FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK :: Not-SXSW Post Partum. The Tour Continues.

by Harvey Gold on March 22, 2011

Terrazzo Coffee & Wine, College Station TX

We sadly bid farewell to Austin and headed to College Station TX to play an outdoor gig at a really lovely coffee and wine bar called Terrazzo.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, prior to checking in at our hotel in College Station, we decided to drown our post-Not-SXSW sorrows in BBQ by brunching at Rudy’s. Yeah, this is  a chain with 29 locations, 25 of them in Texas, but…these guys know BBQ. I had a fine smoky brisket sandwich with a combination of the famous Rudy’s BBQ sauce, and their sissy version. Dolli had a chopped BBQ sandwich, drippy, spicy gooey goodness. The potato salad was really excellent and firm (I’m a stickler), and the slaw was just dandy.

OK then, moving on. The gig at Terrazzo, a great place secreted just off the main drag of University, was lovely.

Kim Beggs & Patterson Barrett

Tucked next to a red caboose on a breezy deck, we played a round with singer/songwriter Kim Beggs, who hails from Canada’s Yukon Territory. Smart, great lyrics, a unique voice. We (Sally Spring, Ted Lyons and yours truly) played at a couple venues with her in Austin and she’s joining us again in Baton Rouge LA. So we would do 3-4 songs, then she would do 3-4 songs with Patterson Barrett, her talented utility infielder from Austin, accompanying on mandolin and guitar.

Sally Spring

Ted Lyons

After our last set in the round, I rewarded myself with a Real Ale Phoenixx Double Extra Special Bitter. Out of  Blanco TX, Real Ale is becoming the star of this road trip. We’ve already enjoyed their Shade Grown Coffee Porter and Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, but this one is even more special.

Yours Truly, Harvey Gold

Sight unseen at the pour, I found the nose to be quite floral, the beer a nice golden color. But here’s where it gets interesting. Like a fine IPA, this bitter had a hoppy, fruity (but in this case , not so citrusy) flavor throughout, and a nice even bitter back. But the middle was full, creamy, caramely and malty. Very unusual in this regard, and I later learned that an English crystal malt was used to accomplish this.

It’s like the best of both worlds: the melding of some of the best qualities in an IPA with a tasty warm English Ale. What’s even more interesting is all this and only a 5.5% ABV, so eminently drinkable in a serious session.

I need to mention the Panini al Prosciutto with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and nutty basil pesto and the Pastrami Panini with tomatoes, fresh spinach, sweet red onions, provolone, spicy mustard and tangy vinaigrette. Both were delicious.

Thanks to the staff and management of Terrazzo for being kind and welcoming, and good craft beer foodies.

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