^ That's funny that you mention weck, Bill...because I had always assumed that everyone knew what a "weck" roll was until I asked for it at an out of town restaurant one time and they looked at me like I was crazy!
I had no idea that Beef On Weck was a Western NY thing at the time!
Shameless plug for a family-owned coffee shop on Loudoun Street in downtown Winchester, VA...if you are in the area, stop in, enjoy a great beverage and say Hi to Lanita.
Tell her Phillip and Michael sent you! :-)
I was here for the beer however....welcome to Hop Blossom 2015!
Some great beers to be had here...a lot of them from local VA breweries.
But the highlight for me was the pizza!
This was the Trifecta pizza with large pepperoni, sausage and soppresseta. Very nice, but a tad spicy.
I ordered the Parma which had a strange combination of arugula, prosciutto, parmesan, brushed garlic and fresh mozzarella. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the semi-bitterness of the arugula combined with the saltiness of the prosciutto & parmesan/mozzarella cheese was fantastic!
Fast forward to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and can one ever have too much of the sausage platter at Festhaus?
Whoops...forgot to post a pic of the pizza joint. Stop in if you are ever in the Winchester area for some great wood-fired pizza!
Yesterday, Michael and I went over to Ellicottville for their annual Taste of Ellicottville food festival. For those that may not know (which I assume is probably 99.9% of you), Ellicottville is a very picturesque town situated in the heart of Western NY. It is in very close proximity to the Holiday Valley Ski Resort which also happens to have a very nice golf course, adventure rope & zipline park as well as a great mountain terrain coaster.
While we didn't do any of that during this visit, we did go to sample the tasty food offerings prepared by local establishments. While we didn't get to go to Taste of Buffalo this year due to being out of town, I can honestly say that I am starting to like this food festival almost better than ToB. These local restaurants seem to like to have different offerings each year whereas ToB seems like they share most of the same offerings year in and year out.
In addition to the food, we also got a great tour of the Ellicottville Brewing Company. I found out an interesting tidbit about one of the originators of the beers - he (Phin DeMink) is also one of the originators of our much beloved local beer 'Southern Tier' which some of you may have heard of (or drank) before.
Here is a link to the EBC website if you're interested in what's on tap or what they offer for food:
Well I just happen to love beer and EBC is one of my favorite bars!
Please hold...we'll be right with you...
But instead of ducking right in for a cold one, we had to sample some of the food at ToE first. What better way to start than with a Western NY favorite....chicken wings!
This year's wings are from a pub called Balloons. The flavors are: Honey BBQ (bottom left); Cilantro Lime Chili (bottom right/top right); Maple Chipotle (top left) and Medium (next photo).
Michael opted for the Cilantro Lime Chili (top two); Honey BBQ (middle two) and the Medium (bottom two).
I was VERY surprised in that I was really expecting to like the Cilantro Lime Chili and Maple Chipotle more, but I actually liked the Honey BBQ and the Medium's the best!
I couldn't really taste the Cilantro, Lime or Chili in the Cilantro/Lime/Chili wings. They were very sticky and had a sweeter taste than what I was expecting. Like honey with some finely chopped (and sparce) peppers. I kinda wondered if they made something else and mistakenly called them this? The Maple Chipotle definitely had a maple-y taste, but no taste of Chipotle at all. Disappointing. The Honey BBQ's were smokey, sticky, crispy but yet didn't make them soggy after a thick coating of delicious BBQ sauce. YUM!!! I would get these again for sure! The Medium's were just what you would expect in a traditional Buffalo wing - Buttery with a slight kick of Frank's Red Hot. Crispy & delicious!
After wolfing down six wings, we decided to head into the brewery which was conveniently located right next to the wing stand. I opted for a refreshingly hoppy Eagle Trail IPA and Michael went with the Bavarian style Kolsch.
This is their newest addition - the outdoor bar and biergarten. The place has expanded almost as fast as our Southern Tier brewery! I was told by our brewery tour guide that the cement floor is heated and that this area is open during the winter so that folks in their ski gear can still enjoy a cold one all without having to take off the gear!
Here is the very nice biergarten where you can order food and beverages.
During our tour, our guide explained the new addition leading to the aforementioned outdoor bar and restaurant. This place is massive!
Upstairs they have a private event function room which also serves as dining overflow. He said that they use this quite often during ski season.
Note the crafted tables and chairs - all made locally. The chairs were crafted by local Amish folk.
The vessels are huge!
More cool beer stuff.
Now on to the best part...the tasting!
We got to sample four kinds of beer. The first was a Blueberry Wheat. Now fruit flavored beer is not normally something I drink, but when I do there are three exceptions: Ellicottville Blueberry Wheat, Southern Tier Raspberry Wheat & Corona with lime (when I'm on the beach, of course).
Blueberry Wheat definitely has the smell of blueberries, but the taste is mild. The beer is clear unlike a lot of typical wheat beers - and there is no aftertaste at all. Very refreshing!
The 2nd beer we tried was Just Peachy which is made with two barleys, American wheat, Sweet Georgia peaches and Black tea. Interesting flavor and while you could taste a mild peach flavor, this wasn't quite as palatable as the Blueberry...an almost Hefeweizen bitter-like taste
Speaking of Hefe, beer #3 was their Summer Hefe. For those that love Hefeweizen beers, you would probably love this. Me? Not so much. Can't stand the taste so I skipped this one. I did take one sip of Michael's and almost immediately spit it out. But it was beer so I forced myself to swallow it and move on. What a trooper I am! LOL!
The last beer was their Fall Festival beer which is made with German hops. This was my favorite of the four - I found it to be a little less caramel-y than Sam Adams Octoberfest. A very smooth beer with a mildly nutty finish.
I was hoping that they would let us sample my EBC favorite: Pantius Droppus, but alas...they were not producing batches of it at this time. The tour guide said that they were trying to get rid of all of their summer fruit beers to make way for their fall and winter lagers.
A great free tour and they even let us keep the glasses for souvenirs!
Now back to our regularly scheduled program - Taste of Ellicottville!
Who's ready for a free shot of Chlorophyll...YUMMY?
Will this get rid of my beer belches?
This little flavor explosion is from a restaurant called Cadillac Jack's. It was deemed Jalapeno Creme Corn and my was it awesome...I think that this may have been my favorite from the Taste! It tasted like Philadelphia Cream Cheese perhaps with some additional mild seasonings (garlic maybe) and a slight kick of heat with the jalapenos.
I need to get the recipe for this!!!
Here is a shot of one of the side streets in downtown...a lot of updated historical buildings give this little town a lot of charm.
This is the main street through downtown. Note the dark clouds... we got torrential rain for about 20 minutes so we had to duck into another bar to wait it out! ;-)
This might look like dessert, but it was actually a blue cheese crusted pork medallion with raspberry sauce from a place called The Barn. This was excellent...something else that I need to see if I can make at home!
Next up were Key West conch fritters with Boom-Boom sauce from Holiday Valley. Being that we were in Key West in April and I never had a chance to try conch, I figured that I would give these a whirl. And being served with something called Boom-Boom sauce, I knew it was a must try!
These were great! Tasted like bits of Calamari infused with bread stuffing, peppers and onions. The Boom-Boom sauce was the perfect compliment that added a nice zing whilst keeping the fritters from not tasting too dry.
Being what I might consider a hot sauce aficionado, I could not believe that I had never had this sauce before. I had actually heard of it, but just never had the opportunity to try it till now. It looks like I will be ordering some online very soon!
Luckily Michael loves desserts so he can satisfy your sweet tooth with his samplings.
How about something called an Apple Whiskey Caramel Sundae topped with Bacon from Katy's Cafe? He said that it was good, but needed chocolate. LOL!
Last up were pizza stuffed mushrooms from Katy's Catering. Basically stuffing flavored with pizza sauce with bits of onion, pepper and cheese. Not awful, but probably the least desirable out of all my other samplings.
By this time the restaurants were starting to close up the stands for the day and it was looking quite ominous again so we packed it in. We still had tickets left and were able to use the remaining ones at a local candy shop called Watson's. I will try to get some photos of our take-home stash of sponge candy, chocolate covered pretzels and Key Lime Meltaways soon.
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