Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dinner at Brasserie Beck

This past Saturday evening, I had dinner at Brasserie Beck, on the corner of 11th and K Streets, with my parents, my brother Kevin, Robin, her parents, her sister Dana, and Dana's boyfriend J.P.  It was a joint birthday dinner for my mom and Robin's dad, who share an August 2nd birthday.  Beck's is awesome for 2 reasons.  One, obviously, the food is amazing.  I wasn't able to get a photo of my lamb shank because I ate it so fast, if that's any indication.  The roasted pork tenderloin with confit of cabbage and mustard sauce, which I had during my first visit earlier this year, is delicious.  I've also tried the NY strip and the choucroute.  On my next visit I plan to try the crispy skate wing.  The second reason Beck's is awesome is the beer list.  They have more than half a dozen beers on draft and at least 100 available by bottle, nearly all Belgian, but with a few selections from Germany, France, Canada, and the USA.  During my trips here I've probably tried a dozen different beers, all very different from typical American beers and each distinct from each other.

Dessert:  Black currant clafoutis with fig ice cream, fresh blackberries, and whipped cream.  A clafoutis is made by baking fruit into a thick, pancake-like batter.  The resulting texture is hard to describe, but it's like, half custard half bread if that makes any sense.  Traditionally, cherries are used, but obviously you can throw in any type of fruit.  In Beck's case, black currant.  The fig ice cream made a great pairing, as the flavor was balanced very well, complimenting the clafoutis but not overpowering it.  I had the Belgian waffle last time, and even though it's awesome I felt like I was going backwards, eating breakfast immediately after dinner... oh well.

Kasteel Donker - the strongest beer I had during this visit, I think it was 11% abv, the alcohol bite is apparent, although very dark brown in color, it was very light in body, even more so than the Maredsous Brune, the Donker had a hard to place flavor but I could pick out prunes/raisins, I need to try this again to get a better description

Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale (Agnus Dei) - this Tripel has a hazy golden/light orange color, it has a lot of carbonation and produces a very thick but airy head, with a sweet aroma and pleasantly bitter hoppy after-taste that this type of beer is typically known for, an average Tripel by my tastes, tasty and very easy drinking, but I will try many others before I go back to this one

Maredsous Brune - 8% abv, dark brown/burgundy color, creamy head, well balanced, surprisingly light for a dark beer, Robin and my mom both had this, and I helped my mom finish her second one as she's not much of a beer drinker, this was my favorite beer of the evening and I should have ordered one for myself, in fact, I think this is one of the best Belgian beers I've ever had

I need to go back to Brasserie Beck again to retry some of the beers I've had in the past, post some better descriptions, and try some more of the food.  Christ, I forgot about the mussels that come 3 or 4 different ways, and the frites that come with 3 types of freshly made mayonaise; a regular mayo that is incredible, a pinkish/orange mayo I can only describe as chipotle based on the color and flavor (as compared to sandwiches and other appetizers I've had), and a thick yellow curry mayo... and the butter, their butter is amazing, after eating a few pieces of bread with butter I decided to take a few bites of butter by itself.  If there was a picture of me caught in the act it would certainly end up on This is Why You're Fat.

I'm going to stop now.  Next time I go to Beck's I'll get some more accurate descriptions.  I apologize that I'm not so good at describing food and beer after I've had it.  I'm better with descriptions as the food's going down... Thanks!

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