Tag Archives: Raleigh Brewing Company

214 Martin Street and Raleigh Brewing Beer Dinner

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rbc_logo_small_red1Thursday night the friends decided to attend the Raleigh Brewery Company’s Beer Dinner at 214 Martin Street. While our evening had a rocky start, all turned out well. I left work at 4:30 knowing I would be cutting it close to get to Belle and Bad Boy’s house. I had told them to go ahead with Uber and I would meet them there. There was a glitch with the first Uber driver, so they had to call another and I managed to be there before the second driver arrived. I thought we would be a few minutes late, but the traffic was horrendous, plus our driver seemed to be lacking in some basic driving skills.

footerlogoThe dinner was to start at 6 pm, we arrived at 6:30 and they were just serving the first course, so it turns out our timing was not that bad. The dinner was located at the top of 2 flights of wooden stairs. I note this because (1) if you were intoxicated and fell you would be severely injured and (2) I have bad knees and it was not a pleasant climb or descent.

We introduced ourselves to the other couples at the table consisting of; Sandy – an RN, her husband Bill – who dealt in party supplies, Carrie – who worked for the EPA, her husband Keith – who was a photographer, Mike – who is a civil engineer and Ann – who works in commercial real estate. We were a motley crew, but fun. The conversation was outstanding and we learned we had all found out about this Beer Dinner though the NC Beer Guys. I hope they will follow our blogs, since meeting the members of Triangle Street Eats.

The first course consisted of roasted pear, apple, beet, arugula, spicy walnuts, Elodie Farms Goat Cheese paired with Moravian Rhapsody Czech Pilsner. The salad was delightful. The ingredients complemented each other. I thought the beets were a great addition. The beer, had a milder less beer taste, which was great for my palette.

IMG_1627The second course was a North Carolina Flounder, cooked to perfection; lemon ricotta tortellini, herb salad, parsnip puree, Cipollini onion paired with Hell Yes Ma’am Belgian Style Golden. The parsnip puree and the Cipollini onion completed the flounder and the other ingredients. It was a hit with the table. Since I am not an avid beer connoisseur, the Bad Boy and the others at the table raved about the great taste of the Belgian beer. Some at the table even had seconds of the beer.

The third course was a Heritage Farm pork tenderloin Porchetta, wrapped in bacon. It was a gastronomical delight, complemented with cooked greens, wild mushrooms, cornbread and a Cider Jus, which was the perfect touch to tie all of the ingredients together. The beer was a Blatherskite Scottish Ale. This beer was also a hit with the table. It was very hoppy.

IMG_1646The final course was a spiced chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache, ginger-sweet potato puree, salted caramel toffee with an orange sorbet. While I normally hate sweet potatoes, this tasted very good. The chocolate cake was moist and the ganache was just the right sweetness. The orange sorbet was the ingredient that pulled everything together. It was paired with the Miller’s Toll Imperial Oatmeal Stout. It was too hoppy for me, but the other diners felt it complimented the dessert course well.

catering_chef1I would like to give my regards to Chef Matt Thompson, his staff and the servers for doing such a wonderful job with this dinner. The 214 Martin Street does a great job in events. A special thanks to the Raleigh Brewing Company’s, Billy Rutherford for giving great descriptions and histories of the beers served. I had such a great time talking and enjoying the dinner, I will be looking for other beer dinners to attend.

Upcoming Events at 214 Martin Street

  • 214 Martin Street “Culinary Experience” Cooking Class on February 12, 2015. Tickets are $79 per person, available at 214cookingclass.eventbrite.com
  • Easter Brunch Buffett, Sunday April 15, 2015 11 am to 2pm. $25 per person. For reservations go to 214MartinStreet.com

mary_smWatch Triangle Street Eats twitter feeds @TriStreetEats and Facebook page for other fun events to attend.

The Traveler

Trial By Fire: Triangle Street Eats Introduction to North Carolina’s Competitive Dining

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The friends saw the twitter buzz last fall about the North Carolina Dining Competition; Fire in the Triangle and was interested to find out more about it. I volunteered to see how this competition worked, since it reminded me of Iron Chef, but only better. Since I am a newbie to this dining experience, I was interested in the history of how it all began.

logo2Background of Competition: The first competition; the original Fire on the Rock, held in 2005 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, was organized by Mr. Jimmy Crippen. The competition was started as a way to build business during the off-season and has since exploded into a series across the state promoting local North Carolina ingredients, chefs and local restaurants. Jimmy Crippen was the owner of the acclaimed Crippen Country Inn and Restaurant in Blowing Rock, NC, which closed in 2013. The closure allowed Crippen to shift his focus to his Got to Be NC Competitive Dining Series full-time. He emcees each competition in the Fire series. In year’s past the competition has focused on five regions of the state, but host and creator Jimmy Crippen said the focus has changed to only three sections of the state – the Triangle, Charlotte and the Triad. Competing chefs will come from the surrounding areas of each region.

Battle Ben and Gerry: January 19, 2015

Location: Fire in the Triangle, will take place in Raleigh at 1705 Prime.

Secret Ingredient: Mangalitsa Ham

thVBJS0W8UMangalitsa (US spelling), Mangalitza (UK spelling) or Mangalica (original spelling) is a natural breed of pigs from Europe that are descended directly from wild boar populations. The Mangalitsa pig is unusual as it grows a hairy ‘fleece’, akin to that of a sheep. The Mangalitsa was formerly bred as a lard pig, and animals were large and round. Because of the drop in demand for lard, the breed’s popularity has declined and it is now regarded as a “rare breed“.

We were instructed to arrive at the competition at 6 pm. Heidi Billotto, a fellow blogger from Charlotte, representing La Farm Bakery, greeted me. She was very busy taking pictures and doing interviews, so I greatly appreciated her taking the time to seek me out. I was taken to my table, number 4. The blog team of Triangle Around Town was already seated to my right at our large table. On my left was Jennifer Simmons, a delightful person who loves and appreciates food

Topo Distillery and the North Carolina Beer Guys supplied drinks. I loved my spicy Bloody Mary and the beer made with orange peel and minimal hops, which decreased the bitterness of the beer. While we were waiting a basket of bread supplied by La Farm Bakery was placed on our table. Not being shy and since the basket was placed next to me, I sampled a white chocolate baguette, which was phenomenal!   I did not want to eat too much, so I could appreciate the gastronomical creations by Chef Fong and Chef Harris.

The excitement was building and the clock was slowly counting down the time to discovering what the secret ingredient would be. The clock reached zero and Jimmy Crippen began his role of Emcee. He was engaging and entertaining. He introduced the Chefs and finally announced the secret ingredient, Mangalitsa Country Ham.

How it works: Paying guests get to sample each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of culinary and celebrity judges in a series of 15 dinner competitions hosted in the four regions of the state. Each evening, two restaurants “battle” it out, side-by-side, in a single elimination format. Guests savor a six-course menu (three dishes from each chef without knowing whose food they’re tasting) created around a “secret” ingredient. For almost all series, the secret ingredient will come from a North Carolina source. The secret ingredient is revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking and it must be used in each of their three courses diners. Culinary, as well as guest judges, rate each dish and determine who moves to the next round and who goes home. At stake in each series is a grand prize of $2,500 and a coveted red chef jacket.

First Course: Pan-Roasted Scallop, Logan Turnpike Stone Ground Grits, Saffron. Chili. Crispy Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham. Chef Harris and his team from the Midtown Grill created this. It received a score of 28.16.

Second Course: Lavender and Thyme Seared Giant Sea Scallop, Rice Noodle Salad, Sautéed Parsnip & Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham, Currant-Cranberry Compote. Chef Fong of Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant of New Bern, NC prepared this. It received a score of 26.97.

Third Course: Confit of Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Belly and Butter-Poached Crawfish, Looking Glass Creamery “Chocolate Lab” Rustic Porridge, Butternut, Red Onion Jam Red Eye Gravy. Prepared by Chef Harris with a score of 25.41

Fourth Course: Coffee and Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham crusted Certified Angus Beef Brand Rib Eye, Wild Mushroom, Mangalitsa Ham and Looking Glass Creamery “Ellington” Goat Cheese Risotto, Carmel Roasted Butternut Puree, Mangalitsa Ham and Citrus Brussel Sprouts, TOPO Old White Well Demi. Prepared by Chef Fong with a score of 26.81.

Fifth Course: Milk Chocolate Custard, Dark Chocolate Torte, Buttermilk Fluid Gel, Johnson County Mangalitsa Nam salted Carmel, “Fluff”.   Prepared by Chef Harris with the score of 28.61.

Sixth Course: Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham & Chocolate Stout Cake with Mangalitsa Ham and Pomegranate Sorbet, Vanilla Chil & Lime Anglaise Candied Beets. Prepared by Chef Fong with a score of 27.7.

The winner was Benjamin Harris from the Midtown Grill with a score of 27.42 with a close win against Chef Gerry Fong with the score of 27.16.

I had a great time. Both Chefs out did themselves with their creations. Mangalitsa Country Ham is a challenging ingredient. I was hoping for an ice cream from one of the Chefs, but enjoyed the desserts that were created.

I loved meeting Stephanie Beck from WRAL Out and About. I know she follows Triangle Street Eats on Twitter, but I invited her to check out our blog and Facebook Page. I was also fortunate to meet Felicia Perry. She is delightful.   I hope to run in to her again at other events. I loved the NC Beer Guys and hope to see them at the 214 Martin Street Beer Dinner with Raleigh Brewing Company Thursday night.

I plan on attending more of these battles. I hope our readers will attend and follow our gastronomical experiences as well as our choices for Restaurant Week. Here are the upcoming NC Dining Competitions.

Here are the first round match-ups supplied by WRAL: 

Sponsors:

Got to Be NC Products

  • Pate Dawson Southern Foods PDF Chain
  • Pepsi Bottling Ventures
  • Joyce Farms
  • Certified Angus Beef Brand
  • Libbey Food Services
  • NC Egg Farmers: North Carolina Egg Association
  • Whole Harvest Foods
  • HITSTECH
  • La Farm Bakery

mary_smThe Traveler

 

Amigosan at Raleigh Brewing Company

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rbc_logo_small_red1There are few things more rewarding in the Triangle than going to a nearby brewery for a pint, and finding one of the area’s best and creative food trucks is there to satisfy your hunger. This trend is showing up almost everywhere across the Triangle as it turns out. Recently Belle and I made a return visit to Raleigh Brewing Company to enjoy their handcrafted brews, and as fate would have it, Chef Ed Sautro and his wife Nicole of Amigosan food truck, were on-hand to provide the sustenance. We had met Chef Ed earlier last year, and became immediately enthused by his fusion skills. Taking a Mex-Asian approach, Chef Ed provides the diner with a unique experience.

Raleigh Brewing Company is located at 3709 Neil Street, Raleigh, NC. There artisans, called brew masters, labor to create such masterpieces as: Bl@ther$k!tea – Scottish Ale, City of Blokes – a bitter ale, Hell Yes Ma’am – a Belgian style golden, Hidden Pipe – a hearty Porter, House of Clay – a Rye IPA, Moravian Rhapsody – a Czech styled Pilsner and, my favorite, Oak City Coffee Ale – a coffee infused ale. We began our night with primers: for Belle a Moravian Rhapsody, a crisp, hoppy and refreshing Pilsner brewed with traditional Pilsner malt, Saaz hops, and German Lager yeast. For myself, an Oak City Coffee Ale, whose flavor is simultaneously sophisticated and sassy. ‘Priming,’ I should explain, is properly preparing the palate and exciting the stomach for what is to come. A good handcrafted brew is an excellent primer, and can complement the meal as well.

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UH5Cjr3yBelle and I arrived via Uber a little before 6 pm, which gave us a few minutes to talk with Ed before he had to set-up for the evening’s hungry patrons.

“I’ll let the food speak for itself,” he explained with an air of confidence, as he turned his attention to the task of prep work. I had no doubt Belle and I would later be impressed.

After finishing our first round, I went out to place our orders, only to find a crowd had already gathered around Amigosan. I knew that this was an encouraging sign.

Belle and I had ordered a wide-range of choices, though the choices that anyone can make can vary significantly between patrons. The menu choices are; pick your protein – chicken, steak, pork or tofu. Next, pick from which style you want with your flour tortilla:

  • Amigosan – Shredded Kale, Napa and red cabbage slaw, tossed in sesame soy dressing, finished with Cojita cheese and sweet and spicy aioli.
  • Taj Mahal – Curried fresh spinach, cucumber and carrots, spiced chickpeas with Masalia Curry aioli.
  • Sombrero – Shredded Romaine, tossed with southwest Caesar dressing, Mexican corn relish, Jack and Colby cheese, topped with Chipotle lime cream.
  • Thai Thai Again – Napa/Red Cabbage blended with peanut sauce, carrots, toasted coconut, finished with Sriracha Crema.

Belle and I selected; Amigoasn with steak, Thai Thai Again with Chicken, Loaded Tater tots, Amigosan style and Loaded Nachos styled Thai Thai Again, with steak. One of the most delightful things about the food is its presentation, ‘a feast-for-the-eyes’. Wonderful colors and arrangements make each entrée visually appealing. Next is the way it tantalizes the palate with a crunchy texture and a burst of dressing flavor in each bite, none overpowering the other.

shrimpAs we were finishing, Ed appeared at our table with a sampling of his nightly special. Just when I thought we had gotten away with a nearly perfect sampling of Amigosan, Chef Ed raised the bar – Shrimp so delicate, highlighted with Napa cabbage, carrots, cucumber with rice wine vinegar, wasabi aioli and black sesame seed. Now the evening had reached its gastronomic summit! I highly recommend you try Amigosan’s food truck some time soon. You won’t be disappointed.

Belle and I have found going to a local brewery where a food truck is on site with windows up a great way to end the workweek and start the weekend. No fuss, no frills – a great casual outing with good food and brews.

bruce_smStay hungry my friends

 

 

 

Brunch with Olio and Aceto – A Review

 

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As this is Memorial Day week-end, Triangle Street Eats, wants to say “Thank you to all veterans.” We are grateful for those who gave their lives, so we could live ours! We will remember with gratitude and pride all those who served and died for our country and our freedom – “All gave some, Some gave all”

For the three day week-end the Belle and Bad Boy decided to do a staycation in the Triangle but The Traveler’s itchy feet got the best of her and she took some extra time off to head out on a road trip. Look for a post in the near future about all her adventures.   Just because The Traveler was out of town there was no reason for Triangle Street Eats not to do a review. So Belle and Bad Boy decided to see where the food trucks were planning to serve Saturday and Sunday – preferably a food truck at a local brewery. We were in luck! Chai’s Global Street Food was scheduled to be at Raleigh Brewing Company Saturday. After arriving and ordering Moravian Rhapsody, a crisp, hoppy pilsner, we were told the food truck had broken down. Of dear, what to do? What else but order another round! As another well-known Southern Bell said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Once again, we were in luck and Olio and Aceto was going to be serving brunch at Fortnight Brewery on Sunday.   Although we usually think of food truck fare for either lunch or dinner, brunch was a novel idea. So, Sunday found Belle and Bad Boy headed out to have brunch with Olio and Aceto.

Southern Belle:

s_belle_smSunday, before leaving for Fortnight Brewery to sample the fare of Olio and Aceto, I was checking their menu on the web and couldn’t help but tweet about how good menu selections looked. I quickly received a response from them saying they would not be serving their standard menu, but a brunch menu instead. Thanks, Olio and Aceto for being so thoughtful – great customer service! On our way to Fortnight Brewery via Uber, Bad Boy and I decided we would have to order at least one item we knew The Travel would have ordered. As soon as we took a look at the brunch menu we knew biscuits and sausage gravy would be The Traveler’s choice (she orders this whenever available when the friends do breakfast) along with Mac and Cheese bites. A cheddar biscuit with honey mustard glazed ham and French Toast with raspberry cream cheese, lemon icing, raspberries and granola were my selections.

The cheddar biscuit with honey mustard glazed ham was not your typical ham biscuit. The biscuit was tender with just the right about of cheese and the ham was moist. The honey mustard glazed added to the perfection of this selection. The biscuit and gravy was quite hardy and filling. The gravy was smooth with a velvety texture and loaded with tasty sausage. Next, I moved on to the Mac and Cheese bite. The bite was lightly breaded which let the flavor of the mac and cheese with just a hint of spicy come through. It was a bite of gooey goodness, yum. I think Bob would have liked the bite. Now for the pièce de résistance, the French Toast!! Olio and Aceto’s presentation of the French Toast was picture perfect, encouraging you to dig-in. The first bite of this raspberry cream cheese ladened piece of heaven made my eyes roll back. I definitely did not want to share the French Toast. It was delightful and I wanted it ALL. But, that’s not the way this works, so I grudgingly gave the Bad Boy a small piece to try.

Now that I have sampled the brunch menu, I can’t wait to give the standard menu a try. Thank you. Olio and Aceto for a wonderful brunch, it was awesome, awesome. Can I say awesome one more time!

Bad Boy:

bruce_smBrunch, the word beckons the opportunity to sleep-in. No wonder it has become a tradition for Sunday morning when the following Monday is a holiday. Since we had missed an opportunity to catch Chai’s Global Street Food at Raleigh Brewing Company the day before, we decided on Sunday to dine with Olio and Aceto at Fortnight Brewery, and sample a ‘flight’ of English-styled-brews as well.

Upon arriving, we found the crowd thinner than on our previous visit. Likely a tribute to the holiday weekend, with so many people having planned to be elsewhere and who could blame them. After looking over the menu board, I had decided that I would try Biscuits & Gravy, in honor of the traveler, who was not able to join us. For a dollar more, I had added a poached egg. I had also decided to try a mac-n-cheese bite. With the Southern Belle’s selections of a Cheddar Biscuit, with honey mustard glazed ham and French toast with raspberry cream cheese, lemon icing, fresh raspberries and granola, we had a broad enough sampling of Olio and Aceto’s fare.

They brought it to us inside, where I was now working on my second of four samples from the ‘flight’. Eager to sample the cuisine, I started in on the biscuits & gravy. I was glad I had gotten the poached egg with it. It gave the course a good balance, with a thick full-bodied sausage gravy and a biscuit for balance, it was very special. If I had one critique, it was that the biscuit could have been a little more tender and flakey.

The Cheddar Biscuit, with honey mustard glazed ham on the other hand was perfectly developed, even the biscuit! The flavorful honey mustard glazing complemented the ham wonderfully, as well as the third brew I was now starting on. I had a bite of the mac-n-cheese bite. I was pleased to note that it had just enough heat to appreciate the balance of mac-n-cheese, enveloped in light breading, deep-fried. As I fought back the urge to go outside and get another mac-n-cheese bite, I realized that we still had one dish left to sample, French toast! The French toast was made from a baguette, giving it a true French emphasis. Accompanied with a wonderful raspberry cream cheese and fresh raspberries, the dish was a delight. Who needs sticky syrup when you can have lemon icing instead anyway.

To the hard working ladies of Olio and Aceto, you can make me breakfast anytime. I also look forward to sampling you usual fare, perhaps at the up-and-coming Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo next month.

The Traveler:

mary_smOn a road trip.  Sorry I missed brunch with my friends.  Belle and Bad Boy get ready for another food truck adventure when I return.  I can’t wait to do another review with you!   Right now, I’m writing my travel log for this trip that I will be sharing with everyone later.

 

 

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