Monthly Archives: September 2013

Product Review: Mantry- The October Box- “Beer & Bacon”

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I was so excited to be asked by the folks at Mantry to review their latest box. Have you ever heard of Mantry (the modern man’s pantry)? It’s basically a food-of-the-month club with really wonderful artisanal American food items. Jellies, crackers, sauces, caramel, you name it. And don’t let the name fool you, it’s SO not just for men. You know I love local products. This box is like getting local goodies from all over the country. If you are a local company and you make something delicious, wouldn’t it be awesome if you made it into the Mantry box? I think yes!

You never know what you are going to get with Mantry. As they say, it’s all about the surprise and the experience. All I knew about this month’s box was that the theme celebrated their anniversary and was “Beer & Bacon,” a selection of independent products using craft brews. And yes, some bacon. I saw that little USPS box and I’ve never been so excited to get mail. Let’s check it out!

Standard USPS box. Already excited!

Priority USPS box. Already excited!

I’m telling you, I need to find some crates like these for gifts. They are the perfect size.

Products come in a small logo'd crate...part of the appeal :)

Products come in a small logo’d crate…part of the appeal 🙂

The top is stapled on so pry  carefully. Mr. foodie just pulled it off. He's so strong.

The top is stapled on so pry carefully. Mr. foodie just pulled it off. He’s so strong.

Once opened, you are greeted with the Mantry flyer and some words about the month’s theme and a brief and cool description of all the products and where they are made.

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Beer Flats Crackers ($8) : From Cincinnati, this is a combination of beer and grains to make a great little flatbread cracker. A fab, crunchy, cracker that was excellent with pimento cheese. In the box, was Pilsner, but these little yummies also come in Porter.

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Beer Flats Crackers

SlantShack Jerky ($13.50): I LOVE jerky. We eat piles of it here at my house. This NYC jerky features Vermont grass-fed beef, then rubbed and loved on with Bronx Pale Ale and Tin Mustard. It was flavorful, maybe a little dry, compared to the jerky I’m used to. But it’s also not full of so many weird preservatives and I liked seeing the natural ingredients on the package. Although you can find SlantShack in some stores on the east coast, if you decide to order online, your jerky will be MADE TO ORDER (!!). You can customize the marinade and the rub. So cool.

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SlantShack Jerky Bronx Pale Ale Beef Jerky

P & H Soda Co. Sarsaparilla Syrup ($10): I feel like I’ve seen this syrup listed in craft cocktail bars. From Brooklyn, (it seems like lots of good things are coming from NY) this is the stuff root beer is made of and belongs in an ice cream float. Or with some bourbon. Or on pancakes. Yum! You can check out their website for recipes and the Mantry site too for a Bourbon Sarsaparilla Float.

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P & H Soda Co. Sarsaparilla Syrup

Anarchy In A Jar ($9): I love the name. A craft ale and NJ apples combined to make a one of a kind jelly laced with exotic spices and cardamom. THIS was the item I was most excited about. Actually, it was the only item I had an inkling about as my monthly email “teased” us with the beauty shots of this jelly from, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Enjoy with some sharp cheddar or swiss and the above beer flat and you’ve got a mighty tasty snack. Oh, and throw in a NC beer while you are at it :).

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Anarchy In A Jar Spiced Beer Jelly

It wouldn’t be food of the month without a sweet treat, right?
Liddabit Sweet Beer & Pretzel Caramels ($8) : From Brooklyn (wow), five folks are blending Brooklyn Brewery Ale into butter from a local dairy. Then they throw in some PA-Amish pretzels and you’ve got a salty sweet snack that will make you forget you are PMSing…like I said, it ain’t just for the men. And this company makes lollipops, honeycomb, candy bars, etc. All with natural ingredients. Even their lollipops come on bamboos sticks!

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Liddabit Sweet Beer & Pretzel Caramels

Oh and last but not least….
Broadbent’s Dry Cured Peppered Bacon ($7.50) : Yes, delicious, all-winning bacon. A WHOLE pack of it, even! Broadbent’s hails from Kentucky and is known for dry-curing their bacon the old-fashioned way. The belly is hand rubbed and the pack can stay out at room temperature. Just like my grandpa, Farmer Willie, would’ve loved. Oh and I haven’t tried this, but pepper bacon is one of my top faves, so I’m sure it’s delicious. Especially on a sandwich, with the beer jelly.

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Broadbent’s Dry Cured Peppered Bacon

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Crate of Happiness, I tell ya

So, a true crate of happiness. I mean, if I’m going to be given a gift, this would be one of my favorite ways to get it. Just a wonderful selection of some favorites (hint hint). You can check out the Mantry site for more information, recipes or to subscribe to get a box for $75/month.

Do you get a Mantry box? What’s your favorite item this month? What’s your favorite item EVER? Check out their site for more details and while you are there, register for their giveaway. I mean, nothing better than Mantry swag, right?

Coffee Beans and Dreams

Here’s a great piece from a fellow blogger about @BeansBoro. Love my Beans Boro

Mod Meals on Mendenhall

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Kyle Burge’s story is about coffee beans and dreams. On Black Friday 2011, at the age of 23, Burge opened Beans Boro Coffeehouse and Roastery at the corner of Horse Pen Creek and New Garden roads.

The shop had been a dream of his since age 16 when he first began drinking coffee and exploring the variety of its flavors. From the first sip, coffee became Burge’s hobby and passion.

After graduating from high school in Kernersville and completing a two-year stint at GTCC studying recording engineering, Burge began doing his homework to fulfill his dream of opening his own coffee shop and wholesale roasting operation. To make it happen, he saved money, created a business plan and became an expert in the coffee industry and trade.

At 21, Burge persuaded his coffee-loving parents to allow him to install a roaster capable of processing 2 pounds of coffee at a time in…

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1703 Restaurant and Catering

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Allow me for just a moment to get on my high horse.

Ahem…It is absolutely unacceptable that the restaurant that is about to be foodied was NOT filled to capacity on a perfectly beautiful Friday night at 8:30. 1703 Restaurant & Catering should be slammed. As in busy slammed. So, we are going to make it our mission to give you a reason to get out to the West End in Winston-Salem and not miss out on this oft forgotten area of the Twin City. Located at Robinhood and Reynolda Roads, 1703 is coming off a month-long hiatus and immediately jumped into a holiday weekend so that could be a reason, but I figure what’s really happening is a lot of people are heading into happening downtown and some of you (and you know who you are) are hitting up some chains, maybe?  Stop doing that…the chains anyway.

Mr. foodie and I decided on 1703 for our anniversary after some high recommendations and because if you could see some of the pictures that they post on Instagram (CurtisHackaday1703) and on their Facebook page, you would not delay in having brunch, lunch or dinner there. I mean, it is food art. But edible. The kind of jump into it food that is so fun to find when you are dining out. It’s not fussy. It’s just remarkable.

So when we walked in, there was one table. Of two. Yikes. Our server blamed the holiday. It was pleasant and quiet and another table was sat while we were there. They looked like regulars (good!). Now I did not worry too much because I’d heard from others that this place was totally a score.

We ordered a glass of wine each and started on the Spinach salad which was topped with poached pears, sugared pecans, crumbled stilton, and brown sugar vinaigrette. The kitchen split it for us to share. It was the perfect beginning.

Spinach salad

Spinach salad

Lots of yummy creations are on the menu. Some of the selections had a Middle Eastern slant with delicious sounding curries and chutneys as sauces and toppings. Then we had a few Southern choices like trout with three-cheese grits. Or NY Strip with potatoes and mixed vegetables. I chose the Rack of Lamb with a pumpkin seed cranberry butternut squash hash, asparagus and blueberry demi-glace. Wow. Is all I can say. That lamb was perfection. Seared beautifully. Cooked just the way it should be, medium-rare. And the racks were lollipopped, if that’s a word, but I stayed ladylike (for the most part) and used my fork and knife. At the end, I picked that baby up!

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Rack of Lamb

Mr. foodie ordered the special which was a flank steak that they allowed you to pretty much pair with any of the items on the menu so he grabbed the accoutrements from the duck entree to go along with (roasted sweet potato purree, grilled asparagus and fig bordelaise). Awesome. But I still won. 😉

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1703 is not very big so there’s no way it can get noisy. It has a comfortable bar area and it’s tastefully designed. Of course, the owners, Joe and Molly Curran are known for catering. Lunch and dinner are served daily, with brunch on Sunday. And they change their menu often. Their chef, Curtis Hackaday, knows how to plate some food. He’s been back and forth between Roaring Gap and here but fear not, his chef in the kitchen has it down. So, let’s not let this delicious spot in the West End have any more empty seats, okay, foodies? And when you go, tell them we told you it was awesome!

What restaurants in Winston-Salem are you surprised isn’t more “slammed”? Let us know and we’ll check them out.

1703 Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1703 Restaurant & Catering
1703 Robinhood Road, Winston-Salem, NC
(336) 725-5767
Open for Lunch and Dinner (closed Monday)
Sunday Brunch