Breweries and Empanada Update

                My Saturdays often tend to be filled with online exploits, catching up on videos, the occasional going out, and various other methods I used to avoid the Study and Homework I so desperately need to accomplish. This weekend was of course no exception, spending a few hours at a couple breweries with the Family. With the nice warm-up in temperature, the Trucks were back out in force, pairing with every local brewery that one could find.

                First, and originally planned for only, stop of the day was Indeed; my first time visiting, and my Mom’s first time eating MidNord Empanada (how I hooked her in). Crowded and fun, I’ll leave any fine-detailed reviews to Alcohol By Volume; she does a much better at the Beer stuff than I do.

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                I will certainly say how much I loved my glass of HotPot: a nice, roasty black Porter flavored with Smoked Peppers. This is one of the perfect Foodie Beers, totally unique and perfect in combination with the natural Porter flavors. Despite its obvious brilliance, the flavor combination is not what one would immediately think of when making Beer, so it creates this factor which exponentially increases one’s enjoyment of the dark, smokey, slightly-spicy drink.

                Drinks ordered, it was time to get the grub. For this visit, we grabbed an order of Cubano, Mac n Cheese, and Bacon Cheeseburger Empanadas. I was very excited upon getting the food, because now I can OFFICIALLY confirm that they have switched their Dough for every Empanada to a different one from their original release, as opposed to my theory they just used a different dough for certain empanadas than the Tucaman-style. I shall of course update my review on them post-haste, along with a couple other things to be mentioned.

                I was also quite thrilled to see that they now include a Tostone in each basket as an extra treat, which has also gone over a little change since my first try. Pressed into a flat poker-chip, the crispy factor comes out a little more, turning it into a nice little snack food. Flavor is still meh, I don’t see a reason to buy a separate basket, but they’re certainly better than before.

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                For the Empanadas: Cuban was just okay, no real intense flavors. Certainly NEEDS the Mojo sauce, as otherwise just feels a little dry (shredded pork of any kind really needs dressing). If looking for traditional-flavored empanada on your trip, stick with the Tucaman, and if they don’t have (like on this trip) try the Chicken.

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                I was a little sad to find out that the Mac and Cheese was different than when I had it before; this one was Cheddar-based, as opposed to the nice Creamy White and Herb I had in the Fall. Guess this simply means that they change flavor base seasonally; a good idea, and nice to see the consideration of weather, but I still prefer the other one, haha.

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                Bacon Cheeseburger… so good, so gooey… that was the perfect quality translation of that fast-food guilty pleasure we all have. And they had the Fancy Sauce!! Tasted exactly like a McDonald’s, but better in every way.

                A little sad they didn’t have any Dessert Empanadas, we were hoping to try the Pumpkin. Oh well, next visit.

                Since it was close by, we thought we’d try out the new 612 Brewery after our little lunch, being conveniently a few blocks away. A pint of Winter for me, some Rated R for the rest of the family, and a little while standing and checking out the various tanks and roped-off equipment. As a fun surprise, we happened to see Simply Steve’s parked outside; as I said, they’re out in force.

                As a not-so-fun surprise, I got to see their menu… and I am very, very disappointed. One of my favorite Trucks, who started out with a menu filled of only Burgers and Burritos, has gotten rid of their original focus to offer a variety of un-connected products. Only two burgers offered (one being vegetarian), Philly Cheesesteak, Pork Sliders, Tacos, Brat, Quesadilla, and a Pita Pizza. There’s a bit of commonality in some of the Foods, but it’s turned to the generic style of the local Bar.

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                I’ll have to see how much of this is just due to them parking outside of a Brewery, where that kind of food would work well, and how much is more permanent. As such, updating shall wait until next they’re on the Street solo in Spring.

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                All in all, a little bit of sadness with a few Food Truck discoveries that is easily overshadowed by some new surprises and great beer. A fun way to procrastinate on a Saturdy.

                Do you have any good or bad memories of a Brewery-Food Truck experience? What kind of Truck, existing or not, do you think is the perfect combo?

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