At Beer & Pig, we typically avoid bland things. I’m sure that I have never had anything labeled as “Gluten Free.” I believe that removing gluten from anything is the equivalent of removing alcohol from Scotch, or removing “And the Rockets’ Red Glare” from the Star Spangled Banner. I have never been to a Vegan Restaurant, nor spoken to a Vegan long enough to have reached a third sentence (the second sentence was always “Goodbye”). I have faith that the main result from eliminating gluten from a planned meal or snack, or eating anything so stripped of quality that it can be labeled “Vegan”, is to stab at the heart of America. Fortunately, B&P stands as a shield to these encroachments.
With those thoughts in mind, I received a recommendation from the editorial staff at B&P to try the Frito Pie with 1 Hour Texas Chili, by Steamy Kitchen. Steamy Kitchen is a site run by Jaden Hair, a well-respected chef and food columnist, who has previously appeared on the Today Show, TLC, and many other media outlets. More recently, you could see her as a chef star on ABC’s Recipe Rehab. Her recipes have achieved the reputation of being easy to prepare, extremely delicious, and always made from fresh ingredients.
She describes the Frito Pie as a “Texas delicacy, popular at county fairs, and considered good tail-gaitin’ eats.” If organized correctly, it only takes about 10 minutes of preparation time, then 60-90 minutes of cooking.
Sometimes, you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of going out to dinner, particularly if you live in the Washington, DC area. If, for example, you live in Fairfax, Virginia, and want to try out a restaurant in Montgomery County, Maryland, it’s probably not going to happen.
There are multiple reasons for this. First, there is simply no way to reasonably traverse the gauntlet from Northern Virginia to Southern Maryland during any hours that closely resemble dinner time. If you start driving at 5:30 p.m., you won’t get there until 7:30 p.m. Bank it.
Many readers who are not familiar with the DC-Maryland-Virginia Metropolitan Area will assume that I engaged in clever exaggeration on this point, but I wish that were the case. Then, once you arrive, you will roam around for anywhere from 20-30 minutes to find parking. If you have not completely punted from frustration, you will park 10 minutes from the restaurant, make the walk through the rain to front door, and then wait in line for another 30 minutes. Count yourself lucky if you leave before 10 p.m. – only your luck will run out when you enter into another traffic jam on the George Washington Parkway getting back to Fairfax. Home at midnight. Hope it was worth it.
For those that may not be familiar with Chèvre, it is the French word for goat.**
(**Editors note: just a really ballsy move for Teddy to open up with French-speak on THIS, of all websites. I hope he’s going somewhere with this.)
In common parlance, Chèvre is “milk of the goat” or goat cheese. I have always enjoyed the smooth taste of goat cheese (**If Ted Nugent is reading this, we sincerely apologize. I mean, we’re really, really sorry).
However, Mackenzie Creamery has blessed us by infusing pumpkin and spices into its goat cheese. The result is a lot like that of drinking a pumpkin ale; but with the delicious, filling, creamy taste and consistency of goat cheese (**Oh Teddy… no… ).
The MacKenzie Creamery was started in Hiram, Ohio, by Jean MacKenzie. In 2007, Jean entered the National Cheese Competition sponsored by the American Dairy Goat Association, and Jean won two Best of Show, two First Place and one Second Place honors.
One taste of the Pumpkin Chèvre and you will think MacKenzie should receive a Nobel Prize and Congressional Medal of Honor. This cheese defines the very reason for living.
(**Ted has missed out on a few of life’s key experiences, just go with it…)
I happened to stumble upon this delicious combination of cheese and pumpkin in a wine and cheese shop called Cheestique, in Arlington, Virginia. Many readers may have neither tshe desire or wherewithal to make it out to Arlington to taste this flavor-filled, award-winning cheese. No worries (**We’re not worried).
Fortunately, it available on line at mackenziecreamery.com. Via this website, a four ounce log will run you $7. However, it is only available during the Autumn season, so I suggest logging on immediately and purchasing a few logs.
(**It’s remarkably juvenile but I can’t stop giggling, you know you’re grinning too!!)
Any sensible human (**Teddy is flat out disrespecting other mammals) will love the injection of pumpkin taste into a creamy goat cheese that is the MacKenzie Creamery Pumpkin Chèvre. As a goat cheese, it is sufficiently soft to be served on bread or a cracker. Also, because of the consistency, you may consume it as a stand-alone snack. And why not enjoy a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale along with the Chèvre, as I did? Winter can wait (**Until December?).
**MacKenzie Creamery Pumpkin Chèvre is coming off rather excellent here. Ted certainly is passionate about it, which in-of-itself is enough to warrant a sampling. But I would be willing to bet Teddy has crossed a few lines of moral decency with a few logs of this cheese. But then again, who among us has not? Right? Right?! … Right.
14th Street in Northwest Washington, DC has a storied history. In the 1980s, during the now infamous reign of Mayor Marion Barry, it was known for two trades: prostitution and cocaine. Unless one was interested in either service or product, respectively, it was to be avoided at all cost. Following the jailing of Barry for use of banned substances, and prior to his subsequent reelection to Mayor and then his election to the DC City Council, the new DC government completed a successful campaign to gentrify the 14th Street Corridor. The transformation of a section of the city riddled with the crime to a clean, friendly, fun area of town filled with bars, restaurants, stores, and lofts is one of the greatest examples of urban renewal in the United States.
Fortunately for Washingtonians and residents of surrounding areas, that renewal led to a fantastic restaurant called The Pig. Why would a restaurant that specializes in Barbecue be called anything else? Located right on 14th street, in a well lit area with easy access to parking, this fine establishment serves an exceptional menu of delicious food and beverage items. Upon entering, I first noticed that it had the appearance of any beer and pig joint that I might find in more rural areas of the country, with lots of wooden tables, table cloths, and casually dressed staff and patrons. As I walked past the restaurant area and entered the bar section, which is much more typical of a DC pub establishment, I immediately noticed that on tap, The Pig maintains multiple local beers: Lost Rhino, Devils Backbone, Flying Dog, and my absolute favorite beer in the world, Port City Optimal Wit. I quickly ordered a glass of the Optimal Wit, settled down at the bar and feasted my eyes on an amazing food selection from the menu.