Further Dispatches from the Burger Front

I’m at war with myself.

In the past, I’ve made some great burgers — burgers that have won praises, burgers that have pushed the boundaries of the possible… burgers that have brought grown men to tears.

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And yet, still, I am not satisfied.

There is always a better burger out there. And in here (pointing to my heart). I have but to find it, or to draw it out from within. More

Pliny, Deconstructed

The third in the author’s three part series about his all-consuming obsession with locating and purchasing at any cost Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder beer.

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Driving home with my big game prize — six bottles of Pliny the Elder — I began contemplating the grand ordeal that had been my barely one-month relationship with the beer.

A few days before, I’d called my favorite wine store, which was listed on the Russian River Brewing Company’s distribution list, but where I’d never actually seen Pliny before. I asked the gentleman if they carried Pliny.

Pliny, crowding out the other beers in my fridge

Pliny, crowding out the other beers in my fridge

“We get it sometimes, usually on Tuesdays.” This was a Monday. “The delivery usually comes around 1 p.m. Why don’t you call sometime after that and see if we got any. It sells out fast.” More

Pliny Found

After my woeful post about my growing preoccupation with Pliny the Elder beer and my utter inability to get ahold of any, I was overwhelmed by an outpouring of support and allegiance from family, friends and assorted wellwishers.

“Sometimes Haven has Pliny on tap,” commented friend Joe.

“Have you checked the Green Jug?” friend Tina emailed. “I called and they said they get it usually once a week. But it goes fast.”

“I’m on a mission to find some Pliny for you,” emailed another friend, Nadine, who is president of a company and likes to make things happen.

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My mom, in characteristic told-you-so fashion, offered up these words of encouragement:

“I found 3 on the door of the fridge when I was on a cleaning binge today. I would have happily sent you off with a couple of them but you still seem to be in a rebellious stage where you think you know more than I do. Nobody made a fuss when I insisted you try it here. We have had people in N. Carolina beg us to send them some but I got the ‘sure, sure’ look from you when I tried to make a case for it.” More

In Search of Pliny the Elder

While in Sonoma for a holiday visit, my mother said, “I was just telling Leslie about Pliny the Elder. She didn’t know about it.”

Pliny the Elder, the guy

Pliny the Elder, the guy

According to Wikipedia, Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire and close personal friend to emperor Vespasian. Why my mother was telling my wife about Pliny the Elder was lost on me. Until she said, “It won best beer in the world!” And I realized she was talking about beer. More

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

When the holidays arrive, beginning with Thanksgiving and its obscene American sister-tradition — Black Friday — right up through New Year’s Day, most people look forward to twinkling Christmas lights, festive holiday songs, workplace potlucks and Secret Santas, eggnog and elves.

While I’ll admit I am not immune to these seasonal pleasures, it is another arrival that I look the most forward to — the sudden and magical appearance of stacks of red and white boxes in the refrigerated section of my favorite stores. More

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