Tag Archives: good eats

The Weekly Banjo #22: On Food

In case you hadn’t seen the videos or are completely blind, you can see that I also eat while I drink.  The pairing is obvious: alcohol (in general) makes you hungry, and beer especially so.  I’ve never subscribed to the notion that beer is too filling to have with food–I think it’s a cruel, nonsensical (read: bullshit) conspiracy against real beer makers by the light macro factories and wine industries–and learning how (and especially when) to pair beer with meals can make you a culinary genius.

This isn’t to say that beer can be paired with EVERYTHING.  This goes for any clash of flavors: lemon vs. chocolate, mint vs. orange, or the especially vexing philistine choice of red wine vs. nachos (or nearly any Mexican cuisine, for that matter).

You thought this was a good idea? How about I re-arrange your face, shithead?

Great chefs have adhered to wine pairings due to two distinct factors: tradition and ease (due mostly to tradition).  It is up to you, therefore, to make a conscious decision to first drink beer with your finer foods, and develop your palate to the point where you can order intelligently without being a snob.

The (loose) rules are fairly simple:

1. Just about any beer goes with (real) breakfast.  Test me.  Have eggs benedict with Guinness if you want to test this idea.  Fake breakfasts include shit like this:

Fake breakfast. Awesome in its own right, but FAKE.

Look, if you like this kind of sugar-laden garbage, I’ll suggest that real beer isn’t really for you.  The only cereal that lends itself to beer-drinking is Grape Nuts, and you don’t want Grape-Nut-Beer-Shits; while you may think your little book of matches can knock down the disgusting aroma, you’re wrong.  Real breakfasts usually hold something fried, salty, meaty–ALL beer friendly traits.

2.  Keep it light at lunch unless you *want* to have an ass the size of a ferry boat.

The animal on the left has stout with lunch.

Most unsuccessful drinkers knock themselves completely out of the game by ordering some belgian, opaque, wake-granddad-from-the-dead stout which not only makes their turkey sandwich meaningless, it also plows straight through their face before drinking time actually starts.  Have some dignity, man up and have a pilsener, you over-enthusiastic moron.

3.  Dinner is a warm-up, dessert is *supposed* to be bite-sized.

You need to have some room to enjoy your beer instead of pissing your face off.  Nobody likes to see you close the bar and leave a steamy trail of vomit on your way out the door and into the middle of the street, so do everybody a favor: drink like you are trying to close the bar, leave two hours early, and finish your debauch at your house.  Barfing on your stupid Bob Marley poster isn’t going to piss me off.  Cutting loose on my table brings out my inner Sam Elliott.

You better start showing a little class, you pussy.

Drink Successfully.


Weekly Banjo #6: Where It All Went Wrong, And How Successful Drinkers Can Make It Right Again

If you don’t think mistakes can have long lasting effects, consider the 18th amendment to the constitution, which benched succesful drinkers from 1917 to 1933.

“Well, Banjo, we can drink now, so what the hell is the problem?!”

You and I don’t drink nearly as successfully now as the mustached patrons in saloons did at the turn of the last century. The chief tradition these folks enjoyed was the Free Lunch; offerings ranged from cold cut platters to ornate buffets, either and all available to successful drinkers who had simply bought a beer, which they were going to do in the first place!

After prohibition, a new fad started, with the Free Lunch fading fast from memory, obscured by the panic and fervor of World War Two: the fad was coined, “Happy Hour”, and it stuck like fly paper. Desperate drinkers fawned over the idea of discounted beverages, regardless of their quality, and rank appetizers, usually discounted by a small percentage.

Modern happy hours (now commonly advertised on vinyl billboards) now offer $2 macro-lager cocktails and $3 nachos. Any drinker who has taken the time to take a cursory glance at our history and traditions should be justifiably repulsed.

Some brewers and kitchen masters are quietly bringing the Free Lunch back, and it is incumbent on any self-respecting saloon patron to encourage its return. Sadly, if you do most of your drinking at sports bars, happy hour is likely to stay. If you drink regularly at an establishment that values its drink and patronage, talk to the owner about re-instituting the Free Lunch. We should never have let that tradition die in the first place, and it is now up to us to bring it back.

Pictured: successful drinkers at play.