Postview: Edible Manhattan's Good Beer
If someone asked me to describe Edible Manhattan's Good Beer event in a sentence it would be as follows: delicious bites, refreshing beer, and sweltering heat. This past week, we ventured into Hell's Kitchen (that's a shot for any Daredevil fans) where we arrived at Hudson Mercantile - a completely nondescript seven floor building at 36th St and 10th Ave.
Upon arrival through a side door, we were handed (1) a plastic cup and (2) a metal fork - our weapons in this battle to come. Good Beer had three floors - ground level, the 6th floor, and the roof and our first destination was the 6th floor via the elevator. When the doors opened, we were greeted to fantastic smells, a large loft space, and about 30 vendors.
Our first stop was Untamed Sandwiches - The Butt - a combination of pork butt over a swath of Dijon mustard nestled between hunks of sour-dough type bread. While it was a very heavy first morsel, the bread certainly helped in soaking up the booze to come. Our next two stops were my two favorite bites - The Vanderbilt's Sweet Chili Glazed Duck Wings and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola's Baby Back Rib with a Corn Bread Pudding. Look...we've eaten a lot of chicken wings over the life of our blog (our readers might love that - our waistlines don't) but never duck wings. The sweet tangy sauce was drizzled over the wing - rather than the typical unceremonious dunk - which allowed the more flavorful duck meat to be the star of the show, a perfect blend of sweet and spice. Baby back ribs are some of my favorite foods, if done right, and while these were fantastic (perfect amount of fat to keep the flavors), the corn bread pudding stole the show. Unlike Sylvia's corn bread which has a flaky and bit burnt texture - not in a bad way - this corn bread pudding was very cake-y with a pudding inside: fantastic!
After devouring these morsels, we needed something to wash it down. Our first few stops included Schofferhofer's grapefruit beer and Doc's Draft peach cider. Ciders can sometimes be too sweet but they lent their subtle flavors nicely to the beer.
The next few bites were our version of comfort food - Bill Baker's Mac & Cheese, Kati Roll's Chicken Tikka Masala Roll, and Gastronomie 49's Chocolate Malt Ice Cream. The mac and cheese had chunks of bacon (which obviously makes everything better) as well as a lovely parmigiano crisp which gave a great salty-umami flavor. Kati Roll is a dear favorite of mine while at NYU as well as nowadays working in Midtown just a few blocks away from their 53rd St store. The green sauce spice was especially useful in the 6th floor loft - sans air conditioning - at cooling us down. These two were "washed down" with chocolate malt ice cream. One thing we saw over and over at the event were the flavors added to the typical foods or drinks weren't overpowering but gave plenty of presence. We definitely tasted the chocolate malty-ness but that didn't overpower the ice cream.
One store I must give a shout out to is The Chocolate Room. They're a Park Slope based choco-centric cafe delivering high quality desserts, drinks, and miscellaneous pastries. One of my professors at NYU helped get them going and has been recommending it - for great reason - to anyone who asks since. They offered up a dark chocolate citrus mousse. The mousse was cradled by a cookie/graham-cracker like "crust" which was pleasant enough to let the mousse be the star of the show.
Across the way from The Chocolate Room was Jacob's Pickles offering up a variety of mouth-watering pickled products. We had the pickled egg which thankfully wasn't extremely tangy and the chili soaked pickle which gave a nice kick through the combination of sour and spice. This went very well with Paulaner's Dry Aged Beef Sausage over Bavarian Potato Salad at the next booth. Lingering pickle flavors mixed with the mustardy sausage flavors. To temper our taste buds, we moved next door to Heartland Brewery's mushroom and onion grilled cheese which is basically what a perfect grilled cheese sandwich should be. The bread was not especially flavorful but was grilled to perfection - not too soft, not too hard - and sandwiched mushrooms, grilled onions, and gooey cheese between the slices.
All this food was washed down with plenty of beer. While I waited for the Beef Sausage at Paulaner's we were treated to a very healthy Paulaner's Pour, which was followed up by Southern Tier's Pumpking and Brewery Ommegang Joemmegang. The Pumpking reminded me strongly of pumpkin pie with strong cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. The Joemmegang was quite the opposite - it was quite heavy and would go nicely on a cold winter day. It had great espresso and chocolate hints but was too thick for the heat that day.
After we heard that the event would be closing in fifteen minutes, we took a walk up to the 7th floor aka the roof for fresh, cool air and a place to wind down. The Hudson Mercantile and Good Beer was a fantastic place to sample and purchase over a dozen types of IPAs, ciders, and malts. While the heat tried to scare us off, the entire event was definitely worth it and we look forward to returning next year.