Z – Zymurgy Blessings (NaPoWriMo #30)

Zymurgy (zy-mur-gy; zī mәr jē) is chemistry that deals with the fermentation processes (as in wine making or brewing), There are zymurgy clubs around America, a brew pub called Zymurgy in Torrance, CA, and even a magazine called Zymurgy. It’s a fancy word for something we didn’t know we had a fancy word for. In words like this, experts, specialists, and aficionados find each other.



A toast to the Grog
By Bill Reynolds

Hold your drink high as we all salute,
Stand proud and tall as you toast our success.
Long we have toiled to blog the last dribble,
To the craft of zymurgy, my final tribute.

To the blessings of grog from the art of the craft,
I brought you my twaddle, the sweet and the daft,
With creative support of that spirited guest,
I sent you my poems, the poor and the best.

From the wine to the beer,
The ferment and brew,
The stout and the red
Went straight to my head.

My thanks to my readers,
Both critics and lovers,
And for the crafters of zymurgy to brew,
Grateful to all, I am thanking you too.


Wine to the left, beer on the right,
Look both ways and have a great night.
Of the gaps be mindful, it’s been so delightful.

Taco Tuesday (Mexican Food)

When we lived in San Antonio, Texas, we had Mexican food often. We seldom changed for variety. If you visit San Antonio, visit the River Walk and the Alamo, because that is what you do there. But please don’t rate the food by eating Mexican at the River Walk restaurants. I have tried them all and they all pass. While some are better than others (in my Tex-Mex opinion), there are much better places. Wherever you chose to dine, in South Texas you should eat all the Mexican food you can find.

What you might find in other states may also be good Mexican food. But it is not necessarily Tex-Mex. A lot of what is called Tex-Mex, simply isn’t. It may be good, but it ain’t Tex-Mex. Fish tacos are good, but they aren’t Tex-Mex. Ask locals, if you can.

On the northeast side of town, my personal favorite is La Pasadita Restaurante Mexicano, in Schertz. My family and friends agree. This guy makes his own tortilla chips (he tried the bagged ones and his customers rebelled) and salsa. Honestly, if no pizza is available, this place would do for my last meal. As with most of these places, Negra Modelo is the darkest beer they have (it’s a lager), but it works. So, what happens if you’re in Lincoln City, Oregon and you want Mexican food?

Both tables and booths
Both tables and booths

There are a few. The answer is that you pick one, which is what we did. Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant is at 3001 NW U.S. 101, Lincoln City, OR 97367. Right up front, this place has two drawbacks. The parking is insufficient on a dirt lot. The building is too small for its popularity. But if you get past those minor items (as I did), you’re in for a treat.

Presentation is great
Presentation is great

The food is good. But for me, all Mexican food is good, as indeed all pizza is good, and all beer is good. It is only a question of how good it was. These folks had laid a claim to some interesting things I liked. The atmosphere is great – you know immediately what kind of place you’re in (the atmosphere of the place in Schertz can use help like this). The staff is friendly and laughed at this gringo’s humor. When we walked in, we were told it would be a ten-minute wait. It was more like two. We were seated at a table with a Mexican mural on the table top and a matching one behind me.

Art is on table tops and over booth back rests
Art is on table tops and over booth back rests

When the waiter came to take our drink orders, he and my wife struck-up an in-depth conversation about Tex-Mex food. It turned out he has a daughter living in Houston. But he agreed, the food in this place was not like that. Now, most menus in Mexican restaurants tend to be long. This is because (in most cases) it is a matter of packaging and presentation, as opposed to the details of varied ingredients. If you eat vegetarian, you should ask questions. A lot of animal products are used in Mexican cuisine.

True Mexican Décor
True Mexican Décor

I had a pork dish and my wife had enchiladas. No complaints. The portion sizes are large, but that is the norm these days. Prices are very reasonable and the total cost was less than half of the previous night’s dinner in the same city. One lady on Yelp commented that the food was not salty (as she believed most Mexican food is) and I agree. Yelp gives them 4.5 out of 5.

Refried beans with chips and salsa
Refried beans with chips and salsa

Two special touches included good chips that were not from a bag. I didn’t ask if Mamacita made them. The other was the inclusion of a small plate of refried beans in addition to the dipping salsa with the tortilla chips. That is a nice touch.

If you are on trek up (or down) the Oregon Pacific Coast, and you want a good place to eat in Lincoln City, give Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant a try. I bet you enjoy it.


Taco Tuesday (Seattle Beer Week)

I grew up around beer. We had several breweries in town. One (Stegmaier Brewing Company) is still in business but is owned by a competitor of many years (The Lion Brewery). My parents drank beer since before I was born, and I was sucking suds long before I was of legal age. I still drink beer. When people see me with the occasional glass of wine, they ask if I am feeling well.

Here’s to a long life and a happy one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A good girl and an honest one.
A cold pint and another one.

No blog of mine on beer would be complete without the wonderful pub song by Tom T. Hall, I Like Beer.


seattle beer week1So this week’s Taco Tuesday recognizes Seattle Beer Week, which is actually 11 days long. It is a huge beer celebration in terms of both participation and geography. The Pacific Northwest has more breweries and beers than I can imagine.

When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let’s all get drunk, and go to heaven!
–Old Irish toast

Walking down the beer isle in my grocery store I experience sensory overload, and that is just a wee sample of the plethora of brews one may imbibe in these parts. Beer week brings together retail establishments, all kinds and sizes of brewers, and beer aficionados of all levels. This thing runs from the cities of Tacoma and Kent south of Sea-Tac Airport to the city of Lynnwood north of Seattle. It runs from Puget Sound to the west then past Lake Washington to Bellevue on the east side.

Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking.
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

The links below are blogs related to Seattle Beer Week, and a few others I thought you might enjoy.

http://seattlebeernews.com/ Professionally presented blog with news about beer.

https://www.facebook.com/washingtonbeerblog Could not get link to blog to work, but the Facebook page is cool. Got it to work (yay) and worth a read: http://www.washingtonbeerblog.com/

http://brewdad.com/ Great blog. It has a long list of other beer blogs and more useful beer information.

http://nwbeerguide.blogspot.com/ Good blog about general Pacific Northwest area, including Alaska.

http://seattle.taplister.com/ Not a blog, but a cool little app site on finding beer.

I included a clip from the Washington Beer Festival that was last month, simply because it looks like fun to me.

Of all my favorite things to do,
the utmost is to have a brew.
My love grows for my foamy friend,
with each thirst-quenching elbow bend.
Beer’s so frothy, smooth and cold–
It’s paradise–pure liquid gold.
Yes, beer means many things to me…
That’s all for now, I gotta pee!