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Endless Spirits: Dogfish Head to Expand with Distillery!

Posted by on September 11 2014 in Drinks

SmallBatchSpirits

Big news from the Dogfish Head campus in Milton: they are adding a small batch distillery to that large complex I’ve spoken of. If you’ve been to the brew pub and went upstairs, you noticed the tiny distillery they have on the second floor. The distillery produced spirits that were pretty much exclusive to the brew pub and a few select places in Delaware. Well, once Dogfish Head opens up the bigger distillery, many of us will benefit from a larger distribution plan.

It only makes sense that Sam Calagione and his crazy “off-centered” partners take some of those off-centered brews and turn them into interesting spirits. We can still expect the highly touted Brown Honey Rum and hop-infused gin, but also hipe to see some new and crazy spirits to be released next spring. The distillery will be headed by Graham Hamblett, who is apparently a horticulturalist with experience running a winery and distillery. Of course, he has won various awards and I’m assuming he’s a grizzly man with an awesome beard.  continue reading…


Burns My Bacon: Secret Menus

Posted by on September 11 2014 in Breakfast, Rants & Raves

top-secret-stamp

Not sure if you’ve heard, but apparently it’s still cool to be a hipster. I thought now that being hipster is cool, being hipster is no longer cool. But anyway, I digress. I’ve noticed many of the flannel and skinny-jean fashioned patrons at restaurants ordering Starbucks drinks that weren’t listed. I admit, I am a Starbucks snob who knows that they shouldn’t be charging you for “one pump” of syrup, but that’s as far as I go. I looked up “Starbucks secret menu” and realized that Starbucks isn’t the only place that has a supposed secret menu.

Several other chains have “secret menus” published online. I have a problem. Nay, several problems. First off, the publishing of a secret no longer makes it a secret.

Second, why? Why have a secret menu? Who are you helping? Is it really generating enough revenue within that hipster or foodie crowd who really want to know something that everyone else doesn’t? Or is it that the secret menu offering items are too expensive to be on the menu? Well here’s an idea – rotate the menu!

Third, a secret menu defeats the purpose of a regular menu. Patrons look at a regular menu with the understanding that the items listed are the only items available at the time. Now, the regular menu really has little meaning if we are looking online for secret menus, coming to a restaurant, and asking for something that is NOT on the menu. I’m just not seeing the logic. Custom orders are one thing…but even so – STOP IT.

Maybe it is just for the novelty of it all. Maybe there are so many self-righteous people out there that the industry now has to make everyone feel even more special than they already do. If you need to “feel special,” there are plenty of “services” you can purchase to get that special feeling. Or, just get over yourself and realize that restaurants have a select offering of food items that they specialize in. If you are not happy with the offerings of chain restaurants, maybe try something new. We have enough snobbery going around these days; we don’t need secret menus promoting even more snobs.


Fit Foodie 5K: The Perfect Balance

Posted by on September 10 2014 in Rants & Raves

Fit Foodie 5K Austin Tweet Your Feet

I obviously love to cook and eat. I mean, I write about food, don’t I? At the same time, I care about fitness and don’t want my love of the culinary world to override my health. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I exercise just so I can eat more, or that I work out to cancel out what I eat, BUT. I mean. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a factor. If I could genuinely stick to a 1,200 calorie diet of pure vegetables and grass-fed proteins every day, I probably wouldn’t work out an hour a day.

Lucky for me, I do genuinely enjoy running and lifting. I’ve started to appreciate exercise more the older I get – I find it to be a great mental as well as physical release. That’s why I was really excited when I heard about the Fit Foodie 5K – a race series geared around people who love eating and drinking!

The concept of the Fit Foodie was born out of the idea that a healthy lifestyle and delicious culinary experiences don’t have to be separate. Calories burned, calories earned, right?? Life is about balance and working hard so that you can indulge in those things that you are passionate about. When delicious food, working out, and good friends are all combined, it is a beautiful culmination of all that life has to offer.

This event started in San Diego in 2013 but it’s making three stops this year – Fairfax, Austin, and San Diego. Hosted by Cooking Light and Health, and featuring slogans like “Run. Eat. Drink.” and “Calories Burned, Calories Earned” I knew this was a run I could get behind. Plus, they have cool events surrounding the race itself, like a VIP cocktail party the night before and a rad-sounding finisher’s village complete with celebrity chef demos and beer & wine tastings. If you’re going to reward me with early morning wine, I will DEFINITELY run for you. I was planning on registering for the Austin run no matter what, but then Fit Foodie reached out and asked if I was interested in being an ambassador for the program – heck yes!

As an ambassador, I’m just spreading the word about this awesome race series annnd I also have a small bit of power – I have a discount code to share! If you use the code “ENDLESSSUMMER” (yes, summer, not simmer) when registering for the Austin 5K, you’ll get 10% off fees! And yes, there’s still time to register. For my fellow Austinites, the race is this Saturday, September 13. Or if you’re one of our Southern California ESers, you can register for the San Diego leg, which is happening in November.

ALSO! If you want to run this upcoming Saturday, I’m giving away two free registrations, good for the 5K itself (plus the finishers village etc.) and a Sunday morning yoga or bootcamp class! Keep your eyes on @endlesssimmer on Twitter to win. I’ll choose two people on Thursday morning. Cheers!

For more healthy recipes, cocktails, food travel, and restaurant reviews, check out ES Emily’s individual blog, A Time to Kale, or tweet her @emilyteachout.


Endless Spirits: Manatawny Still Works

Posted by on September 9 2014 in Drinks, Food Travel

Manatawny3

Craft spirits are becoming increasingly popular. Yes — “craft spirits” is a thing.

The Manatawny Still Works is a craft distillery in Pottstown, PA across the street from Sly Fox Brewery. The still works creates whiskey and rum from beginning to end and re-distills vodka. Surprisingly, Pennsylvania is one of the most welcoming states to distilleries; it is just hard to distribute the product once made. But why, the small town of Pottstown, PA? Possibly because the still works creates their wash in the brew house at Sly Fox.

Manatawny Still Works is located in an industrial park building with an open setup where you can sit at the bar, look to your left, and see the stills in action. You may even be able to catch a Manatawny bottling party. Whenever the still works is going to bottle a spirit, they make an announcement on facebook for volunteers to come in and help bottle. In return, the volunteers earn an employee discount for the day, free food, and an exclusive t-shirt that says “will work for whiskey.”

continue reading…


It’s a Moringa Miracle!

Posted by on September 8 2014 in Drinks, Trends

Organic India Moringa Tea

Pomegranate, acai, chia… the list of trendy superfoods goes on and on. I’m a fan of anything that tastes good and is exceptionally good for you, but sometimes it can get a little old.

But I’d like to think I’m on the cutting edge of the next superfood/miracle ingredient, and I would like to introduce it to you before the big brands get ahold of it and you’re sick of hearing about it. I’m talking about Moringa.

I first discovered the existence of Moringa at my favorite juice/smoothie place, Juiceland, in the beginning of the year. (Um, also, Juiceland just opened a Brooklyn outpost, so all my NY readers/friends, go check them out! SO good.)

Anyway, a quick google search shows they debuted Morniga on their menu last fall. This is the sign that caught my eye. 17 times the calcium of milk, 15 times the potassium of bananas, 9 times the calcium of yogurt, 25 times the iron of spinach… what the F is this stuff?!

Well, according to the only news source most Americans (including myself) know how to use, Morniga is actually a tree native to Africa and Asia. Most of it is edible for humans, including its leaves. That’s where we’re getting all these nutrients from for the Moringa supplements.

Obviously I wanted to reap the benefits of Moringa and see if I immediately felt like a superhuman, so once I read about it, I got some in my smoothie. And have continued to throughout the year. I don’t know if I’m infinitely more healthy, but hey. Can’t hurt, right?

Not into smoothies or straight-up supplements? You can find Morniga in tea form now. Organic India recently sent me some Moringa tea to test out. I really like them! The tea is very calming. Maybe it’s kind of a mental thing, like I know I’m drinking something really good for me, so I feel peaceful and virtuous. I’m not sure, but I know that I like it.


Kolaches: A Love Letter to Texas Breakfast

Posted by on September 4 2014 in Breakfast, Personal

Foreign & Domestic Kolaches 2

Back in Feburary 2013 I wrote about Texas’ obsession with kolaches and breakfast hot dogs. The novelty of the kolache has worn off at this point, not in a bad way, but I definitely wouldn’t say I’m surprised by them anymore. Sausage in a sweet bun? Been there, done (eaten) that. (And don’t read too much double entendre into that, please.) I guess after almost three years in this state, nothing surprises me anymore, especially where meat is involved.

Well, I guess almost nothing. I heard that one of my favorite restaurants in Austin, Foreign & Domestic, was hosting a kolache pop-up a couple Sundays ago. I’ve been to their previous bake sales and knew firsthand how legit delicious they are, so obviously I couldn’t pass up this one. While F&D was hosting the event, the kolaches themselves were from Rebecca Masson of Houston’s Fluff Bake Bar (but made fresh that morning in the F&D kitchen).

Foreign & Domestic Kolaches 1

These were no run-of-the-mill kolaches. We sampled sweet: peach & bourbon caramel, apple & miso butterscotch, coconut lemongrass; and savory: local sausage, Cubano (ham, swiss cheese, and pickle – crazy good) and everything bagel. Weirdly, that last everything bagel flavor turned out to be my favorite, full of cream cheese, onion, and poppyseed flavor.

Foreign & Domestic Kolache Everything Bagel

I guess all I’m saying is, don’t take your city’s local favorites for granted, because the best chefs and restaurants will always find ways to surprise and delight you. Also, next time you’re in Texas, hit up Foreign & Domestic or Fluff Bake Bar.


Food Porn of the Day: Sushi Rainbow

Posted by on September 3 2014 in Photos

Lucky Robot Austin Sushi

Presenting the Voltron Roll: crab, shrimp, avocado, pickled cucumber & carrot, topped with tuna, salmon & yellowtail, and served with sesame, spicy mayo, and soy lemongrass glaze. Whew! The color of the fish is beautiful, and the soy lemongrass glaze is made in-house and is one of the better condiments I’ve put in my mouth. This is from Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen in Austin, TX.


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