As part of Beer Week in Philly, many local restaurants are teaming up with breweries and putting on really fun events, such as the Magic Hat Dinner at National Mechanics. We actually won tickets to attend in a Quizzo trivia game…my boyfriend’s smart like that! If you know me and read this blog, you’ll know that I never talk about beer. That’s cause I don’t drink it. However, after hearing about Matt Cohen’s (brewer at Magic Hat) passion for creating new beers I do have a better appreciation for beer drinkers.
This event was a great introduction to beer for me, especially because of the food pairings. So here’s what we had:
Course #1: Magic Hat #9 paired with Guacamole, Salsa Fresco, and Plantain Chips
The first plate of food was demolished by our table so I didn’t get to snap much of a picture. It was a yummy starter as I am a huge fan of guac and plaintain chips. The Magic Hat #9 turned out to be my favorite beer of the night. I’m sure many of you have had it but I was surprised that beer is even described as having hints of apricot…kind of like how wine has fruity characteristics. I guess I need to give small brewers some more credit. The pairing of beer and food was great, nice light beer with fresh flavors of tomatoes and avocados.
Course #2: Wacko paired with Jumbo Lump Crabcake served on top of spinach salad with orange-lime vinaigrette
The Wacko gets its pretty pink hue from beets, and the sugar from the beets actually does some of the fermenting (or something like that). Because of the color I kept expecting to taste raspberries so it just created some mind – taste confusion. We were all surprised at how much crab was in the crabcake. I’m used to seeing places use mayo and other stuff as filler and I always stay away from ordering, but National Mechanics did not deprive us of lump crab. They have a crab sandwich on the regular menu that I will give a try during the next Quizzo.
Course #3: Summer Odd Notion with Turkey Lasagna
When I initially saw the menu, I thought I would skip eating this course. When I tasted this, I couldn’t stop eating. I didn’t grow up in a family that made lasagna and I’ve always thought it was a heavy, fattening dish, so I think there might be a possibility that I have never had a true lasagna. WOW – it is heavy, and fattening, but so good. The beer, Summer Odd Notion, is ginger flavored. It paired wonderfully with the hot lasagna. However, this was the first controversial beer where people either said I can’t drink this or I like this.
Course #4: Notion paired with Lamb Crusted Peppercorn and Vegetable Couscous
Sadly, I don’t remember a thing about this beer or to be completely honest, the next one. I’d had 4 or 5 drinks by then and was stuffed and it kind of gets blurry. I will say the lamb was delicious.
#5: Magic Hot Sorbet
I tried a bite and there were real chunks of peach. But, after that I had to throw in the towel. Too much of a good thing leads to a big buzz and fuzzy memories.
I should also mention that throughout the night there were performances by Olde City Sideshow. Body contortions, sticking swords down throats, really weird stuff!