Monthly Archives: June 2010

Boonies Southern Soul Now Open

About a year ago I posted about a restaurant called Boonies BBQ & Soul Food that was located in the Cloverdale curling rink.  Bonnie, the head chef and proprietor, quickly outgrew the curling rink as his reputation for delicious BBQ and comforting soul food grew larger than the curling rink could handle.  Boonie has recently relocated to Langley and with a larger location and a full menu – including beer and southern classics such as Jambalaya, black-eyed peas, red beans and rice, cornbread and more.  This new restaurant is aptly named Boonies Southern Soul.

Boonie and his wife Tina realized that Southern food and beer belong together and invited Chris and me to make a few food and bee paring recommendations.  Chris had a hard time justifying a flight out to Vancouver just for this, so I went in solo.   I helped put together a list of four different ales from local craft brewers that will all compliment different menu items.

Boonies Southern Soul is the real deal and I would encourage anyone with a passion for good food to go and check it out.   Here is a sample of the current beer menu.

Amber Ale
The best match for this beer would be the pulled pork sandwich but it also pairs wonderfully with a good portion of the menu.  Amber Ales tend to have a sweet malty flavour with a medium hop bit, which will work with the sweet and spicy flavours in many of the dishes.
Tree Brewing Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale

Pale Ale
Pale Ale is hoppier (citrusy, pleasant bitter flavour) than an amber ale and works well with spicy foods, but can also match earthier flavours, such as jambalaya.   It would also work nicely with the BBQ Smoked Ribs, Cajun Chicken and the Hot Link Bites.
Tree Brewing Cutthroat Pale Ale

Nut Brown Ale
Nut Brown Ale is brown coloured ale with a mild hop flavour and a medium roasted malt flavour.  This would work great with less spicy dishes such as BBQ Chicken or a Burger.
Dead Frog Brewing Nut Brown Ale

Stout
A Stout is a classic partner with smokey BBQ. A dark ale with mild hop flavour but tons of roasted malt flavour and has an almost sweet, smokey molasses flavour.  This beer would work great with Burgers, Cheese Steak and would be wonderful with the BBQ Smoked Ribs!
Nelson Brewing Blackheart Stout

Cheers,

Erik

Strawberries and Cream, Beer at Wimbledon

One item on the to do list was always going to get done and that was to visit the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.  We didn’t have tickets, but that didn’t stop the wife and I from heading down to Wimbledon from London to try our luck anyway.  We waited 1.5 hours in a kilometer long line, but eventually made our way in.  Entry to the grounds after 5PM cost us £14 and tickets to centre court after that were only £5 more.  It was amazing to see centre court where so much tennis history has taken place, not to mention it’s where the Queen herself is sitting today.  We saw Victoria Azarenka thrash Mirjana Lucic while making noises I felt would be more suitable in the bedroom than on a tennis court.

Start of the giant Wimbledon line

Start of the giant Wimbledon line

Centre Court at Wimbledon, across from the Royal Box

Centre Court at Wimbledon, across from the Royal Box

While at Wimbledon we obviously had to eat strawberries and cream.  We brought our own strawberries (£2 for a large basket) and crème fraîche (£1), which we sprinkled brown sugar on.  It was delightful.  We also sampled the strawberries and cream sold at Wimbledon.  For £2.50 we received eight strawberries sitting in what looked like unwhipped whipping cream sprinkled with sugar.  It was not nearly as good and if you go to Wimbledon, I recommend bringing your own delightful concoction.  We also brought our own bottle of champagne, which I found pretty crazy considering the attitudes in North American sports concerning outside alcohol.  We were well equipped, but I still needed to check out what kind of beer was made available to patrons at the All England Club.  Guinness and Grolsch for £4.40 a pint, not an English beer in sight.  I was a bit surprised by that, but then we were in the chump area and not in one of the fancier clubs, chalets, restaurants or other gathering places of the privileged few.

Strawberries and Cream with Champagne at Wimbledon

Strawberries and Cream with Champagne at Wimbledon

Wimbledon was an amazing place to visit and I’m going to register for 2011 tickets when the lottery opens in September.  We even caught the beginning of Isner vs Mahut on Court 18 in what we didn’t know would turn into the epic longest tennis match of all time.  Turns out Boris Becker was watching too.

Boris Becker above Court 18

Boris Becker above Court 18

Cheers,

Chris

Father’s Day Beer Dinners

In case you’ve forgotten, it’s Father’s Day this Sunday!  To celebrate the occasion a few BC breweries have got themselves involved in some Father’s Day beer dinners.  If your Dad likes eating good food and drinking good beer, then I can’t thing of a better Fathery’s Day gift than a trip to one of these dinners:

  • Central City in Surrey will be offering a three course meal, each course made with beer as an ingredient and paired with beer, for $35 anytime between 4PM and 8PM on Sunday, June 20th.  I haven’t been to one of the Father’s Day dinners at Central City before, but I’ve seen pictures and heard Erik’s account of last year’s dinner.  Without yet seeing the menu I can say, and trust me here, it’s worth the money.
  • R&B Brewing is doing a Father’s Day dinner with DIVA at the Met in Vancouver.  This dinner is a five course affair with each course paired with an R&B beer.  On Saturday, June 19th from 7PM to 9:30PM this dinner can be yours for a mere $49.  Again, I wasn’t there last year, but I heard the reviews and saw the pictures.  It looked amazing, as does this year’s menu below.

Cheers,

Chris

R&B DIVA Father's Day Menu

Sockeye Salmon Season

Wild BC Sockeye Salmon is delicious. The good news for all of us on the west coast of Canada is that this wonderful fish is now in season.  Fatty fish, such as sockeye salmon, is a perfect match for a number of ales, my choice tonight was Brasserie DuPont Moinette Blond.

A fish such as Sockeye deserves to be treated with a great deal of respect; this fish has been over fished and the fishery in BC has been closed or severely limited the past few years making sockeye a treat, as the scarcity of this fish does not allow it to become a staple food item as it may have been previously.  In celebration of the Sockeye I cooked up a small feast for my Wife and me.

Pan fried Sockeye Salmon; ricotta gnocchi with a white wine, spinach and mussel broth reduction and cornmeal crusted mussels.  Unfortunately the mussels were below par and tasted far to fishy.  The Moinette Blond was a great pairing .

Please enjoy Sockeye Salmon with a great deal of Gusto while in season, but of course with a sense of measured moderation.

Cheers,

Erik

GIB Ginger Beer Seasonal Release

Granville Island Brewing recently released their latest seasonal special, ginger beer.  I tried this beer last year and found it to be one of the better ginger beers.  The ginger flavor is noticeable but not over the top and fiery.  Here is the press release.  Enjoy.

The Wait for the Warmth is Over – Granville Island Brewing Brings Back Limited Release Ginger Beer

Vancouver, BC – We know every season offers something unique in Vancouver, and Granville Island Brewing’s latest limited release is no exception. On June 4, 2010, it is time to heat things up as we roll out Ginger Beer.

“GIB’s version of a traditional ginger beer is the perfect combination of spicy Caribbean warmth and refreshing taste, making it the ideal summer refreshment,” says Vern Lambourne, Brew Master, Granville Island Brewing.

“This specialty brew has all the elements of a craft brew – including ginger chopped by hand!”

Ginger Beer combines water, malt, hops and yeast with fresh hand chopped ginger root to create that perfect taste. GIB recommends this premium beer with spicy Jamaican Jerk, or milder foods like sushi for a less adventurous palette. The incredible aroma of ginger and spice emulates a beach day in the Caribbean.

Ginger Beer is available in individual bottles for 6 weeks only, in select liquor and beer stores across Vancouver and in our retail store on Granville Island. Vancouver – stock up on this great tasting brew while you can.

About Granville Island Brewing (GIB)

Established is 1984, Granville Island Brewing (GIB) is Canada’s first microbrewery offering a variety of award-winning beers which are brewed and sold here in BC. GIB is dedicated to handcrafting only the finest premium beers that are 100 per cent all-natural and brewed in small batches to provide consumers with the ultimate tasting experience. In celebration of their West Coast heritage GIB names each beer after iconic Vancouver locations that embody the local lifestyle. From the original Island Lager and English Bay Pale Ale, to Cypress Honey Lager, and now their latest innovation; Brockton IPA, GIB continues to produce a diverse portfolio of beers inspired by life on the West Coast. For more information, visit www.gib.ca.

Cheers,

Erik