Life Cafe Blog

Archive for March 2010

Life with… Figit & the Weed



BEER SPEAK @ Life Cafe 983

Strong, Firm and Dauntless?
By Andy Mills

Stout
adjective
1. bold, brave, or dauntless: a stout heart; stout fellows.
2. firm; stubborn; resolute: stout resistance.
3. forceful; vigorous: a stout argument; a stout wind.
4. strong of body; hearty; sturdy: stout seamen.
5. having endurance or staying power, as a horse.
6. strong in substance or body, as a beverage.
7. strong and thick or heavy: a stout cudgel.

Every single one of these definitions adequately describes the style of beer known as stout.  Strong with alcohol.  Bold and forceful in flavor. Only a brave and stubborn palette has enough endurance.  So thick and heavy you can eat it with a spoon.  This amazing style of brew dominates the “Best Cold Weather Beer” list.  You don’t even need someone to snuggle up with when your heater breaks down.   And with a stout, who needs coffee with their breakfast?

The beautiful world of stout…

Stouts are made from the darkest roast of malts in the world giving them the dry finish they are known for.  Stouts were given their name in the 17th century because they were the strongest beers made at the time.  Today, this is still slightly true, but many stouts have fallen from the glory of having more alcohol than does a body good, to more consumer friendly levels.  Guinness is a perfect example, weighing in at an astonishingly low 4.1% ABV.  Most beers, even that watery substance called Budweiser, are around  5%.  But not all members of the stout family have changed their ways so greatly.

Let’s talk about the Russian Imperial Stout.  Actually an English beer it’s named for its purpose; shipment to Russia.  Alcohol, being a preservative, was needed to be brought to higher levels for the beer to survive the trip to across a continent, and the Russians loved it.  More booze, means more malts, means more flavor, means more yum.  These guys can reach well over 10% ABV and that is something that I like.

North Coast Old Rasputin
Fort Bragg, California
ABV: 9%

Seven years ago when I was in church I met a beautiful dark skinned woman with beautiful brown hair.  We talked, we laughed and I cherished her in my arms.  It was good times.  Her name was Old Rasputin.  Okay.  It wasn’t church; it was a bar and the girl was a beer.  The rest is true.  The flavor is dominated by an earthy chocolate taste backed up with heavy dark malts.  It’s finish, glory.

I still love this stuff as much as the day I met her at church.  At Life Café now.


A NATION DIPPED IN BATTER AND DEEP FRIED

By John Sunderland,

the Yorkshireman in New York

A recent menu item at Life Café Bushwick has been the beer battered fish and chips.

I regard myself as something of an English aficionado of fish and chips, and I must say the Bushwick version are pretty damn good and come close to the original English item from half a century ago.

You know people say that memory gilds the truth. Well that may be the case in general, but when it comes to the fish and chips which our local chip-shop served up back in my Yorkshire village in the late nineteen fifties, the memory doesn’t need gilding. Those fish and chips were truly golden!

So what made them so special? Well of course the quality of the fish and potatoes. But more than that, it was the batter the fish was coated in and the fat they were fried in.

Now I’m talking about the time before we got health conscious in respect of what we put into our bodies. (Yes even that has happened in England now). In post war Britain (I was born in 1950), we had rationing until 1953. Believe me by then we were all very hungry and I think we’d have eaten pretty much about anything. In fact no one spoke about health issues when it came to food. Which, conversely is why the fish and chips were so wonderful. There was none of this erogenated fat blah back then mate. It was all good artery-clogging killer stuff, and nobody worried!

The fat that was to be melted down to cook the fish and chips came to the chippy in the shape of huge great boxes of white lard. This was cut up in lumps and dropped into the friers, which were the gas-heated frying pans the size of small bathtubs half full of golden bubbling boiling liquid fat.

The fish was then battered in a gluey white egg and flower paste and slipped into the boiling fat, which had been brought up to certain critical temperature. Later the raw potato chips were tossed in naked, to swim around and keep the fish company.

What happened in the frier was shear alchemy, because what the lard had been rendered down from imparted to the fish, chips and the frying batter, a wonderful and unique flavor.

Now, I’d like to say it was the rare and special ingredients that made the fat so good, but the opposite was true. Rather it was made from all the parts of animals that they couldn’t find any other use for; in fact from all the fatty bits that a civilized and health conscious human being should have run away from.

However, it may have been rendered from virtual animal waste products, but that fat cooked the batter just right, to a light and crunchy golden taste-delicious melt-in-your-mouth angel fodder, which I’ve never tasted since. And what made them smell and taste even more delicious as you poured it over the frosting of salt on your haddock and chips, was Malt Vinegar. So if you try our golden delicious fish and chips, don’t forget to ask for the vinegar and splash it on, you never know, you might be about to eat a golden memory.


Dinner Specials @ Life Cafe 983

FREE DELIVERY 7 DAYS A WEEK
718-386-1133
Ask About Our Daily Specials

Delivery Area:
North to Grand, East to Cypress,
South to Stockholm, West to Broadway
Delivery Hours:

7 DAYS 11 am – Midnight
$10 Delivery Minimum

3/26 – 4/1

APPETIZER

SHRIMP CEVICHE 5.99

garnished with cilantro tomato and avocado

ENTREES

FILET MIGNON 14.99  

in a rosemary red wine sauce

over roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes

FISH N’ CHIPS 12.99

beer battered and fried

served with fries and cole slaw

GRILLED LAMB CHOPS 14.99

in a soy sesame glaze

with asparagus and mashed potatoes

DESSERTS

BERRY CREPE 3.99

garnished with caramel and chocolate


Make our Penguin Laugh and Win a Mini Iceburg

Have you noticed the penguin standing on our bar-shelf at Life Café Bushwick.

I will let you into a secret, he’s a sad Penguin, so sad he became frozen.

In fact, he’s a Prince amongst Penguins, (we call him Prince) and his place in the Kingdom of Ice is waiting for him if only we can cheer him up and wake him from his stupor!

I mean he should be out chasing sardines across the oceans, not standing on a shelf in a bar in Bushwick for Gods sake!

That’s why we came up with the idea for the best, ‘A Penguin walks into a Bar’ joke competition.

Following the monthly selection of best contenders for Best Penguin Joke, by the Life Café panel of judges, we shall read the jokes out loud to the Prince in a secret late night ceremony, in the hopes of cheering the little guy up.

So go on, cheer up a Penguin today, write out your joke on a comments card with your email address and post it in the box.

Think how good you will feel if you make our penguin chuckle! Even if the jokes don’t wake him up, but make us laugh, we’ll award you a mini iceberg floating in a sea of your liquid choice!

Here’s this month’s winner

By Phil J (who does not claim originality for this, but nevertheless, well done Phil!)

A Penguin walks into a bar and asks the bartender,

“Do you have any plums?” The bartender says, “Sorry we don’t have any plums”. The penguin walks out of the bar.

The next day the same Penguin walks in and to the bartenders’ surprise asks him again,

“Do you have any plums?”

The bartender looks at the penguin and says,

“I told you yesterday we don’t have any plums here.”

And the penguin walks out of the bar.

The next day, the bartender sees the penguin walk into the bar and stops him

Before he can say anything and says,

“If you ask me if we have any plums, I’m going to nail your beak to the wall!”

The penguin then says,

“Do you have any nails?”

To which the irate bartender replies,

“NO!”

Then the penguin asks,

“Do you have any plums?”


Life with… Figit & the Weed


Dinner Specials @ Life Cafe 983

FREE DELIVERY 7 DAYS A WEEK
718-386-1133
Ask About Our Daily Specials

Delivery Area:
North to Grand, East to Cypress,
South to Stockholm, West to Broadway
Delivery Hours:

7 DAYS 11 am – Midnight
$10 Delivery Minimum

3/19 – 3/25

APPETIZER

BROILED STUFFED CALAMARI 4.99
with chorizo, red peppers, tomato and corn

ENTREES

STEAK RANCHERO 14.99  
(grilled shell steak topped with adobo sauce, grilled onions and monterey jack cheese) served with asparagus and mashed potatoes

FRIED BROOK TROUT 12.99
in a basil, roasted red pepper and tomatoes sauce with brown rice

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE 12.99
with boiled potatoes

BLACKENED TOFU 11.99
Over julienned vegetables and brown rice

DESSERTS

COCONUT FLAN 3.99

BERRY CREPE 3.99
garnished with caramel and chocolate


St Paddys Day at the East Village!

HEY ALL,

JOIN US AT THE EAST VILLAGE FOR SOME ST PADDY’S DAY CHEER!
HANG OUT AT THE BAR OR OUTSIDE IN OUR GARDEN OR SIDEWALK CAFE.

IT IS GONNA BE A BEAUTY OUT THERE TODAY.

WE ARE SERVING CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE ALL DAY AND…….
$3.00 PINTS OF KILLIANS RED + &3.00 SHOTS OF IRISH WHISKEY.

LET’S SEE BEER, WHISKEY AND CORNED BEEF, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU NEED?
OH YEAH MAYBE A COUPLE OF YOUR FRIENDS TO TOP IT OFF.


Dinner Specials @ Life Cafe 983

FREE DELIVERY 7 DAYS A WEEK
718-386-1133
Ask About Our Daily Specials

Delivery Area:
North to Grand, East to Cypress,
South to Stockholm, West to Broadway
Delivery Hours:

7 DAYS 11 am – Midnight
$10 Delivery Minimum

3/12 – 3/18

APPETIZER

FRIED CRABMEAT SPRING ROLLS 4.99
with a soy dipping sauce

ENTREES

GRILLED SHELL STEAK 14.99  
served with mashed potatoes and asparagus

BEER BATTERED FISH N’ CHIPS 12.99
with cole slaw and tartar sauce

CHICKEN SUIZAS ENCHILADAS 11.99
stuffed with chicken, mushrooms and onions topped with salsa verde and Monteray jack cheese served with Mexican rice and pinto beans

DESSERTS

LEMON TART 3.99
perfect balance of tart and sweet

BERRY CREPE 3.99
garnished with caramel and chocolate


New Riddle Raffle @ Life Cafe 983

Can you guess what menu item this represents?  Come in and submit your answer and you may win a bottle of champagne or other prizes.