Wow, there is so much time spent finding, procuring and preparing the food it's hard to find time to post on the blog. This past weekend we explored another avenue of local products - local beer.
NJ has 16 micro-breweries and brewpubs. Unfortunately, in exploring a couple of those, local food was an afterthought. However, since the bulk of our consumption was the beer...
On Friday we visited, for the first time, Harvest Moon Brewpub in New Brunswick. It turned out to be a quick train trip from our work locations to the brewery. Very good beer, non-local food and numerous folks who come to a brewpub to drink wine or Coors Light. I don't get that? Seems like brewpubs rely heavily on food sales for their business so the crowd around us was primarily diners so we appeared to be the only one's bellying up to the bar for decent beer tour.
When the hell are they going to outlaw smoking in these places? Every smuck who needed a cigarette left the dining room and planted themselves near enough to allow us to share the smoke. Yuck! Michele came up with the great idea of taking over each person's vacant seat at their table during the interlude. Someday she'll actually try it.
On Saturday we attended an open house at Heavyweight Brewing in Ocean Twp www.heavyweight-brewing.com. A very small craft brewer with some very different but very good beers. Snacks were in abundance, but none were confirmed local foods. Missed again! But we did bring home a bunch of bottles so our beer consumption for the rest of the month will certainly be local.
Sunday the bug was just too great and we went to the Brewer's Apprentice to brew our own beer. If your into beer and don't want to mess up your kitchen with a homebrew, this is the place to go. You pick out a recipe and they pull together the ingredients and you can brew your own 13 gallon batch of beer. We'll go back in three weeks to bottle it and bring it home.
All the food that we've prepared at home has been majority local. One exception was Saturday's traditional Irish breakfast for my birthday. The eggs and the tomato were the only local foods in that cholesterol leaden feast. We knew that eating outside the house would be the biggest challenge and that's proven to be true. This weekend will be impossible for me since I'll be in Chicago.
On Monday or Tuesday I'll report back on the NJ Wine and Food Festival that we will be attending on Sunday.