Tag Archives: The Blogosphere et Moi

A Cup of Tea With Me!

November 2012

If you have never seen the blog Tea With Me, you’re about to spend hours lost in Heather Mulholland’s beautiful photos of food and landscapes. Her photos are so vivid you will feel the mountain mist hitting your face, smell the food set before you at her table and feel the warmth of her gentle kindness.  I am so honored to share a cup of tea with Heather, albeit a digital cup. I am sure a real teapot is in our future. Until then, check out my spot of tea in her series…

 

A Cup of Tea With Me!

Thanks again, Heather! Also, check out her other tea guests. Heather has curated an inspiring lineup of lovely ladies with lots of creativity and passion.

Food Blogger Dinner at The Porch (Schenley Park, Pittsburgh)

August 2012

My number one regret about my apartment is the lack of outdoor space, so I was excited to learn about a newer, Pittsburgh restaurant named “The Porch.” I was even more excited to learn the name was no misnomer. The restaurant does indeed boast an extensive porch bordering Schenely Park, as well as a large interior. More importantly, The Porch supports many local, agricultural resources.

My opportunity to sit on said porch finally arrived when the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week planners hosted a Food Blogger Dinner. The goal of the summer installment of restaurant week was to highlight food and restaurants through fine dining, fresh harvests and outdoor seating. The goal in incorporating the local food bloggers was to gather and thank those of us who enthusiastically support the city’s growing food scene. Thus, the meal at The Porch also included a few perks.

For starters, we heard from Jamie Moore (left) who works with both the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group and PASA (the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) to promote and source local agriculture. Jamie spends a lot of time visiting farms and restaurants in the region and facilitating the connections between the two. His interest in sustainable farming really took hold when he married into a dairy farm and started to learn more about the world of a smaller scale farm. Chef Kevin Hermann (right) followed and spoke about the restaurant’s careful attention to food sourcing from its rooftop garden and honeybees to its in-house butchering of local cows. He’s personally involved at all levels from gardening, to butchering to cooking, and he loves every step of the process! Apparently, the only thing he doesn’t really love is sleeping a lot.

Blueberry-Lavender Smash
Featuring Wigle Whiskey and rooftop rosemary

You wanna talk about a cocktail maaaade for porch sippin’? Why would you want to talk about it when you could actually sip one?!?

Even though there was a spell of rain, we were all dry and content on the porch. The rain even added to the scene, as the park began to sparkle with little puddles and water droplets in the returning sunlight.

Keystone Farm Beef Tartare
w/ wild flowers, capers, picholine olives and tomato gastrique

This was 4-star tartare!

The most exciting aspect of the Food Blogger event was the rooftop garden tour! The rooftop is host to herbs, vegetables, flowers and even bumblebees, set against the urban and whimsical backdrop of the city and park respectively.

(The Cathedral of Learning)

Arriving solo to a dinner event can be a little nerve-wracking, but I was fortunate to be seated at a great table! The conversation flowed comfortably from course to course, and I’d love for a repeat with these ladies.  The surprise seating arrangement enabled me to meet the reading, kid-wrangler you might know as Beezus Kiddo, her friend who was along for the experience and Ali of Cheaterbites. We even managed to talk about topics other than food!

Cunningham Farm Pork Saltimbocca
w/wild sage, “Porch” prosciutto, rooftop tomatoes, sweet corn & heirloom beans

One of the perks of eating locally-sourced foods is the increase in flavor, since the food item was picked as close to the time of need as possible. The freshness and preservation of flavor was definitely true of the accent herbs and vegetables in this entree. I was slightly disappointed by the choice to offer this entree as the main course for a food blogger event. I have made a version of this myself, and it’s the type of recipe one would find in the “Quick Meals To Make During The Week” section of a cooking magazine. This is not to say I do not appreciate simplicity, but I would have preferred to see more of the chef’s chops than pork chops. Oh the puns! How they floweth so poorly!

Chocolate-Blueberry Pie
w/ sweet cream and hazelnut brittle

When Chef Kevin described the menu, he was especially enthusiastic about the dessert. “[My goal wasn't to come up here and rave about how good of a pastry chef I am, but today, I made a really good pie!]” He was right! The chocolate and blueberry combination doesn’t happen often, and this little pie made me wonder why? It was a creative and delicious finale, and slowly we made our way from the warmly lit dining room into the glow of street lights and city life.

What excites me most about the prospect of returning to The Porch is how intertwined the changes in the season and the menu will be. I imagine eating a hot squash soup on the porch as the weather requires a sweater or watching the snow collect on the many window frames while enjoying a heartier creation. Though I am a little sorry to have typed the word snow while still dreaming of sundresses. Get to The Porch before this summer is just a memory!

Special thanks to Pittsburgh Restaurant Week for organizing this event and special thanks to my table-mates for being such great dining companions!

Ready For My Closeup: The Final Show at The Waffle Shop + Blog Reflections

July 2012

There was a corner in Pittsburgh that my have caught your eye. Whether it was the curious bilboard atop the building or the large, waffle-shaped sign on the sidewalk, there was something different about that corner.  

That corner was the site of The Waffle Shopa neighborhood restaurant that produced and broadcasted a live-streaming talk show with its customers, operated a changeable storytelling billboard on its roof, and ran a take-out window with food from countries engaged in conflict with the U.S. The shop was a public lab to bring together people from all walks of life to engage in dialogue, experimentation and the co-production of culture. The project functioned as a classroom for students from Carnegie Mellon University, an eatery, a TV production studio, a social catalyst, and a business.

The Waffle Shop was - past tense- all of those things because it has since closed. July 28th, 2012 marked the end of an era for that corner. The Waffle Shop poured the last of its batter onto waffle irons and streamed its last episodes. I was honored to be part of the finale thanks to a special invite from Chef Tom Totin, the host of a weekly program titled “Cookspeak.”

The timing for my appearance on Tom’s program was symbolic for me. Just a little over one year to the date, I had launched my blog on Cookspeak. I had worked privately for more than a year to solidify my photos and stories into something more meaningful. When I caught up to my real time food adventures, I sought to share my blog with the world in a big, celebratory way. Tom and The Waffle Shop immediately came to mind.

Tom’s show became a set of bookends marking these chapters of my life in the blogosphere. Accordingly, much of our most recent “on air” conversation reflected on what I have learned, what I have experienced and what is yet to come in my adventures with the grains. Now I’ll share those thoughts here.

Reflections On A Year in the Blogosphere & Lessons Learned…

Making Food For People Is Far More Satisfying. 

I put a lot of extra care into designing my kitchen and dining room, knowing I’d be spending a lot of time there. It finally dawned on me I needed to share that dining room space for it really to come to life. I started inviting friends over for brunch on a regular basis, and I have posted several of those experiences. Through these brunches, I have been reminded how strong and inspiring my friends are. I have a friend who fights fracking, a friend who promotes the education of girls in science/math/technology, a friend who draws intricate worlds of imagined mechanisms, a friend who knows exactly who she is and beams with positivity! This brunch in particular reminded me how special the people in my life are, and how lucky I am to know them.

The series of posts related to my boyfriend’s birthday also remind me of the significance of preparing meals for the people I hold dear. I’m tremendously grateful to have him in my life, and I wanted him to feel as special as possible for his birthday. In addition to his many amazing qualities, he supports my food fancies. He always lets me take pictures of our food before we eat, and not every fella would be so tolerant, let alone encouraging. I’m very grateful for his patience, and I showed him my appreciation in this birthday video.

Blogging Can Bring Exciting, New Opportunities.

When I first launched my blog, I happened to run into Adam Milliron, a photographer I had met years prior through a photoshoot. I asked him for photography advice. Since he liked my style, we started to do some practice shoots together for fun. One of my favorite shoots with Adam was this ode to Art in the Age liquors. Nearly one year after reconnecting, we worked together professionally on the Sarris Candies catalog (stay tuned for its distribution this winter!!!). This was a huge step for me as I’m very eager to dive deeply into the food styling world.

Blogging Inspired Me To Look At Pittsburgh With Fresh Eyes

When I started to blog about the food and experiences of my travels, I decided to include my Pittsburgh wanderings as well. In many ways, I had begun to feel stagnate in this city. I had lived here a long time and started to feel like everything was the same. When I opened my eyes a tad, I noticed a burgeoning food scene, so I began to incorporate posts about the many noteworthy Pittsburgh restaurants.

My goal was never to act as a food critic in those posts. Though I might make critiques or suggestions for improvement, I’m offering support to the places I see as raising the bar. I have many pictures (again…the patient boyfriend dinner companion) that never make it to the blog because if I have nothing nice to say, I shall follow the ol’ proverb and exercise restraint. On the other hand, when a restaurant really does it right, my enthusiasm shows!

Through these restaurant posts and social media, I have been able to connect more closely with other local foodies and chefs, especially Justin Severino of Cure. I admire his obsessive dedication to sustainable and local foods, a characteristic that became very apparent after attending one of his Sunday hog butchering demos.

I’ve also stretched the bounds of a food blog through some more unique Pittsburgh experiences:

What does brunch have to do with a Porsche? I’m so glad you asked! Find out!

What do small plates and craft cocktails have to do with a giant, water balloon fight? Well, let me tell you!

It’s A Great Big World, But The Internet Can Make It Smaller & Friendlier! 

I hesitated on using twitter, but like many a modern tool, if used correctly and with restraint, it can be an invaluable resource. Through twitter, I happened to connect with a whimsical and creative chocolatier based in Charleston, SC. I still owe him a care package, but he got the ball rolling by sending me a sampler of his chocolates. As a thank you, I made him a video.

I also connected with a PGH blogger who has since relocated to the sunnier coast to live in San Diego. Who can blame him?!? I feel like I’ve known Rodzilla the Diningsaur for a while even though we never had the chance to meet. I liked his writing and trusted his restaurant reviews. Unfortunately for him, he left before Union Pig & Chicken opened, so as part of a promise I made, I took “him” to the restaurant, so to speak, by bringing a cutout of his little diningsaur logo with me. Then I brought “him” to The Waffle Shop because I figured he hadn’t been there either. You’re famous little diningsaur!

My Fifteen Minutes

As we all exist more and more in the digital realm, there is something increasingly special about the tangibile, printed world, which is why seeing myself in an edition of Edible Allegheny was especially rewarding.

I smiled one of my BIGGEST, longest-lasting smiles ever on July 4th of this year. On that day, I opened my inbox to discover it had been bombarded with emails from WordPress (my blogging platform). I thought I had been spammed until I looked at my stats. On the contrary, I had been featured on WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” page, where they highlight standout blogs. There was a picture of my avocado egg recipe, and it was a dream come true for a WordPress blogger.  I was so honored and happily overwhelmed by all the comments and praises. It still makes me really giddy inside!

What’s Next?

I’m taking some time on my blog to focus on the simple moments in life (such as this stoop picnic), to step back and focus on intentional happiness. Hopefully, I won’t come across as a cheesey lifecoach, but I am investigating a lot of life questions that are common for my age.

You will see even more touches of my style online and in publications! I’m pursuing more food styling opportunities, so if you know of any, send them my way! I dare say, you’ll probably see a portfolio soon because that’s the grown up thing to do!

No editors or publishers or independently wealthy individuals have contacted me, so I can’t say there is a book in the works yet, but I would love to turn With The Grains into something you could hold, dog ear, write on, stain, wrinkle and cherish.

You’ll probably see me experiment more with graphic design, as I’d like to learn more about the rules of the design game. If you are a graphic designer and love bestowing your wisdom upon eager learners, let’s grab some coffee and talk!

Branding! Ooh, that’s a topic that interests me quite a bit. I also like change. Combine that interest and that habit, and you’re bound to see some changes around here.

A wedding cake(s)! When I launched my blog on Cookspeak, I mentioned I’ve always wanted to make a wedding cake. This September, I will be doing just that! I’m thrilled my dear friends have asked me to make the cakes for their special day.

I’m looking forward to even more connections with other bloggers, online food publications, chefs and foodies.

In honor of The Waffle Shop, might I remind you of these delicious waffles? You really must give them a try!

In Conclusion

I love my little corner of the blogosphere. I love creating and preserving memories. I hope my passion inspires you in some way, or in the least, fancies your eye because if you are reading this, you are part of what has made this year quite magical for me! Now go find ten friends and tell them to read too! Cheers!

ps: I created various versions of a flier to leave for The Waffle Shop brunchers, but you might spy some around the town as well.

Dear WordPress, You Have Made Me A Very Happy Blogger!

Hello WordPressers,

I’m sure we all, as WordPressers, have shared a similar feeling and whimsy when logging into our blogs- the Freshly Pressed feature.  Oh to be a featured blog, to see one’s own image and blog name on the very pages of the platform that pushed us into the blogosphere!

Avocado-Served

Yesterday I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at my blog stats- in the thousands?!? Whaaaat happened?!?  Then I discovered my little avocados on the Freshly Pressed page (top right corner). My musings had finally come true, and so many witty, creative, talented bloggers left encouraging comments and praises.  There is still a smile filling my face from ear to ear!

In case you missed it, my featured Avocado Idea is here.

Header_kinfolk

Third Time’s A Charm: The Kinfolk Dinner Series

May 2012

Once upon an internet stroll, I happened upon a beautiful, blossoming endeavor entitled Kinfolk.  Beneath a video that admittedly moves my overly sentimental side to watery eyes, was a manifesto that spoke straight to my sensibilities:

Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us…. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends.

Thus, I made a habit of regularly visiting the pages of Kinfolk.  What impressed me beyond the refined design and the enviable places and products (and they are enviable!), was the way the site seemed to preserve  meaningful moments in time.  Reading Kinfolk feels like a quiet visit to a memory.  

Beyond the awe inspiring posts and publications, Kinfolk began a dinner series tour! When I noticed Philadelphia on the list of cities in the tour, at Terrain specifically, my mind began whirling. Before I knew it, my finger was clicking the option to enter the lottery for tickets. Fortunately, whimsy and practicality worked in a harmony entitled Memorial Day Weekend!

This harmony almost did not come to beautiful, burlap accented fruition. The lottery for dinner tickets did not favor me, but the Monday before the dinner, I received an uplifting email.  Due to a few cancellations, there was room for me and my guest should I still want to attend. Should I still want to attend?!?  Of course I did!

Beyond the excitement of taking part in a Kinfolk dinner, I was especially thrilled with the choice of location.  This marked my third attempt to eat at Terrain.  Please excuse what will surely sound like the “woe is me” ramblings of first world problems when I say my first attempt to visit Terrain (not just Terrain but a craft beer and local honey festival!!!) was thwarted by the heavy rains of a passing hurricane (on the up side, I prepared this meal for my friends, and they’re still talking about it!).  On the second attempt, I took my good old time meandering through the store then joined my place in line to be seated.  As my turn came, I looked at the hostess hopefully, and she announced my second failure- they were no longer taking names.  Hence, attempt number two was a beautiful fail. As I arrived at Terrain, yet again, the other two fails felt purposeful, as if they had led me to this third time, the beautiful, enchanting charm!

And oh, was it charming!

If you, like me, associated Pennsylvania wines with the taste of communion, then you, like me, will be thrilled to discover a wine that proves us wrong.  From what I gather, what distinguishes Galer wines is the intentional choice of which exceptional grapes are suited for PA soils versus existing PA grape varieties turned into wine. Dr. Galer also sought experts in the field of viticulture when he began his endeavor, which you can read about here.

To Start

Flower Pot Bread:  tarragon honey butter, smoked sea salt

Mixed Field Greens:  sliced radishes, wild strawberries, toasted almonds, micro basil, balsamic vinaigrette

Main

Rosemary Honey Mustard Leg of Lamb

Quinoa:  sugar snap peas, baby carrots, english peas, pea tendrils

Kennett Square Mushroom Skillet:  wild mushrooms, organic eggs

Sauteed Lancaster County Vegetables:  Fiddlehead ferns, garlic scapes, dwarf bok choy

Sweets

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pecan Pie

To see the beautiful menu in its full glory, click here.  The design came all the way from a talented artist in the Netherlands named Anja Mulder.

Even the napkins added a clean and rustic touch, so I adorned my lap very proper like.

Do you spy the brilliant idea in the photo on the right?  I shall soon try my hand at gardening little pots of soft, fluffy and slightly sweet bread.  Beyond the brilliance of the idea, the bread was one of the most delicious breads I have ever sampled (and I have sampled quite an array of breads!).

One benefit of eating with foodies and photo fiends is the patience given to the documentation of beautiful meals.  These weren’t just any foodies either!  I’ve been a fan of Something’s Hiding in Here ever since I saw the tour of Shauna and Stephen’s Philadelphia loft, so meeting the incredibly enthusiastic and humble couple was much like a celebrity encounter for this dorky blog reader.

Sitting directly to my right was Sullivan Owen, who had adorned the Terrain barn with her floral designs.  Aside from being very friendly and talented, Sullivan offered me lots of business inspiration!  I hope to spend more time learning from Sullivan in the future, and if that time is accented by one of her stunning arrangements, all the better!

That wasn’t all!  Across the table were Andrew and Carissa, the lovely couple behind many a Kinfolk video, specifically the Manifesto video that drew me to Kinfolk in the first place!  I can’t wait to see what they culled from this dream dinner.

Quite the plate!  My favorite main was the Kennet Square Mushroom Skillet. The mushrooms were quite meaty!

One might expect the coffee to be prepared with utmost care at a dinner focused on bringing people together, and one would be right.  Two Rachels served coffee prepared specially for each and every coffee partaker.

They even sent us on our merry ways with a creatively packaged single brew sample.

Additionally, Sullivan offered her floral displays as a generous token of her talents, and the very stylish farmers of Happy Cat Farm bestowed organic tomato plants upon us and an extra pack of seeds in the little totes on a big mission from Nest.  The night just continued to impress!

It was a beautiful dream dinner, and I was so grateful to be a part of it!  My third attempt at Terrain was beyond a charm. Kinfolk shared their own account of the night through the multiple lenses of this talented and personable photographer. I love how dark and saturated Parker’s images are, and I was especially excited to see this photo made the cut.  ;)

Here’s hopin’ many of us cross paths again!

Once Upon A Sticky Toffee Time in London

November 2011/March 2012

In the back of my mind- in the very back of my mind- I knew he was going to London with his family.  The front of my mind [clearly this post is steeped in "neuroscience"] was focused very intently on escaping my home base, adventuring and feeling very, very far from certain sad gray clouds hovering over me.  I looked at flights to Paris very longingly, but I concluded I owed it to myself to try a new locale.  That’s when London popped into my mind, and once I get an idea like that in my head, all the best to you should you try to stand in my way!

I had already set my idea into motion when the back and front of my mind began working in conjunction again [even more neuroscience].  Oh yeaaaah… he‘s going to London too! The “coincidence” of my destination choice seemed questionable since I had joked about wanting to be a member of his family (whose travel history included a family vacation on the Amalfi Coast!!!  Pick me!!!), but I am sticking to my story- his trip was unrelated to my planning!

The motives of my story became all the more questionable as the two of us grew closer.  At first, we were two friends who happened to be traveling to the same major metropolis at the very same time.  We thought we’d meet up and maybe share some London sightseeing, but as the trip approached, our friendship became something far more significant!  I had unknowingly arranged to travel to London with my SigFig to be and his entire family!

Who does that?!?  This girl!

So it was I came to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in a foreign land with my new boyfriend’s family.  With any other family, this may have been odd or intrusive, but my special one comes from a tremendous family who generously included me in their wanderings and explorations of one of the most captivating cities on earth!

Thanks to the sister/tour guide, who had been exploring London for an entire semester, I came to experience a phenomenon called “sticky toffee pudding,” which isn’t all that sticky, nor is it really pudding.  Oh those Brits!

My first sticky toffee encounter occurred at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub, which is notable for a few reasons:

1.  Its age!  It was rebuilt in 1667 after The Great Fire of London, meaning some semblance of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub existed even earlier than that!

2.  The entrance is quietly tucked away from the commotion of the street, marked by a beautiful sign and surrounded by beautiful brickwork.

3.  To arrive at the cellar requires an acute awareness of one’s body in space, as the winding stairwell is narrow, and the ceilings are quite low.

4.  The rustic wood!  There was wood everywhere, and “rustic” does not do justice to the age in those dark wood grains.

5.  The concept of the British pub is brilliant in general- good drinks and comfort food in a unique and dignified setting!  To eat and drink at a pub is like eating mom’s Sunday dinner in the den of an old fashioned gentleman (It’s the style I channeled for this shoot).

Why, oh why America, do you not adopt such a concept en masse?!?

The sister/tour guide was wide eyed and very nearly drooling as she ordered “sticky toffee pudding” at record speed (try saying it five times fast!).  Her eagerness was intriguing. Beyond my bowl of creamy corn soup (again..such delectable food for a bar!) was the answer to my question, “what is sticky toffee pudding?”  My bite from the shared bowl provided the answer:  warm, spongy cake in a pool of custard with a sweet surface layer.

Part of why I travel is to be inspired creatively and culinarily, and that bowl of sticky toffee pudding sure did inspire!  The special cabin in the woods was the perfect place for my first attempt, and my special one was the perfect partner for sharing dessert.  Not surprisingly, the recipe inspiration came from the delicious photos of one of my favorite blogs, Tea With Me.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Recipe adapted from Tea With Me. 

Dates!  Who knew?!?  Dates are one of the prominent ingredients in sticky toffee pudding, so it’s really a wonder this traditional dessert did not come to be known as “caramel date cake.”

The sneaky Bear-Pig tried to nab the dates as they soaked, but his attempts were foiled!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients

1 cup dates, pitted
2 cups boiling water
1 tsp baking soda

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup organic, unsalted butter
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 egg (local/free-range), beaten

1 Tablespoon AITA Snap

For the Sticky Toffee Pudding

In a separate bowl, pour boiling water over dates and baking soda. Let sit until all or most of the water is absorbed (ideal time for a forest wander).  Add a splash or two of AITA Snap for an extra kick.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy. Beat in egg gradually.

Fold in the flour mixture.

Add the date mixture.

Mix in the Snap.

Pour in a greased oven proof glass baking dish.

Bake on the middle rack for 250 degrees F for 40 min.

Caramel Sauce

1/3 cup organic, unsalted butter
1 cup organic brown sugar
4 tbsp organic heavy cream

For the Caramel Sauce

Melt butter in a pan, add sugar and cream, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes.

Cut a slice of pudding, serve with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzles of caramel sauce.

Snap Whipped Cream

1 cup organic heavy cream, chilled
2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1-2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons AITA Snap

For the Whipped Cream

Combine all the ingredients in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

More To Come…!

I’m not about to offer the sister/tour guide my first ever attempt at sticky toffee pudding, especially since this version reminded me more of my mother’s banana bread than my afternoon at that wooden table.  Thus I see much more sticky toffee experimentation on my horizon.  There is also so much more of my London wanderings I intend to share, so…

Stay tuned!

A Diningsaur, A Pig & A Chicken

March 2012

I have forged a few foodie bonds through that chirping bird (exhibit A)!  One such Twitter foodie friend escaped the Pittsburgh scene before we even had a chance to meet.  I don’t fault Rodzilla Reviews too much, since he left for sunnier skies, West Coast vibes and to be involved with this appetizing endeavor.  Before he left Pittsburgh, he offered a parting giveaway:  a $40 gift certificate to Union Pig & Chicken (note the offering occurred prior to the opening, so the anticipation was intense!!).

Failing to internalize the “random” aspect of the giveaway, I offered this as the reason I should have won:

Esteemed Rodzilla,

If I win, I’ll wear an orange neckerchief AND bring a dinosaur to the dinner table. I’ll take lots of pictures, so you’ll feel as though you actually enjoyed the gift card. I’ll also be less bitter about you leaving for a warmer place. Additionally, this gift card would really help me not to crave Meat & Potatoes for one night (and maybe one night only). And if I really have to dig deep, I’ll throw out the term “care package” for the win [I'm holding off on my "care package" claims for the time being, since that diningsaur is busy feasting on beauties like this, in constant sunshine and perfect breezes]! In conclusion, thanks in advance!

Ever so humbly,

QTK

ps: I’m really competitive, so I’m trying really hard to resist trash talking here. I can’t promise anything if a lot more people respond.

I didn’t win.  The luck of the draw did not favor me, but true to my word…

Rodzilla the Diningsaur’s Trip to Union Pig & Chicken

He did try to eat the menu.  It made me questions his tastes.

Blueberry Mint Rock & Rye (a special for the night)
You sure were thirsty, but after the hints of berry and mint were gone, you concluded the Onion, Black Pepper & Local Maple Rock & Rye is still the superior drink option.

Pork Shoulder
Though you did eat your fair share of that shoulder, your consumption was largely aided by the flavor and strength of the sauces.  You were left wanting. 

Damn if you didn’t help yourself to that cornbread!  It’s so sweet and buttery!  I tried to fight you, but in the end, I let you win [full disclosure:  you complimented my orange neckerchief, and the flattery caused me to let down my guard].

You’d heard some negative comments about the beans, but what did that British fella know anyway?!?  You liked the sweet kick to the bbq beans, and you also wondered…were those bites of hotdog from the other Sousa joint?!?

Your favorite?!?  The ribs!  Obviously.  You were pretty luck to snag any ribs at all once Jono set his eyes on his bbq prize!  Your snarl must have intimidated him into sharing. That’s a good trick!

Rodzilla the Diningsaur forgot to add one more comment:  it was so obvious to him the menu lacks PIE!!!  Cherry pie would look lovely with the red checkerboard decor!  It would look even lovelier with a dollop of homemade ice cream?!?  Maybe pecan pie or a lemon chess pie would be more traditional?

In the end, Rodzilla loved the long wooden tables, wooden walls, low hanging lights and hints of red so much, he decided to stay at Union Pig & Chicken permanently (he was also feeling a little too greasy to enter the world anyway).

So concluded your bbq adventure With The Grains!