Introducing a New Guest Column

In addition to my friend Hunter Dillon and his “Casual Crusades” guest column, I am bringing in the husband-wife duo of Gordon Bond and Stephanie Hoagland for something new. They are going to be tackling a guest column of their own, titled “Fermented Musings”. In it, they will focus on liquor reviews, cocktail recipes, and…

Restaurant Review: Hailey’s Harp and Pub (Metuchen, NJ)

Metuchen is a great food town. There are cafes, pizzerias, a fantastic ice cream shop, restaurants of every nationality you can think of, and then there’s Hailey’s Harp and Pub. Of course the food has to be good, but when it comes to pubs, the first thing I’m looking for is actually the atmosphere. Does…

Restaurant Review: Ichiban 18 (East Brunswick, NJ)

We stopped at Ichiban for some late night drinks and snacks with friends a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I had been in the place since it was Shogun years earlier. It looked exactly the same. The sushi bar and tables in the front, a circular bar, and hibachi grills in…

Travel Guide PA: Booze Notes on this Current Trip

Years ago, my friend Jeff said the only two things more expensive in Pennsylvania are gas and alcohol. So far, he’s been right. I always visit the liquor stores just to see if they have anything I cannot find in New Jersey, but more often than not, I walk out empty-handed. For example, Johnnie Walker…

Another History of Liquor Lecture

On March 2nd, I will be giving a lecture on the history of liquor at Brookdale Community College for the third time. To my happiness, it has been very well received so far, even calls for a sequel. I try to cover as much as I can. Such an extensive topic can not be condensed into…

The Westfield Trader Joe’s is Reopening!

It was a date that lived in infamy. During a snowstorm in January of this past year, the Trader Joe’s in Westfield, New Jersey suffered structural damage. The roof collapsed and the walls caved in. No one was harmed, but it was still a real tragedy. TJ’s, as they are affectionately known as, is my…

Travel Guide PA: Customize Your “Flight” at Huckleberry’s

I was just expecting to stop in for one drink at Huckleberry’s after a busy first day of our most recent trip. I ordered a Rusty Nail (Scotch and Drambuie for those of you who don’t know what comprises this classic yet forgotten cocktail) while Will pondered his options. The featured drink of the day…

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Scotch

From the trendy food store that brought us the glory of “Three-Buck Chuck” (Charles Shaw wine for $2.99) and so many other tasty and organic goodies comes their very own blend of scotch-whisky. This store has long been famous for their wine selection and wonderfully creative food items, which covers such a wide variety and…

Product Review: Johnnie Walker Select Casks Rye Finish

Photo credit: manofmany.com It’s not Scotch and it’s not Rye. So what is it, then? How about just damn good. Johnnie Walker Select Casks is going to be a series over the coming years where their Cardhu single malt is aged in barrels atypical to their usual Scotch production. The first in this line is…