Hank Speaks… So Listen
JUNE 2014 by Hank Bienert
There being little crawfish around and neither football nor king cake to distract from our infamous summertime blues, it was fun for my wife Georgine and myself to get out and about to attend the beer and food pairing offered at Gordon Biersch on May 27th. Brewmaster Daniel Reynolds is young and energized yet with a many years long resume in brewpub operations although he and his wife only came early this year to New Orleans. If the name is familiar to non GB frequenters, he was at the CCH May meeting bringing us a generous donation from a cask tapping party he and GB held a few weeks ago to benefit our club. The other side of the tag team is Chef Vega who understands that in our hometown, we are traditionalists but expect different spins on familiars and will accept unfamiliar if you do it well.
There were 10 diners and Daniel and Ms Reynolds in a little side room. Of note, we had a large CCH contingent of 6 – we two, Frank Ballero, Boom Washington and his lady, and Ron Guarino. Evening started out with a so called German summerbrau, another name for the seldom seen kolsch style and a cold, refreshing generous pour it was. A good beginning for this event and the style is such a natural match for our locale. Making it a summer standard for GB seems like it would be a good idea.
Appetizers were crab stuffed sweet potato balls, nicely done well with the real potato flavor out there rather than a gorpy too sweet yam as sadly often.
Next was an arugula and cilantro salad with lemon vinaigrette side by side with a perfectly balanced hefeweizen with just a clove finish-as good as you get all over Germany but only rarely can find around here.
Main was sauteed grouper served in aluminum packet with sides of green beans and Mexican corn risotto which my experienced cook wife is still raving about. Beer was “special” Czech pils, a description which taught me that “special” at GB is code for highly dry hopped. The extra hop flavors did work well however with the wild rice, fish and vegetables.
Last was a cinnamon beignet resembling a French dough ball rather than our traditional carotid stopping grease bomb with a sauce of creme anglais. Very tasty with a grownup amount of sweetness and nothing more!! This was paired with a schwarzbier but since it was a GB “special” schwarzbier, the malty roasty flavor expected to balance the sweet dessert was also shared with a lot of dry hopped flavors – an unusual twist to that beer style.
Portions of beer and food were very ample and the venue of course excellent. Our overall thoughts as frequent diners around town-2 forks/glasses up!!….we look forward to the next one.
Hank and Georgine