Archive for November, 2015

We spent our Black Friday in the Lake Geneva area and had the opportunity to sample a couple of mighty fine bloody marys, the second of which was at Hogs & Kisses, across the lake from Gordy’s.

Hogs and Kisses is a hotspot in downtown Lake Geneva, boasting drinks and dancing.

We were pleased to find a Bloody Mary menu when we arrived:

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We decided to try the Bloody Bull and the Cuke.

Mix: House (with a variety of flavors to choose from!)
Chaser: Yes
Fixin’s: Pepperoni and pickle
Price: $6

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These Bloodies were extremely flavorful and there was no doubt about which version was which. We wish we could’ve had time to sample them all! This place is a must-visit in the Lake Geneva area for tourists and locals alike.

We spent our Black Friday in the Lake Geneva area and had the opportunity to sample a couple of mighty fine bloody marys, the first of which was at Gordy’s Boathouse on the west side of the lake (technically in Fontana).

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Mix: Unknown, but tasted similar to Sacramento
Chaser: Yes
Fixin’s: Shrimp, cheese, beef stick, pickle, pepperoncini, celery
Price: Unknown (approx $7)

This was our first visit to Gordy’s, but the establishment has been around in one form or another since 1955.

The menu offers a wide variety of lunch and dinner options and the dining room offers a fantastic view of the lake.

The Bloody Mary was icing on the cake, very flavorful and thick, with a healthy offering of fixin’s, as well as a chaser.

This restaurant is across the lake from the Main Street area of Lake Geneva, but definitely worth a visit!

As you probably recall, we’ve had fantastic luck with Bloody Marys in San Diego, so we  were excited to return yet again.

After yet another repeat visit to Café 21 (our fave!), we found ourselves at the Social Tap.

 

Social Tap Bloody Mary San Diego

Mix: Seasoned House Tomato Juice with Pancetta or Dill infused Belvedere Vodka

Chaser: No

Fixin’s: Lime, baby corn and gherkin pickle

Price: $13

 

Pancetta, for the uninitiated, is by Wikipedia definition, “Italian bacon made of pork belly meat that is salt cured and spiced with black pepper and sometimes other spices.” We felt like we could probably find dill-infused vodka pretty easily back home, but we’ve never heard of pancetta-infused, so we thought we ought to try that one (of course we’ve had bacon-infused, but this is just a step above!).

We love housemade thick mixes and this one had a lot of flavor. We aren’t sure if that was coming from the pancetta vodka, the mix, or the combination, but we enjoyed it all just the same.

This was a great drink, but due to the overindexing of great Bloody Marys in San Diego, we wouldn’t send you here just to try this one. If you happen to find yourself at the Social Tap (and chances are you might if you’re there to take in a baseball game since it is located in the Gaslamp District, quite close to Petco Park), by all means order it, but there are plenty of other spots that are must-trys.

We did, however, switch to their Mule list. They’ve got four unique varieties of the Moscow Mule at the Social Tap. We tried their Maui Mule and it was fantastic–highly recommend! Of course, they also have an extensive list of beer and wine to choose from, too, making this a nice spot to stop with a group before or after a baseball game.

Oh, Las Vegas. It’s been far too long.

We took a quick jaunt to Sin City this week and managed to sneak in a Bloody Mary review on the trip.

We had heard about the Bloody at Mr. Lucky’s in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino but because it’s off the strip, we never made it there on our previous visit.

Well, our trip started off lucky as that’s where we were staying this time around. I guess you could say lucky for us, we got to try this beast at Mr. Lucky’s:

Lucky's Breakfast Bloody

While $19.99 may seek excessive for a Bloody Mary, in truth this might just be one of the best bargains in Vegas. When you consider that most drinks at the bars are about $10-15 a pop, here you’re also getting a meal and a souvenir.

Mr. Lucky's  Bloody Mary

Turn around, gorgeous:

Mr. lucky's Bloody Mary

Mix: House

Chaser: None offered

Fixin’s: Deviled egg, celery, pickle, shrimp, beef jerky, waffle breakfast slider with cheese & bacon, lime, olive

Price: $19.99 – steep but comparable in Vegas, plus you get to keep the glass!

Pro tip: Order this drink and you’ve got breakfast to boot. The waffle breakfast slider is quite possibly one of our all-time favorite fixin’s, quickly joining the ranks of Sobelman’s and the like back home. I can’t believe they don’t sell that sandwich as a stand alone breakfast item because it’s delicious. Our waiter even offered us syrup. Um sure, why not?

Down this beverage and consume the fixin’s and then you’re left with the glass, which is yours to keep. Sort of a badge of honor for tackling this monstrosity,a built-in souvenir.

The Breakfast Bloody is also not just for breakfast; it is available all the time, which puts it a step ahead of many Vegas establishments that offer similar over-the-top Bloodies, but only on weekends and what not.

Oh, and if by some small chance you’re not full after consuming this beverage, you can still order this:

The King Mr. Lucky's

The only downside is that here, what happens in Vegas will indeed stay in Vegas… We are going to miss you when we get home, Mr. Lucky’s! Well done.

 

 

 

After attending a Saint Francis Brewing Co. event at Ray’s Growler Gallery, we were inspired to take a trip to the Saint Francis Brewery for dinner.

In addition to their seven original beers on tap, the brew-pub offers an extensive menu with everything from fish frys and burgers to ribs and jambalaya.

The restaurant is spacious with a large bar area and several dining alcoves. Thus, although it was busy, we were able to get seated within 5-10 minutes on a Friday night.

While Saint Francis is known for its beer, obviously, I wanted to be sure to sample their Bloody Mary while I was there. Their menu said they have them on special on Saturdays and Sundays, so I figured they must have a good one. Plus, bonus, I’d get to sample their beer via the chaser, the best of both worlds.

So, I ordered the Bloody Mary with a pumpkin beer chaser:

St. Francis Brewery Bloody Mary

Mix: Homemade mix (I think?)

Chaser: Yes–for an upcharge!

Fixin’s: Celery, pickle, olive, mushroom, lemon and lime

Price: $6 + $1 chaser

 

The Bloody Mary was pretty standard, but good. The pumpkin beer was spicy and delicious. We enjoyed our food as well.

The only downside occurred when we received our bill.

Much to our surprise, there was a $1 upcharge for the chaser:

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Our waitress had, indeed, asked if we wanted a chaser, but she said, “Would you like a chaser?” not “Would you like to add a chaser for a $1 upcharge?”

Now in the grand scheme of things, we realize $1 is not a big deal, but the fact that this is a brewery just compounds the issue. Don’t you want people to sample your beer? Don’t you have a lot of it back there?

If they really need to turn that profit, in my opinion, they would’ve been better off charging $7 for their bloody mary than looking like they are nickeling and diming their customers for a beer chaser.

We didn’t bring this issue up at the time of dinner because, like we said, it’s not a huge deal, just something we thought very odd and something that did not sync up with the rest of our experience.

If we ever return, we’ll stick to ordering beer as our beverage of choice.

11/16/15 Update: See the comments below! St. Francis Brewery took our review to heart and is eliminating the $1 chaser charge! Good news for all the Bloody Mary lovers out there!

Sorry for the delay! We’re a bit behind on our reviews.

Sunday, October 25 was the annual “Milwaukee Largest Bloody Mary” event at Great Lakes Distillery.

This was the sixth year for this event, and the sixth year for me attending it as well. Each year, there are more and more people attending, which is a great sign.

This year, admission to the event was free and a donation of food to Hunger Task Force was encouraged (you received raffle tickets).

For $5,  you got to enjoy part of a 100 gallon Bloody Mary made with Rehorst Vodka. You could add your own hot sauce, olives and lemon and/or lime.

However, for $3 more, you got a trip to the garnish bar which included celery, a pickle, a cocktail wiener, bacon, cheese curd and pepperoncini.
Great Lakes Distillery Bloody mary

Needless to say, the Bloodies were flowing and they were awesome!

Attendees could also buy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at the event and try gumbo and oysters.

We bought a Grilled Cheese and, while it was delicious, the wait was about 20 minutes; clearly they were not prepared for the onslaught of Grilled Cheese orders. We don’t remember this being an issue last year.

Our group also thought that the event could benefit from a beer chaser. We tried to even buy a beer at the bar and were told there is no beer in the building. Perhaps this is a good sponsorship opportunity for the future?

In addition to the donations of food, all proceeds from the event benefit the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee.

 

Recently, I visited Cafe Hollander in Wauwatosa again.

Cafe Hollander Bloody Mary

Can’t believe we hadn’t tried the Godfather IV, which is made with Rehorst basil-garlic infused vodka with thyme and oregano and basil bloody mary mix and  toped with a caprese skewer and balsamic grilled aparagus, before.

It’s larger than your normal bloody mary (and $2 more than the next most expensive ones) and it was quite delicious.

On this same trip, we also tried the Buenos Dias (but with vodka):

Cafe Hollander Buenos Dias

However, after eating lunch and downing the Godfather, we hate to admit it, but we couldn’t even finish the whole thing!

Cafe Hollander

Seems like they change out their bloodies here on a regular basis, which keeps me coming back (again and again and again, obviously). Of the above list, I’ve now tried them all with the exception of the Southsider. I’m a big fan of the Milwaukeean and the Frenchie as well.  You can read my original Cafe Hollander post here.

Cheers!

 

Between going “out for bloodies” and my travel schedule, it is usually hard for me to find time to make Bloody Marys at home, and I owe George’s Mixes a big apology for the delay in this review.

 

The Maryland-based company sent us a Spicy and Mild mix to try awhile back and we finally got a chance to “Taste the Chesapeake” as the brand implores. According to their website, George’s Mixes was born in a small bar in Annapolis and cultivated over the years on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

This mix had a great consistency (I like my mix to be a little thicker) and while we really didn’t find this to be spicy in a hot sense (we tested the mild first), you can definitely taste the spices in the mix, especially the horseradish and celery salt. It also had a slightly “fish”y taste that did indeed evoke Maryland to me.

The same day, we happened to be making chili and added the mix to our batch to give it a little something special…delicious!

George's Bloody Mary Mix

If you find George’s Bloody Mary mix, we definitely recommend testing it out for yourself! You can also purchase it directly on their website.

We are definitely not the first to cook with George’s and we most certainly won’t be the last. On their site, you’ll also find tons of recipes–including one for chili–that incorporate the mix.

Cheers!