This Fresh Forkin' Friday I am madly planning my work and working my plan. I'm cooking for an Oktoberfest party this weekend and that means pork, ja wohl! I'm cooking a pork shoulder overnight in a trough of Surly Furious. I want to pull it, so that the beer lovers can put it on the pretzel rolls and stroll from bonfire to band to beer keg. But because this isn't about barbecue and sauce, it's a little harder. I'm used to dousing the pulled pork in a thin Carolina vinegar sauce to help keep it moist, but there aren't a ton of German versions of this. What I've come up with is a thinner version of Bruce Aidells beer and horseradish mustard. Hopefully it will be tangy and earthy while still letting the pork come through. Wunschen mir Gluck!
Hotly awaited Bar La Grassa is now open in the old Babalu spot in the North Loop. Isaac Becker's menu looks casual yet intriguing. A nice list of antipasti and some bruschetta (soft eggs with lobster, burrata with chili, yum) start it out. Both dry and fresh pasta dishes come in primi and secondi sizes (paccheri with milk braised chicken!) but heartier secondi are also offered including a porcetta and a bistecca for four. For those craving the late-night carbs, they're open late, natch.
CRAVE has opened their West End location and along with the Rainbow Foods, seems to be the only life in the development. While we're still waiting for the theaters to open, Cooper will open next week (Oct. 14th). And the veterans at Good Day Cafe will be opening for dinner quite soon. I swear they are. They promised me. I've tried the mac n' cheese and it is good.
Wondering about the value of the beer stein that your grandpa brought back from Germany? Join a ton of like-minded beer geeks at the North Star Chapter Breweriana Guzzle n' Twirl show this Saturday where tables and tables of vintage coasters, advertisements, glasses, openers, cans and other beery collectibles will be available for sale or barter.
That should get you thirsty enough to start planning your attendance at Town Hall Brewery's 12th Anniversary Week running the 18th - 24th. They'll release a special beer every day including Three Hour Tour (a coconut milk stout) and a double barrel aged Cherry Grand Cru which has won a gold medal. Show up each day and you might win a trip to the Great American Beer Festival.
PBR me ASAP! The crazies at Bryant Lake Bowl have put some stylish PBR pins in their machines. During your Wednesday night bowl fest (from 9 p.m. - midnight), if a PBR pin comes up as the head pin, you win a raffle ticket (for beer swag) and a PBR tall boy. If you get a strike when that headpin is on deck, you win a $10 gift card towards your tab. Bowl on.
Baldies rejoice, you day has come! October 14th is Bald and Free Day at Longfellow Grill (and the rest of the Blue Plate collection of urban diners) where a skinned head will get you a free meal (up to $15). If you think that your hair is holding you back from great things, head shaving will be available from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Well, Ruth bailed on us (it's ok, we understand), but Marcus is still on deck. If you miss those tasting dinners which were punctuated by shots of aquavit, you may want to relive the glory days with Marcus Samuelsson at Cooks of Crocus Hill. He'll be signing books on October 14th at the Grand Avenue store.