Sunday, November 15, 2009

Liking the Linkery

When reading the daily list of Beer Week events, I saw that on Friday The Linkery had a Beer Week special where you got two tacos and a half-pint of cask beer for $10. Not the deal of the century, but not bad. The Beer Rovette was up for lunch and off The Linkery we went. It was our first time back to The Linkery since I wrote this post. Since my last trip to The Linkery I have figured out its 18% automatic gratuity and did not tack on additional 20%-plus to my bill this time. (Funny how when you feel you paid too much for a meal can impact an impression, even when the food was excellent.) Everything was superb.

We ordered the cask version of Stone's Runiation (on right) and Ballast Point's Sculpin. I am not the biggest fan of cask beer, as past cask beers I have tried were too muted when compared to the non-cask versions. I know this is not a purist's attitude but it's how I feel, or how I felt. There was noting muted in the Ruination, as it was bitter up front and stayed through the finish. It lacked the sweetness and balance of the non-cask version and the overall impression was that the beer was off. Sculpin was amazing. It was creamy and the hops and malt were in perfect tandem. This was the best cask beer I have ever tasted. Like Runiation, there was nothing muted in Sculpin's taste. This version of Sculpin is why people rave about cask beer and gave me a new appreciation of cask beer.

I mentioned in my initial post that if I could create a restaurant it would be like The Linkery. This view was reinforced after lunch. No item is overlooked, even table salt, where two types of sea salt - white and gray - are offered. We had andouille sausage and portobello mushroom tacos to go with the two half-pints. The tacos were excellent, and I think I liked the mushroom taco more than the sausage taco, and I love sausage. The side dish was a bean salad on a bed of greens, it was great, too. We tried to figure out what was in it and were amazed at how fine the ingredients, including peppers and onions, had been chopped. To me it was just another attention to detail by chefs that care about the food. It's annoying when cooks rough cut vegetables, it shows a laziness that generally translates to taste.

It's questionable whether the lunch was really a Beer Week event - no brewers or brewery representatives - but I will count it as one. The excuse of Beer Week got me me to visit, which was the whole point of Beer Week. I suspect it will be less than a year before I go back to The Linkery.

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