Friday, January 13, 2017

Rock & Brews (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)


What's rockin' everyone?

This year is starting off with a bang, and I wanted to share with you one place that I've heard about for a while now, but hadn't visited until now: Rock & Brews!


Rock & Brews (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) on The Episodic Eater


When I heard that co-founder Gene Simmons was going to be at the Rancho Cucamonga location, I prepped myself for a trek to meet the rock god! The atmosphere and the decor is exactly what you would expect from a place called Rock & Brews: cool and relaxed, but still lively! The bar in the back was where more of the party was going on, but I decided to take a look at the menu first...


Rock & Brews (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) on The Episodic Eater


So, I'm not going to lie. When I heard that the restaurant was co-founded by Gene Simmons, I thought, "He's a cool guy, I love his music, he seems so awesome in interviews, but... a restaurant owner?" Then I saw that the menu had just about everything on it: wings, salad, pizza, grilled items, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts. Typically, large menus signal mediocre food, but I was wrong!

I was honestly surprised that I really liked everything I tried. Seriously, I thought the wings were top notch, the desserts were SO good, and I really liked the pizza. There are pizza places that don't make a crust as good as Rock & Brews'! But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's look at all the dishes!

January Beer Review: Winter Brews

I hope everyone's holidays went as well as they could have with a drink in hand, and good food on your plate. If that drink did not live up to expectation, do not worry, I have some more recommendations for you that are sure to not disappoint. I have had some outstanding beer lately, so I made sure to make some good selections that should keep you warm during this cold January. I did in fact throw in a wild card, it was just too good to omit. Let's unveil the stars this month.


January Beer Review: Winter Brews on The Episodic Eater



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January Beer Review - Winter Brews on The Episodic Eater


Allagash Brewing Company - Portland, Maine

Curieux (11% ABV | 27 IBU) - Barrel-Aged Tripel

The Curieux is a very complex offering from Allagash, as it was aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels for eight weeks. It pours nicely, forming a finger head at the top which has medium staying power. Upon sweeping this, I noticed the really nice Belgian yeast notes without the presence of the bourbon barrel, which did surprise me, as generally aging would have immediate effect on the nose. I got quite a bit of caramel up front as I took my first sip, through the middle it transitioned seamlessly to a hint of oak. The oak was very subtle, still surprisingly I had not arrived at the bourbon. It finished off with the faint burn of the bourbon coupled with vanilla which lingered for some time. The vanilla on the finish was wonderful, as you want to really let it sit to enjoy before sipping again.

Pairs well with: Nutty Cheeses, Breads


Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 2016 Beer Review - The Best Beers for Cold Weather


Beerface McGilicutty here! I was gone for a while on a bit of an odyssey. I've taken some time away to race tiger sharks in the water, wrestle bears, have boxing matches with kangaroos, and play tug-of-war with lions. But, I'm back and it's BEER TIME!



December 2016 Beer Review - The Best Beers for Cold Weather on The Episodic Eater


This fall-winter season has been stellar to me with beer, and I could not be more elated to share what I have enjoyed thus far. I'll stop bloody rambling, I know why you are all here.


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December 2016 Beer Review - The Best Beers for Cold Weather on The Episodic Eater


Guinness Brewery - St. James Gate, Dublin, Ireland

Antwerpen Stout (8% ABV | 52 IBU) - Stout

Guinness really did us Americans a solid by letting us try this legend. The Antwerpen Stout is definitely less bitter than most stouts. For that reason, it yields a huge malty flavor up front and finishes off with deep smoky notes of dark chocolate, subtle sweetness, and coffee. The finish stays quite a bit after consumption. This is one you'll want to take your time to savor.


Pairs well with: Steak, Dessert



December 2016 Beer Review - The Best Beers for Cold Weather on The Episodic Eater


Rogue Ales & Spirits - Newport, Oregon

Promise Gone Aw-Rye (7.5% ABV | 70 IBU) - Rye IPA

Thursday, March 24, 2016

MILK + T (Los Angeles, CA)

Before I even started The Episodic Eater, I was all about the food trends and trying everything new.  While boba in Southern California is more of a staple and less of a trend, and food trucks exploded here several years ago, there is something completely fresh and new about the Milk + T's boba truck. What is it?


Milk and T (Los Angeles, CA) on The Episodic Eater


MILK + T is a self-serve boba truck, a completely new concept to me.  In fact, it is the first one in Southern California.  Also, the other fresh concept here is... its freshness!  MILK + T uses real fruit and sugar, lactose-free milk, and other natural ingredients because it is committed to delivering the best product out there.  :)

As you can see below, it's making a buzz and people love the concept!


Milk and T (Los Angeles, CA) on The Episodic Eater


I tried three drinks, and all of them were completely different!  Let me give you the rundown...

First, you order one of the drinks from the menu or you can build your own from scratch.  I chose a couple off of their Top 10 Menu, plus the daily special, the Lady Bug.  Then, they hand you a jar and you proceed to scoop up your ingredients.  Besides boba and various jellies, there is fresh fruit and even chia seeds and basil seeds.  Then, you place your finished jar at the other window, and wait for your finished drink!


Milk and T (Los Angeles, CA) on The Episodic Eater


And voila!  Something tasty gets placed back in the window in a jiffy.  :)


Milk and T (Los Angeles, CA) on The Episodic Eater


All three ended up looking and tasting so different, just from the few ingredients I added and the teas and syrups they added as well.  It's like a fun little science experiment!

Let me describe each one...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold


Today's post is going to be a bit of a departure for The Episodic Eater.  Yes, I still plan to include all the pictures and comments about the dishes I sampled at Guelaguetza Restaurante, one of L.A.'s most iconic restaurants.

Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold on The Episodic Eater
Guelaguetza's bright orange exterior with gorgeous murals


However, there are going to be more words, more thoughts, and one huge step for me in this single post...  I am no longer going to be anonymous.


Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold on The Episodic Eater


One of the reasons I have decided to unmask myself is because of the media screening that I saw of City of Gold a couple of weeks ago.  The subject of the film, Jonathan Gold, is (or was) one of the most secretive food writers in the country.  No longer the case, we are treated to a glimpse into the life of one of our most influential writers.  I purposely say writer and not food critic, because after seeing this movie, you will understand how much he loves and appreciates food that he eats and experiences.  If you have ever read one of his reviews, you will know how easy it is to get lost in his descriptions.

The film, which is being released today, March 11th, is a must-see.  Anyone who loves food, L.A., or peering behind the scenes, will certainly receive a treat.  Believe me, it is a ride... literally.  I think Jonathan Gold must have driven the filmmakers around the city for hours, commenting on every restaurant along the journey.  But more on that later!


Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold on The Episodic Eater


Perhaps the more important reason why I am making a change to write more and no longer be incognito is the lunch that I enjoyed at Guelaguetza.  I remembered that I have something to say about food instead of just a quippy pun accompanying a social media post.  Even if you are a long-time reader, I am guessing you don't know much about me.  You don't know that I have experienced every month at Maude for a full year, or that I consult with restaurants who need business help, or even what I look like, all because I choose to stay behind the scenes.

I knew that needed to change as I was sitting down to lunch with a who's-who in the food world, including the subject of the documentary, the man himself...

Jonathan Gold.


Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold on The Episodic Eater


Yes, in the back room of the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country in the middle of Koreatown, my mind was made up.  I was going to sit back and enjoy the conversation so I could write something authentic and true.  I was actually going to have a meal without needing to snap a million pictures with the best lighting.  I would enjoy my food piping hot for once, because that's why I got into this in the first place, my love of food!

Of course, we all had to take at least a couple photos... while Jonathan Gold (who sat across from me!) eagerly awaited his grasshoppers.  Yep, that's what I said... ;)


Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold on The Episodic Eater


Here are some of my favorite moments of both the lunch and movie, all swirled up into one.  Since I'm not a film critic (or a food critic for that matter), I figured I will do what I know best.

I'm going to let the food tell the story.



Tortilla Chips
with Oaxacan Pasilla Sauce

Guelaguetza Restaurante (Los Angeles, CA) + Lunch with Jonathan Gold of City of Gold on The Episodic Eater
Familiar dish, familiar man.


I admit, I am not a huge chips and salsa fanatic when arriving at a restaurant.  I skip it at parties in favor of something I actually want to eat.  However, there is something about this salsa that I cannot help but get addicted to.  It tastes familiar, like perhaps something from my favorite Honduran restaurant, almost like a spicy Enchilada sauce.


When I was watching the film, I realized that I had never seen Jonathan Gold talk in person.  Yes, I hear him on the radio, I spy his reviews on the wall of practically every L.A. restaurant, and I have seen him in person at the occasional food festival.  But about five minutes into it, I felt like I always knew him, and we were just catching up on his life from the yearly holiday newsletter.




Plato de Chapulines
sautéed grasshoppers in olive oil, salt and pepper

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Del Frisco's Grille (Santa Monica, CA) - Valentine's Day Menu


When it comes to Valentine's Day, I admit that I don't always make plans... but I had a preview of Del Frisco's Grille's menu, and this is definitely worth planning for!  Even better, they are serving the menu all weekend, so you can have it Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, if your little heart desires!


Del Frisco's Grille (Santa Monica, CA) - Valentine's Day Menu on The Episodic Eater


For this tasting, I visited the Del Frisco's Grille location in Santa Monica, literally across the street from the Santa Monica Pier.  We sat on the patio, the perfect place for people-watching and sunset-viewing!


Del Frisco's Grille (Santa Monica, CA) - Valentine's Day Menu on The Episodic Eater




Tennessee Peach
Jack Daniels, Fresh Peaches, Honey, Fresh Lime Juice
Cupid's Cocktail
Stoli Razberi, Pomegranate, Orange Juice topped with Sparkling Wine

Del Frisco's Grille (Santa Monica, CA) - Valentine's Day Menu on The Episodic Eater


We ordered a couple of drinks, with the Cupid's Cocktail being on the special menu!  It was fizzy, sweet, pink, and therefore the perfect Valentine's drink!



Jumbo Lump Crabcake
Cajun Lobster Sauce

Del Frisco's Grille (Santa Monica, CA) - Valentine's Day Menu on The Episodic Eater


We chose a crab cake to start, and it certainly did not disappoint!  It is definitely heavy on the crab and not stuffed with breading filler.  Crab lovers will love it!



Shallot Buttered Green Beans