Public School 213's New Spring/ Summer Menu

Public School 213 has always been a local hangout spot for me for drinks and snacks, and I was excited to try their new spring/ summer menu! New additions include a grilled watermelon & heirloom tomato stack, pizza di verdure, and meatballs & linguine. They have a huge selection of beers on tap, and I had The Earl of Juniper, an earl grey infused jin with lavender and lemon that was delectable. 

We started out with the grilled watermelon & heirloom tomato stack that was topped with feta, balsamic, and marcona almonds. This dish had the best textures! Both the watermelon and the tomato was super juicy, but the tomato was more soft and spongey whereas the watermelon was crisp and light. The contrast of the two really complemented each other well, and the almonds was just the cherry to the dish. Obsessed with this combination- I need more of this in my life! 

The Pizza di Verdure with zucchini, arrabbiata angry sauce, caramelized onions, basil, goat cheese, truffle oil, and lemon gremolata was next, and the combination was delicious. Lots of intertwining flavors and textures throughout, and I really liked the subtle hint of truffle oil in the pizza! 

Last but not least, the Meatballs & Linguine included the arrabbiata angry sauce, rapini, grana padano, and basil. This was the favorite of the table as the sauce had a spicy kick to it from the arrabbiata angry sauce. The linguine was cooked perfectly, and the meatballs were so flavorful and juicy! I was super impressed with this dish.

We had a great time at Public School 213, and I'm so glad we finally got to try the food! The overall theme of "school" with composition books, "incomplete" to go boxes, and school tables is so cute! Love how they have seasonal items so that the menu is always changing! 

Bruichladdich Tasting @ Lock & Key

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Bruichladdich Tasting at Lock & Key. The tasting is paired with four different courses, with an introduction to each course by ambassador Alex Goode as well as Chef Cyndi Tran. The event was hosted in the patio of Lock & Key, and the decor was gorgeous! 

Drinks were served at the bar as well as tray passed appetizers, and we got the gin & tonic and strawberry mule to start. The smoked trout salad on cheddar brioche was divine, and we had to indulge in seconds and thirds! 

First Course-

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley paired with Smokey Bacon Vinaigrette and Grilled Asparagus Salad

The Scottish barley was my favorite of the four, and it was crisp and light to the taste. The salad was also a nice refresher to the meal, and I loved how the chef paired it with crispy salmon skin and soft boiled egg. Great textures in this course overall. 

Second Course-

Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm paired with Kunamoto Oyster

This was another fantastic whiskey we tasted, and Alex educated us on the roots of this Islay Barley. The smokiness of the whiskey made the Kunamoto oyster taste like a summer barbecue of oysters on the grill! 

Third Course-

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley paired with Paned Seared Scottish Salmon

The whiskey got more peaty as the tasting went on, and this one was nice and smokey. At 40 ppm, it is considered one of the more peatier of the whiskies. The salmon served as a nice contrast to the Port Charlotte, and it was delicious!

Fourth Course-

Octomore 7.1 paired with Butter Scotch Cream Cheese Tarlette

The grand finale of the Octomore 7.1 which happened to be the peatiest whiskey in the world at 208 ppm. Lagavulin and Laphroaig were only around 120 ppm, which is moderate in comparison. The cheese tarlette was a nice sweet offset to the Octomore, and I loved the crust and the overall textures and taste. 

The Bruichladdich tasting was a fantastic evening of delicious whiskey and fantastic food. We had a wonderful evening learning more about Bruichladdich whiskey and its origins, and I am glad to have been able to try the world's peatiest whiskey! Thank you Lock & Key for inviting us out!  

Ultimate Umami Burger Nine Course Tasting Menu

9 drinks, 8 burgers, and 3 sides? Challenge accepted! The ultimate Umami tasting menu is not for the weak, and the four of us went for it head on! The tasting menu is meant to be shared family style between four people for a $95 total (so around $25 per person). With that, each person eats a total of two burgers and sides, which is extremely reasonable once you divide up the prices! Not only that, you also get to try almost all of their burgers on the menu! I would also recommend the beverage pairing at $175 total for 4 ($44 per person)- for $19 more, you get 9 rounds of various drinks to sip and savor. 

We started out with their sides: thin fries, sweet potato fries, and tempura onion rings. These dishes were served with their house made sauces: diablo sauce, jalapeno ranch, garlic aioli, and house umami ketchup. The array of sauces were delicious- we could not stop dipping our sides into the different flavors! My personal favorite was the house umami ketchup which had a hint of truffle in it as well as the diablo sauce as I love my spice! The garlic aioli was also a favorite of the table. The fries were crispy and soft in the right places, and the malt liquor batter of the tempura onion rings was perfection! We got a real sugar Mountain Dew to pair with these sides which tasted so much better than the regular Mountain Dew you get in stores! 

First burger: Truffle burger with truffled aioli, house truffle cheese, truffle glaze. The first bite was heavenly, and I loved how the cheese oozed out of the burger! We were still starving at this point, so this burger was devoured in seconds. This burger was paired with the Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout; stouts are typically dark and bitter and this was no exception. I am personally not a fan of stouts, but I can see how it paired with the burger well!  

The Manly burger with house beer cheddar cheese, bacon, lardons, smoked-salt onion strings, and Umami house ketchup mustard spread was next, and this was just my type! It did feel manly indeed, and this was one of my favorites especially with the drink pairing! Of course, you can't be a man without a maple bacon old fashioned which was tasty. 

Burger three and still going strong! The Ahi Tuna burger with seared ahi tuna patty, daikon, sprouts, crushed avocado, gingered carrots, wasabi flake, and wasabi tartar was a light and refreshing burger compared to the first two. The carrot added a nice crunch complement to the ahi, and the fish was fresh! This burger was paired with the Victory Golden Monkey (all the way to the right in the photo below). This beer was lighter than the stout which I found perfect for this burger! 

The Hatch burger with roasted hatch chiles, house cali cheese, and roasted garlic aioli had a nice kick to it! It reminded me of a Mexican fusion burger but even better. This was paired with the Velvet Mule which included Tito's Handmade Vodka, velvet falernum, fresh lime juice, ginger beer, bitters, and mint. The drink was another highlight of the meal- I love how they added a touch of velvet to it! At this point, we all devoured one burger each and we were starting to slow down. 

Turkey anyone? The Greenbird burger with turkey patty, crushed avocado, green cheese, butter lettuce, sprouts, and green goddess was my friend's go to burger when she visits Umami, and I can see why! This is her healthy alternative, and I've never had such a yummy turkey patty! Add avocado and cheese- it's a win for me! This burger was paired with a light and crisp white wine, the 2014 Laurenz Gruner Vetliner. 

Really starting to slow down at this point... the Cali burger with butter lettuce, roasted tomato, carmelized onions, house spread, and house cali cheese was a blur to me. We were starting to question our life decisions, which was uncanny timing for the Spicy Mezcalrita with Lunazul blanco tequila, pomegranate liqueur infused with cucumber and serrano pepper, fresh juices topped with Xicaru Mezcal and Cointreau foam. The drink had a kick to it, and it woke us up out of our daze! 

Time for a throwback.. to another burger! The Throwback burger with two 3.5 oz seared beef patties, white cheddar cheese, miso mustard, Umami house ketchup, soy pickles, and minced onions was my favorite hands down! The two patties were so succulent and just dripping in juice.. Even though I was stuffed, I finished my portion! My mouth is watering talking about this.... the burger was paired with real sugar Pepsi (not pictured) which was fitting! 

Last but not least, the famous Umami burger with parmesan frico, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, carmelized onions, and Umami house ketchup. We were completely done from the Throwback burger, so we ended up taking this one to go. This was paired with the 2013 Seghesio Zinfandel (not pictured).

We ended up almost finishing two burgers, which is pretty impressive in my opinion as the tasting lasted around 2 hours (more reason for the food to settle in). Truth be told, we weren't able to finish our beers, but I definitely finished all of the other drinks! My friends and I had a wonderful experience with the tasting menu, and I'm so glad I got to try basically every burger at Umami as I would not have tried them otherwise! Thank you Umami for having us, this meal is definitely one for the books! 

Tasting Menu for Reference 

Tasting Menu for Reference