THE EDITOR’S DESK :: The Big Eating and Drinking Review – Shrimp, Tequilla, and a Red Ale??

by Harvey Gold on June 17, 2015

Chase Cutting
Chase Cutting

“Where ya been Harv? Had anything noteworthy to eat or drink?”

I’ve been taking notes, pictures, videotaping myself on an iPhone in bars and restaurants in order to insure my notes are properly taken and legible. The good news is that you won’t have to watch these videos… or rather I won’t have to watch these videos. So let’s cut to the chase!

In my post upon visiting The Akron (Ohio) Art Museum’s Art & Ale,” I mentioned our friends at Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar. We were thrilled by their shrimp tacos that evening. Since that event, we’ve been to their lovely restaurant a few times, first having tried a Chorizo Pera Burrito, an interesting combination of  House Made Chorizo, Grilled Pears, Caramelized Onions, White Bean and Fresno Spread, House Cheese Blend. I ate a lot that night and sort of moaned my way out of the jernt, but this wonderful sweet and savory burrito was very tasty with, based on the inclusion of the mashed potato like White Bean and Fresno spread, a really interesting texture.

On our next visit I had their Vieiras, Pan-Seared Scallops, Cilantro Potato Puree, Rainbow Chard, Grilled Corn Salsa, Chipotle Vanilla Pan Sauce. About as spectacular as it comes, the scallops themselves to be sure, but really the entire plate! Delicious, mouth exploding stuff!

This time we went to Nuevo followed a screening of El Machina, a pretty neat flick, but really having gone to see batshit crazy talented animator, Don Hertzveldt’s latest short, “World of Tomorrow.” Find it! Watch it! You’re welcome.

IMG_1719Every time we’ve been to Nuevo we’ve started with their homemade chips and Queso Fundido. The description is fairly simple House Cheese Blend, Grilled Scallion, and Chorizo (which we added on). I’ve had queso many times, but this one is really not so simple. It comes across as rich, cheesy, big, and pretty complex, the distinctive spice of the house made chorizo, along with the scallions, in a more interesting than usual cheese blend, insures we’ll continue to order this the moment we enter this restaurant.

IMG_1721(1)To drink, I decided to start off with one of my shot and beer combos, this time a shot of Patron Silver, my go to tequila for these purposes, and Hop Head Red from Green Flash. A Double Red IPA, 8.1% ABV and 70 IBU, brewed with Amarillo, Warrior, and Nugget hops with a caramel malt base, this recipe has been changed over the years, making what has been called a somewhat hoppy American Red Ale into this, the VERY hoppy, high bitter, higher ABV ale we have today. My logic in pairing these is based on, when choosing tequilla as my shot, using the beer to replace the tradition of sucking a lemon wedge and licking salt off one’s hand, which I don’t like… the mouth thing, not the licking. I can do that! Anyway, I figure the citrus of a big IPA, along with the attendant bite of the hops, will replace both in the equation, and it usually does. When using a big flavor profile as we find in the Patron, what happens is usually a really cool roller coaster ride of sensations and flavors: First the blast of the high alcohol, distinctively flavored, tequila. Then the IPA, flooding in, cooling, tickling the front of the tongue with a nice clean citrussy, fruity, and/or piney – one, some, or all those flavors, depending on the IPA in question … and then… the strong flavor of the Patron rising back up, leaving the delighted adventurer (me) with that wonderful agave flavor.

The balance of this combo didn’t quite meet my typical expectations. Admitedly, the hops were big, the beer was cold, and the bitter was very firm. But I think the malt profile was a bit high, the caramelly flavor too akin to the dark agave flavor of the tequila to really make that sweeping wash over the shot a proper contrast… but then it struck me, it was totally successful as a complement, as the flavor nicely segued into the return to the tongue of the Patron! Not the plan, but fortuitous, as the beer continued into the balance of the meal, terrifically.

IMG_1722As a main course I had to order the shrimp tacos I had been teased with at Art & Ale. They were wonderful: Pan Seared Shrimp, Peppers, Onions, Corona, Zing Zang, House Cheese Blend, along with rice and pinto beans. Salty, and with a bit of heat, they were delicious, and the bitter of the Hop Head Red did a nice job of cutting through, cooling and quenching between bites.
The table got Black Bottom Plantain Pie, Plantain Cream Pie, Chocolate Ganache, Graham Cracker Crust, and the one bite I had made my eyes roll. Nuevo is totally worthy of being our newest “go to,” and as a really good drinking beer it, without question, goes the same for Hop Head Red from Green Flash.

Next up: Following the Beer Doc into… yes.. DELIGHTFUL Pittsburgh, PA

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

carol westbrook June 17, 2015 at 11:55 pm

Looks yummy! Can’t wait to visit Akron soon. Thanks for the post.

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admin June 18, 2015 at 12:31 pm

I was remiss in not making note that the films we saw were just two blocks away at the wonderful Nightlight Cinema, Akron’s newest smart/art theater!
http://www.nightlightcinema.com/

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