Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Avery Brewing's Rumpkin Ale

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Hello?!!  18.53%!   37 Proof, yo!!



Ya, in terms of liquor, it's small potatoes.  But we're talking about beer!!  This was my first pumpkin beer in a loooooon time -  And my first ever RUM barrel aged beer.  I loved it.   



Pumpkin pie in a beer!  It might be a touch too sweet [beer-wise] for some, as it teeters into the port wine stratosphere but it was a damn good beer, nonetheless.  Good thing it came in a 12 oz bottle and I had others to share it with!



Monday, November 11, 2013

Donut Friend (Highland Park)

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Signage.



Our order, boxed and ready to go.



These aren't your everyday donuts.



For my order, I decided to pick from their pre-set menu.



But if you wanna build your own, you have that option too. 



It's like a Pinkberry or Subway with all kinds of fixins for you to slather, drizzle, sprinkle, stuff and grate goodies onto.



See what I mean?



See!?



...



I mean, have you ever seen herbs in play at a donut shop? Mexican cinnamon sticks? Whole nutmeg? Sriracha?  Yup, Sriracha.



But like I said, I played it safe and went with their signature donuts on this visit.




Bacon 182 - Bacon, maple glaze.

Being a fan of bacon donuts, the Bacon 182 was a no-brainer.  It was delicious and now occupies the Silver Medal behind The LA Fair's Texas sized donut.


Jets To Basil - Goat cheese, strawberry jam, fresh basil, sugar glaze, balsamic reduction.

Because we set out to Donut Friend to satiate a chocolate lover's craving, I decided to order as many non-chocolate donuts as we did chocolate one.  This one was pretty good, tangy and somewhat light with the addition of the fresh basil.


Fudgegazi - Chocolate on chocolate in chocolate.

Sheer decadence.  Chocolate overload. It was my favorite donut.  Now, pass the milk!


Fudgegazi re-visited.  


   The Spanish Bomb - Manchego cheese, quince paste, almonds.

This donut reminded me of a cheese platter but in donut form.  It's not for everyone but definitely something worth trying at least once.  Perhaps not the first donut to try here though.  There are tastier options.



Chocolate from the Crypt - Chocolate cake donut, chocolate shavings, chocolate glaze and warming spices.

The addition of cayenne made this for me.  I'll call this Abuelita's donut.


 This was supposed to have been out "Lemon Weapon" but they botched up the order.  Instead, they gave us a "Drive Like Jelly" with added fresh basil - essentially a peanut butter and jelly donut.  This too was good.  Again, pass me the milk!



  
I thoroughly enjoyed my freshly fried dough and I'll gladly return to try the rest of their donuts...one day.




 Luckily for us, on the Sunday afternoon we went, there was no line out the door.  But our experience was out of the norm, so be prepared to wait.  We ordered within 10 minutes of arriving and still had to wait 20 minutes for our "food."  These things take serious time to assemble and if someone ahead of you orders a few dozen to go, well...good luck.



 See you soon, my friend!



Friday, November 1, 2013

Strand Brewing Co. (Torrance)

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Strand Brewing Co. - Another contributor in the craft beer scene outta Torrance.  



Their brewery/tasting room is located smack-dab in the middle of the industrial part of town.



I've had a handful of beers from these guys now and nothing has underwhelmed.  In fact, they have all exceeded my expectations by varying degrees.  I gotta admit though, for whatever reason and unjustifiably so, I set the bar low for for this brewery.  There was no rhyme or reason for it either.  I just kinda wrote them off.  Well, shame on me.  I'm officially a fan.       



Two of the latest beers I've drank from these guys were their Beach House Amber & Batch 100 Stout.  The amber was what I would consider a "session-able beer" for my palate - standard abv, relatively inexpensive beer with enough flavor and hops presence to satiate your thirst without weighing you down.  A perfect brew to have...any time really - to accompany your meal, to pound while watching a game or fight, to quench your thirst while working around the house, or to help keep you hydrated while driving home from work.    


Even better, in my opinion, was their stout.  It's not exactly an all-purpose beer, but it's one that I personally gravitate towards.