Your Fourth of July celebration. Bundled.

Make your reservations!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beers with Chuck: Toast Under the Oaks

by Chuck P


Most first year craft beer festivals aren't successful enough to return for a refill. There are several things that can go wrong along the beer-soaked trail to impending doom. Fortunately, I think the folks behind Toast Under The Oaks, held a few weeks ago at the beautiful Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, will definitely be around for years to come.

Enjoying the scenery while sipping some suds.
Enjoying the scenery while sipping some suds.


Jay and I were eager to check out the selection of beers from local breweries and homebrewers as we made our way onto the lawn. As soon as we walked in we saw our friend Brenton Day (www.thealerunner.com) at the Brasseurs a la Maison home brew tent. He welcomed us with one of his personal brews and one of my favorites, The Mighty Quinn Coffee Vanilla Porter.

Brenton Day's Mighty Quinn Coffee Vanilla Porter
Brenton Day's Mighty Quinn Coffee Vanilla Porter



I get excited every time I find out Brenton is brewing a batch. The coffee and vanilla notes are just spot on. Being that it’s a thin-bodied porter means this is something I would drink even in the middle of the brutal Louisiana summer and the barrel-aged version will blow you away.

We made our way over to the local craft beer tents and stopped at one our favorite local breweries, Great Raft from Shreveport. I was happy to see that their session IPA, Make Believer was on tap and instantly ordered one. There’s a mild dankness that comes through from the citra hops and those juicy, citric notes from the galaxy hops were very bright. Their Commotion Pale Ale is my “go-to”, but if you can get your hands on their Make Believer, don’t pass it up!

Great Raft's Make Believer
Great Raft's Make Believer


Jumping back to the coffee beers, we stopped at Thibodaux’s Mudbug Brewery tent for their Cafe Au Lait Coffee Stout. Very light in body for a stout, the coffee and chocolate flavors balance themselves nicely making it another one fit for summer drinking.

Mudbug Brewing's Café au Lait Coffee Stout
Mudbug Brewing's Café au Lait Coffee Stout


It was nice to see a big turnout by the local breweries for this first year event. We were able to catch up with all of our friends from Chafunkta, Tin Roof, Bayou Teche and more. I’m happy to say Brenton Day took 3rd place in the homebrew competition with The Mighty Quinn and 1st place with his Citrattak IPA! 

I’m sure that this time next year Jay and I will both be enjoying delicious, local and homebrewed craft beers under the oaks again.

Friday, June 24, 2016

10 of Our Favorite Deep Fried Dishes

by Intern Drew Broussard

It should come as no surprise that we have a deep, oily, sizzling passion for fried foods. Heck, Jay is hosting his own show about just that on Travel Channel! With Deep Fried America set to premier tomorrow, we found ourselves reflecting on our favorite fried treats we’ve eaten over the past few years. But then we realized, why reminisce whenever you can make a list of them? Here are some of the best fried memories laid out for your mouth-watering enjoyment.

Fried Pork Chop at Salt New American Table


boudin balls
Deep fried boudin balls from different restaurants in Baton Rouge

Jay's Fried Chicken





Deep Fried Burger at Phil's Grill


fried burger
This deep fried burger from Phil's Grill in New Orleans is noteworthy

Beignets at Coffee Call




Chicken Fried Ribeye at Horseshoe Bay Resort

Fried Rabbit at Hot Tails


fried rabbit
Chefs Sam and Cody Carroll kill it at Hot Tails

Deep Fried LSU Rolls from all over Baton Rouge





Fried Cheese Curds at Barcadia





Whole Fried Fish at La Salvadoreña








Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Beers with Chuck: Urban South Summerfest

by Chuck P

Urban South Brewery in New Orleans is new to the ever-growing Louisiana craft beer family, but they’re quickly making an impression with their delicious brews. A few weeks ago, I drove down to the brewery to meet Jay for some tunes and beers at their first annual Summerfest.

Despite the torrential downpour, when we arrived Summerfest was off to a great start. Event goers formed long lines at their three service stations ready to consume their flagship beers and one-off brews.

Having already had their flagship beers, the Charming Wit White Ale and the Holy Roller IPA, I decided to try one of the specialty brews on the menu, a double dry-hopped version of the Holy Roller.

urban south holy roller
Double Dry-hopped Holy Roller at Urban South Brewery in New Orleans.

The hop notes shine through on this beer in both aroma and taste. A nice dry finish leaves you wanting that next sip immediately. Needless to say I had another pint right after I was finished. You know, for science…

dat dog brat
Dat Dog's Guiness brat with bacon, perfect for absorbing alcohol.

After making my way out to the Dat Dog Food Truck for one of their incredible gourmet dogs, I headed back in to soak up the sweet tunes of singer-songwriter Kristin Myers and to try out my next two beers, the coffee Porter and grapefruit IPA.

urban south grapefruit coffee
The unnamed grapefruit IPA and coffee porter.


My love for coffee stouts and porters is no secret, and this one was exactly what I expected. The coffee notes were balanced just right where they never overtake the beer itself. Hints of chocolate creeped in and had me wishing this was something they were canning soon. And although I’m not a big grapefruit fan, I was surprised at how much I liked this beer. The grapefruit was just enough to compliment the citrusy hop notes and had me ordering another one when I was done.

Summerfest at Urban South is sure to be an awesome annual event filled with great music and great beers. Check them out online for tour times and upcoming events.

Monday, June 20, 2016

8 of Baton Rouge's Best Restaurant Hacks

by Sydney Blanchard

If you've lived anywhere long enough, you'll become an expert on the area. And if you eat anywhere long enough, you'll learn the area's top secret menu tweaks to level up your favorite dishes.

We rounded a few of our favorite local restaurant "hacks" and threw in some of your suggestions through social media to come up with this list of our best Baton Rouge restaurant hacks. We didn't include fast food (except for Cane's because they started in Baton Rouge) or chain restaurants in this list, because that's not our style.

If you've got any restaurant hacks or know of any secret menu items at local restaurants, let us know in the comments!

Sammy's Grill


This one is Jay's: substitute pickled for fried mushrooms when ordering the Coach's Plate at Sammy's Grill.



The Chimes


The Ale Runner recommends ordering a blackened alligator poboy or a buffalo shrimp poboy at The Chimes.

A photo posted by BBQ614 (@bbq614) on


Bistro Byronz


On Instagram, @eatbatonrouge suggested adding the bleu cheese sauce to the debris sandwich at Bistro Byronz.



Beausoleil Restaurant and Bar


According to @gsweathers on Instagram, ordering Beausoleil's truffle fried oyster appetizer on a bun is a recipe for success.



Tio Javi's Fresh Mex Bar & Grill


According to insider sources, Tio Jave (formerly Ninfa's) has a secret third salsa that you can get only if you ask for it by name: the Molcajete.



Atcha Bakery & Cafe


Team Bite and Booze consumes more Atcha per week than anything else. Blair taught us this tip: substitute the rice in any combo plate for extra hummus.



Pluckers Wing Bar


This one was one of my favorites in college! Frachos: order the nachos but sub out the tortilla chips for waffle fries.


A photo posted by Pluckers Wing Bar (@pluckerswingbar) on


Raising Cane's


There are a number of Cane's hacks, but my favorite is that you can get your toast toasted on BOTH SIDES if you ask for it. Also, unbeknownst to many, they have honey mustard. (Formerly, everyone in the know knew to order the Cane's chicken sandwich with toast instead of buns for a cheaper, two-toast alternative to the three finger combo, but my sources tell me that Cane's caught on and no longer honors this substitution.)


A photo posted by Raising Cane's (@raisingcanes) on

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Official Bite and Booze Father's Day Gift Guide

by Sydney Blanchard

I've always been a daddy's girl, and I'm not ashamed to admit my dad is my best friend. We have a lot in common, so I generally have an idea about what he likes (beer, History, books, being left the hell alone). But every year around Father's Day I find myself in a rut.

Here are a few gift ideas from local, Louisiana retailers for the dad who's hard to shop for. Because at some point you realize a tie or an LSU baseball cap just won't cut it.

For when Dad needs a new 'do


mercer
He won't know what to do with most of this stuff, so have the experts at Mercer explain it.

Get Dad looking right with a haircut, a shave and all the products necessary to keep his look fresh from Mercer Supply Co., located in 1010 Nic.

For when he wants to link up


lego
He wasn't trying to encourage you to become an engineer with that Lego set; he was trying to watch the game in peace.
Snazzy, locally made cufflinks can complete any look. Try these on for size. Lego cufflinks for all the times he stepped on yours growing up by MyOMyFirefly, or how about these Flamingo cufflinks by Mimosa, perfect for Spanish Town Parade festivities.

mimosa
What better way to rep Baton Rouge's most tasteless Mardi Gras celebration?

For throwing shade with Pops


krewe
Now you'll never be able to tell whether he's listening to you or fast asleep in his rocking chair.

Every dad deserves some cool-as-hell shades, and Krewe Du Optic delivers. Better yet, get matching pairs of these CL-10s to up the cool factor.

For spicing up Dad's spice rack


red stick spice
Dads universally get amped about outdoor cooking.

He might not have been the best chef growing up, but he was always happy to throw some meat on the grill. Help him up his grilling game with this flavor-filled gift box from Red Stick Spice Co.

For the patriotic patriarch


molasses mustard
The bundle includes a T-shirt, Molasses Mustard, Barbecue Sauce, Dry Rub, and a branded koozie. 


He's as proud to be an American as he is to be your dad, and he's already fantasizing about planning his annual outdoor Fourth of July cookout. Get him all his favorite Jay D's products, bundled, for $35.

For the dad rocking the beer gut


tin roof
They drink to forget about how much you've disappointed them over the years.

Dads and beer go together like, well, dads and beer. Head to Tin Roof Brewing Company and grab Dad a 6-pack of his favorite local brew.

For all the times he put food on the table


indie plate
Bolognese, so easy even dads can figure it out.

He changed your poopy diapers and spoon fed you mashed peas. The least you can do is return the favor. Send Dad a healthy, ready-to-cook meal from Indie Plate and get him hooked on local produce.

For the health conscious Dad


slap ya mama
Because he can't eat poorly forever.

He's watching his sodium intake, and he thinks you should, too. Hook him up with some Slap Ya Mama Low Sodium Cajun Seasoning, all the flavor he expects without the guilt.

For when he's feeling athletic


quarters
Straight up embarrassing your dad at bowling strengthens family bonds.


He may have taught you everything you know, but that doesn't mean you can't school your old man in bowling. Take advantage of this rad Groupon deal for a night of partying and bowling at Quarters for the whole family.

For the future Daddy-Daughter diner road trip


seat yourself
A perfect gift for the plate lunch aficionado.

Does he like to reminisce about all the great plate lunch places he used to frequent back in the day? Take Dad with you on a tour of South Louisiana's best "seat yourself" eateries with Baton Rouge-based author (and my former journalism professor) Alex V. Cook's latest book.

For the neatest guy you know


la1
You can't go wrong gifting a nice bottle of whiskey.
You love him, but the only way you can tolerate him (and his political opinions) is if you're both a little toasted. Donner-Peltier's LA1 is the perfect sipping whiskey for spending some QT with dad.