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How Frozen Can You Get A Mint Julep? And Oh That Was Good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In either New York Magazine or The New Yorker (we subscribe to both and I can never remember which had which article) there was a mention of frozen mint juleps. Well, actually the biggest mention of them lately has to be in the April/May issue of Garden and Gun in an article called The Southern Invasion of NYC.


That article discussed how the restaurant Tipsy Parson (which I mentioned in this post about the sudden popularity of Southern food in NYC according to NY Mag) "debuted the city’s first frozen mint julep machine late last year, and thirsty patrons crowded the bar all winter long."

A frozen mint julep? Now, I like plenty of shaved ice in the bottom of my julep cup but never thought about having one in the style of a frozen margarita.

So...

Tuesday night, Av and I went out on a mommy-daddy date to The Veranda in B'ham, and I asked if they could make me one for my cocktail (Av is on an Old Fashioned kick). Here's how it turned out:

Supper at The Veranda, Birmingham AL

I never really know how to take it when restaurants use regular drinking glasses for mint juleps (other than to be ever-so-slightly pleased because this holds more than a julep cup does) but I have to say, colder = really great.

Usually I'm all about tradition, but just imagine enjoying a frozen mint julep on a hot August evening. What tradition, right!?

The drink that's being offered at Tipsy Parson is called a Frozen Ginger-Honey Julep. I found some other recipes online including this one from Emeril and this at Fine Living but what was both funny and sad was that the Kentucky Derby site (where mint juleps are part of the experience) has a recipe for them that has three ingredients: mint, bourbon, and *sweet & sour mix*. Sweet and Sour mix? For shame, y'all!

Now, these pics are a little dark, but we were basking in atmosphere (I actually heard someone at another table ask the waiter for a flashlight so he could read the menu! Sure enough, they had one.):



This was the 'Corn Fried Apalachicola Oysters' appetizer with 'Imported Olives, Crumbled Feta and Crispy Capers with Chiffonadé Romaine Lettuce and Lemon Emulsion':
Supper at The Veranda, Birmingham AL
To say it was amazing...well, I need a better adjective than amazing. It was crazy-wonderful.


Av started with the 'Crispy Louisiana Softshell Crawfish with Mirliton Avocado Slaw and Smoked Jalapeño Butter':
Supper at The Veranda, Birmingham AL
Ohmystars that was great too.


My entree was the 'Pork Porterhouse from Fudge Farms on a bed of Fried Eggplant, Olives, Mirliton, Concassé Tomatoes and Peppers, tossed with a Caper Compound Butter':
Supper at The Veranda, Birmingham AL
I almost *never* order pork in a restaurant (unless we're talking barbecue joint) but that was the best entree I've had in months. Seriously. And while saying "Fudge Farm Pork" sounds a little weird, the best chefs at the best restaurants (Hot & Hot, Trattoria Centrale, Melange/M, Capitol Grille, obv. here at Veranda) are using it.


Thicket Mag did an interview with Henry Fudge which started this way:
...has spent 30 years breeding hogs to return them to their pureline mother breeds from Africa and Europe. By leasing his stock to be raised by Amish farmers, Fudge maintains ownership of his genetic investment while being assured his hogs grow up naturally, foraging afield and roaming freely.

Last time I checked, Fudge Farms is also available at V. Richard's in B'ham.


Av had the ribeye:
Supper at The Veranda, Birmingham AL
Yes.


Oh! And we talked for a while with Chef Tom Robey, who is great (great!!) and had me daydreaming about driving to Louisiana for some Honey Island chanterelles.

He used to be sous chef at Commander's Palace; the dining room manager at Veranda was also the dining room manager at Commander's. Could we get any luckier? They're also putting on a Sunday brunch (which I imagine has to be a lot like Commander's, which we've been to) each week - the jazz band is the horn section behind the Temptations (the original members were from B'ham and there's even set of statues of the group in downtown) .


Well, we had to have dessert - praline cheesecake on the left and peanut butter pie on the right:Supper at The Veranda, Birmingham AL
Yum.


Can't wait for next time!

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