If you’ve been following along with this blog throughout its illustrious four day history, you’ll know my birthday was on the 5th. Since I’m old and couldn’t be bothered with a night out during the work week, Deana decided to take me out today for some beer and dinner. It went well.
We started off the day with a little visit to a packed Artifact Coffee. I’ve never been there, but have heard good things and since we were officially past E on the Coffee gauge in the Smiley household I thought a little visit was in order. I ordered us a couple of Americano’s and they were damn good. Fruity, not too acidic, nor overly bitter. I would definitely order them again and not just because I’m coffee illiterate and literally had no clue what all the other menu options meant. Honestly, upscale coffee shops are just as intimidating as being a newbie to the beer world. I just want to drink things that taste good without reading up on the history, culture, and trends, okay? But that’s no dig against Artifact. They were cool. 10/10 would drink beans mixed with hot water there again.
After our caffeine fix, a downer was in order so we meandered over to Waverly Brewing Co to finally see what they were all about. Verdict? Hit and miss. A few of their beers impressed the hell out of me. Their blonde, Golden Sombrero, was as well made as any blonde in the state. Crisp, clean, and with an underlying fruity sweetness it had summer beer written all over it. My personal favorite was O’Bay, a Pale Ale full of lemony coriander goodness. If you haven’t tried anything from Waverly and you want to see what they can do when they put their best foot forward then this is the beer to try. On the less impressive side, the Clementine Wheat Ale and Shoo-fly Chocolate Ale were butter bombs. Diacetyl issues? I don’t know, but whatever it was they weren’t drinking right. I’m not trying to be hater…just giving an honest evaluation of my experience today. In fact, I will definitely visit Waverly again and continue to keep an eye on their development. Any brewery that can make a beer as good as O’Bay deserves an open mind.
For dinner we headed over to the Avenue and tried Le Garage for the first time. Consider us happy customers. They had a very nice beer selection, of which we were able to try a few Italian offerings we haven’t had before. Deana’s Birra del Borgo Caos was the winner of the night. A beer made with 25% white wine must and champagne yeast I can’t recommend this one enough. Fruity, light, and not quite like anything else I’ve had before. Deana may have won the beer selection battle, but I came back strong in the dinner department. Steak Frites? Yes, please. I wish I knew what kind of cut restaurants used when they make the whole Steak Frites thing. Whatever it is, it’s always so tender with a texture that’s buttery smooth. Someone fill me in. And the frites? Those were winners. I was a little hesitant having actually been to Belgium and being quite the frites snob, but Le Garage represented well. Crunchy outside, creamy inside, and dipping sauces consisting of rosemary/garlic or black truffle aioli? That’s what I’m talking about.
Overall, it was a great late birthday celebration. Good coffee, nice beer, and tasty potatoes. What else can you ask for? I mean, besides like 5 new books from Amazon.