Category Archives: Brewery

Pavy’s Food Truck: Friday Night at Fiction Beer Co. on June 17, 2016

First blog in forever, but here goes!

Anytime my mother-in-law is in town, I can expect to be eating some Pavy’s Food Truck.  Paired with the masterfully crafted IPAs from Fiction Beer Co. (together with numerous other unusually delicious beers), the Pavy’s steak sandwich is a siren that is inescapable.

Pavy’s Food Truck [trailer], parked outside Fiction Beer Co. Located at Colfax and Pontiac (two blocks west of Quebec). This truck frequents here on Friday nights.

Pavy’s Food Truck, parked outside Fiction Beer Co. Located at Colfax and Pontiac (two blocks west of Quebec). This truck frequents here on Friday nights.

After pondering the menu for a bit, I inevitably ordered “The Steak”, which is a medium-rare steak sandwich served on a fresh tasting baguette roll. The fixings for this sandwich are arugula, horseradish sauce, and pickled red onions.  The sandwich, like most food truck offerings, does not come automatically with sides.  Our table got a couple orders of Tater Tots to accompany – one plain (although seasoned), and one smothered in chopped green chiles and cojita cheese crumbles.

“The Steak” sandwich presentation, along with a red saison brewed by Fiction Beer Co. – New Age Lovecraf’t, a collaboration with Cape May Brewing. After this, I switched to their Dreamer IPA. A fine dry hopped IPA that pairs well with this sandwich and everything else in your life.

“The Steak” sandwich presentation, along with a red saison brewed by Fiction Beer Co. – New Age Lovecraf’t, a collaboration with Cape May Brewing. After this, I switched to their Dreamer IPA. A fine dry hopped IPA that pairs well with this sandwich and everything else in your life.

In addition to The Steak, which clocks in at $12, the menu also includes shrimp & Andouille sausage, pork tenderloin, and vegetarian (green chili [sic], hominy, cojita, and cilantro with the option to add pork) sandwiches.

Pavy’s Food Truck menu, circa June 17, 2016

Pavy’s Food Truck menu, circa June 17, 2016

The Steak sandwich is a very nice steak sandwich.  Although I personally would prefer spicier and/or more horseradish and the greens are a bit flavorful compared to the seasoning on the steak, overall, the sandwich is pretty good.  The steak was basically perfect in this setting.  It was warm and pink, thus representing a true medium rare, seasoned seemingly with some pepper and salt. There was no gristle or chewiness to the meat, and it was cubed in very edible sizes in the sandwich.  One thing this sandwich lacks is cohesion, which is usually provided by cheese in America’s sandwiches.  There is no cheese here – so I definitely dropped some bits out of the sandwich into my tray.  Eat them with the provided fork. This sandwich was not designed as a cheesy sandwich, and I do not think cheese would pair at all with the arugula, in particular.

Close view of The Steak from the eater’s perspective. The meat is rare enough to allow some juices to soak into the bread.

Close view of The Steak from the eater’s perspective. The meat is rare enough to allow some juices to soak into the bread.

My feeling on this sandwich is that I will eat it again, for the fifth or sixth time, next time I run across Pavy’s and/or my mother-in-law is in town.  It is a good value at twelve bucks for a legit steak sandwich. Of note, I have had this sandwich before and the steak contained a touch of grisliness in some of the meat chunks.  So, the quality of the meat seems to vary in terms of carefulness in making cuts for the sandwiches.  On this particular visit, it was excellent.

Regular Tots along with the Tots smothered in green chile and some light cojita sprinkles

Regular Tots along with the Tots smothered in green chile and some light cojita sprinkles

The tater tots are a nice side to this sandwich.  The green chilE is not very spicy, and lacks a longed-for and powerfully distinctive roasted green chile flavor, but does add a measure of texture and flavor nonetheless.  This could be improved possibly by using some medium spicy Hatch chiles that are fire roasted and have that really distinctive green chile flavor that is so beloved.  I’m not sure what’s lacking here or the source on these chiles used by Pavy’s, but consider this New Mexican native underwhelmed.  The other downside of the tots is that they were very crumbly.  Stab one with a fork, and it was 50/50 whether you’d spear it or it would just crumble and break apart.  Again, not sure what causes that.  But, the tots are overall a delicious side and I would order them again.

Like most brewery and food truck situations, these were delivered to our table on the excellent patio at the back of Fiction. The service was lightning quick for a Friday night, but the place was not packed.

Looking forward to more regular updates this summer! Stay tuned. That’s all folks.

Check out Fiction Beer Co. at 7101 E. Colfax Ave, Denver, Colorado 80220 or www.fictionbeer.com and https://www.facebook.com/fictionbeer.

Track down Pavy’s Food Truck on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PavysTruck/  or http://www.pavystruck.com/

Basic Kneads Pizza – Station 26 Brewing Co. – March 22, 2014

After shivering through a cold, snowy Colorado Rapids home opener victory, it made quite perfect sense to head down Quebec and stop by the great space that is Station 26 Brewing Co.  Station 26th is located just west of Quebec Street south of I-70 in a repurposed Denver Fire Department fire station (No. 26!).

Luckily, Basic Kneads Pizza had one of their wood fired pizza trailers parked outside.

I have friends from the east coast, and some friends in Denver who are from the east coast, or maybe know or talked to that guy who went to NYC that one time, and I, as you, have been soapboxed by these well intentioned folks about the lack of “good” pizza in Denver or Colorado. As if the earthbound spirits and a locale’s magic can emergify from the surroundings and atmosphere and infuse into nearby chefs and ingredients of all grades and talents to culminate into a place bound pizza pie — and it all just tastes better.  That sentence didn’t really make sense, and neither does the belief that one cannot find delicious pizza here in Denver (or wherever, really).  Basic Kneads is a nice starting point for my argument.

Phreddie - a “workhorse” made from a converted cargo trailer and a massive 3000 lbs. oven.

Phreddie – a “workhorse” made from a converted cargo trailer and a massive 3000 lbs. oven.

Here is the Menu of pizzas – note, custom pizzas appear to be available.  We stuck to the standards (trust the chef, always).

Basic Kneads Pizza - The Menu - March 22, 2014

Basic Kneads Pizza – The Menu – March 22, 2014

Three of us were there, so we decided to order three of the 10 inch pizzas to mix and match.  I’ve decided to eat as a vegetarian for Lent (save for fish Fridays), thus we ordered the 3 veggie pizzas on offer.  Pizza is my favorite vegetarian option!! On a cold dreary evening for Denver, it was a respite to see and smell the wood fire, but the bubbling pepperoni pizza only made this Lent decision more difficult.

Pizza bubbling right by the fire. Spectacularly nice on a strangely cold spring day.

Pizza bubbling right by the fire. Spectacularly nice on a strangely cold spring day.

Service was quick and was delivered to our table inside Station 26.  Here’s a pictorial rundown of our veggie prey:

Greekza - Olive oil, then cheese, then onions, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, feta, and olives.

Greekza – Olive oil, then cheese, then onions, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, feta, and olives.

Margherita - basic to basics - Red sauce, cheese and basil.  Also had some rosemary spilled on it!

Margherita – basic to basics – Red sauce, cheese and basil. Also had some rosemary spilled on it!

Hot Hawaiian - Jalapenos, Pineapple.  My favorite from tonight.

Hot Hawaiian – Jalapenos, Pineapple. My favorite from tonight.

These are some nice wood-fired pizzas with crispy charred wheat crusts, succulent cheese, and fresh toppings.  I especially enjoyed the Hot Hawaiian – nothing complicated here, but the sweetness of the pineapple and the jalapenos were a fine pairing tonight.  The Greekza was more complicated, however, and based on oil olive rather than red sauce.  I actually enjoyed the Margherita, although I think it was the victim of an accidental spicing during preparation in the trailer.  Along with basil, we enjoyed some rosemary leaves on this one as well- more of a surprise than anything, and we liked it nonetheless.

Topping it all (really, on the bottom), was the black char these pizzas leave on your fingers and on your taste buds.  Delicious char.  The result of cooking these pizzas in a woody inferno (likely a remarkably hot oven) is the inevitable charring of the crusts.  We’re not talking about some mistake scorching, like a burnt toast in a cheap toaster – but a type of “gourmet” artisanal type of charring.  Not sure how to describe it in any technical terms, but this makes good pizza.

I paired these pizzas up with Station 26’s Euro Pale Ale – an interesting pale ale made using European ingredients.  Lots of notable pale ale selections around town these days, but this was a different take from all of these citrusy Americans, and I enjoyed it very well.  I also sampled their Cherrywood Smoked Red and savored its smoky, almost bacon-like notes, along with the malt complexity of the base red ale.

Some final photos— Thanks for reading!

A blurry variety of deliciousness!

A blurry variety of deliciousness!

All the basics - Steel, Fire, Peel, and beeer

All the basics – Steel, Fire, Peel, and beeer

 

Brewery section of Station 26 Brewing Co.

Brewery section of Station 26 Brewing Co.

Basic Kneads Pizza:  Find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/basickneads and at numerous craft breweries all over the metro area.  Also, http://basickneadspizza.com/

Visit Station 26 Brewing Co. at 7045 East 38th Ave, Denver, Colorado 80207 – http://www.station26brewing.co/  and http://www.facebook.com/S26BC

 

 

 

 

Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks – Copper Kettle Brewing Company – 9-10-2013

A truly rainy afternoon in Denver made yardwork impossible and a visit to a brewery and food truck likely.  Although Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks is not a truck (it is a small trailered food stand), they are a regular fixture at area breweries.  Saw the notification over Facebook that Pride of Philly would be down at the Copper Kettle Brewing Company, located near the intersection of Mississippi and Leetsdale in southeast Denver, and went that way immediately.

Pride of Philly offers a variety of cheesesteak options, including a thinly sliced ribeye or chicken option for the meat, with a choice of cheese (American, provolone, or whiz) and toppings which included onions, mushrooms, peppers, and cherry peppers.  He was also offering a Korean style cheesesteak  and a “bacon” cheesesteak which came with slices of bacon on top.

Going the classic route, sort of, I went for the ribeye meat with peppers, onions, mushrooms, cherry peppers, and Cheez Whiz.  The sandwiches were ready in just about 5 minutes on a quiet night at Copper Kettle, and the service was friendly and more than efficient.  Ketchup was provided upon request.

Loaded with onions, peppers, mushrooms, cherry peppers and cheez whiz

Loaded with onions, peppers, mushrooms, cherry peppers and cheez whiz

I paired this sandwich with Copper Kettle’s Mystery Man IPA​ which is a Belgian style Fresh Hop IPA made with local “Mystery X” fresh hops from Voss Farms in Arvada.  Copper Kettle describes these hops as an unknown varietal, with strong citrus flavors.  This was the best fresh hop beer I can remember tasting, ever.  Delicious.  Not that this is a beer blog (there are a number of good ones around in Denver), but you should avail yourself of this fine fresh hop ale before it’s out of season.

About the food.  The cheesesteak was served on a fresh roll that was about 7 inches long.  This is shorter than a lot of cheesesteaks you’d find, but I actually liked that because it meant I wasn’t about to explode from eating a bunch of red meat, bread, and cheese.  Pride of Philly’s ribeye steak was excellent. Sometimes with cheesesteaks, you can get meat that is not up to par and tastes like cheaper cuts.  This was delectable meat – good flavor and texture.

Upon the confirmation/recommendation of the purveyor, I went with the Cheez Whiz which is the obvious best choice for authentic cheesesteakery.  Diced up with the meat were the mushrooms, peppers, cherry peppers, and onions.  The level of dicing was pretty impressive, and these ingredients were mixed in with the meat in a “chopped salad” style – every bite had every flavor. The Whiz was distributed throughout and coated everything in this thing. My only regret with my selection of cheesesteak additions was that I didn’t ask for jalapenos.

Ribeye Cheesesteak by Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks - Copper Kettle Brewing Company - 9-10-2013

At a mere $6, this is an outstanding value for what amounts to a custom quality steak sandwich made into a cheesesteak format.  I do not think it was super authentic based on what I’ve had in Philly (everything I’ve had in Philly always has more dry meat, less even distribution of cheese, and the type of bread differs).  But, I think this is a welcome improvement or variation on the classic.  As noted above, each bite was flavorful and I didn’t get one of those bites of just bread and plain meat.  This looks messy in my pictures, but it was surprising easily eaten without a fuss.  With a bit of care, even with the Whiz, you can nearly avoid dripping a mess all over the place.  I actually liked that this wasn’t served on trays or on plates or anything, but just on a sheet of serving paper. Saves on trash generated, cuts costs, and was unnecessary in this particular setting.  If I had to eat this standing up, I might have wanted a tray. Fortunately for my T-shirt and overall cleanliness, I didn’t have to attempt this.

Ahh, dang. I am getting hungry just writing this thing.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pride-of-Philly-Cheesesteaks/

https://www.facebook.com/CopperKettleBrewing

 

 

East Coast Joe’s – August 15, 2013 at Lone Tree Brewing Company

East Coast Joe's - Lone Tree Brewing - 8-15-13

Following attending Civic Center EATS on this Thursday, I got home and checked in Facebook and noticed that East Coast Joe’s was going to be over at Lone Tree Brewing Company.  Decided that a lobster roll and a peach wheat beer sounded kind of good out on the patio on a Colorado evening.   I convinced my wife to head down there with me to sample some of the offerings of East Coast Joe’s.  I really like the styling of this truck.  It stands out.  Here is a look at the menu, which is rife with delicious options.

Great menu

Great menu

I decided to go with the Lobster Roll, of course.  This baby clocks in at $15 and just comes by itself on a tray.  It states on the menu that it is to come on a New England Style Hot Dog bun, which is the way lobster rolls are served in Maine and such (see below)

Blurry Bread Close-up - Lobster Roll - East Coast Joe's - Lone Tree Brewing - 8-15-13

The Lobster Roll comes on a thick New England bun, roughly resembling mix between a regular dog roll and a thick slice of bread that was toasted, buttered, and folded. The roll was quite tasty (mmm.. butter).  Based on my Googly research, this appears to be the legit way to serve this (http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2013/07/02/top-loading-buns-typical-new-england-for-lobster-and-clams/QiEC0fUGxJl2MwNizjYxdL/story.html)

Lobster Roll - East Coast Joe's - Lone Tree Brewing - 8-15-13

But here it is. Look at that thing… you are probably salivating on your keyboard.  Joe’s does not skimp on the lobster.  And it is amazing.  I am not really big lobster eater– I will usually get a nice steak (we do live in proximately to ranch land).  The last time I got a lobster roll was at Steuben’s restaurant, and it was $22 and had less meat that what Joe’s served up (different setting obviously– and it had sides and table service).  But this thing was just plain good eating.  Joe’s lobster is not heavy on the mayo, and has plenty of claw meat – which is wonderful.  It is the type of meal that you savor each bite slowly, due to its luxury and its flavor, which is one of my favorite kind of meals.  A lot of food truck meals are the type of thing you are scarfing down — a slice of pizza, a hamburger with all kinds of toppings, a sandwich… but with something like this, it is natural to really take your time to enjoy it.

I paired the Lobster Roll with the seasonal Peach Wheat from Lone Tree Brewing Company. This is a nice light summer beer, which complimented the lobster and the patio setting.   I really like this brewery, which has been improved by the recent addition of a large outdoor seating area.

East Coast Joe's - Crab Melt - Lone Tree Brewing Peach Wheat - 8-15-13

One thing about the lobster roll, is that it is not huge and it may not cover your dinner needs entirely (maybe the lobster roll would be complimented by some fancy chips or fries as a built-in side or a cheap add on). Fortunately, the truck was still there… So I ordered up the Crab Melt to split with my wife– a $12 sandwich consisting of hand picked jumbo lump crab and 3 cheeses on sourdough bread.  Here’s what it looks like– it came with a big ear of fried cheese jutting out of the side (mmmm):

Look at that ear of fried cheese hanging off this delectable crab filled grilled cheese sammie

Look at that tantalizing fried cheese hanging off this delectable crab filled grilled cheese sammie (pictured at bottom).  Here is a look at the cross section of the Crab Melt.   Sorry, I am not much of a hand model. I’ll get a manicure next time.  (Just kidding).

Cross section of Crab Melt - Lone Tree Brewing Company - 8-15-13

This was another tasty treat… the cheeses (not sure what kind or type of cheeses these were.. probably a strong cheddar and maybe jack) were pretty strong flavored. It was a perfect grilled cheese sandwich– stuffed with crab.  I thought the crab was nice where it was thick and you could take a focused bite into it to get a mouthful of crab.  In the event it was subsumed by the strong cheeses, the crab added mostly texture and a hint of crab flavor.  Not sure how this could be improved (maybe add less cheese, or a weaker cheese). The sourdough bread was nice on this.

Crab Melt - 8/15/2013 --- close up of sandwich internals

Crab Melt – 8/15/2013 — close up of sandwich internals

I would order both the Lobster Roll and the Crab Melt again– but I think if you had to choose, go with the Lobster Roll.  The Crab Melt is a good follow up if you are still hungry  to split with a fellow diner at dinner time.

https://www.facebook.com/eastcoastjoes

http://www.eastcoastjoes.com

https://www.facebook.com/LoneTreeBrewingCo

http://www.lonetreebrewingco.com