Day

Excuse to drink: The easiest way to forget about your problems is to drink them away.

 

June 24

Great American Picnic Day

Excuse to drink: Picnics are better with booze!

 

June 25

LEON Day

Excuse to drink: Six Months Until Christmas.

 

June 26

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Excuse to drink: Drink, because not drinking is torture.

 

June 27

Helen Keller’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Drink until you’re deaf and blind.

 

June 28

World War 1 Commemoration

Excuse to drink: Drink to the soldiers that kept this world safe when wars had meaning and politicians have souls.

 

June 29

National Duck Day

Excuse to drink: The only day when Duck Face Selfies are not only justified but mandatory.

Epic DuckfaceBorrowed From Here

June 30

Meteor Day

Excuse to drink: Space is freaking awesome!

 

July 1

Canada Day

Excuse to drink: To Canada you Hosier!

 

July 2

I Forgot Day

Excuse to drink: Drink the day away!

 

July 3

PacMan Game Day

Excuse to drink: Sound like the perfect day for vintage video games and shitty beer.

 

July 4

Independence Day

Excuse to drink: ‘Merica!

Fireworks and BeerBorrowed From Here

July 5

Workaholics Day

Excuse to drink: To all of us that burn the candle at both ends.

 

July 6

National Fried Chicken Day

Excuse to drink: This day screams for some bourbon.

 

July 7

Father-Daughter Take a Walk Together Day

Excuse to drink: Depending on the age of your daughter, you will either need the flask because of what she tells you, or you can share it with her.

 

July 8

Be a Kid Again Day

Excuse to drink: Sneak out of the house through a window, meet up with your friends in the park and get shitty on some MD 20/20 and Jose Cuervo.

 

July 9

Air Conditioning Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Sit back, kick up your feet, and relax with a frozen daiquiri in your hand as the greatest invention of the 20th Century cools you down.

 

July 10

Don’t Step on a Bee Day

Excuse to drink: It is a rarity to find a bee in a bar.

 

July 11

Cheer up the Lonely Day

Excuse to drink: By buying them a shot!

Lonley DogBorrowed From Here

July 12

Swimming Pool Day

Excuse to drink: Summer is all about sitting in a pool with drink in hand.

 

July 13

Embrace Your Geekiness Day

Excuse to drink: Drink until your nerd comes out!

 

July 14

Pick Blueberries Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate how many Blueberries you picked!

 

July 15

Be a Dork Day

Excuse to drink: Dorks need to drink too!

The Big Bang Theory Borrowed From Here

July 16

International Juggling Day

Excuse to drink: Go find a renaissance faire and take a shot with a juggler. If you can’t find a renaissance faire I guess a Juggalo will have to do. Yea that was an ICP reference!

 

July 17

POW-MIA Recognition Day

Excuse to drink: Honor those that have given everything to protect our freedom.

 

July 18

Cow Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: You eat them all the damn time, the least you can do is take a shot to celebrate how awesome they taste.

 

July 19

Stick Out Your Tongue Day

Excuse to drink: Those selfies are going to be priceless!

 

July 20

Nap Day

Excuse to drink: You are a grown ass man/woman and you got to take a nap! High five yourself for being awesome, and then drink up because you obviously don’t have any responsibilities.

 

July 21

National Tug-Of-War Tournament Day

Excuse to drink: Grab your friends, a rope, and a keg! Tonight is going to be a muscle ripping, rope burn, getting frat boy drunk kind of night.

 

July 22

Summer Leisure Day

Excuse to drink: It is Summer Leisure Day, that means your ass better be in a tube on a lazy river with a beer in both hands.

 Two Cute Kittens In A HammockBorrowed From Here

July 23

Gorgeous Grandma Day

Excuse to drink: Drink every time you see a GILF!

 

July 24

Amelia Earhart Day

Excuse to drink: Drink a few airplane bottles in solidarity with this record setting Aviation Diva.

 

July 25

Candles on a Cake Day

Excuse to drink: It is always somebody’s birthday and if there are candles on a cake I am drinking!

 

July 26

All or Nothing Day

Excuse to drink: Go big or Go home!

 

July 27

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

Excuse to drink: Throw a few back for the old timers that are still around the fought in the Korean War because most of them can’t drink now because their doctor says so!

 

July 28

Accountants Day

Excuse to drink: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em, without them we would all have no idea where the hell our money goes. To the Bean Counters!

 

July 29

To the Moon Day (NASA founded in 1958)

Excuse to drink: Toast the dreamers that sent a few humans to the moon with less computing power that we all now carry in our pockets. Gotta love those crazy bastards!

A True Moon WalkJuly 30

Comedy Day (Make Someone Laugh)

Excuse to drink: Everyone laughs harder when they are drunk.

 

July 31

Harry Potter’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Watch the movies and google a drinking game that coincides. There are so many to choose from.

 

August 1

Sports Day

Excuse to drink: Grab a few friends, a ball of any kind, and a case of good beer today a day for playing some sports.

 

August 2

Dinosaurs Day

Excuse to drink: Bring a flask to a museum, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

 

August 3

National Watermelon Day

Excuse to drink: Have you ever filled a watermelon with vodka and then ate it. What are you waiting for, you need a watermelon and vodka STAT!

 

August 4th

Taxpayer Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate yourself if you are legit, but if you live on the other side of the law, take a drink in honor of those fools that pay Uncle Sam. I would drink something strong though because when you get caught you will have to drink toilet hooch and that shit is rough.

 

August 5

International Beer Day

Excuse to drink: Ummmmmmmm. Yea!

Beer IllustrationBorrowed From Here

August 6

National Fresh Breath Day

Excuse to drink: We all love fresh breath!

 

August 7

Purple Heart Day

Excuse to drink: Even if you don’t agree with the cause, you have to admit the recipients of this medal deserve your tribute.

 

August 8

Kat Day

Excuse to drink: Chicks named Kat are remarkable people and if you know one you should be drinking with them today!

 

August 9

National Hand holding Day

Excuse to drink: You should drink because you have someone to hold hands with.

 

August 10

Gals Night Out

Excuse to drink: Ladies tonight is the night to get your drink on with your bitches, Men the more they drink the better you look.

 

August 11

Kool-Aid Day

Excuse to drink: Ohhhhhh YEA! Vodka and Kool-Aid rules!

Oh Yea

August 12

Baseball Fans Day

Excuse to drink: Buy a ticket to the ball park and get your tailgate going!

 

August 13

International Left Handers Day

Excuse to drink: Drink with all your left handed friends today.

 

August 14

Wiffle Ball Day

Excuse to drink: Grab a Wiffle Ball, a plastic yellow bat, a chair, and a case of beer.   PLAY BALL!

 

August 15

National Failures Day

Excuse to drink: Drink until your failures are funny.

 

August 16

National Golf Day

Excuse to drink: 18 holes+24 beers= one great day!

 

August 17

National Thrift shop Day

Excuse to drink: Shop until you drop, then celebrate the awesome sauce that you found that someone else threw away 40 years ago.

 

August 18

National Homeless Animals Day

Excuse to drink: Adopt a dog and then raise a glass to its forever home!

Lilly BirdAugust 19

Potato Day

Excuse to drink: Vodka anyone!

 

August 20

Stay-at-Home with Your Kids Day

Excuse to drink: You are going to need a drink after today.

 

August 21

Poets Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate your favorite wordsmith one sip at a time.

 

August 22

National Punctuation Day

Excuse to drink: A.K.A. Grammar Nazi day! You will need a drink to soothe your throat, if you are the one correcting people all day, for the rest of us that throw commas around like a drunken chimp playing darts, we will need a drink to calm the urge to punch these Syntax Soldiers in their face.

 

August 23

Hug Your Sweetheart Day

Excuse to drink: A hug is good, but a bottle of wine and a fancy dinner is better.

HugglesBorrowed From Here

August 24

Strange Music Day

Excuse to drink: Hijack the Juke Box at your local bar by slipping a $20.00 in and play songs like this.

 

August 25

Kiss and Make-up Day

Excuse to drink: You just made up with your significant other.

 

August 26

Woman’s Equality Day

Excuse to drink: Go shot for shot with your lady friends.

 

August 27

Just Because Day

Excuse to drink: Drink just because.

 

August 28

Dream Day

Excuse to drink: Discuss your dreams while getting crunk!

 

August 29

More Herbs Less Salt day (Eat Healthy Day!)

Excuse to drink: Order a drink with an herbaceous garnish.

 

August 30

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Excuse to drink: You must drink when sitting around a camp fire, it is simply the rules.

 

August 31

Eat outside day

Excuse to drink: Grab a picnic basket and some booze to celebrate the great summer you just had!

PIG!Borrowed From Here

September 1

American Chess Day

Excuse to drink: If you think Chess is a great game, try CHESS the Drinking GAME!

 

September 2

Pierce-Your-Ears Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate your mid-life crisis by tying one on.

 

September 3

Skyscraper Day

Excuse to drink: Pick your favorite building and go visit it! While you are in the city you might as well have a drink.

 

September 4

Eat an Extra Dessert Day

Excuse to drink: Booze is a dessert right?

 

September 5

Waffle House Day (Debuted in 1955)

Excuse to drink: Every Waffle House restaurant is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, so hit up a bar and have a midnight snack at a Good ‘Ol Waffle House.

Waffle HouseBorrowed From Here

September 6

Do It! Day (aka Fight Procrastination)

Excuse to drink: DRINK!

 

September 7

Google Commemoration Day

Excuse to drink: If it wasn’t for google we would still be using map quest, arguing all night at bars, and have @aol.com at the end of our email addresses. To Google!

 

September 8

International Literacy Day

Excuse to drink: Read a book while drinking some scotch Mr. or Ms. Fancypants.

 

September 9

Wonderful Weirdos Day

Excuse to drink: Fly your weird flag all over your local tavern.

 

September 10

National Boss / Employee Exchange Day

Excuse to drink: Happy Hour! Exchange beers with your boss.

 

September 11

9/11 Observances & Remembrances

Excuse to drink: Never Forget!

 

September 12

National Policewoman Day

Excuse to drink: If you can drink with them, if you can’t drink for them, just never… never… ever… hit on ‘em.

 

September 13

Barbershop Day

Excuse to drink: Get a haircut you hippie and then go out and show off your new do.

 

September 14

National Pet Memorial Day

Excuse to drink: Raise a glass to all the pets in your life that are no longer with us.

Dogs Last WillBorrowed From Here

September 15

National Thank-You Day

Excuse to drink: Say thank you with a few a drinks.

 

September 16

Wife Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Happy wife, Happy life, and my wife likes to drink.

 

September 17

National Constitution Day

Excuse to drink: Drink-up because the constitution says we can.

 

September 18

National Play-Doh Day

Excuse to drink: Drink because you made that awesome Play-Doh sculpture. You rock dude.

 

September 19

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Excuse to drink: And drink like one too.

              September 20

National Punch Day

Excuse to drink: Punch as in that giant bowl of liquid that your 17 year old self spiked in order to get to second base with Mary Jane Such and Such. Now is the time to spike that punch once again.

 

September 21

Miniature Golf Day

Excuse to drink: A few friends, a flask, and a mini-golf course, sounds heavenly doesn’t it.

 

September 22

Hobbit Day

Excuse to drink: Find some Barliman’s Best or your favorite beer and have a hobbit themed party complete with Middle Earth inspired food.

Frodo Drinking September 23

Checkers Day

Excuse to drink: If we are going to celebrate Chess we should probably celebrate its dumber cousin. At least it is easier to play when you are in the bag.

 

September 24

Eat Dinner with your family day

Excuse to drink: You are probably going to need to drink before, during, and after.

 

September 25

National Comic Book Day

Excuse to drink: Everyone loves comic books even if they don’t admit it.

 

September 26

National Food Service Employees Day

Excuse to drink: Here’s to everyone that brings and cooks you food when you don’t want to do it yourself.

 

September 27

Crush a Can Day

Excuse to drink: Gotta drink what is inside before you crush.

 

September 28

Ask a stupid question day

Excuse to drink: Do you want another drink? See what I did there.  

 

September 29

Happy Goose Day

Excuse to drink: Did you know that Geese will never let another goose die alone? How about that Geese mate for life and mourn the loss of their loved one when they die. Geese are pretty freaking cool, as long as they are not pooping on you! Here’s to geese!

 

September 30

Pumpkin Day

Excuse to drink: Pumpkin beer it is!

 

October 1

World Vegetarian Day

Excuse to drink: Booze goes great with Veggies too!

 

October 2

Charlie Brown & Snoopy’s Birthday

Excuse to drink: Celebrate everyone’s favorite Block head and his sarcastic puppy too.

Great PumpkinBorrowed From Here

October 3

Techies Day

Excuse to drink: Drink to all the nerds in your life, for without them who would you call when your computer gets the internet clap!

 

October 4

Ten-Four Day

Excuse to drink: If you are going to speak like a trucker or a cop you might as well drink like one.

 

October 5

Smile Day

Excuse to drink: It is hard not to smile with a drink in your hand.

 

October 6

Clergy Appreciation Day

Excuse to drink: Even if you are not religious it is pretty amazing that these men and women give up their lives in the name of service to their community.

 

October 7

National Frappe Day

Excuse to drink: Because you just drank a crap load of coffee and ain’t going to bed anytime soon.

 

October 8

Thanksgiving Day in Canada

Excuse to drink: If the Canadians are celebrating something so should you. Don’t let those floppy heads have all the fun.

 

October 9

Leif Erikson Day

Excuse to drink: That dude was a Viking and if there is one thing that Vikings liked to do more than pillaging and plundering it was drinking! Grab yourself a horn mug and drink up.

Viking FuneralBorrowed From Here

October 10

World Mental Health Day

Excuse to drink: The first step towards defeating your problem is to acknowledge its existence. The second step is to drink it away, unless of cause that problem is alcoholism, then I suggest a different route.

 

October 11

Coming Out Day

Excuse to drink: To understand the difficulty of being in the closet, one must try to comprehend fighting ever urge to be one’s self in front of everyone they love in fear that the truth will destroy the affection the hold so dear. Raise your glass to honor all of those who were brave enough to already take this step, take a shot for everyone that is still struggling with this monumental decision, and pour a little out for every misguided soul that thinks it is their business who someone else loves.

 

October 12

Moment of Frustration Scream- Day (scream 30 seconds)

Excuse to drink: …and have a drink afterwards.

 

October 13

It’s Train Your Brain Day

Excuse to drink: Beer is like a protein shake for your brain! Work it out and then drink it off.

 

October 14

Bald is Beautiful Day

Excuse to drink: Drink in honor of all the folically challenged people in your life.

 

October 15

National Poetry Day

Excuse to drink: Write a poem for your loved one, share a bottle of wine, and hopefully a bed.

 

October 16

World Food Day

Excuse to drink: You need something to drink with all the awesome food you are about to eat.

 

October 17

National Pasta Day

Excuse to drink: Pasta is freaking awesome!

Garlic Pasta and Kale Borrowed From Here

October 18

Alaska Day

Excuse to drink: Because all Alaskans do too.

 

October 19

Evaluate Your Life Day

Excuse to drink: You are going to need a few drinks after having this conversation with yourself.

 

October 20

National Brandied Fruit Day

Excuse to drink: Technically, I guess this should read excuse to eat your booze.

 

October 21

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Excuse to drink: Nothing goes better with Pumpkin Cheesecake like a nice tall mug of Pumpkin Beer.

 

October 22

Make A Difference Day

Excuse to drink: Go out, do something awesome for someone and then drink to yourself you amazing son of a bitch.

 

October 23

TV Talk-Show Host Day

Excuse to drink: You going to have to be drunk to watch that rubbish.

 

October 24

Sour Day

Excuse to drink: Sour beers are making a comeback and I think this is the perfect day for you to jump on this bandwagon.

 

October 25

National Greasy Foods Day

Excuse to drink: If a PBR and a filthy cheese burger doesn’t sound f-ing amazeballs to you, you are reading the wrong blog.

White Manna BurgersBorrowed From Here

October 26

Mule Day

Excuse to drink: Dude, Science made Mules and that is awesome! A male donkey gets it on with a female horse and boom MULE! That would be like a human and chimp doing the horizontal naked time dance and creating a Humanzee! Oh holy crap I want a Humanzee right now!

 

October 27

Cranky Co-workers Day

Excuse to drink: A liquid lunch is just what those cantankerous bastards need to turn their frown upside down

 

October 28

Internet Day

Excuse to drink: Seriously, it is the internet! Pick one of the about 180,000,000 results that Google will find in about 0.36 seconds when you search drinking games and rock out.

 

October 29

National Oatmeal Day

Excuse to drink: I know what you are thinking, come on man we need a reason to drink booze not Ensure. Relax, I got your back… Think Oatmeal Stout!

 

October 30

Devil’s Night / Mischief Night/Cabbage Night

Excuse to drink: Someone has to protect the homestead from that little, pre-pubescent, egg toting doucheknuckles. What you will need is a bunch of booze, a really bright light, a gawking chair and a camera. Every time, one of those punks walks past and thinks about ruining your paint job just remind them that jury’s love to watch a good movie starring the criminal.

Mischief NightBorrowed From Here

October 31

Halloween

Excuse to drink: Booze is just treats for adults. Trick or treat, smell my feet; give me something good To drink. If you don’t, I don’t Care, I will pull down my underwear… And leave an upper deck in your toilet seat you cheap fuck.

 

November 1

Day of the Dead

Excuse to drink: Gather your family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

 

November 2

Name your Car Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate your noble steed.

 

November 3

Sandwich Day

Excuse to drink: Possibly the best food canvas in the culinary world, we have eaten them since practically birth, from the first peanut butter and jelly, our lovely moms cut the crust off of to the wild boar bacon, foie gras, and brie Panini that now tickles our fancy.

Primanti Bros.

November 4

National Skeptic’s Day

Excuse to drink: If you don’t your friends may become skeptical of your life decisions.

 

November 5

Guy Fawkes Night (bonfire night, fireworks night)

Excuse to drink: Fireworks and drinking are better than most things in this world. Be mindful though drinking and hospitals suck! Be careful and don’t say I did not warn you.

 

November 6

I love Nachos Day

Excuse to drink: NACHOS!!!

Nacho Helmet Borrowed From Here

November 7

Hug a Bear Day

Excuse to drink: After you are done hugging a bear you are going to need a hospital and some heavy duty liquor.

 

November 8

Try a New Recipe Day

Excuse to drink: Download a bartending App and make yourself a cocktail that you have never tried before.

 

November 9

National Scrapple Day

Excuse to drink: Some of you may have to drink a few before you gain enough courage to give scrapple a try. I on the other hand love this breakfast food produced by food gluing the parts of the pig that hot dog companies won’t even use. Mmmmmmm… Food Glue.

 

November 10

Lung Cancer Awareness Day

Excuse to drink: ‘Cause fuck cancer in its stupid face!

 

November 11

Veterans Day

Excuse to drink: Drink to the soldiers not to the politics.

Navy Veteran

November 12

National Pizza with the Works Day

Excuse to drink: Because Pizza!

 

November 13

World Kindness Day

Excuse to drink: Buy a shot for a stranger and explain why you did it. This will hopefully start a shot chain that will work its way around the bar.

 

November 14

National Guacamole Day

Excuse to drink: I don’t always drink Dos Equis, but I do on National Guacamole Day.

 

November 15

I Love to Write Day

Excuse to drink: Sit down with a blank piece of paper, a pen, and a scotch. See what comes out.

 

November 16

International Day for Tolerance

Excuse to drink: Because it will increase your alcohol tolerance.

 

November 17

Take A Hike Day

Excuse to drink: The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Grab your wife, your dog, and your flask before hitting the trails.

Lilly Hiking November 18

William Tell Day

Excuse to drink: Take a shot of Apple flavored booze off someone’s head. It may sound silly but it is a hell of a lot safer than shooting an apple off your son’s head with an arrow.

 

November 19

Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

Excuse to drink: Rum and Coke anyone!

 

November 20

Universal Children’s Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate the wonderful children in your life and drink away the headache they give you.

 

November 21

World Television Day

Excuse to drink: Without Television how would you know what brand of booze you should be drinking.

 

November 22

Stop the Violence Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate this global movement to end violence against women and girls.

STOP ViolenceBorrowed From Here

 

November 23

Buy Nothing Day

Excuse to drink: Stay home and drink!

 

November 24

National Espresso Day

Excuse to drink: Espresso and Baileys taste fantastic together.

 

November 25

National Parfait Day

Excuse to drink: Eat healthy in the morning so you can drink heavy in the evening.

 

November 26

Cake Day

Excuse to drink: When there is cake it is always a celebration!

 

November 27

National Day of Listening

Excuse to drink: Listening is always easier when your mouth is full.

 

November 28

Red Planet Day

Excuse to drink: Raise your glass towards the sky and drink one from our neighbor, Mars.

MarsBorrowed From Here

November 29

Throw out the leftovers day

Excuse to drink:   It is sad to see good food go to waste, make sure the leftover wine and beer does not meet the same fate. Drink up!

 

November 30

Computer Security Day

Excuse to drink: Before you being to make all of your online purchases for the upcoming holidays, crack open a bottle of something and take today to update all your virus protection and malware programs.

 

December 1

World AIDS Day

Excuse to drink: Drink in remembrance for all of those who have died by the dreaded hands of this disease.

 

December 2

Science Fiction Day

Excuse to drink: Science is awesome, but Science Fiction is that much better.

Storm Trooper Twerking December 3

Make a Gift Day

Excuse to drink: Put your bartending hat on a make someone you like a drink. While you are at it, make another one for yourself.

 

December 4

Cookie Day

Excuse to drink:   Cookies and Beer, cookies and beer, everybody loves cookies and beer.

 

December 5

National Commute With Your Baby Day

Excuse to drink: Because you were on the damn train with 100 moronic fledging parents that thought this holiday was a good idea.

 

December 6

Saint Nicholas Day

Excuse to drink: Celebrate Christmas early by rejoicing in the name of Good Ol’ St. Nick. Yea, that’s right St. Nick, like Santa Claus and shit.

December 7

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Excuse to drink: In memory of this tragic day.

 

December 8

Brownie Day

Excuse to drink: Brownies are denser than cake yet softer than cookies, they are really the best dessert out there.

Bacon Brownie Borrowed From Here

December 9

Christmas Card Day

Excuse to drink: Sit home crack a bottle of wine with the significant other and put stamps and addresses on 100 envelopes.

 

December 10

National Lager Day

Excuse to drink: Lager is a beer, this day is for beer!

 

December 11

International Mountain Day

Excuse to drink: Go climb a mountain, if you can’t climb a rock, and if you can’t do that walk up hill, then go to the bar and celebrate Mountain Day.

 

December 12

Gingerbread House Day

Excuse to drink: Nothing goes better with building a Gingerbread house than a glass of spiked nog.

 

December 13

National Cocoa Day

Excuse to drink: Make some Hot Cocoa for you and your Beau and sit next to the fire. The Cocoa should of course have whiskey in it.

 

December 14

Monkey Day

Excuse to drink: Whether you are celebrating The Monkeys of the furry primate variety or the Band, they are both really freaking cool and should be honored.

Monkey HugsBorrowed From Here

December 15

Bill of Rights Day

Excuse to drink: Drink because it is your right!

 

December 16

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

Excuse to drink: Because come on, who does not love anything covered in chocolate.

 

December 17

Saturnalia

Excuse to drink: This is a roman holiday and if any culture knew a thing or two about Hedonism it sure was the Romans! It is basically Roman Era Christmas.

 

December 18

Wear A Plunger On Your Head Day

Excuse to drink: You will probably need a few drinks under your belt for this one.

golden retriever wearing a plunger on her headBorrowed From Here

December 19

Oatmeal Muffin Day

Excuse to drink: What a crappy holiday! Drink!

 

December 20

Go Caroling Day

Excuse to drink: Here we come a-wassailing, among the leaves so green. Here we come a-wand’ring, so drunk to be seen.

 

December 21

Winter Solstice

Excuse to drink: It is the shortest day of the year, that means you can drink well into the night.

 

December 22

National Date-Nut Bread Day

Excuse to Drink: Wash down some nut bread with some nice stiff nog.

 

December 23

Festivus

Excuse to drink: It is a Festivus for the Rest of us.

Festivus For The Rest Of UsBorrowed From Here

December 24

Christmas Eve

Excuse to drink: Santa is COMING!

 

December 25

Christmas

Excuse to drink: SANTA IS HERE!!!

 

December 26

Boxing Day

Excuse to drink: It’s like Christmas only British and Weird.

 

December 27

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Excuse to drink: To forget history is to invite a tragic reoccurrence.

 

December 28

Card Playing Day

Excuse to drink: Might I suggest a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity and a few pints at your favorite watering hole.

Cards Against HumanityBorrowed From Here

December 29

No Interruptions Day

Excuse to drink: Do not interrupt my drinking!

 

December 30

Relaxation Day

Excuse to drink: Relax with a drink or two and get ready for New Year’s Eve!

 

December 31

New Year’s Eve

Excuse to drink: IT IS A CELEBRATION BITCHES!

NYE NYCBorrowed From Here

 

 

 

 

The Blue Collar Foodie’s Top 5 Spots to Celebrate National IPA Day

IPA DAY

Are you the type of guy that buys your wife a half a dozen wilted red roses from the gas station around the corner from your house while fervently calling all the restaurants in town to get a reservation on your anniversary day?  The kind of Santa that pays no attention to the calendar until December 24th and all your loved ones end up with dollar store dog toys and gift cards from Walgreens as presents.  If so, when you signed onto Facebook this morning and found out that today was National IPA day, you most likely panicked and began to scour the interwebs for a place to celebrate this most hallowed day.  Have no fear my procrastinating hop heads, The Blue Collar Foodie here.  The following is the Top 5 Blue Collar Foodie approved craft beer bars to wet your whistle on this hop filled holiday!

Andys Corner

Andy’s Corner

5:  Andy’s Corner:  If you are looking for a low key neighborhood bar that serves nothing but the best beer this world has to offer, look no further than Andy’s corner.  Not only is their draft menu constantly rotating, they have refrigerators full of bottled hoptastic perfection that is sure to please.  Furthermore, the proprietor, George, is the type of bartender that has long since gone the way of the dinosaur, beepers, and Blockbusters.  He not only is personable and friendly, he has more beer knowledge in his pinky toe than most pompous cicerones have in their entire bulbous craniums, yet is humble unlike those D-bags.  Although there is no true IPA Day event at Andy’s tonight, I assure you, if you go see George he will point you in the direction of some beers that are just perfect for the evening’s festivities.

Andy’s Corner Bar:  A World of Beer, Just a Corner Away
257 Queen Anne Road
Bogota, NJ 07603
(201) 342-9887

The Shepard & The Knucklehead

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead

4: The Shepherd & The Knucklehead:  A long time ago when I was just a naïve college student shot gunning PBRs, I thought nothing about the quality of beer and food that I ingested.  That is of course until this Knucklehead met the Shepherd.  If I had to pin point the moment that I realized that I had an affinity for craft beer which in turn gave birth to my passion for all things gastronomic, I would have to say that it was the moment that The Shepherd & The Knucklehead became my Cheers.  Although I am not there as much as I would like to be anymore, the years I spent at this now even more epic craft beer bar shaped and honed my palate in a way that I could never have envisioned.  The Shepherd & The Knucklehead now features 90 taps and serves classic and creative pub food to boot.  Much like Andy’s Corner there is no IPA Day event scheduled for this evening but I can attest that at the Shep it is IPA day, every day!

The Shepherd & The Knucklehead: Where we celebrate the Duality in Man
529 Belmont Avenue
Haledon, New Jersey 07508
(973) 942-8666 *after 4:00 PM*

The Twisted Elm

The Twisted Elm

3:  The Twisted Elm Tavern:   This North Jersey Gastropub exploded onto both the foodie scene and the beer scene in 2011 and has not looked back since.  The Twisted Elm features an ever changing remarkable beer menu that will satisfy even the most refined beer aficionado’s palate.  However, the Twisted Elm doesn’t just have beer; they combine their impressive craft beer list with foodie fare that is prepared by an award winning chef and an outstanding staff that makes you feel as if you are one of the family.  This truthfully is my favorite bar in North Jersey and a spot-on representation of what a Gastropub should be.  There may not be an IPA event scheduled for tonight but never the less The Twisted Elm Tavern makes the list because there is no place I would rather be on a Thursday night.

The Twisted Elm:  A New Jersey Gastropub
435 River Drive
Elmwood Park, NJ, 07407
201-791-3705

Cloverleaf Tavern

Cloverleaf Tavern

2:  The Cloverleaf Tavern:  When it comes to craft beer bars there are only a few bars in North Jersey that are on the level of The Cloverleaf Tavern.  Not only do they have one of the most notable beer lists in the state, their food is stupid good.  They also love to celebrate beer centric holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and of course National IPA Day.  Tonight the Cloverleaf is celebrating by having an IPA showdown of East Vs. Midwest by offering Kane Head High and Founder All-Day IPA drafts for only $3.50.  To add to the appeal of this event, if either of those brews don’t make you more excited than Bill Clinton snorting Viagra at the Bunny Ranch, they are also damn near giving Dogfish 90 minute away for $4.50.  If you are looking to pair some of the best IPAs in the land with foodie fare that is off the hook, look no further than The Cloverleaf Tavern tonight.               

The Cloverleaf Tavern: Where Good Friends Meet
395 Bloomfield Ave.
Caldwell, NJ 07006
973-226-9812

Morris Tap & Grill

Morris Tap & Grill

1:  Morris Tap and Grill:  Where is The Blue Collar Foodie going to celebrate the most sacred American beer holiday of the year you ask?  I have to admit it was a very difficult decision, but after careful consideration the Morris Tap and Grill was the clear winner.  Their beer list for tonight has an average Ratebeer rating of 96.91 and is the most serious IPA selection that I have ever seen compiled under one roof.  With selections from Stone, Kane, Carton, Elysian, Founders, and Dogfish Head to name a few, my biggest problem is going to be that I am going to want to try them all.  On top of their incredible beer list, Chef Eric Levine, a freaking Chopped Champion by the way, will be on hand to create his awe inspiring, drool invoking, culinary creations as usual.  Morris Tap and Grill may be somewhat of a drive for this foodie, but every mile is worth it, and I am super excited to spending my IPA day with the cast and crew of this praise worthy establishment!           

Morris Tap and Grill:  The MTG
500 Route 10 West
Randolph, NJ
973-891-1776

Whether or not you decide to take one of my suggestions and venture to these spectacular craft beer bars to celebrate IPA Day 2013 is up to you.  I do however ask that all of you drink responsibly tonight or ask one of your hoighty-toighty wine drinking friends to be a designated driver.  Have fun and Hoppy Holidays to one and all from The Blue Collar Foodie!

The Cloverleaf Tavern: Come For The Beer, Fall In Love With The Food

The Cloverleaf

Most Blue Collar Foodies would rather have a cool refreshing craft beer paired with their meal rather than a hoity-toity glass of wine. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for wine, and I do enjoy a goblet of grapes every now and again, but my heart belongs to the hops and barley that can be found in every mug, pint, or stein of carbonated class in a glass. There are only a few spots in the North Jersey area that stimulate craft beer enthusiasts better than a pill of Viagra at the Bunny Ranch, and there are even fewer that not only have a remarkable beer menu, but also a food menu that is worthy of praise. It is my goal as The Blue Collar Foodie to find these institutions of higher inebriation and shout their accolades from high atop my soap-box, known as the interwebs.

Welcome To The Clover

Welcome To The Clover

One such location is The Cloverleaf Tavern, located at 395 Bloomfield Ave., in Caldwell, NJ. Considering that The Cloverleaf Tavern has been continuously operating for over 75 years, this extraordinary establishment should not be a secret to any craft beer connoisseur that rests his or her rump within the Tri-State area. What these pint professors may not realize, and neither did I at first, is that The Cloverleaf Tavern, or The Clover, as it is known by the regulars, not only offers an awe-inspiring beer menu, but also serves up some serious eats as well.

First off, I feel that in order to properly discuss The Clover’s true appeal I will need to approach their exuberance for craft beer and their epicurean prowess separately. This way I can guarantee I will devote enough verbiage to each of these astonishing contributions that the Clover is making to the foodie community on a daily basis.

Mmmm Beer

Mmmmmmmmmm Beer

The Clover doesn’t just serve craft beer; they embrace the very notion of its very existence and attempt to house as much variety as they can possibly fit within their beer centric structure. Their ever changing beer menu reads like the phone book of Hop City, USA and is constantly updated via their website. The Clover is one of the first beer lists that I peruse as soon as the interwebs get all twitterpated about a specialty beer that has a limited release, because odds are not only will they have it but they will be throwing an event in its honor.

Lots of Beer!

Lots of Beer!

Furthermore, they have a free to join program known as the Masters of Beer Appreciation, MBA that now has over 1550 Alumni whose names adorn the walls on plagues that are updated with each new graduating class. This beer aficionado’s dream come true, escorts the participant in a veritable world tour of some of the best brews that can be procured on a regular basis by the Clover. To add to the charm of this intoxicating self-guided tour, after you earn 15 and 30 credits, you receive a $15 clover gift card. After you earn 45 credits your name will be added to the wall as an M.B.A. graduate and you will be entitled to a 20oz pour instead of the standard 16oz pour the common folk receive. There are also accolades for completing multiple MBA programs, like receiving your Doctorate, but don’t get ahead of yourself sparky, one degree at a time.

Masters of Beer Appreciation

You know you want it!

As for the Cloverleaf’s culinary prowess, I have to say I was initially surprised with the caliber of food that I was served the first time I ordered one of their insanely good burgers. Not to say that pubs serving decent food are unheard of but, the food that the Clover is offering to its patron is not just good, it is “shiv your best friend for looking at the last bite of your food” good. I am not just talking about the burgers either; I have thoroughly explored their menu and have not been able to find one thing on it that was not excellent. On top of their regular tasty menu, the Clover offers a weekly specials menu that allows even the regulars to indulge in something different.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled, straight from the heavens, Pork Sandwich

On my most recent visit to the Cloverleaf, I was in the mood for some good old fashioned American Barbecue, and since it was lunchtime, I decided to go with the Pulled Pork Sandwich served with homemade coleslaw, a pickle, and I opted to swap the fried for their jaw-dropping beer battered Onion Rings all for $10.99. One of the best things about The Clover is that even though they serve prodigious food and astounding beers they consistently keep their meals affordable for us Blue Collar folks that still want great tasting grub.

Onion Rings

Crispity Crunchity

When it arrived, the smell was utterly divine, and the pulled pork was blended with a BBQ sauce that was unearthly. Each bite of this sandwich sent shock waves of flavor from my mouth to my stomach, which in turn sent hate mail to my brain for only ordering one. After forcing myself to put down a sandwich that could only be described by using a made up word such as, amazeballs, I tasted one of the Onion Rings that were recommended by our awesome waiter, whose name I can’t remember because I am a horrible person, and I was in love… With the Onion Rings, not my waiter, I don’t think Kat would have been amused if it was the other way around. To add to these crispy and tangy fried rings of yummy, I dipped one into the Maker’s Mark Gourmet Sauce that the Clover places on each and every table, and I thought I had died and went to Texas, which as everyone knows is what BBQ heaven is called.

Maker's Mark Gourmet Sauce

Saucey Sauce Sauce

The moral of this article is that if you like food and/or beer and have not entered the hallowed walls of The Cloverleaf Tavern then you should be removed from the foodie guild immediately. Luckily, as a card carrying member of both the Clover and the Foodie Guild of America, or the FGA, which I just made up and am imposing an instant trademark on, I have talked both organizations into an amnesty program. They both agree that if you take it upon yourself to get your ass to the Cloverleaf before the summer is over; you will still be allowed to be a member of the FGA. Seriously though, all it will take is one visit to the Cloverleaf Tavern, and you will be sending angry emoticons to all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, for not alerting you to this food and beer sanctuary earlier.

Cloverleaf Tavern on Urbanspoon

The Blue Collar Foodie Eats His Way Through Bean Town

Every once in a blue moon the neurons in my brain fire just right, and I have a good, no, great, no, fantastic idea.  This is exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I found out I was going to Boston on a business trip.  I began searching the googles for the best foodie finds the city of Boston had to offer, and after about 45 minutes of dredging through one commercial advertising driven site after another, an idea popped into my head, one that was so damn prodigious that a freaking light bulb should have appeared over my head and shined brighter than Lil’ Jon’s grill.   This idea I am speaking so highly of was to forgo the internet search that is riddled with paid advertisers and subpar eateries and go to the heart of any great foodie scene, the blogosphere.  I aimed to contact the food bloggers of Boston that patrol the city night and day in search of the finest fare that THEIR city slings, and then take the time out to write poetic verses about these establishments so others will not be led astray by the likes of Bing and AOL.

With this thought in mind, I had only one problem, where the hell do I find a list of food bloggers from the Boston Area.  I once again fired up my internet browser, but this time I switched my search criteria around and was able to find that UrbanSpoon.com had just the list I was looking for.  Armed with the best of Boston Food Blogger List courtesy of UrbanSpoon, I began to contact the bloggers that seemed to match my style of epicurean adventuring.  I trusted the foodie community and the food bloggers of Boston would come through for me, and even though I did not know what to expect as far as return e-mails, I ended my research that faithful afternoon.  Shortly after sending the first message my inbox was inundated with responses from Boston’s finest foodies.  At that moment I knew just how Tim Tebow must have felt after being picked up by the New England Patriots, proud and excited to go to bean town.

Welcome To Boston

Welcome To Boston

The amazing food blogging community of Boston welcomed me with open arms and helped me compile a list of Boston’s Best, Blue Collar Foodie Approved, restaurants and watering holes. Considering I was in Boston for my actual nine to fiver, I was only able to hit up a few of the great suggestions these gracious gourmands had provided but the ones I did visit were absolutely amazing. Due to the tremendous out pour of assistance I received from the helpful blogging community of Boston, I will be doing this from now on, and I suggest you do the same. Not only will you be happy with the results, but I assure you it will make a food blogger smile when they receive your e-mail, so it is a win, win for everyone. Without further ado, buckle up gastronauts and prepare for the Blue Collar Foodie’s voyage to Boston’ belly!

Sweet Cheeks

Sweet Cheeks BBQ

The first stop on my gastro tour of Boston was a rather easy choice, as damn near every food blogger I spoke to, agreed this establishment was a must visit, and it was in walking distance of my hotel. This highly touted, often blogged about, and relatively new restaurant is none other than Sweet Cheeks BBQ in the Fenway area of Boston.  Now since it was the only BBQ joint I ventured to during my brief visit to Boston, I can’t proclaim that it is the best BBQ in the city, like most Bostonians, but I will say that anyone attempting to compete with this Texas style BBQ spot is in for quite a battle.

Sweet Cheeks Tray

Sweet Cheeks Tray

Sweet Cheeks’ offers all of the staples that you would expect a BBQ place to provide, such as Pulled Pork, Ribs, Chicken, and Brisket for the carnivore in you, and hot and cold sides featuring coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese, and collard greens. They also throw in some not so standard options for the adventurous foodies like yours truly, including their Berkshire Pork Belly, and Great Northern Short Rib. Furthermore, Sweet Cheeks allows you to create a combination tray of their offerings so you can create a custom metastatic mixture that is sure to please.

Sweet Cheeks BBQ Ribs

Sweet Cheeks BBQ Ribs

What further separates Sweet Cheeks from the BBQ spots that I have visited in the past, is their extensive and impressive craft beer list that adorns the back of their menu.  Even though I fancy myself to be somewhat of a novice cicerone, Sweet Cheeks offered more than just a few beers that not only have I never tried, but some that were not even on my radar.

Sweet Cheeks Biscuit With Honey Butter

Sweet Cheeks Biscuit With Honey Butter

After eating at Sweet Cheeks I fully understand why the foodie scene in Boston is all about this local eatery. The food was fantastic, and if you find yourself in Boston, you must at least go there for a cold craft beer, an overstuffed meat sandwich, and a biscuit with honey butter. If you do not, unfriend me on Facebook immediately before you return, because I will publically shame you until you cry. Although I highly recommend grabbing a fat cheeks tray and knocking down three of their righteously smoked meats paired with two sides like I did.

Citizen Public House

Citizen Public House

With happy bellies full to the brim with meaty goodness, my partner in crime and I decided to walk to our next destination, The Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar.  According to the locals that I spoke to the food here is really good, but what they are known for is their far-reaching whiskey menu that is a must see for travelers who enjoy a good stiff drink.  Since an entire pig was resting nicely in my gut and food was out of the question, I decided to take a gander at their spirit selection, and I was impressed.  After perusing the menu for a short period of time, I was overwhelmed by the enormous selection of Bourbons, Scotches, and Whiskeys that decorated the Citizen’s menu, so much so that I had to enlist the assistance of the bartender to aid me in this daunting task.

Hirsch Whiskey

Hirsch Whiskey

This was a fantastic decision, because the bartender was like a whiskey shaman from the isle of knowledge.  After speaking to him for about five minutes not only did I know what Whiskey I wanted to order, I felt as if I could write a Wikipedia article on whiskey and simply use him as the source.  The clientele was great as well, and as I sipped my Hirsch Small Batch Bourbon, I conversed about all things sports with a few delightful local Bostonians.  Sadly, as my glass ran dry, I had to call it a night, as I had to be responsible in the morning, so I walked back to my hotel in preparation of the morrow, so I could dream of the next Boston food adventure I would embark upon.

The Tip Tap Room

The Tip Tap Room

After a long day of work, I was extremely excited to hop on the T near my hotel and make my way to the Government Center stop, where my next eatery would be found.  The Tip Tap Room was recommended to me by a few of the food writers that I contacted and described as a place that was known for exotic meats and craft beer.  Friends, you had me at exotic meats, TWSS.  The moment I arrived at this eccentric eatery, located in the center of the bustling Government Center area of Boston, I knew I was going to enjoy my stay.  Their vast tap menu was proudly displayed on the wall and due to the beautiful weather the large front windows were open allowing the pleasant breeze of the fledgling evening to whisk its way throughout the dining area.

Antelope Meatloaf

Antelope Meatloaf

It took me seconds to realize what I wanted as my meal, Antelope Meatloaf, but as for the beer list that was a horse of a different color. I had some bad luck in the beginning, as I chose two beers that had literally just tapped seconds before the waiter had taken our order. Fortunately though, our server was well versed in the art of beer drinking and selected three small samples of beer that were similar to the ones that I had ordered so I could try them before I made my final selection. This small, yet greatly appreciated service elevated my appreciation for this trendy eatery immeasurably.

Beer

Beer

I would highly recommend that everyone hit up the Tip Tap Room while they are traipsing down the Freedom Trail or visiting Faneuil or Quincy Market, which are all very close. The food divine, the service was wonderful, and the location simply can’t be beat. Furthermore, where else can you eat succulent Antelope Meatloaf, while sipping on local craft beer in the city of Boston?

Regina Pizza

Regina Pizza

Another one of Boston’s restaurants that almost every foodie that wrote me back included on their list of must eats was the original Regina Pizza located in the North End of the city.  Being from the land of great pizza, the words best and pizza in the same sentence without being combined with the phrase, “other than in New Jersey,” is like uttering the phrase the Mets stink, without adding the caveat “because of their owners.”  With that said, I was not willing to ignore the endorsement of almost a dozen food writers because of my own New Jersey centric, pizza related hubris.

When we arrived, we soon found out that Regina Pizza is not a secret in Boston, as was evident in the fact that there was a line out the door to score a table in this famous pizzeria.  While waiting for our table, I researched the menu online and decided that I was going to partake in the most sought after pie Regina’s serves, The Giambotta, which consists of pepperoni, sausage, salami, mushrooms, peppers, onions, anchovies, and Mozzarella cheese.

The Giambotta

The Giambotta

Once seated which did not take too long, our order was in and a beer was in my hand in no time, thanks to the speedy service that is provided at Regina’s. Shortly after we ordered, our Regina’s masterpieces were delivered to our table, and I was ready to try what everyone was telling me was Boston’s best pizza. Now as I said, Pizza and Jersey are like Guns and Texas, Hockey and Canadians, or Lies and Politicians, so I know pizza, and Regina makes damn good pizza. Now I am not saying that Jersey pizza is not better in some places that I have been, but if I ever had to move to Boston, I could surely get my Pizza fix within the confines of this North End staple.

Mike's Pastry

Mike’s Pastry

If you read my blog regularly you know that I am infatuated with the cannoli like Courtney Love, well, loves her some crack cocaine.  So when multiple foodies tell me that Mike’s Pastry is the place to get a cannoli in what is basically Boston’s Little Italy, I had no other choice but to venture down the street from Regina’s and give one of them a try.  This decision was almost as good as the decision I made to marry my loving and supportive wife.   Mike’s offers a myriad of cannoli, filled with everything from the traditional cream to specialty cannoli such as peanut butter or pistachio.  To add to their appeal they also serve a wide array of other Italian indulgences that would make Kirstie Alley fall off the diet wagon once again.

I chose to treat myself to a Peanut Butter Cannoli topped with powdered sugar. Judging from the looks of this pastry shop and the fact that it was crowded at 9:00 PM on a Wednesday night, I assumed this decadent, overstuffed phenomenon was going to be good, but I was not ready for the shear awesomeness that this shell full of heaven was going to deliver. With reckless abandon for my shirt and pants, I could not stop eating this bliss wrapped in a flakey shell as powdered sugar rained down on my clothes like hell fire. Afterword, I not only looked like Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan after a night at the Roxy, but I was just as happy as them as well.

Bleacher Bar

Bleacher Bar

There was only one thing left to do after treating ourselves to a wonderful evening in the North End of Boston, and that was, return to the Fenway area and drink a cold beer at the coolest bar in town. Once again my fellow foodies came through in the clutch and informed me of a place called Bleacher Bar that is located literally under the bleachers of Fenway. These Uber sports bar not only have a decent selection of draft beers, but they have something that no other bar in town can boast. This sport’s enthusiast’s mecca has an enormous window that overlooks Fenway Park on the field level. Not only do they have the greatest view of any bar in the city, check that, the country, they don’t charge a freaking cover! That is correct, you heard me right, NO COVER.

The Church Of Boston

The Church Of Boston

Considering that I am an Ordained Reverend with the Universal Life Church, when a few of my blogging cohorts suggested that I visit the Church of Boston for a pint and a meal I could not resist.  This chic Boston Eatery boasts a gourmet gastro pub menu combined with a notable selection of adult beverages.  Adding to the appeal of this epicurean sanctuary, The Church of Boston offers several choices of seating types for their patrons to enjoy, including booths, high top tables, and even couches for a relaxing place to rest your rump while imbibing a cold after work cocktail.  Boston’s holy bistro also has a separate room for live music where the area’s top local bands perform their unique hymns seven nights a week starting at 9 P.M.

Church's Noodle Bowl

Church’s Noodle Bowl

Church delivers a truly unique design premise with an accompanying relaxed ambiance that I have not yet to experience in any other bar that I have been to.  The stained glass windows that adorn one full wall of the bar are an additional luxury, which enhances the already chic interior of this amazing eatery.  To top it all off, their menu had so many delectable choices that it took me quite some time to decide what to have.  Furthermore, their drink selection is quite substantial and formidable in its own right.  When visiting Church, it would be a sin not to indulge in their specialty cocktails appropriately labeled the Four Horsemen and the Seven Deadly Sins.  If beer is what you’re after to pair with your amazing food, I suggest trying the always original and tasty Pretty Little Things Offering, which is basically whatever crazy concoction that four Massachusetts beer obsessed hop heads created that week.

El Pelon

El Pelon

 

After eating at the Church of Boston, we made our way to one of the last true Baseball Churches left standing, Fenway Park to catch a game and drink some beers.  After the game I was a little bit hungry and was in need of a midnight snack.  I checked my list of foodie approved eateries in the area and stumbled upon a place called El Pelon Taqueria.  Not only was this well-known Taqueria on our way back to the hotel, but honestly, nothing quenches a nighttime craving like a burrito.

El Guapo Burrito

El Guapo Burrito

After a quick look at the menu, I decided to go with El Guapo Burrito stuffed with pork, Mexican rice, black beans, fried plantains, Jack cheese, fire roasted Salsa, romaine lettuce and sour cream. Upon ordering this utterly tantalizing Burrito, the very cordial waitress simply uttered I hope you’re hungry. She was not kidding; the Burrito she handed me was so hefty that I could have done curls with it, and its girth would make Ron Jeremy blush. Not only was this burrito gy-freaking-normous it was bursting with such immense flavor that my taste buds decided to do the Mexican hat dance. This was the perfect ending to my culinary globetrot through Boston, and I went to bed that evening not only full but awestruck by the Boston Foodie Scene.

I have to thank all the wonderful foodies that helped steer the Gastro Express that I rode through Boston during the course of this week. Without them, my trip would have been filled with dirty water dogs and hot pockets. If you are ever thinking about going to Boston, I suggest visiting their blogs, liking them on Facebook, or following them on Twitter before you go so you too can get their expert advice on where to go in their magnificent city. The following is a list of their sites so you can find them:

A Boston Food Diary:  http://www.abostonfooddiary.com

Pig Trip:  http://www.pigtrip.net/

Blog and Tweet Boston:  https://twitter.com/BlogAndTweetBos

Peace, Love, and Food:  http://peaceloveandfood.com

Foodology (Actually from Vancouver but has visited Boston):  http://foodology.ca/

Hidden Boston:  http://hiddenboston.com/

The Economical Eater:  http://www.theeconomicaleater.com/

Chow Down Bean Town:  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/blogs/chowdown/

Just Add Cheese:  http://www.justaddcheese.com/

 

The Blue Collar Foodie Visits Morris Tap & Grill for a Beer Paired With a Side Of Awesome

If there is one specific type of eatery that exemplifies the Blue Collar Foodie movement that I have been trying to showcase throughout my blogging career it would have to be the Gastro Pub. These establishments combine good old fashioned blue collar elements with a twist of foodie flair causing epicurean adventurers like myself to flock to them like Charlie Sheen to a dysfunctional twenty- something with daddy issues. Since this movement is catching like wild fire, it is hard to keep up with all the Gastro Pubs that are popping up faster than a New York Mets fan gives up on the season, but one specific Pub caught my interest a while back and I vowed to pay them a visit.   I am referring to none other than Morris Tap & Grill, located at 500 Route 10 West in Randolph, NJ.

Morris Tap & Grill

Morris Tap & Grill has been on my radar since they damn near slapped me sober with foodie brilliance at the Morris Town Beer Fest. Since that day I knew I needed to make the trek down to Randolph to try the full MTG experience.   So, Kat and I made plans to meet with another Gastro Centric couple, Mr. Jabre and Ms. Berners-Lee, who are from those parts and head over to Morris Tap & Grill for a fun-filled evening of tempting vittles and libations.

When we arrived at the Morris Tap & Grill, I was surprised to hear the harmonious hums of a live band jamming out in the bar area. Much to my delight the band was playing at the perfect level as to add to the ambience of the restaurant but still allow pleasant dinner conversation at a normal speaking tone. If you are anything like my past self you may have just shot the computer screen a derision-laden glare in response to that comment, and most likely thought of me as an old fuddy duddy who does not like his music loud anymore. I assure you, I still feel there is a time and place for loud music, but while I am trying to eat dinner is not one of them, so I was very happy that the Morris Tap & Grill were savvy enough to take that into consideration.

Upon reaching our table and meeting up with our fellow foodies, we were almost immediately welcomed by our server Katrina who offered us our Menu’s and whole hearted greeting, which was appreciated immensely. I seem to be able to tell a greeting that is laced with contrived emotions, but Katrina honestly seemed like she enjoyed her job and was happy to help us, which instantly set the mood for our dining experience.

My first mission when I visit a Gastropub is the challenging task of picking my first beer of the evening. If you have never been to a Gastropub, you may not have ever had this issue, but once you venture down the rabbit hole that is craft beers you will find that sometimes selecting a beer can be as hard as catching the white rabbit. So, if you are an over analytical beer fanatic like me and you find yourself staring at an extensive and impressive beer list the likes of the Morris Tap & Grills, this process could take several minutes and some arduous decision making, which may cause your wife and friends to stare at you with an ominous ire as their stomachs grumble. Fortunately, Morris Tap & Grill has once again thought of this problematic situation before you even walked in the door, and are nice enough to offer what is known as a flight of beers as the solution.   For anyone that has never had a flight of beer, it is quite simply, four small beers instead of one big beer, which allows you to taste multiple beers instead of only choosing one. With the knowledgeable assistance of Katrina, I was able to piece together my beer flight and our drink orders were on their way to the bar.

Morris Tap & Grill Beer Flight

With our first undertaking considered to be success we moved onto our next imperative task of the evening, our meals.   I am not sure what is more comprehensive and grandiose, the Morris Tap & Grill’s beer menu or there dinner menu, but one thing is for certain, they both can make a Blue Collar Foodie salivate like a German Shepard at Pavlov’s B&B. Since, I knew that I was attending Morris Tap & Grill and was already their friend on Facebook, I launched a pre-emptive attack on my ever-wavering entrée contemplation, and asked the MTG what they suggest I eat to fully experience their Chef’s culinary modus operandi. Much to my surprise, Chef Eric, himself wrote me back and suggested a few dishes that he felt a Blue Collar Foodie, such as me would enjoy.   Chef Eric recommended the following dishes; the Trio of bacon, the Pork Shank, any of the Burgers, particularly the Baconeater, the Southwest, or the BBQ, The Shrimp cannelloni, the Twisted Chicken Pot Pie, and finally the Avocado “Fillet.” If you follow this blog at all you know damn well which dish I chose! Chef Eric Sir you had me at Trio of Bacon. My beautiful wife, Kat spun the gastronomy roulette wheel and it landed on the Short Ribs, which she is drawn to like a teenager to a sparkling vampire. Mr. Jabre decided to stick to the Chef’s recommendations which was also highly indorsed by Katrina and went with Twisted Chicken Pot Pie where as his lovely lady also chose off the Chef Eric approved list and decided upon the BBQ burger. We also ordered a Spinach Artichoke Dip for the table to prime our stomachs for the meals that were forthcoming.

Morris Tap & Grill Spinach Artichoke Dip

With most of the decision making behind us, we were able to absorb the overall atmosphere of the Morris Tap & Grill. I felt quite at home within the rustic yet elegant confines of this eatery and as we lost ourselves in conversation our appetizer arrived at the table. The Spinach Artichoke dish that arrived on our table carried with it such a heavenly aroma that I was barely able to take a picture of it before everyone at our table was jockeying for position to dive into it. As I dipped my first chip into this diptastic concoction, I could tell the texture was just right. Firm enough to stay on the chip, but forgiving enough to not break this conveyance vessel. This potion was not only the right consistency but the flavor was spot-on as well, let’s just say that once it landed on our table, it was not long for this world. After polishing off the Spinach Dip, we ordered another round of drinks from Katrina, and shortly after their arrival the entrees made their appearance.

Morris Tap & Grill Bacon

The Trio of Bacon consisted of Mustard & Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, Bacon Baked Beans, and Grilled Pork Belly. From the shear looks of this dish, I could tell right away that I had made the proper choice. I first tried the hearty Baked Beans which had a thick palatable sauce which smothered the copious amounts of bacon that were swimming with the beans. The beans packed quite a flavor punch, and I found myself eating bite after bite, before moving on to the Pork Loin, which was expertly cooked, causing the medallions to be not only delicious but tender as well. Lastly I picked up a piece of the Grilled Pork Belly with my fork and brought it to my mouth slowly with anticipation. You see, in the healthy world we live in now, eating Pork Belly is tantamount to calling the Queen of England a, well let’s just say a word that rhymes with punt and starts with a C, shall we. Yet these tasty morsels of piggy goodness are what my stomach’s wet dreams are made of, and I cannot thank Morris Tap & Grill enough for affording me the opportunity of savoring every last bite of these perfectly cooked cholesterol loaded pork gems.

Morris Tap & Grill Rib

Kat was generous enough to allow me a small taste of her short ribs so I could experience, in her words, all their beefy magnificence. After I tasted her dish, TWSS, I completely understood why she wanted me to try it. First off, the ribs were cooked in such a way that the meat literally fell apart, as Kat gently poked them with her fork. Furthermore, the meat was so tender and the sauce so tasty that I had to eat another piece of my pork belly to stop from distracting Kat, and stealing another piece off her plate.

Morris Tap and Grill Twisted Chicken

I was also afforded the opportunity to try Mr. Jabre’s Twisted Chicken Pot Pie and Ms. Berners-Lee’s Burger. The Twisted Chicken Pot Pie, consisted of all the standard ingredients of chicken pot pie, but instead of being in a pie crust, Chef Eric stuffs those ingredients inside the chicken itself. I find normal chicken pot pie to be rather hum-drum so this inventive twist was a welcomed changed. It also helped that it tasted better than any pot pie that has ever graced my well versed spoon. As for the burger, it was perfectly cooked and chock full of flavor.

I am not one for dessert right after my meal. I would much rather allow the flavors that I just assaulted my taste buds with to loiter a while, and I feel that dessert hinders this effect. With that said, while perusing the MTG menu one particular item caught my eye, and I felt that I would be doing every one of you a disservice if I did not at least try it. Morris Tap & Grill offers something that I have never heard of before, listed as beer cocktails on the menu. I was so intrigued by this concept I simply had to order one of them.   I opted for the one that utilized Left Hand’s Nitro Chocolate Stout as its base, and rolled the proverbial dice. This drink consisted of the Stout, Espresso Vodka, Godiva Vodka, and Chambord, topped off with a Chocolate Drizzle. When this creation hit my lips I was forced to rethink everything I ever claimed to know about beer and liquor, so much so that I had to memorize a new rhyme. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear, Beer before liquor you will never be sicker, Liquor in beer and Holy shit that’s good! Alright I am still working on the Rhyme, but you get my point, order one, you will thank me.

Morris Tap & Grill Beer

I, for one enjoy the almost ironic, albeit Alanis Morissette irony not actual irony, feeling of eating proper foodie fare in a pub like environment paired with a craft beer, instead of wine. This duality is the exact reason that I love Gastro Pubs! These wonderful establishments, Morris Tap &Grill included, embody the very essence of being a Blue Collar Foodie. Sometimes I wish I was not a foodie, my life would be easier if I could stuff my craw with bland mush and tasteless chops, but then I visit places like Morris Tap & Grill and with one forkful, edible enlightenment this notion is whisked away and replaced with yet another blissful epicurean memory.

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The Blue Collar Foodie Visits Morris Tap & Grill for a Beer Paired With a Side Of Awesome

If there is one specific type of eatery that exemplifies the Blue Collar Foodie movement that I have been trying to showcase throughout my blogging career it would have to be the Gastro Pub.  These establishments combine good old fashioned blue collar elements with a twist of foodie flair causing epicurean adventurers like myself to flock to them like Charlie Sheen to a dysfunctional twenty- something with daddy issues.  Since this movement is catching like wild fire, it is hard to keep up with all the Gastro Pubs that are popping up faster than a New York Mets fan gives up on the season, but one specific Pub caught my interest a while back and I vowed to pay them a visit.   I am referring to none other than Morris Tap & Grill, located at 500 Route 10 West in Randolph, NJ.

Morris Tap & Grill

Morris Tap & Grill

Morris Tap & Grill has been on my radar since they damn near slapped me sober with foodie brilliance at the Morris Town Beer Fest.  Since that day I knew I needed to make the trek down to Randolph to try the full MTG experience.   So, Kat and I made plans to meet with another Gastro Centric couple, Brian and Kristen, who are from those parts and head over to Morris Tap & Grill for a fun-filled evening of tempting vittles and libations.

When we arrived at the Morris Tap & Grill, I was surprised to hear the harmonious hums of a live band jamming out in the bar area.  Much to my delight the band was playing at the perfect level as to add to the ambience of the restaurant but still allow pleasant dinner conversation at a normal speaking tone.  If you are anything like my past self you may have just shot the computer screen a derision-laden glare in response to that comment, and most likely thought of me as an old fuddy duddy who does not like his music loud anymore.  I assure you, I still feel there is a time and place for loud music, but while I am trying to eat dinner is not one of them, so I was very happy that the Morris Tap & Grill were savvy enough to take that into consideration.

Upon reaching our table and meeting up with our fellow foodies, we were almost immediately welcomed by our server Katrina who offered us our Menu’s and whole hearted greeting, which was appreciated immensely.  I seem to be able to tell a greeting that is laced with contrived emotions, but Katrina honestly seemed like she enjoyed her job and was happy to help us, which instantly set the mood for our dining experience.

Beer Flight

Beer Flight

My first mission when I visit a Gastropub is the challenging task of picking my first beer of the evening.  If you have never been to a Gastropub, you may not have ever had this issue, but once you venture down the rabbit hole that is craft beers you will find that sometimes selecting a beer can be as hard as catching the white rabbit.  So, if you are an over analytical beer fanatic like me and you find yourself staring at an extensive and impressive beer list the likes of the Morris Tap & Grills,  this process could take several minutes and some arduous decision making, which may cause your wife and friends to stare at you with an ominous ire as their stomachs grumble.  Fortunately, Morris Tap & Grill has once again thought of this problematic situation before you even walked in the door, and are nice enough to offer what is known as a flight of beers as the solution.   For anyone that has never had a flight of beer, it is quite simply, four small beers instead of one big beer, which allows you to taste multiple beers instead of only choosing one.  With the knowledgeable assistance of Katrina, I was able to piece together my beer flight and our drink orders were on their way to the bar.

With our first undertaking considered to be success we moved onto our next imperative task of the evening, our meals.   I am not sure what is more comprehensive and grandiose, the Morris Tap & Grill’s beer menu or there dinner menu, but one thing is for certain, they both can make a Blue Collar Foodie salivate like a German Shepard at Pavlov’s B&B.  Since, I knew that I was attending Morris Tap & Grill and was already their friend on Facebook, I launched a pre-emptive attack on my ever-wavering entrée contemplation, and asked the MTG what they suggest I eat to fully experience their Chef’s culinary modus operandi.  Much to my surprise, Chef Eric Levine, himself wrote me back and suggested a few dishes that he felt a Blue Collar Foodie, such as me would enjoy.   Chef Eric recommended the following dishes; the Trio of bacon, the Pork Shank, any of the Burgers, particularly the Baconeater, the Southwest, or the BBQ, The Shrimp cannelloni, the Twisted Chicken Pot Pie, and finally the Avocado “Fillet.”  If you follow this blog at all you know damn well which dish I chose!  Chef Eric Sir you had me at Trio of Bacon.  My beautiful wife, Kat spun the gastronomy roulette wheel and it landed on the Short Ribs, which she is drawn to like a teenager to a sparkling vampire. Brian decided to stick to the Chef’s recommendations which was also highly indorsed by Katrina and went with Twisted Chicken Pot Pie where as his lovely lady also chose off the Chef Eric approved list and decided upon the BBQ burger.  We also ordered a Spinach Artichoke Dip for the table to prime our stomachs for the meals that were forthcoming.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

With most of the decision making behind us, we were able to absorb the overall atmosphere of the Morris Tap & Grill.  I felt quite at home within the rustic yet elegant confines of this eatery and as we lost ourselves in conversation our appetizer arrived at the table.  The Spinach Artichoke dish that arrived on our table carried with it such a heavenly aroma that I was barely able to take a picture of it before everyone at our table was jockeying for position to dive into it.  As I dipped my first chip into this diptastic concoction, I could tell the texture was just right.  Firm enough to stay on the chip, but forgiving enough to not break this conveyance vessel.  This potion was not only the right consistency but the flavor was spot-on as well, let’s just say that once it landed on our table, it was not long for this world.  After polishing off the Spinach Dip, we ordered another round of drinks from Katrina, and shortly after their arrival the entrees made their appearance.

Trio of Bacon!

Trio of Bacon!

The Trio of Bacon consisted of Mustard & Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, Bacon Baked Beans, and Grilled Pork Belly.  From the shear looks of this dish, I could tell right away that I had made the proper choice.  I first tried the hearty Baked Beans which had a thick palatable sauce which smothered the copious amounts of bacon that were swimming with the beans.  The beans packed quite a flavor punch, and I found myself eating bite after bite, before moving on to the Pork Loin, which was expertly cooked, causing the medallions to be not only delicious but tender as well.  Lastly I picked up a piece of the Grilled Pork Belly with my fork and brought it to my mouth slowly with anticipation.  You see, in the healthy world we live in now, eating Pork Belly is tantamount to calling the Queen of England a, well let’s just say a word that rhymes with punt and starts with a C, shall we.  Yet these tasty morsels of piggy goodness are what my stomach’s wet dreams are made of, and I cannot thank Morris Tap & Grill enough for affording me the opportunity of savoring every last bite of these perfectly cooked cholesterol loaded pork gems.

PORK BELLY

PORK BELLY

Kat was generous enough to allow me a small taste of her short ribs so I could experience, in her words, all their beefy magnificence.  After I tasted her dish, TWSS, I completely understood why she wanted me to try it.  First off, the ribs were cooked in such a way that the meat literally fell apart, as Kat gently poked them with her fork.  Furthermore, the meat was so tender and the sauce so tasty that I had to eat another piece of my pork belly to stop from distracting Kat, and stealing another piece off her plate.

Short Ribs

Short Ribs

I was also afforded the opportunity to try Brian’s Twisted Chicken Pot Pie and Kristen’s Burger.  The Twisted Chicken Pot Pie, consisted of all the standard ingredients of chicken pot pie, but instead of being in a pie crust, Chef Eric stuffs those ingredients inside the chicken itself.  I find normal chicken pot pie to be rather hum-drum so this inventive twist was a welcomed changed.  It also helped that it tasted better than any pot pie that has ever graced my well versed spoon.  As for the burger, it was perfectly cooked and chock full of flavor.

Twisted Chicken

Twisted Chicken

I am not one for dessert right after my meal.  I would much rather allow the flavors that I just assaulted my taste buds with to loiter a while, and I feel that dessert hinders this effect.  With that said, while perusing the MTG menu one particular item caught my eye, and I felt that I would be doing every one of you a disservice if I did not at least try it.  Morris Tap & Grill offers something that I have never heard of before, listed as beer cocktails on the menu.  I was so intrigued by this concept I simply had to order one of them.   I opted for the one that utilized Left Hand’s Nitro Chocolate Stout as its base, and rolled the proverbial dice. This drink consisted of the Stout, Espresso Vodka, Godiva Vodka, and Chambord, topped off with a Chocolate Drizzle. When this creation hit my lips I was forced to rethink everything I ever claimed to know about beer and liquor, so much so that I had to memorize a new rhyme.  Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear, Beer before liquor you will never be sicker, Liquor in beer and Holy shit that’s good!  Alright I am still working on the Rhyme, but you get my point, order one, you will thank me.

Chocolate Beer Concoction

Chocolate Beer Concoction

I, for one enjoy the almost ironic, albeit Alanis Morissette irony not actual irony, feeling of eating proper foodie fare in a pub like environment paired with a craft beer, instead of wine.  This duality is the exact reason that I love Gastro Pubs!  These wonderful establishments, Morris Tap &Grill included, embody the very essence of being a Blue Collar Foodie.  Sometimes I wish I was not a foodie, my life would be easier if I could stuff my craw with bland mush and tasteless chops, but then I visit places like Morris Tap & Grill and with one forkful, edible enlightenment this notion is whisked away and replaced with yet another blissful epicurean memory.

Morris Tap and Grill on Urbanspoon

Morristown Big Brew Beer Festival 2013!

Before I write this review, I would like to preface it with the following:

From my perspective this event was a huge hit, due to the fact that I purchased V.I.P. tickets, and I had an amazing time, but I would be remiss if I did not include some of the complaints that caused the event’s website to become a billboard of apologies after the event ended. The event staff stated that they had a complete failure of the barcode scanning system which led to the enormous lines in the almost unbearable weather Saturday night, I was informed that some patrons waited upwards of 2 hours to enter the event. The event staff also apologized for the lack of restrooms for both men and women the venue provided, causing bathroom lines to exceed 30 minutes at sometimes during the event. If you experienced any of these issues, I can see why you were not happy, but with that said, I would like to move past the oversights of the planning committee and touch on some of the highlights of what an event like this should be, and hopefully will be next year. The event staff has stated that you can contact them at bigbrewbeerfest@aol.com in order to request a refund if your ticket was unused or you can e-mail them your experiences and they will attempt to make it up to you, the customer, in the future.    

Welcome to Morristown's Big Brew Beer Festival

Welcome to Morristown’s Big Brew Beer Festival

There are very few words in the English language that when combined create a sense of pure joy deep down in a man’s core.   Unlimited bacon for example, is one such combination, Super Bowl is another, but since my doctor says that my cholesterol is higher than Oscar Meyer’s and the Super Bowl just ended, there can only be one duet of manly verbiage that I can be writing about this week, BEER FESTIVAL!

Morristown's Big Brew Beer Festival

For anyone who does not know what a beer festival is, -1 man point if you have a Y chromosome, it is an event where beer vendors from all over the country converge on one particular longitude and latitude to showcase their hoppy goodness, and attempt to woo potential new customers, by filling their gullets full of their wondrous concoctions.  In addition, to the fantastic beers that are usually on hand at one of these magical soirées, there is never a shortage of awe inspiring food and attention-grabbing vendors vying for your business as well. These events are quite literally a warehouse full of Mangasm!

Last Saturday I had the privilege to attend The Morristown Big Brew Beer Festival that was held at the Morristown Armory.  Kat, my wife, and I decided to splurge and purchase the VIP admission because it allowed us to enter an hour early, sample the most exclusive beers at the festival, and included a gourmet hors d’oeuvre spread provided by the Morris Tap and Grill. Considering that I knew that I was going to be writing a review about this event, I felt it was my duty as a food blogger to not only write about the tantalizing libations but also the unique food offerings, even though this ticket was $85.00 instead of $60.00.

Kat and I arrived at the Morristown Armory shortly before the doors opened and took our place in line while we waited to be let into the venue. Upon entering the venue, we met up with our friends Kristen and Brian and began to wander around the immense warehouse like space that housed the 100 plus craft beers that were on hand. We immediately headed for the V.I.P lounge which contained the extra special beers like 25th Anniversary Imperial Stout by Lakefront Brewery, INC., a Doppel Bock from the Climax Brewing Company, and of course FU Sandy by Flying Fish Brewing Co., which is a limited edition beer that supports the relief effort for rebuilding towns that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The Spread!

The Spread!

After we wet our whistle with some of the best 2oz samples of beer that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting, we decided to visit the hors d’oeuvre table. The Morris Tap and Grill offered an array of gastronomic appetizers that left me asking myself, why the hell I had not heard about this place sooner, seriously my so called Facebook “friends”, you are all at fault here, and I am not sure that I can forgive you.

If someone started a religion where instead of communion, I was able to approach the alter and eat the Bacon Hummus, the Morris Tap and Grill served, I might consider accepting whatever depraved creature that church worshipped as my lord and savior. In this religion we just created The Chili that was served would most definitely be considered Satan due to the perfect amount of burn that it delivered with each bite. Rounding out the food table was a variety of cheese and crackers and a delicate mushroom salad that added some relief from the flawless tingle left behind from Beelzebub dancing on our tongues.

FU Sandy

FU Sandy

After we ate, it was once again time for us to venture into the beer laden abyss known as the beer festival and imbibe some more mouthwatering offerings. As we meandered through the armory, we stopped at whatever random beer vendor that tickled our fancy. We sipped, gulped, swigged, sniffed, and tasted our way through a myriad of vendors and appreciated every second of it while we waxed poetically about the barrage of flavors that engulfed our taste buds. Some of the highlights of this second wave of tastings were:

Hop’solutely by Fegley’s Brew Works, Wookey Jack by Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Diesel by Sixpoint Brewery, Humdinger Burnpile by Magic Hat Brewing Company, Pumpkin Smasher by Big Muddy Brewing, Art of Darkness by Ommegang Brewery, Christmas Ale by Goose Island, Double Platinum Imperial IPA by Starr Hill, Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde Hefe Weizen by High Point Brewing Company , 400 Pound by Left Hand Brewing Co., Hopsecutioner by Terrapin Beer Co., Ubu Ale by Saranac, Double D IPA by Old Dominion Brewing Co., Maudite by Unibroue, Exit 16 – Wild Rice Double IPA by Flying Fish Brewing Co., Thunderhead IPA by Pyramid Breweries, Scarlet Lady Ale by Stoudts, Reserve Imperial IPA by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Sneak Attack Saison by 21st Amendment Brewery, County Line IPA by Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Rumspringa by Lancaster Brewing, Sweaty Betty by Boulder Beer Company, Crispin Cider, and Woodchuck Hard Cider.

Grilled Voodoo Chicken Sliders

Grilled Voodoo Chicken Sliders

Since the neurons in our brains were firing more haphazardly than a Los Angeles’ Police Officer with an arrest warrant from all delightful libations, we decided it was a good time to refuel at the Morris Tap and Grill station once again. This time unfortunately we had to pay for this meal, but it was worth every penny. We decided to try the Grilled Voodoo Chicken Sliders and The Baconator Sliders. The chicken sliders were expertly seasoned and once again had just the right amount of tangy goodness to wake our taste buds. The Baconators were slightly undercooked but still tasty. Kristen and Brian procured some cheese curds from the Wisconsin’s Cows and Curds Food Truck that was parked in the event and afforded me a taste, which made my stomach smile.

Wisconsin’s Cows and Curds Food Truck

Wisconsin’s Cows and Curds Food Truck

After stuffing our faces full of this scrumptious nourishment, we decided it may be a good idea to saunter around a bit and visit some of the vendors that were not supplying us with an unlimited supply of hangover juice. The first vendor we spoke to was The New Jersey Craft Beer (NJCB) Membership Club which offers its members discounts on craft beer through its partnership with local businesses. Being that I am The Blue Collar Foodie, if there is a way to get a deal, it is most definitely for me, and I joined on the spot. The next stop on the sobering up tour was ChewTheDirt.Com, which is an E-Zine that claimed to be a curator of man stuff. I was able to speak to the man behind the magazine and peruse the website for a short while and liked what I heard and saw. Chew The Dirt reminded me of Maxim Magazine before they turned into just another boring men’s magazine and lost their edge. We then stopped over at the Jersey Club Sports’ table and discussed the finer points of Kickball and Dodge Ball, two of the team sports this innovative and fun company offers its clientele. Next we stumbled upon the JR Cigar table and chatted about the only product on this planet more masculine than the beer we were sampling, stogies. We were even able to find a table serving samples of Homemade Momma’s Hot Apple Garlic Chicken Wing Sauce, which Kat bought before I could finish my sample spoonful.

Cider

Kat likes her cider!

After all this nomadic gib-jabber, we realized that we needed to drink some more beer, considering this was a beer festival so we embarked on mission number 3. Knowing this was our last round of drinking, Brian and I set our sights towards the breweries that were a must visit before we vacated this beertopia, while Kat and Kristen decided to stalk the Cider tables once again. Our final choices to sample were:

Ellie’s Brown Ale by Avery Brewing, Oak Aged Barleywine by Schlafly, Deviant Dale’s by Oskar Blues Brewery, Finest Kind IPA by Smuttynose Brewing Co., Double Simcoe IPA by Weyerbacher, Evil Eye PA by Evil Genius Beer Company, Double White by Long Trail Brewing Co., Maximus by Laugunitas Brewing Company, IPA by Full Sail Brewing Co., Mad Hatter IPA by New Holland Brewing Company, and IPA by Cisco Brewers.

Goodbye Big Brew Beer Fest! See you next year!

Goodbye Big Brew Beer Fest! See you next year!

After this last round of drinks, it was time for us to catch our ride, a huge thanks to Kristen’s Mom because Kat and I were in no condition to walk 2 miles, to the Morristown Train station for our safe train ride home. I am sure I am going to catch some hate mail for writing this obviously pro Morristown Big Brew Beer Festival, but I absolutely feel that the event staff involved did not mean to ruin anyone’s day on purpose. This was the first year this event was held and like anything in life, you live and you learn. I do hope that this event will be held once again next year and everyone has the opportunity to have as good of a time as we did at this event.