I arrived around 4:15pmish, a wee bit late, but what can I say. I blame it on mom and genetics. Years of being perpetually late for pretty much everything was fated to eventually rub off. Someone has to continue the family legacy, might as well be me.
Walking through the bar entrance door into a milling crowd of multiple familiar faces, pints in hand, I knew I was home. Tis where the heart is, after all, and my heart was full. Warm fuzzies aside, my belly was empty and my throat parched.
It didn't take long to find Eric S along with Mike and Paula, whom I was especially excited to spend the evening with. Time and time again, good beer has brought good people into my life; Mike and Paula are no exception.
Along with his regular line-up, Matt had two special beers for his anniversary at Corner Cafe & Brewery in Tequesta, FL:
- Belgian Tripel
- Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy
**a moment please to wipe the drool off my face**
The Tripel was the first to cross my eager lips; this way I could transition smoothly into the Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy. The Tripel was neither too thick and sweet, nor too dry and light. She pleased with precise balance, a vaunted staple of Matt's brewing technique. The Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy was rich with vanillins, tannins, and soft wood esters balanced with exquisite wee heavy character: chocolate, toffee, caramel nougat, dark fruits, and spice. Seeing as the wee heavy style is Eric's favorite beer style, I know he was all over that baby like bronzing oil on a bikini model.
(If you know Eric S, it all makes sense.)
Matt's brews notwithstanding, what about the food? Matt has been home-brewing for over ten years, but has only been blessing the thirsty masses with his creations at Corner Cafe for one year. A quality gastropub is as much about the food, service, and ambiance as much as it is about the beer. As always, Lisa, Jim, and their gift-from-god chef, Juan, did not disappoint.
I would like it to be known right here, right now, that Juan is a culinary god whom I eagerly and willfully worship, his kitchen being no less than the holy kingdom in which he performs culinary miracles.
(Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery, Juan, and Matt need to get together. Seriously, it could very well be the second coming of beer and food.)
But I digress, albeit it with clarity of reason in my not so humble beer geek foodie opinion.
Any patron who was there for Matt's anniversary celebration (as was about everyone there), for a mere $25 you were treated to the buffet and two pints of beer. You could drink more (I did), and the additional cost was added onto the $25, a bargain. Now, I know right now that some of you are probably thinking "buffet" with looks of cynical scorn and meager expectations. You are wrong and obviously know nothing about how Corner Cafe represents.
Rounding the corner to the buffet set-up, even I was not prepared.
Oh. My. God.
A feast fit for kings and queens was nothing less than the culinary paradise spread out before me. The whole roasted pig sealed the deal, at least until Juan brought out the silver-gilded tray with two whole salmon poached to melt-in-the-mouth perfection and dressed in paper-thin slices of cucumber. And that was just the beginning...
Ouch! Ok, please stop.
I'm not dreaming; time to fill the plate and partake of another of Matt's beers. Needing some hops, I wisely went for the Gnarley Barley before descending into ecstasy. Each orgasm-inducing bite was savored as slowly as possible so as to enjoy each moment to the best of my ability. Between myself, Mike, and Paula, there was a veritably constant stream of moans, groans, and scintillating sounds emanating from our table.
November 4th 2009 will be forever be a treasured memory.
Another good friend, Eric H, arrived around 7pmish with his lovely lady-friend, Lisa, and the night continued its merry path of social lubrication. About 10:30pmish, I unwillingly wrapped-up my evening of good beer, good food, good friends, and food times, bidding a fond farewell to Matt, Lisa, and Juan.
It was a slow drive home, but my heart was aglow, my soul full, and my life just a little more complete. To many more years of Corner Cafe & Brewery precious memories, Cheers!
(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)