Get Stoned

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I’ve always been a fan of Stone Brewing. I was introduced to them waaay back when, with their Arrogant Bastard. It wasn’t my beloved IPA, yet an American Ale. My first experience with such an aggressive beer. Then, I was introduced to – and came to love – their Ruination; the first full-time brewed and bottled West Coast double IPA on the planet. Hop heaven. I was still living in Pittsburgh at the time, I had no idea how attainable these fruity little nuggets would be in my future. After I had moved to CA, and was living in PB, my Dad came to visit and we made the pilgrimage trip up to Escondido to visit Stone. We did a brewery tour, had some fantastic tastings, explored their gardens, and enjoyed lunch in their beautiful eatery.

But, I digress. I’m writing about Stone today because they are the brewery of choice for our next beer tasting in conjunction with Belmonts Crafty Neighbors! We had such a great time at the last tasting, that Tavern on 2 joyfully is welcoming us back for another one. It will take place this Thursday, February 2 at 6:30. We’ll have 4 samplings of beers, and the chef will be whipping up some tasty treats. It’s a fun group; sign up and RSVP on Facebook, if you’d like to join. But remember, it’s taking place on Groundhog Day; you never know what could happen…

 

 

 

 

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Stuff It!

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Like everyone, I love pizza. I’m usually a thin-crust kinda’ gal, but when Drinking Buddy and I were having a beer at Rance’s Chicago Pizza, it smelled so good, I had to give in. Fortunately, they have a lunch special where you can get just a slice. We opted for the “Rance’s Favorite” stuffed pizza which was meatballs topped with bacon and jalapeños. So good! And, they have like 30 beers on tap. They do have a thin-crust option, but I don’t think they had it on the lunch special that day.

The restaurant definitely has an industrial look, with exposed brick walls and ductwork on the ceiling. There are features like custom artwork, and communal tables. Garage doors that open to the sidewalk seating. We sat at the small bar. The food was delicious, and the service was great! This Saturday (tomorrow,) they are having their official grand opening. They are offering 50% off pizzas from 11 am. until 4 pm. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the first 50 guests, you will also receive a $20 gift card! Then, after 4 pm., 50% of the sales will be donated to the Community Action Team.  So you can get some yummy food, and make a difference in our community. It’s a win-win…

 

 

Quickie

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The next time you’re running errands on 2nd Street, and you’re just popping into a business, don’t bother putting money in your meter. Don’t worry, you’re not going to get a ticket! The City of LB provides the first 5 minutes free on their new smart meters. Simply go up to your expired parking meter, and press the green “OK” button. This is perfect when you’re just dropping off something at the Post Office or Business Center, or when you’re grabbing the to-go food you ordered. No more worrying about finding those pesky coins, or using your debit card. You’re welcome…

 

 

 

 

 

Roar!

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I need to speak seriously for a moment, here. I don’t want to talk politics (I never do,) but I just need to talk about the incredible worldwide event that took place yesterday. If you were there, if you saw any video coverage, or even photos, you must have been moved. Millions of people coming together across the country – across the world – in solidarity. I am so proud of my friends. Lesbian women who marched with their wives. Gay men who marched with their partners. Straight women who marched with their husbands. Moms who marched with their young daughters, their young sons. Muslims, Jews, Black, Brown, White. Everyone. Every. One. Standing together peacefully. Displaying that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. Proving that the Constitution does not start out, “I the President,” rather, “We the People.”  I am woman, hear me roar…

 

 

Say Cheese!

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Today is National Cheese Lovers Day! Honestly that’s every day for me. Since it’s so grey and rainy, today would be a great day to hunker down with a bottle of wine and a nice cheese board. Maybe find a cheesy (sorry, I couldn’t resist) movie on TV. Have some grilled cheese. Cheese pizza. Cheese fries (it is Fryday.) However you choose to consume cheese, I know it will be delicious…

 

Death by Duck

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I kinda’ watch a lot of food shows on TV. Competition shows, shows about favorite things to eat, shows about new places to go. And, I like to make a note of some of the places that are nearby, or in a location I think I might visit. One of the shows featured a gastropub in LA called Beer Belly. Craft beers, various wings, yummy sandos, snacks, salads, and even cocktails. The thing is, I don’t really get to Koreatown all that often. So, when I found out a Beer Belly was opening in LBC, I knew I had to visit! Granted, it’s not in BS, but it was like a $5 Über ride. I summoned Drinking Buddy, and we were set for our adventure. (Is it sad that I think of a 3-mile trip as an adventure?)

Beer Belly sits on the corner of LB Blvd. and 3rd Street. It definitely has an industrial look, with sleek architecture, pendant lights, and metal tables. But it still seems to remain light and airy with high ceilings and a graffiti-inspired focal wall. I knew before going there that we were going to try the Death by Duck fries. Yeah. Tossed in duck fat, with duck skin cracklings, and topped with duck confit; served with a raspberry mustard to get some acidity to cut through all of that fat. We also had the “favorite” buttermilk fried chicken. OMG! So tender and juicy inside, with crispy outsides, cut into perfect shareable strips. Despite the alluring craft beer selections, we decided to go with an Old Fashioned. Another winner! They make a strong tasty cocktail! There were so many other delectable-sounding eats and drinks, I can’t wait to go back…

 

 

 

Dog Dayz

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I was walking down 2nd Street today, and was sadly reminded that Dogz is temporarily closed. ICYMI, last week a large truck hit the fire hydrant right outside of Dogz, and created a huge geyser. The whole place was flooded, and basically needs to be gutted. It was a regular stop on my day drinking trips with Drinking Buddy. The best patio seating for people watching. Frosty cold 20 oz. pints. Deliciously guilt-inducing bar snacks (their WINGZ!!!)  Happy Hour EVERY day!  *sigh*  I’ll let you know what’s happening as I hear about it. I know I sure am looking forward to them re-opening…

 

What a Feat!

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Wow! It’s been pretty cold lately. And rainy. It sure is nice to be able to put on my fuzzy slippers, and snuggle up under my cozy blanket. Sadly, there are many people in our community who don’t have that luxury. They have no home, no slippers, no warm socks or even shoes sometimes. Fortunately, The Community Action Team coordinates the Sock It To ‘Em  sock drive every year in an effort to make sure “every homeless person in Long Beach has at least one pair of new, warm, dry socks this season,” according to organizer Justin Rudd. These socks will be donated to the homeless people living in our neighborhoods in the streets and parks, along with Long Beach homeless service providers.

Do you want to help? You can purchase socks directly. You can make a donation to the C.A.T. You can even host a collection at your school, work, church or home. This drive lasts through the end of January, so you have plenty of time to make a difference…

 

 

Fringe Benefits

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… hello??  … are you awake?  Did you survive? Then, Happy New Year! I know today is actually January 2nd, but I feel like it’s a bonus day! Saturday, everyone was excited to ring in 2017 (and quite frankly, I feel there were a lot of people who were chomping at the bit to kick 2016 to the curb.) There were the dinners and parties. Music and dancing. Fireworks, ball drops, confetti, glitter. Then yesterday was R&R day. Sleeping in. All-day PJs. Mimosas and bloody Marys. Football and napping. Now today, most people have off work; many businesses are closed. It’s a bonus day! My apologies to those of you who do not have a freebie today. Either way, I hope you are as excited as I am to see what the year ahead brings…