Tuesday, July 21, 2009

of birthdays and beverages, mid-July 2009

This past weekend, I had the good fortune of attending Jared's Bat-Party in glorious celebration of his birthday. In keeping with the theme, a menu of Bat-Related mixed beverages had been devised. I tried several, the most interesting of which being the Joker Shooter:

Bat-Party: The Joker Shooter, photo by J.R. Blackwell, via Jared Axelrod on Flickr

  • The Joker Shooter: 2/3 shot Midori, 1/3 shot Irish Creme. The resultant effect was that the Irish Creme layered on top, if done correctly. Visually pleasing, and quite tasty.

Of course, being wholly unable to "leave well enough alone," I tried a couple of other speculative mixes of my own:

  • The Black Joker: 2/3 shot Midori, 1/3 shot Kahlua. The resultant effect was that the Kahlua layered on the bottom. Visually interesting, but not so pleasing. Something about the mix brought a bitterness out of the Kahlua, and the "chocolate melon" taste that resulted is not something I'd recommend.
  • The Asian Joker: 2/3 shot Midori, 1/3 shot lemonade. The resultant effect was that the lemonade mixed with the Midori, although a portion of the Midori did layer out on the bottom, on close inspection. Not visually interesting, but quite sweet and tasty.

Also this past weekend, I was sadly not able to attend Jason's dapper party in glorious celebration of his birthday. Jason did craft a beverage in the good southern tradition, and posted the enticing recipe that I must try at my earliest convenience:

blueberry martini, photo by Jason Adams, on Flickr

  • The Blueberry Martini: as rogued from his post...

Handful of fresh blueberries
1.5 oz vodka
0.5 oz blue curacao
2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
muddle the berries in a cocktail shaker, add vodka, blue curacao, and lemon juice. Fill shaker with crushed ice. Shake it like you mean it. Strain into a martini glass. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, gentlemen.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Schmidt's Sausage Haus

Despite hailing from the Cincinnati area and having a penchant for German foodstuffs, I had never made it up to Schmidt's before leaving Ohio. More recently, I heard tell of legends of Schmidt's from Origins attendees, specifically in terms of their legendary cream puff desserts that were reportedly each the size of a human head. At last year's Origins, there wasn't time to stop by, but this year I finally made my repast. And oh, what tasty goodness abounded...

  • Food - The food at Schmidt's is rich German fare, the clear centerpiece of which are the many sausage dishes. All of their sausages are made in-house, the most marketable variety being the Bahama Mama - a fusion of German sausage and citrus-spice flavors that was my favorite of what they had on offer. While they have numerous entrees, sausage plates, and sandwiches available, the centerpiece of their menu is the all-you-can-eat German Autobahn Buffet.

Photo by Codeshaman via Flickr
  • Beer - The beer selection is broad. As one might expect, there are a variety of German imports available, such as Warsteiner Dunkel. They also have a core selection of local microbrew offerings, including the Elevator Brewing Company's Three Frogs IPA. All draft beers are available in three glass sizes, the largest of which is a proper stein... as It Should Be.
  • Desserts - I am led to understand that all of the desserts are wonderful, but to be honest, I came for the creme puffs. They did not disappoint, although it turns out that describing their size as being akin to that of a human head is somewhat misleading... unless one specifically meant "the size of the head of a rather plump child," which would be more like it. The puff-heads are made on-site, and come in numerous standard and special flavors, such as chocolate, peanut butter, and classic vanilla.

Photo by Codeshaman via Flickr
I am pleased to have finally sampled the delicious glory that is Schmidt's. It has my highest recommendation for German cuisine and atmosphere of any stateside restaurant I've visited since my trip to Munich (I should get around to documenting that at some point), and I expect to return there in the future as a rare treat. That said, I am even more pleased that I do not live close enough to be tempted to go back easily. It's selections are diametrically opposed to such important ideals as "weight and portion control," and it's an easy place to fall off the wagon from one's dietary commitment, as Mr. Miller notes.

For more information about the restaurant and it's history, check out their website and menu. And to give you a better taste of Schmidt's, here is a segment from the Travel Channel's Man v. Food program: