Sunday, September 21, 2008
Happy Birthday Markii!!!
A big batch of white mocha cupcakes was a birthday gift for my good friend Markii, and will also be my entry for Fanny @ Foodbeam's Sugar High Friday cupcake event this month. Details on these delicious little beauties will appear in an upcoming post. Today, dear readers, I am going to tell you all about Markii's birthday drinks at the Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone.
Leffe Blonde ($7.50) in the foreground, Leffe Dark ($7.50) in the background.
The Belgian Beer Garden is a place I always associate with lazy summer days, and I'd never even set foot inside the cafe part before. When I arrived on Saturday afternoon, Markii's posse were firmly settled inside. It turns out that they'd already been darting in and out, trying to outsmart the haphazard weather, and finally gave up and decided to park themselves inside, lest they lose their good spot once it really started to cool down.
I love the old fashioned wood panelling and decor.
My favourite aspect about the Belgian Beer Garden is their fries with mayo. Oh yum! Only complaint was that the mayo had congealed a bit - it must have been sitting in the little ramekin without being properly covered. But it was fresh and tasty.
Frites and Mayonnaise - $7.00
The frites were hot, fresh and crunchy. So much better than the shitty fries from Lord of the Fries that I got at Flinders Street Station a few weeks back. How could the "Lord" of the fries make such bad fries?
After a few more beers, we whipped out the white mocha cupcakes. Upon seeing them, my cousin exclaimed, "They look like little cappuccinos!" Success.
(1st tin of 3)
As the night wore on, we realised we needed a bit more substantial food, and ordered from the "BeerFood Menu".
Cheese Croquettes - mix of emmenthal, gruyere and parmesan lightly fried - $9.00
I love it how they write "lightly" fried on the menu, in an attempt to make deep-fried cheese sound less hideously unhealthy. They are pretty addictive..
Fried mussels - lemon crumbed mussels with tartare sauce - $8.50
Meatballs - minced pork and veal braised with witlof and abbey beer - $8.00
Escargot - snails sautéed in garlic and herb butter with a touch of pastis - $9.00
The meatballs and mussels were pretty good, but the snails were pretty bad. They were quite bitter, and the sauce was overpoweringly garlicky.
Of course, the Belgian BEER Cafe is nothing if not a place for beer. Which is great, because I love beer. I'm actually surprised that so many girls don't like beer - it's delicious! They have a selection of Belgian draught beers, and a wider selection of bottled beers...
My non-beer drinking cousin ordered a Belle-Vue Kriek, which is light red in colour and tastes of sour cherries. It has, apparently, "a sweetness to charm even the most hesitant of non-beer drinkers", but she wasn't convinced by the combination of sour cherries and beer. I'm pretty conservative when it comes to beer, and was happy to stick to the easy-to-drink Leffe Blonde (light in colour, only slightly bitter) and Stella Artois (pale, pilsner-style lager). I used to love Hoegaarden (white beer), but find it a bit too fruity now. The final beer-on-tap, Leffe Brune, is a dark, malty beer, which I find a bit too heavy for my taste. (It's almost like drinking Vegemite).
Next up is a bottle beer - I'm not sure who in our group ordered it, but I couldn't resist taking a photo.
Apparently Rubbel Sexy Lager is a real Belgian beer, pilsner style. In the words of Homer Simpson: "Hey, do you know who'd like these? MEN!"
Winter in Melbourne sucked ass this year - it was cold, miserable, stressful, and just plain feral. Working part time in the semi-outdoors in gale-force winds did not help. Now that winter's over, and I'm gainfully employed in a climate-controlled office, I am firmly committing myself to enjoying summer. Barbecues, beer gardens and beaches will all feature highly on the agenda. Last week's trip to Yarraville and yesterday's drinks were a good start.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARKII!!!!!!!