Saturday, February 2, 2019

Take a peek-at-Chu Chu Donuts

Left and center, The Cronut at Chu Chu Donuts is a joy to eat with pillowy croissant layers within and a nicely-browned exterior enrobed in a light glaze. All the more delightful when freshly baked. Right, Chu Chu also makes an excellent Old Fashioned doughnut with lots of crispy edges to tear off and enjoy with a cup of coffee. The plain is my favorite.

Left and center, A darn good double chocolate doughnut. The cake is softer, lighter than what you would find elsewhere. Rich cocoa flavor makes this a top choice. Right, a maple bacon Long John is straightforwardly delicious.

Left and center, Chu Chu’s Jumbo Croissant Roll comes with a cheese-studded summer sausage inside, with or without jalapeño. So lightly crisp on the outside, then pillowy folds followed by savory sausage. Right, A feast of frosted Old Fashioned doughnuts, with five chocolate and a lone maple in the lower right. The frostings are quite good but better suited on a regular cake doughnut; the maple more so with bacon on the Long John.

An exceptional apple fritter at Chu Chu Donuts with a crisp, glazed crust and an über-moist, pull-apart interior. Warm cinnamon aroma, loads of flavor. Overall quite rich and sweet! Pairing with coffee is a must.

Glazing on the chocolate cake doughnut, left, is light and not too sweet. If you like your cocoa flavor more robust then opt for the chocolate frosted variety. Center, A lightly glazed Old Fashioned. I like to pull off the well browned, crispy edges first, then finish with the remaining 'ring'. Right, A plain cake doughnut is slightly sweet with a brown, crisp exterior. I'd be happy with a pair of these plus a cup of coffee.

Eats, drinks in the East Village

Left, Ciabatta French toast with eggs and bacon at Railroad Bill’s Dining Car plus an added foundation of hash browns for my eggs. I skipped the syrup and wolfed down the French toast with my bare hands! Good food at a great price: all this plus coffee for eleven bucks and change. To alcohol, not the cause of and certainly not the solution to all of my problems. But three buck bottles of Rolling Rock, right, is hard to pass up at Buddy's Corral.

Lunch at La Hacienda on Grand in the East Village featuring huevos con chorizo, guacamole, chips, salsa, and a Dos Equis. A satisfying meal in every aspect. Leftover corn tortillas I took home for dinner.

Left, Blue Spring Oolong at Gong Fu Tea. The leaves are rolled in licorice powder. Very slight effect, IMHO; almost indiscernible. Seven Sons Bing Cha, right, a puerh found at Gong Fu Tea that’s delightfully earthy with some musty notes. A superb aged tea!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Solid beers from Confluence Brewing

Left, The Anniversary Oatmeal Cookie Stout from Confluence Brewing is most unique! It’s got the body and maltiness that I expect in an oatmeal stout, but with a little something extra… “COOKIE!!! NOM NOM NOM!” Seriously, oatmeal cookies from LaMie Bakery were thrown in the boil. 7.9% ABV, zero IBU. Campfire Black Lager, center, tastes like a cool evening at Kuehn Conversation Area over a warming fire, but without the smoke getting into your eyes. Noble German hops balance a rich malt backbone. 6.3% ABV, 30 IBU. Right, A true breakfast beer! Confluence takes their solid Gray's Lake Nessie Scottish Ale and infuse it with coffee and hazelnut. Aromas and flavors are spot on. 5.9% ABV, 17 IBU.

Left, Hill Hopper Pale Ale is citrusy in aroma and flavor. Opaque golden color is appealing. 5.7% ABV, zero IBU. Right, Batch 1000 hazy double IPA offers a subtle aroma, round juicy flavors of citrus and berries, and a malty finish with bright notes echoing in the moments before the next quaff. 9.4% ABV, zero IBU.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Random Bits of Detritus

And this little piggy is chilling out in a far corner of the Skywalk.

One man’s frontier is another’s back yard. This guy is trespassing.

It might be the beer talking, but Kit Kat is such an underrated treat.

The first cardinal of the year. Way to go, 2019.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Visits to Firetrucker Brewery

Deep roasted malt, creamy body, and dark chocolate aroma make Firetrucker Brewery’s Arson Oatmeal Stout, left, a fortifying beverage! Just what you’ll need as the colder months commence. 5.7% ABV, 33 IBU. Right, Bright Trucker Brunch Beer–a collaboration with Brightside Aleworks–is made with Iowa maple syrup, red malt, noble hops, Belgian yeast, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans. An exceptional spiced red ale well suited for the fall. 5.6% ABV, 29 IBU.

Left, One of the Friday specialty casks is a ‘Pecan Pie’ Burnout Brown, a remarkably nutty ale! 5.3% ABV, 32 IBU. With the return of winter, so comes Firetrucker's classic Acova black walnut brown ale, right. 6.8% ABV, 29 IBU.

Left, A festively spiced Mole Grail, an Imperial Oatmeal Stout loaded with cocoa, cinnamon, ancho and pasilla chiles. 8.0% ABV, 31 IBU. With the range of cask conditioned expressions that Firetrucker builds with their Burnout Brown, right, I forget what a perfectly cromulent beer it is. You can find tallboys for four bucks from 3-6 pm at The Walnut in downtown Des Moines.