I hope you all had a good weekend last weekend. Mine was pretty crazy awesome! Two of my very favorite people in the world, my friends Heather and Justin of Halloween party fame came to visit!
Heather is one of my besties who had the good sense to marry someone as awesome as she is. OK, truth is we’ve all admitted that Justin is kind of the male version of me; a loud mouth liberal who loves beer and sports so it’s no wonder we get along so well.
I had been saving that special bottle of beer that I won, Hill Farmstead Vera Mae, for Heather and Justin’s visit and also planned dinner at a restaurant in my neighborhood that I’ve been dying to try, Jacob’s Pickles. Neither of those disappointed.
After a nice day of walking around, seeing decorations and visiting the Columbus Circle Christmas market we headed home to relax before dinner and open that prized bottle of beer.
O.M.F.G. Seriously one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. Vera Mae is a saison style ale which happens to be my favorite type of beer. We new we had something special on our hands the moment we opened the bottle and were hit with an intoxicating citrus and yeast aroma. It poured a beautiful pale hazy yellow with a thick white head (uh huh huh, she said “thick head”, yes thank you Beavis). Then of course came those first sips. Vera Mae has this mild sweetness from the honey it’s brewed with, sitting just behind a bright tartness and an earthiness that rounds the whole thing out. This beer is truly refreshing and you need to remind yourself to sit back and savor the flavor because it would be easy to slurp this drink back. Heather, Justin and I all declared ourselves Vera Mae fans down to the last drop!
After we finished our beers we headed out to dinner. Jacob’s Pickles, a southern style restaurants that’s gotten great reviews, has been open in my neighborhood for about a year so I can’t believe that I hadn’t eaten there yet. They have a great great craft beer selection too, so I’ve been there for a drink at the bar and snacked on their amazing fried pickles, but this was my first real meal there.
The three of us met up with two other friends and we were immediately overwhelmed, not because the menu is huge (it’s average sized), but because everything looked amazing! Naturally we asked out waiter, who was totally adorbs btw, what his favorite menu item was. His response was, “If I could eat the Mushroom Gravy Smothered Chicken Biscuit Sandwich everyday of my life and not weigh 1000 pounds I would.” Well with that endorsement…!
To start we ordered fried pickles and deviled eggs, neither of which I remembered to take pictures of! As for main courses, four out the five of us followed the waiters advice and ordered the Mushroom Gravy Smothered Chicken Biscuit Sandwich. Justin decided to go rogue and instead ordered the Sausage Gravy Smothered Chicken Biscuit Sandwich. He’s a real wild man. The sandwiches came with a side of cheese grits, which three of us went for while two in our party substituted with mashed potatoes.
The fried pickles were as good as I remembered. The pickles themselves are made in house so they’re wonderfully flavorful and crisp. They’re cut in to spears and fully enrobed in a batter that remains light and crispy and not too greasy and they’re served with a side of spicy aioli. YUM!
As for the eggs… I am so ashamed to admit this… I didn’t even try them. I love deviled eggs so much, but there was just sooo much food. Everyone else though, declared them just about the best deviled eggs they’d every had.
Our waiter, in addition to being adorable, was also not a liar. Mushroom Gravy Smothered Chicken Biscuit Sandwich was outrageous. The biscuit light and crumbly, the chicken perfectly cooked with a crisp thin coating, the gravy rich and flavorful loaded with earthy mushrooms, made the whole thing a transcendent experience. Oh and those grits! There are two kinds of grits in this world, terrible or great; there is no in between with grits. Unfortunately many people have only experienced the terrible variety which is a shame. Luckily for us the grits at Jacob’s Pickles were of the amazing variety. Silky smooth and filled with goeey cheesy flavor.
I will definitely be returning to Jacob’s Pickles, especially since next time I have my eye on the Honey Chicken and Pickles biscuit sandwich!
Have you had any particularly great food, beer of friend experiences lately?