Four Barrel. Having already ordered a Macchiato, I left rocket-fueled. By close to noon time, I finally got a snack at the Sandbox Bakery up in Bernal Heights. Although I did get to taste their negi-miso made of Challah dough wrapped around green onions and miso, I decided to break my cherry with their Yuzu marmalade & sage brioche. It was sticky and complex. The rind and the sage seriously stood out in the overall flavor.
Lunchtime was another cherry-breaking experience. Even though I am the mayor of The Front Porch... on foursquare, that is, I never have experienced their lunch. Thank goodness I had friends to help me get a good sampler of most of the poboys on the menu. I ordered the fried shrimp one with remoulade. My Adventure Girl, Karri, ordered the cornmeal crusted fried oysters. Chris got the fried chicken poboy with creole mayo. And we all shared sides of the gumbo, the coleslaw, and the porch fries. I walked away from my first experience with a 3 way tie for my favorite. The overall sandwich is built well and hearty with meat, regardless of the selection. That was most impressive and appreciative. I encourage folks to join them Wednesday thru Friday for the very pleasurable lunch fare.
My friend Don and I went over to Harlot for a Special Xtra Happy Hour. Kirk, one of the partners of Special Xtra, suggested I try the Harper 67 made with blue bottle espresso, simple syrup, half & half and rum. I liked it but went for Bourbon for my 2nd cocktail.
I continued my cherry-popping, whiskey trip when we arrived at Wexler's for dinner. Kate, an amazing bartender, was making a very special Mexican Old Fashioned. She used Four Roses Bourbon, Trader Tiki's cinnamon syrup, fee bros. aztec chocolate bitters and an orange slice. She was even gracious enough to break down her preparation for me. Apparently, she muddles the orange with the cinnamon syrup and bitters. The adds the Bourbon. Slowly, she adds the ice while stirring all the ingredients together. She finally adds a splash of water and poof...Well, it was an incredible concoction. And I was loving the chocolate bitters and felt the drink was quite unique and tasty.
Don and I shared the shrimp and grits, which were rocking. The grits were prepared like a cake, griddled to ultimate perfection. Even the artichoke had us buzzing. We also went for their BBQ Scotch Eggs. Each of us got to try their interpretation of a very classic dish. The soft boiled egg, the short rib that surrounded it, the spicy BBQ flavor, all were, in the end result, genius.
I got the Plate of Pork which changes nightly. Tonight it was presented with a chicken fried pork tenderloin, a Bourbon apple cider braised pork belly, confit marble potatoes, roasted fennel, a violet mustard pork reduction sauce and pickled granny smith apples. It was quite decadent and heavenly.
Instead of dessert, I had Kate prepare another Bourbon cocktail. She made a Crossroads that included vermouth, averna, absinthe, orange bitters and a burnt orange rind garnish. It was similar to the Manhattan but deep, dark and way more delicious. Kate came out and said hi at the end of the meal and I got to convey my admiration for her style.
The day was full of firsts. I tasted some amazing things and learned a lot. I got to be with friends and I got to smile. How blessed I am...