Monday, May 18, 2009

The first step is admiting you have a problem....

....I am addicted. I'm not proud of it. I'm just tired of sneaking around and you should know the truth. My name is Brandon and I'm a Pho Junkie. This Vietnamese beef soup is the perfect meal. Come lunch time I am out the door in search of beef broth, noodles, cilantro, onions, sweet basil, bean sprouts, jalapeƱos, thin sliced rare eye of round steak, tendon, brisket, flank steak, tripe, (quite) a bit of Shrachi, hoisin sauce and fresh squeezed lime. I eat it at least once a week it is very filling and satisfies my appitite as well as my wallet with a large bowl (32oz) being about 7 dollars and you can doctor it how ever you want with the add ons to be as spicy or mild as you want to make it. I usually leave with my nose running, esophagus and lips burning from drinking the volcanic broth that is left when all the noodles and bean sprouts are gone. There is much debate on the pronucation of this wonderful food. I like to say it just like it is spelled 'Foe', although I hear Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern say it 'Fuh'. Call it what you will I call it good. My friend at work and I have four spots we like to hit all with good Pho and one with the be-all-end-all Pho. We hit Pho 88, Pho An, Pho Siagon 54, and our favorite Pho Vn One. Everyone has ther favorites. Some spots have more meat in the soup, or fresher add-ons, the other might have better noodles or better broth and sometimes they all come together for that perfect bowl. Monday is my main Pho day for lunch. and it usually starts with an e-mail to Drew around 8:30-9:00 am with any of the following subject lines: Pho-Time? Pho-Tour? Pho-Real? or simply Pho?, which he never turns down. I can and have eaten it for days in row for lunch but not like sushi which I could have at every meal but that is another post. Get out there and eat some Pho...If you are in the College Park area at lunch time there's a good chance you could see me and Drew sweating over a bowl of delicious Pho.

(The picture above is my awesome lunch of a large #14 :Tai, Sach- Fresh rice noodle soup with Eye of Round Steak, & Shredded Tripe from Pho Vn One.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

No running this weekend....just beer runs.

The 1st Annual Mt. Hope Brew Festival was this past weekend in Manheim, Pa on the site of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire . I was up there with DuClaw Brewing from here in Maryland, pouring suds for the masses. The beer was well received. How could you not be lured in by good beer, a cool trailer, free buttons, and a chance to talk to Jim Wagner? It didn't hurt that there were some 20 other breweries and we got to taste their beer too and hang out with the brewers. . Friday Night was a VIP tasting that was attached to the Punch Brother's concert going on that night on the grounds. Only a couple of breweries were attached to the VIP tasting: Seven Gates, Spaten North America, Cape May Brewing, Erie Brewing Co., Franklin's from Hyattsville, MD, Lancaster Brewing, Roy Pitz, and DuClaw. It was a great night for beer and bluegrass. Notable Beers Friday night: Franklin's Dubbel, Erie Brewing Maibock, Roy Pitz Daddy Fat Sacks IPA, and DuClaw's Naked Fish of course.

Saturday we woke up and had minimal set up since all the beer stayed nicely in the trailer on site all night. The weather man was calling for showers all day but of course it was bright,warm, a little overcast and not one drop of rain. DuClaw was pouring Venom (APA), 13 Degrees (Hefewiezen) and what was left of Naked Fish from the night before. Once the the gates opened for the first session (11am-3pm) we were pouring beers almost non-stop for the first 2 and half hours and then it was just steady for last half an hour which made it good to step out from behind the table and see what other breweries were pouring. Cape May Brewing were our neighbors and they were serving their Fishermans IPA ran through a Hop Filter filled with Simco Leaf Hops. Victory was pouring Prima Pils and their Wit, Charles from Franklin's was pouring their Twisted Turtle Pale ale and Anarchy Ale. My new friend Jim, from Erie Brewing Co. was pouring Mad Anthony APA and one of my all time favorite beers Railbender Scotch Ale. The guy's at Roy Pitz from Chambersburg, PA were pouring their Old Jail Ale and a really good German Blonde that was the perfect beer for the balmy day. There was a lot good beers at the festival, only the guy who ran face first into a keg, drank them all. After the last session (4pm-8pm) there was a 'afterparty' at The Swashbuckler Brewery there on the primises of the Renn Faire. Jim, Bo and I just hung out with the other brewers and talked beer, told bad jokes and drank beers from the other breweries and Swashbuckler's beers (Jim shared a 1lt. bottle of Colossus to rave reviews). It was great festival, great weather, and good beer. The brew fest was very well run and we cannot wait to go back next year.

Also There was some fine entertainment next to our booth with The Ride the Keg. Which was barrel that was in rigged into the hydraulics of a Wood Splitter and spun, dipped, dunked, and threw patrons to and fro. it had no handle so all you could do is squeeze with your legs and hold the lip of the barrel for dear life. (Thanks, Bo for the keg ride picture.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Everyone has set backs.....

Good thing the weather has been so bad. I have had trouble getting myself psyched up to get out in the wind and rain to get a good run in. Not to mention that I was recently in a car accident and although there was no serious injury, I did have a couple of days where it felt like I went a couple of rounds with a UFC fighter. So once this weather gets better I'll be back on the pavement, not being skinny.

Wear your seat belt.