Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Green's GF Dubble Dark Ale: Product Review

Beer was one of the first things taken from my menu when I first went gluten-free (GF.) Many years passed before a friend of mine thoughtfully bought me a six-pack of GF beer that was made from sorghum. It tasted like Keystone Light. In other words, it was swill. Years passed again until only a few weeks ago, where I found myself in a local Portland brewery that served a fantastic GF pale ale (more on this later.) 

At first, I wasn't sure that I would still have the palate for beer, but it turns out, it's like riding a bicycle. And once I opened the door, the craving for beer came washing in. I didn't want to be chained to a brew pub, so I decided to see what the local grocer was carrying. Not much, it turns out. At least, not if you're looking for a decent beer and not a close rendition of domestic pee-juice.

The other issue about buying GF beer is the sticker shock. Many bottles of what looked like decent beer were outrageously priced. I decided to consult an expert and called for the beer master who managed that section of the grocery store. 

The manager guided me to a single beer, which she said was absolutely amazing. Keeping an open mind, and swallowing back my sticker shock (over $6 for sixteen ounces!) I decided to go for it.

Introducing Green's GF Dubble Dark Ale, a delicious, creamy glass of beer-heaven with notes of caramel, molasses, and orange zest.

I enjoyed this smooth, frothy brew while reading a book and relaxing in my hammock. It was  satisfying enough to quell my beer least for the time being. Did I think it was worth the price? Absolutely! I'm now on the hunt for other beers brewed by Greens. I'll let you know when I try them.

Green's is from the UK, and may be hard to find at your typical grocery store. Fortunately, Green's provides access to their distributor through their website, who in turn provides a list of grocery stores and restaurants that carry Green's beers. If you want to find Green's in your part of the world, scroll back up to the hyperlink and simply click it.

As always, I'm glad to be sharing my knowledge with you. Be well, and keep Eating Friendly.

Burt's Five Star Summer Sizzler: Product Review

Not long after I created Eating Friendly, a man named Burt sent me an email requesting that I do a product review. A few emails and a few days later, I received two bottles of Burt's Five Star Meat Marinade for my grilling pleasure. 

Burt's Five Star prides itself on being an all-natural marinade with no msg, sugar, carbs, preservatives, gluten, oils or fats. However, Burt insisted that, although the marinade was good for the health conscious grill master, it was made for the careless carnivore as well. He also insisted that the marinade was just as good on vegetables as it was on meat, and that vegetarians could enjoy the Five Star experience along with their meat-eating friends.

The history of Burt's Five Star originates with Burt's grandma, whose marinade often stole the show at family and social gatherings. Now Burt is sharing grandma's recipe with you. 

I marinated a gigantic rib-eye steak for 24 hours. I also marinated a few onion slices for about an hour before grill-time. I tossed the steak on the grill, along with sliced apricots and the marinated onions. I also simmered diced mushrooms and onions (not marinated) in a cast iron skillet over the coals. Afterward, I paired everything with a salad of hazelnuts and butter lettuce, in which I threw chunks of grilled apricot. I tossed the salad with a homemade grilled apricot vinaigrette.

I was wondering what made Burt's marinade so special, other than its health benefits. But Burt's Five Star really is unique. It doesn't overpower the meat, and its tangy, mesquite flavor was so reminiscent of barbeque that I immediately knew that the marinade would taste like I had grilled out, even if I had used it on meat roasted or broiled in the oven. The steak was simply delicious, and I was instantly transported to a neighborhood BBQ, even though I actually ate alone on this occasion. And the marinated onions were so tender and full of flavor that I wished I had marinaded and grilled more vegetables. The only down side to Burt's Five Star Marinade is the price. Each sixteen ounce bottle costs over ten dollars.

I wanted to do another go-round with Burt's Five Star, only this time in the oven. Unfortunately, our kitchen is under renovation and our oven is out of commission. At this point, I am beginning to wonder if I will ever get to try Burt's marinade indoors. I guess you and I will both have to wait until the cooler season. But for now, it's still grilling season. I'm sure Burt would appreciate it if you checked out his website and purchased his delicious marinade online.

And if you like a cold beer with your steak, and you're gluten-free, read my next article about Green's GF Dubble Dark Ale. 

As always, be well, and enjoy Eating Friendly.