Harbor Brew Fest 2014 Tickets Giveaway

2 Sep

Dude, it’s almost September 20…and you know what that means:  Harbor Brew Fest at The Ball Park at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport! We’ve got our tix, and hopefully you do too, but just in case you don’t, we’ve got a ticket giveaway contest just for you!  So, to win TWO General Admission tickets to Harbor Brew Fest 2014, all you need to do is check out the list of breweries below and tell us one beer from a brewery that you can’t wait to try. Comment on this post to enter or comment on our Facebook post too.  We will pick one random lucky winner at 5 pm (when the contest ends) on Friday, 9/5/14, and will announce the winner.

In case you need a reminder or this is your first time hearing about HBF from us, here’s a quick review:

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What’s in a name…a review of Salsa Picante – Port Chester, NY

2 Sep

…that which we call a Mexican restaurant by any other name would taste just as amazing. Right?

See, we heard about Salsa Picante in Port Chester well before it opened a little over a month ago, but we didn’t really give it any thought because the name made it sound like the same ‘ole, same ‘ole quick service Mexican joint. But then, like magic, we were walking down the street in Port Chester and the new spot caught the corner of our eyes. We peeked in and saw that it seemed to be more than what we thought it was, so Danny ran in to snatch a menu and Kristien immediately whipped out her phone to see what the word was on the street. Both searches turned out to be fruitful as the menu looked ah-mazing and people were RAVING about the food online. So, naturally you know what we had to do next…

The very next day (Sunday to be exact) we headed on over early, around 6PM…which we’re glad we did because by 6:30 there were people lining up outside to get in.  To be fair, the restaurant itself is pretty small fitting about 30 people. It has a simple, casual, cafe type feel with Mexican art work all around the darkly painted walls.  The sounds and sizzles of the grill are heard through the open kitchen and the chachacha of drinks being mixed are like music to diners’ ears.

Alright, let’s get into the drinks.

Before we did much of anything, we ordered some drinks. Lucky for us they got their liquor license just about two weeks before we visited.  That means they had margaritas, sangria, basic cocktails, wine, and beer available!  We went with margaritas for Kristien, sangria for Dan.  The margarita is made with house tequila (though we upgraded to Patron), Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime and orange juices (we watched the bartender squeeze them by hand). It was a very simple, but well-balanced, fresh tasting margarita. Dan’s White Sangria was light, refreshing, and just sweet enough with a nice peachy undertone from the Schnapps.  Dan later got the Red Sangria (because you HAVE to try both, duh) which, again, was nicely balanced and not too sweet.  We later talked with owner David Dolores who shared that the sangria is made with at lest five different kinds of liquors, making them very complex.

Onto La Comida!

There was definitely lots of options to choose from on the menu like appetizers, tortas (sandwiches), burritos, and lots of classically authentic Mexican dishes.  We decided to start off with their Ceviche Misto, which was good, but we had two major issues:  they were pretty heavy on the lime so it was very acidic and, perhaps because of that, the fish had a bit of a mushy consistency. The shrimp and calamari, though, had a good consistency. Here, too (like the Margarita) it was very simple and traditional.  We also tried one of the specials for that day:  a lobster quesadilla.  The lobster, actually, wasn’t overcooked and had a nice consistency.  While we know lots of people say it’s a horrible sin to pair cheese with seafood, we have to say that it worked nicely here with the crispy tortilla and melty cheese playing off the lobster quite nicely.

Elote at Salsa Picante in Port Chester, NY

Next up is one of our favorite dishes from Latin spots, Elote.  They served two corn on the cobs with mayo, Cotija cheese, and chili powder.  David was accommodating with Dan’s loathing of mayo and kept it off of his ear.  The corn was spicy sweet, and rich from the cheese and mayo, just like we like it. The only issue was it was just warm rather than hot.  We would have preferred it to be hot, if not steaming. We also love those charred grilled marks on the corn, which we didn’t see.

For our entrée we decided to share the Taco Platter.  You got your choice of any 3 tacos meats plus onion, cilantro, lime, rice and beans, tortillas, and guacamole.  When the dish arrived, we were so excited:  it’s essentially “Do it Yourself Tacos”!  David explained to us that this is how they do things in Puebla, Mexica where he’s from:  family style, just like us Italians!  We had decided to go with the fish (tilapia), Carne Asada, and Al Pastor tacos because, well, those are some of our favorite flavor combos.

Fish (tilapia) taco at Salsa Picante in Port Chester, NY

First up was the tilapia that came out red (from paprika), moist, and delicate.  We made ours with cilantro, onion, radish, lime, and a touch of their orange sauce.  Then we both made our own Carne Asada tacos!  The beef had nice grill marks, giving off even more flavor.  We threw everything on this taco, using the smoky red sauce on one and the orange sauce on our seconds.  And, finally, we made our Al Pastor tacos. Unlike most variations we’ve had, you can actually taste (and see) the pineapple along with the pork…which we loved!  We decided to make ours with cilantro, onions, lime, and the orange sauce, though the red sauce did help to highlight the pork even more, too. We had enough meat and toppings to make 6 tacos each and even asked for more tortillas so we could make two more tacos at home. All in all a tasty (and again, simple and traditional) dish!

And last, but never least, dessert.

We couldn’t decide which to go with, the Quatro Leches (ooo that’s one more leche than normal) or the Churros. So guess what? Yeah, we did both…don’t judge!

The Quatro Leches was ridiculously moist, and only a little sweet unlike most we have that hurt our teeth. The chocolate syrup on top gave it a nice little warmth/depth. Honestly, this was one of the best we’ve ever had.

The Churros were stuffed with cream and Cotija…OMG. They were super crispy on the outside and oh so ooey gooey on the inside.  Man, that cheese really sent this dessert over the top. Yum!

So, would we say Salsa Picante lived up to our expectations of its name, or did it far exceed those expectations? Well, if you’re looking for a traditional, simple, affordable, authentic Mexican experience that is a major step up from quick service Mexican spots, then this is most definitely a great place to go. If you’re looking for modern twists, fancy cocktails, a hopping ambiance, and complex flavors, you can stick to one of our other fave trendy Mexican spots, like Bodega.

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$-$$$

Address: 110 Adee Street.

Port Chester, NY 10573

Phone:  (914) 481-5488

Salsa Picante on Urbanspoon

Food Trucks in the Valley ft. 18+ Trux, Music, Cars, Fun, Black Hog Brews + More

1 Sep

So…remember when we wrote about the Meriden Food Truck Festival going down October 25 +26 just a few hours ago?  Yeah…well, we’ve got another one to share with ya, this happening much sooner (9/18 from 4-8) at the Shelton River Walk:  Food Trucks in the Valley!  This feast by the river is being hosted by The Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center and will help to raise vital funding for them that will go towards programs and services such as helping people who have undergone severe trauma, abuse, or neglect.

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Truck or Treat? Have Both at the Meriden Food Truck Fest! An OmNomCT Exclusive.

1 Sep
Sure, on the weekend of October 25 (12-10) & 26 (11-8) you could go to any ‘ole Halloween party and get some candy, chips, and if you’re lucky a cute little cupcake with a gummy worm on top… or you could go to the Westfield Mall in Meriden and hit up the Meriden Food Truck Fest where you can stuff your face with fantastic food from an estimated 40 food trucks. With both trucks AND treats, there’s no excuse not to go… 
 
But OmNom, the best part of Halloween parties is we can dress up in slutty, errr, I mean scary, costumes!
Fret not our friends, the Meriden Food Truck Festival has you covered. They WANT you to come dressed in your best costume and they’ll have a professional photographer booth set up so you can show it off.

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Fairfield Cheese Company Spreads the Love with Greenwich Cheese Company, Opening Soon

29 Aug

 

Days and night have we prayed. Dear provider of cheese, meats, spreads, and all things nomworthy…come to us. Heap your love and your provisions upon us. Long have we suffered the cruel deceivingly short distance on 95 from Greenwich to Fairfield, but yeah, our prayers have been answered. Amen, our cheese loving brethren…amen.

Amen because the award-winning and amazing Fairfield Cheese Company is expanding into Greenwich! Yup, the same shop that pulled in a top five spot of places to buy cheese in America from Food & Wine and a back-to-back winner of CT Magazine’s Best Cheese Selection. Co-owners Chris Palumbo and Laura Downey’s new shop will be at 154 East Putnam Avenue where the Cos Cob Laundry used to be. It’s also located right next to Fjord Fisheries, so you could get all your seafood, cheese, meat, and goodies shopping done in one trip. And, really, what else could you possibly need?

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Morello Bistro: Old World Italian Charm with a Modern Twist – Greenwich, CT

28 Aug

Exterior Morello Bistro Greenwich

From the outside, Morello Bistro in Greenwich appears to be a cute, maybe even unassuming restaurant with a brown and white awning and a few outdoor tables.  But, as you enter, the beautiful domed ceilings, archways, terra-cotta colored columns, and second-level balcony really set the mood for a contrasting old world, yet modern Italian experience. We were excited to have that experience again when General Manager, James Branigan invited us for a special tasting since we haven’t been to Morello Bistro since the first time we tasted their menu back in November ’12 when Chef Pasternack ran the kitchen.

We started the night chatting with Olivier Flosse, Beverage Director for MARC (Mardon Abela Restaurant Corporation).  Not only is Olivier in charge of wine and cocktails at Morello, but also A Voce, Bistro du Midi, and FPB. We loved talking with Oliver because he oozed passion and excitement for his job! We talked about wine, cocktails, and his pairings for the night as he shared insights and observations in the world of adult beverages. He talked about how cocktails seem to be returning to classic liquors, how St. St. Germain has made a huge comeback in cocktails because it is, in the words of Olivier, “pure and elegant.” And, he kinda blew our minds when he told us about a cocktail that he has at A Voce:  Il Tartufo.  It’s made with a 10 year bourbon infused with three different vermouths and black truffles.  Then, they put white truffle honey on one side of the rim…DAMN!

Well, enough foreplay, let’s get down to business:

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CT Food News, Vol 18: Labor Day, Jerks, BBQ, Blues, Beer, Oysters, Deals + More…

27 Aug

Do you know what’s sad about it almost being Labor Day?  Yeah, we know…you can’t wear white again.  But, then again, who are we to follow silly rules?  Guess what?  On Tuesday Dan will wear his white linen suit with white shoes just to show what he thinks about these rules.  Yeah, don’t spend your life following all the rules and doing what society tells you!  Instead, come along with us as we tell ya all about some great events that are coming up as well as hit ya with some beer news from across the state.

Events and Deals

Craft 260 in Fairfield is pretty serious about football.  So serious, in fact that they’ll be offering up happy hour food and drink specials during Monday night games all the way up until last call.  Great food and beer, football, and a good deal?  C’mon now!

Stamford Restaurant Weeks is still going strong…all the way until September 1.  Check out all the deals!

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Parallel Post + Onyx Moonshine Team Up for Scandalous Prohibition Dinner

26 Aug

As bad as you think your life is now with problems left and right, think about this:  what if you lived during the Prohibition Era?  You couldn’t get a beer, couldn’t get a cocktail, couldn’t even drink wine…what kind of life is that?  But, that didn’t stop the truly devoted who took the ban on liquor as a creative opportunity to sell illegal drinks in speakeasies and make a profit.  Oh, and you best believe that people started brewing their own liquid goodness too…stuff that would put hair on your chest, stuff that could polish (and maybe corrode) metal, stuff that was sure to get you all messed up with just a few sips.

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Black Hog Brewing Opening Party Labor Day Weekend

25 Aug

 

Update as of 8/27:  32 oz. Squealers will be $7 or $8 depending on the style plus deposit if you’re buying from them.  You can also bring a growler and they’ll fill it for ya, just at a higher cost.  Tours will go on throughout the day, so just ask the kind folks there and they’ll hook ya up.  

The wait is finally almost over…Black Hog Brewing in Oxford will open for tastes, tours, and beer sales this Saturday, 8/30. Just come by their brewery at 115 Hurley Road, Building 9A, from 1-5 and kick off the 2014 Labor Day weekend right.

Oh, and you’ll want to come early, too. That’s because they are roasting a whole Berkshire pig just for ya…for free, too! And, if you want even more food or you’re not quick enough, The Caseus Cheese Truck will be there too, selling their awesome food. But, let’s get back to the beer-

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Win a Pair of Tix to Connecticut on Tap Beer Festival

25 Aug

CT-OnTap-Print

While we wish that we could give away tickets to all the people that entered, we had to pick just one winner for the 2 GA tickets.  So, without further ado…the winner chosen by random number generator is (commercial break…………..) Eric Hoover!  Congrats man, guess building that deck was worth it, huh? :) 

As we get closer to September, you might notice something:  the Beer Festival to Happiness ratio begins to grow. Case in point:  the 1st annual Connecticut on Tap beer festival that’s hitting Hat City on 9/13 from 3-6. On that fine day, CT on Tap will be pouring out over 120 different craft brews, with a bunch of that total coming from CT breweries. Tickets for GA are $35 or $55 for VIP, but we’ve got the hook up for you thanks to i95 Rock and Townsquare Media Danbury.

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