4 Dollar Biscuit

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about a biscuit…whoops. So lets bounce back in style with a gourmet one. A biscuit alone, no sandwich, just a biscuit made from flour that was ground by diamonds from gilded grains. A biscuit who’s dough was hand kneaded by the supple hands of michelin rated cherubs, brushed with butter made from a combination of arctic glacial salts, and cream from a local, grass-fed, antibiotic free, free-roaming cow on the open plains of the North Carolina piedmont…why else would it cost four bucks?

Last year I wrote about the bourgeois biscuits of Raleigh’s Fiction Kitchen. It was for the wife’s bday brunch, an annual tradition. This year she chose a brunch Acme in Carrboro, NC. Now full disclosure: I do have an aversion to brunch culture – I think it’s a bit done-up/overly fancy, and that brunch should just be a good breakfast spread eaten later than a normal breakfast. Instead, it’s evolved into something fancy, and boozy, and it’s just not my thing.

So we arrive at Acme, and she takes our kid to the bathroom straight away, leaving me alone at the table. I swear to you, the people sitting next to me were some of the worst stereotype brunchers ever. They were loud, dumb, and actually kind of offensive in the things they were saying. They were also really hard on the server, and I felt awful for him. So the wife rejoins us after the wee one’s wee is clean, and she’s even like “those people are awful…”

The food comes out, it’s excellent, and mine includes a biscuit. It was really good, the bottom reminded me of McDonalds, crispy but buttery. The top was a golden mountain range of flavor bumps, and the middle was light but slightly doughy, it was really, really good. Also, it was big, that’s worth noting.  On the side was a strawberry butter…having never had such a thing, I was quite taken with it and ate a lot.

Flavor bumps!

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the food, staff, or ambience of Acme, I think as an upscale dining establishment its great…BUT…that side biscuit was FOUR BUCKS! Not a value, and special occasions only for sure.

See you next time!

Charlie Mewshaw

Military Special Bourbon

Military Special is a brand found exclusively on US military bases, providing troops with bargain basement priced liquor. Since it’s produced for the government, the contracts obviously go to the lowest bidder, and predictably the quality is generally accepted as less than what we’ll call “refined”. The different bottles have different awesome little pictures of military regalia to inspire its customers to greatness, and are made of a thin, safe plastic. I say safe because I imagine the decision to go with plastic serves two purposes:

-Its cheap. Like, I’ve had bottled water with sturdier plastic.

-When PFC Ding-dong whips the empty bottle across the room in his on-base housing upon hearing what Jodie’s been up to with his lady, it will cause less damage where it lands than a heavy glass bottle would.

I was first introduced to this brand in San Antonio when I saw MS Rum at Lackland AF base while visiting a friend. While perusing the booze aisle for fuel for the night’s impending shenanigans, I noticed the rum’s familiar location of origin and immediately pegged it as rebranded Port Royal (a heinous and painful poison). I was fascinated that all of these bar staple liquors were available in bottles with pictures of canons, eagles, flags, and fighter jets. That trip was a lot of fun, I saw the Alamo, goofed off, ate some great bbq, and was searched before getting back on my plane AFTER I had cleared TSA (must’ve looked shady).

Fast forward a few years, and this same friend procured me the MS bourbon, assuring me that it was a poorly kept secret that Heaven Hill made it, and sold it on the cheap to the government. To say I was excited would be an understatement, this was a rare and special gift for a civilian like myself.

Legendary.

MS bourbon has a color similar to the “severely dehydrated” end of the spectrum on a “what should my pee look like” chart. It smells like burning, and tastes like the first whiskey you remember trying. It’s loud, dirty, burns, and is all oak flavor.

Truth be told, I kind of like it in a cocktail. It makes the bourbon flavor cut through any blend. I’ve been doing a splash of bitters, a cherry, and MS bourbon on the rocks for about half the bottle now, and I gotta say it has really grown on me.

Til’ next time biscuiteers!

-Charlie Mewshaw

Iron-guy-whatever

Totally non biscuit, whiskey, or beer related post:

So Marvel’s Iron Fist isn’t getting good reviews, and I have to say that I’m a little relieved. Time is at an all-time premium in my life at the moment, and I just can’t imagine getting hooked into a Marvel show right now. Hopefully watching the full season won’t be required for understanding The Defenders mini-series that will follow. Ideally just reading a wiki of the plot will be enough to fill in the details.

I’ll get back to writing about booze and grease bombs shortly, but you know time and all that.

-CM

Wicked Weed Malice

Triathlon-A-Thon 2016 Golf Champion, and devoted Biscuiteer Andrew Scercy recently blessed my household with a bottle of Wicked Weed’s “Malice”. It’s a complex and mature beer for fans of sours based on blood oranges, lime zest, tamarind, and ancho chiles – I feel classy already.

At only 6% its got a reasonable ABV.
It’s a very serious beer you guys, seriously.

The bottle has art and verbiage that conjurs Mayan lore, with statements like “The underworld holds secrets beyond words…”. Instead of being whisked away on a journey of the mind filled with mystery and suspense, I am taken to my first and only (to date) trip to Mexico with the Mrs. We were staying at an indulgent “all you can anything, all the time” type place an hour or so south of Cancun but still North of Tulum. It was fun, we ate a lot, drank a lot, hung on the beach a lot, and time passed too quickly. Having never been to a place like this, on day three or so, I foolishly concocted a conspiracy theory that they were watering down the hooch, so to test this I asked the bartender to give me some shots of tequila…at 10:30 in the morning. After washing those down with some beers I soon realized that they do not in fact water down the booze (at least at this one), and I needed a nap by lunch. Another key bit of information regarding the all-inclusive resort experience that took a day or so to sink in was that the buffet did not in fact have a wide variety of cheeses, but instead, the same kind of cream cheese shaped and rolled in different spices and seeds. High-grade stuff, really.

Mexico.

At this point I’m in Mexico, having a good time, but the resort bubble is starting to feel constrictive. We decided to hire a guide, venture out past the armed guards, and go on a real adventure. Our guy drove us waaaaay into the jungle like an hour further southwest from the resort to a little village that accepted tourist guests. We hung out, got a tour, ate some lunch that the village ladies prepared, and went to check out a nearby cenote (underground water filled cave). So we go on a long hike to get to this place with a dude we were told was the village Shaman. When we get close to the hole in the ground, he burns some herbs and crystalized amber, before saying some stuff and blowing the smoke on us. Our guide says it’s because ancient traditions dictate that the cenote was viewed as a portal to the underworld, and the blessing is to protect us from harmful spirits. Very mystical, and cool from a cultural learning perspective, but I ain’t afraid of no ghost. So we got our blessing, and were lowered like 50 feet down on a rope by some villagers into this dark cave. We swam around a bit and climbed the scariest 50 foot rope ladder back out. It was a great day, and easily a highlight of the trip.

Old man Hammond about to burn the amber up to ward off malicious dino-spirits.

Fast forward a few weeks and I’m perusing National Geographic and there’s a thing about THE EXACT SAME CENOTE/VILLAGE. At this point I’m like “awesome!”, until I get to the part where they laid out how the villagers don’t tell tourists that make the trek out that the cenote was believed to be a portal to the underworld BECAUSE ITS WHERE THE BODIES OF THE DEAD WERE LOWERED TO REST. So I swam around in a dark pit of bones and death. 75% baller, 25% off-putting. I share all of this to say that the Mayan lore on the bottle scares me not, because that prior experience gets me at least few notches closer to Indiana Jones levels of awesome.

Me in the pit of the dead.

So I opened it up, and poured it out, and its got the color of crystalized amber! Whoa. Maybe this is getting spooky?

Spooky beer.

It’s got a sour nose, but that’s kind of what Wicked Weed does, so it’s expected. First impression is tart – WHOA, really tart! Like biting a lime, but then it mellows into sweeter citrus. It’s made with chiles and they’re definitely present on the backend, warming your throat and belly a bit. But wait…whats that aftertaste? It’s familiar – yet foggy, like a forgotten citrus treasure….the aftertaste is similar to 5-ALIVE! I LOVED 5-Alive! My grandmother always had it in her fridge, and I hadn’t thought of it since who knows when. I’m going to try and find it again now, that and Donald Duck Orange Juice with the little cartoon on the side of the carton are the pinnacle of citrus, and this beer has brought them both flooding back into my consciousness. The beer doesn’t taste like 5-Alive mind you, the aftertaste just reminded me of it, so don’t thinking this isn’t an overly solid beer, it is.

My kingdom for a Five Alive.

Boom. Done. This is a must do-again beer for me.

See you real soon biscuiteers!

Links!

Wicked Weed Brewing

https://wickedweedbrewing.com/

Behold the Pappy!

Pappy Van Winkle is considered by some to be the holy grail of bourbon. It is dispensed in single servings at absurdly priced tastings, sold by the bottle at auction at even higher prices, and is generally unobtainable unless you are comfortable lavishing extravagance upon ones self. Recently, for the second time in my life, I was presented the opportunity to try it. St. Anthony of Catonsville, patron saint of bourbon blogs happens to be a biscuiteer that possesses a bottle of the 20 year variety. Acquired six years ago at retail (before the sky rocketing prices), the living legend uncorked his bottle that I may write this extra special entry and start 2017 off in a stellar fashion.

I blew it and only took this photo…I was too excited. I bet you can guess what the next whiskey review will be too…

The first time I tasted the Pappy it was of this 20 year variety from 6 years prior, and I wasn’t thinking about capturing its essence in the written word, but I knew it was special. Fast forward a few years, and now its an exciting chance to revisit.

It’s really REALLY smooth, not a bit of harshness, great nose (subtle wood, with vanilla hints) , and wonderful warm (not hot) finish – with the perfect amount of sweetness. It’s easily the best bourbon I’ve ever tasted.

It’s great bourbon, and if you’ve got the resources to blow over a grand on a bottle of bourbon good for you, but really…you’re a ding dong if you spend that kind of loot on whiskey. It’s like those really expensive Yeti coolers, yeah they’re great, but if you spend hundreds of dollars on a cooler, chances are good that you’re at least 1/10th asshole.

See ya real soon!

-Charlie

End of the Year Bests / Worst

Year End Recap – 2016

It’s the time of year for reflective evaluation of what has transpired over the previous 12 months. In the spirit of the season, here’s a recap/ranking of the year in biscuits, whiskey, and beer!

 

Biscuit Rankings

Best : SUNRISE BISCUIT KITCHEN – Value, quality, and uniqueness make Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen the best biscuit of 2016.

Worst: HARDEES – I wrote about biscuits at a hospital this year. You got beat by a hospital Hardees…think about what you’ve done, and try harder next time.

 

Whiskey Rankings

Best: HENRY MCKENNA BOTTLED IN BOND – This was a big surprise, a previous unknown (to me), propelling it ahead of other more “top shelf” selections based on value and big flavors.

Worst: BOHSHINE – fun, quirky, not too bad, but still…c’mon, it was never going to be the best, and always going to be the worst.

Beer Rankings

Best: Bull Durham Brewing Company Lollygagger Kolsch – to quote me “It’s got the perfect balance of malts and hops, and really is just exactly what I think a beer should be. I only wish I could have it at home, but then again, maybe what makes it special is knowing you can only have one at the game.”

Worst: Trader Joes Simpler Times Lager – it tastes the way a beer fart smells.

Honorable Mention: Steel String Rollie Pollie – so good, but not a daily drinker so unfortunately couldn’t be the best.

There’s some great stuff lined up for 2017 – see you then!

Your host,

Charlie Mewshaw

 

 

Nog

Egg Nog is a divisive holiday staple. Some people love it, some people think it’s nasty. Even those that like it can’t agree…should it have booze in it, or should it not?

I am in the “I like it” camp, and am vehemently opposed to the inclusion alcohol in my nog. I think it’s a wholesome holiday treat, and should not be sullied with hooch.

I don’t REALLY know what’s in it, and I don’t want to. I have like one glass a year, it tastes like Christmas, and then I get gas (lactose issues). I don’t want that one glass to be any different year to year, so I guess maybe that’s why I’m hung up on keeping it simple.

Stay tuned for the BWB year-end recap countdown extravaganza where I will rank the foods and beverages from 2016 that contributed to me being the most out of shape I’ve ever been. Hooray!

-Charlie

The Dirty Pilgrim

Happy Thanksgiving Biscuiteers!

Things have been pretty hectic in the real world, so I haven’t had a lot of time to effectively contemplate the eponymous staples of the blog. Let us change that this instant, with a discussion of the seasonally appropriate (in name) Wild Turkey.

Wild Turkey is one of those long-standing brands with lots of history, and a process that their master distiller says is “the best way to make bourbon”. It’s also one of those brands that has had a lot of media tie-ins over the years.

Roger Rabbit drinks WT, and you should too!
Roger Rabbit drinks WT, and you should too!

It also has an equal number of detractors that recall the havoc it has brought upon them. I am not one of them, but the most recent recollection of such a soul, is one that stuck with me so hard that I haven’t had WT again until now. A year or so ago, I was taking a quick one hour flight and had the good fortune of possessing not one, but two free drink coupons for the ride. My plan was this: ask for a Coke, and two of whatever bourbon mini-bottles they had, then stash the booze in my bag for later. Well, it didn’t go that way. I got my two mini-bottles, and the flight attendants kept the tops! I asked for them and was told they don’t do that. BUT THEY DO, DO THAT…sometimes…I will now wait for you to stop snickering because you just said “doo-doo” in your head…grow up, you.

 

I guess I’ve just had laissez-faire attendants in the past, but I swear I’ve been handed sealed bottles before. Moving on. I now have about 30 minutes left in my flight, two bourbons, and a Coke. I looked at the guy next to me, and thought he might be game for one. Wouldn’t you know it, he was a recovering alcoholic on his way back from his wife’s funeral. I was officially the devil on his shoulder.

I am evil Homer!
I am evil Homer!

I felt horrible. I drank those little guys as fast as I could to remove the temptation from this poor man’s pilgrimage. While doing this, I heard about his late wife, and the last time he had Wild Turkey some 18 years prior. I heard about where he was coming from, where he was going, and we became fast friends. He was sad I was getting off on the next stop and not continuing on. It was a bummer. Then I walked off the plane to meet my dad and thought “I wonder if I smell like booze?” I probably did. This was not the way I envisioned arriving for a visit.

bad

Prior to that event occurring, had you asked me about Wild Turkey, the first thing out of my mouth would have been “Dirty Pilgrims!” The Dirty Pilgrim is drink concocted in Dover Delaware by Biscuiteer Kevin (previously credited with adventure biscuits – click HERE to read that tale). It is equal parts Wild Turkey, and turkey gravy – and must be consumed from a ladle. The ladle is really what makes it special, really opens up the flavor. This is not some gross dreamed up shot that no one’s actually done either, this was a pillar of a particularly raucous evening one night in 2007, and continues to live in infamy, having been repeated and spoken of only in hushed reverent tones since its inception.

Care to take a dirty pilgrimage?
Care to take a dirty pilgrimage?

Moving onward, interestingly enough, there is a Wild Turkey lounge at a restaurant I can not afford (The Angus Barn) in Raleigh, NC. It’s an upscale joint, ranked one of the best “business bars” in the US. Full of power players, sitting in rich leather chairs, getting up to peruse the humidor, it’s the kind of place one goes to conduct top level business, with top level businessmen. Thing is, I’m a business man, not a businessman…or however that Jay-Z lyric goes. I should check it out one day, but not today, and tomorrow’s not looking too promising either.

Someone take me here...
Someone take me here…

SO – Wild Turkey. How is it? It’s pretty good.

Sweet up front, peppery finish with pronounced oak notes, and some vanilla in between. There’s a reason it’s a staple, and it deserves respect.

With that, I will wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and will see you soon!

Sincerely,

-Charlie Mewshaw

Links for this entry:

The Angus Barn

 

Triathlon-A-Thon Recap

We had a great time today out at 401 Golf and The Alley! Thank you to everyone who donated, and everyone who was able to make it out to the event.

img_9534
The gang’s all here!

The results are in and our champions are as follows:

Golf – Andrew Scercy

Bowling – Michael Venutolo-Montavani (Mike V)

Pinball – Brittany Perry

The real MVP of the event was Matt Szalecki who came through in a pinch to furnish pizzas to the group. If you need a realtor, he’s your guy, and his contact info can be found HERE.

This is a definite do-again for next year 🙂

See ya real soon,

Charlie Mewshaw

WE DID IT!

We hit the fundraising goal for the Triathlon-A-Thon this weekend!

One small update: the new start time is 10AM at 401 Golf in Raleigh – this is because the bowling alley will be opening a little later than originally planned.

See you there,

Charlie