Archive for the ‘Beer & Food’ Category

Hi Internets. I haven’t seen you in a while. That’s actually a lie. I just haven’t written to you in a while. Okay that’s a lie too. I’ve written to you a lot on the Facebooks and the Twitterness, but I haven’t written in long-form in a space that only my family and best friends read because who cares to read about my boring life. I mean, hi! Thanks for reading! I’m blogging again! Boobs!

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I’m not shy about trying new food, even if I’m not quite as brave as I like to think I am. When I traveled to the Philippines last year it was hard to find authentic Filipino dishes, but we found a few and I definitely tried most of them. I got more adventurous in Vietnam and tried a lot of Pho at restaurants and roadside stands, and other random food items at roadside stands and carts. Sometimes just a rice flour dumpling kind of deal, sometimes a former animal on a stick. So when I travel, I like to try the food. I knew going into this work trip to India that I wasn’t a big fan of Indian food. I’d had it a few times in Denver and it always seemed weirdly bland, and wholly undifferentiated from itself. Ordering lamb or chicken or beef with varying degrees of spice always yielded a plate that looked exactly like all the others. (more…)

I generally love to cook. That is to say: I love to cook when it comes out well and I get to show it off and preferably share with friends and potentially strangers.

I live by myself so a lot of the time cooking just ends up being a race against expiration dates and vegetables that are more soft and more brown than I’d prefer. (more…)

When I found out I was going to the Philippines for work for a month (you know, when I went way back in May,) or was at least asked if I’d be interested, one of the things that truly excited me about the possibility was being able to experience and sample some cuisine local to my destination. Food carts, hole in the wall local restaurants, regional dishes of untold popularity whose deliciousness defied all possibility, simple local snacks, you get the idea. Unfortunately what I found was nothing like that at all. The best way I can describe the food in the Philippines is to compare it to an American sign that’s been mis-translated into Asian. Now, imagine that sign to be instead a recipe for food. Only it’s been slightly mistranslated so you know what it’s supposed to mean, but somehow all the proteins taste a little fishy. (more…)

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One thing I’ve been looking forward to about traveling is trying local beer. I’ve had a few Asian beers before, most notably Tsing Tao. Something with a lion maybe… And I remember thinking before coming to the Philippines that I wanted to try local beer (if they had any) and I was sure it wasn’t going to be any good. In walked San Miguel…

A local PH brewery, it’s the largest in the Philippines, and apparently has a market share of almost 95%. One of the reasons I was excited to try it is because it’s not owned by one of the Big Brew Companies — no Miller Coors, no Inbev, no nothing — it’s all San Mig, which means they’ve got more license to make an actually decent beer, while still being a bit of a macro-brew.

Well, that ability shows in the taste. The San Mig light is probably one of the best light beers I’ve ever had, but the Pale Pilsen is a beer I’d love to take home. Keep in mind my perspective is slightly colored by the fact that there’s not much else as far as beer options go, and it’s the first beer I got that was actually COLD. It’s been unimaginably hard to get a cold beer here. It’s usually served cold, then reaches room temperature within 10 minutes or so.

The San Mig Pale that I ended up falling in a fleeting Filipino love with, pours a very light gold color, with a “lite” beer head, that’s got almost no lacing. And for a pale it’s got very little hop, and the malt isn’t terribly present either — but goddamn it’s a cold Filipino beer that doesn’t taste half bad. it’s definitely got more definition than the light beer, and some of the other varieties, with an actual discernible flavor — but it’s still a macro. But at least it’s not owned by Inbev and doesn’t taste like shite godammit!

San Mig Pale Pilsen, try some today 🙂

In the fall of 2010 I volunteered at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) that happens every fall here in Denver. If you’ve never been, and even marginally enjoy beer, then I cannot recommend the GABF enough. Even if you don’t really like beer it’s a good place to go and learn about the world’s 2nd most consumed beverage, and find some styles you might actually enjoy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone tell me they don’t really like beer to then find out that they’ve really only ever tried macros or the macro-owned faux craft breweries. (more…)