Take note, aspiring restaurateurs of America. Fewer things can ruin a dining experience than A. a server who doesn’t know the menu and B. vaguely named entrees (what exactly is Luau Margarita Sunset Chicken, anyway?).
This intersection of chaos and destruction landed in my lap recently at a local pub, where Beer Cheese was featured as a special on the menu. With a soft gaze and a polite tone, I asked my server to explain to me exactly what beer cheese is. His unsatisfying response? “I dunno, it just got put on the menu today. You know, it’s like cheese with beer in it. It’s good, though; you’ll like it.”
Enter the smart phone, the saving grace for curious modern minds. (I think phones at the dinner table are tremendously rude, but the circumstances offered no other solution.) Google came through in the clutch with an answer: Beer cheese is a smooth spread that’s reported to have originated in Kentucky and is made of, simply enough, beer and cheese. I could dream up all sorts of evocative descriptions of warm, peppery spices melded with piquant garlic all mounted on a foundation of extra sharp cheddar cheese. But let’s be real here: It’s a cheese spread. A delicious, spicy, garlicky cheese spread.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Oktoberfest Beer Cheese Burgers
It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.
Since Oktoberfest means there’s no point in drinking anything except beer, let’s raise a glass (ahem, a beer stein) to this beer-based sipper that will help us celebrate the drinking traditions of Germany. This Beer and a Ball cocktail offers some refreshment and variety, but it will also help you hold onto the traditional values of this beer-filled holiday season.
Start by muddling sage and grapefruit together, and add Campari, Aperol and a touch of simple syrup to round out the bittersweet flavors. Splash some pale lager into the mixture, and garnish the glass with a fragrant wedge of grapefruit. Sage-kissed and touched with sweetness, all you’ll need with this cocktail is a soft pretzel and a sausage to celebrate Oktoberfest in style.
Bottoms up, folks!
P.S. This cocktail would also make a great addition to your next football party spread.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: A Beer and a Ball Cocktail
While many will be turning up the accordion polka jams for their Oktoberfest celebrations, we thought we would treat your ears with a little more sympathy, so we dug up these fun “German”-inspired tracks for you to listen to while preparing some savory traditional recipes for your Bavarian bash.
Nico – “These Days”
Nico was a German model, actress, singer and songwriter who’s most well-known for her collaboration with the Velvet Underground, with whom she recorded the album The Velvet Underground & Nico, featuring the legendary banana cover designed by Andy Warhol.
Listen to Nico’s ghostly cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” while making the Potato & Beer Soup pictured above.
Continue Reading Musical Tastes: Oktoberfest Playlist