When I used to work in Jack London Square two years ago, Miss Pearl’s was a place called Jack’s where I got coffee and sticky buns in the morning. Now they serve “island inspired cuisine”, feature steel drum players on Sunday mornings, and have chairs made up to look like zebra skin purses. Quite different.
Walking into the restaurant for our beerunch, which was put on by Miss Pearl’s, the fine folks at MateVeza, and our old friend Bruce Paton – The Beer Chef, we were immediately greeted with beermosas–Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche, Berliner Weissbier fermented with peach concentrate, and a splash of O.J. Incredibly delicious and far better than any mimosa, though could you hardly tell there was even beer in there–just a hint of yeast flavor gave it away. These were bottomless (yeah, I had three).
There were minor service issues–slow courses, finding the right beer to pour, etc–but considering they were open for regular business as well as having to serve 60-some (I would guess) beer geeks all at the same time, they didn’t do too bad. Our courses:
Burning Oak Black Lager from Linden Street Brewery + Crab cakes with a mild remoulade=Bruce always makes tasty crabcakes. The toasted flavor of the perfect crust on the cakes goes nicely with the light roast of the black lager. I was happy to finally get to try a Linden Street brew as well–well done!
Organic Yerba Mate IPA from MateVeza + Roasted Shallot Custard with Cubano hash=delicious. Possibly my favorite pairing. The cubano hash (pork, sweet potatoes, spice) matched just perfectly with the smokey yerba mate flavor. The custard was delicate, but rich and flavorful enough to stand up to the hash and beer.
Toast from Moonlight + French toast and maple syrup with pecans = beer-based maple syrup? How can you go wrong? We love all of Brian Hunt’s beers, and from now on dream of drinking them with crispy french toast alongside.
Keyser Soze Russian Imperial Stout from Triple Rock + Chocolate Beignets. I have heard Chef Bruce comment before that with his pairing dinners, often people will try the beer and not love it, then take a bite of food and try the beer again and change their opinion. That’s what a great pairing does. I had a similar experience, but switched. I didn’t love the beignets. They were dry and bitter and room-temp. But then I took a sip of Rodger Davis’ uber chocolately, honey-sweet, and super strong (13%) beer and I got it. The bitterness of the chocolate cut the sweetness of the beer, and the dryness meant you kept coming back for more, no matter how strong.
Dangerously, the couple next to us decided they simply couldn’t handle anymore beer by the end, especially one that strong in both flavor and alcohol–so they each handed their glass over to Joe and I. It was easily my favorite beer of the day. Although I still didn’t love the beignets, I’ll admit they helped me to get through 2 glasses of the Keyser Soze.
We love Bruce’s dinners and he has a few more coming up this week if you can make it: Feb 11th @ Oliveto Restaurant and another beerunch at Barclay’s on Feb 13th. Unfortunately the Feb 12th Beer & Chocolate on Treasure Island has been canceled. The question after all that good food and beer was, why doesn’t everyone have beerunch?