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Wednesday Food: Pilgrimage to Three Floyds

IMG_1679This weekend, on a particularly beautiful August Saturday, my boyfriend and I decided to take a road trip to Munster, Indiana.  With the exception of a few forest preserves, the only reason you would make this 45 minute commute from Chicago is to visit the Three Floyds Brewery.

Three Floyds Brewing Co. was opened in 1996 by brothers Simon and Nick Floyd and their father, Mike.  The operation grew from a 5 barrel kettle with Swiss cheese fermentation tanks in Hammond, IN, to a 15 barrel brewhouse in Munster, IN in 2000.  A few years later they converted the office space into a brewpub where they now serve a full local/ seasonal menu  and extend the draft selection to guest craft beers.

For the past few years Three Floyds has enjoyed healthy distribution in Chicago which welcomes their intense hops in the year-round beer selection and unique and strong seasonal brews.  Dark Lord Day brought a sweep of attention to the brewery which is the limited April release of their Russian Imperial Stout.  I was introduced to the flagship beer Alpha King at Local Option in college, and have since grown to favor their more unusual brews, the Barley Wine Behemoth for one, and Popskull which is a joint project with Dogfish Head.

The treat of visiting the brewery was less drinking than eating.  Much to my delight the menu, which includes solid pub fare like Scotch eggs, fish and chips, and a variety of pizzas, extended to a selection of specials that exhibited creativity and elegance and utilized the 3000 sq ft herb and vegetable garden.  To start we had a Scotch egg and a bowl of mussels.  The egg was overcooked, but happily not over-breaded or too sausage heavy.  The mussels were steamed in Drunk Monk with the addition of bacon and creme fraiche for balance and were excellent though lacking in suitable bread accompaniment for sopping up.  My date had the Schnitzel sandwich, lean pork with red cabbage braised in duck fat on a pretzel roll.  It was incredibly tasty and though rich, did not have the bloating effect of most Austrian dishes.  As I couldn’t decide on an entree I ended up with two of the appetizers from the specials menu.  Duck leg on a bed of lentils was nice and perfectly cooked, but everything I ate that night was completely upstaged by the pork cheeks and celery root remoulade.  I ordered it because celery root (celeriac) is a favorite vegetable, and it did not disappoint.  Julienned celeriac was tart and creamy and served as a pedestal for the pork cheeks which were rich and sweet with a slightly crispy exterior.  It may have been the best pork I’ve tasted.  Pints of Behemoth made for the perfect dessert before heading to the closest hotel to sleep it off.

On the drive back to Chicago, about 15 minutes from Munster, we turned off Stoney Island ave to visit the Calumet Fisheries. Anthony Bourdain brought attention to this tiny inconspicuous smoke-house when he visited Chicago in No Reservations.  And thank god for that.  At 11 in the morning we ate a fried shrimp dinner with hot sauce, fries, and coleslaw, joined by fried scallops which were even better than the shrimp.  As this joint is on the side of the road next to a bridge there is no place to eat but the hood of your car, which adds to the experience.  We bought a fillet of garlic-pepper smoked salmon which tortured us from one end of Lake Shore Drive to the other.  A better weekend than I ever could have anticipated.

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August 27, 2009 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

2 Comments

  1. Oh I could read about food and drink all day. Lovely recap, though I wish you’d snapped a pic of the pig face!

    Comment by Vanessa | August 27, 2009

  2. I’m jealous. Want to send some Three Floyd’s to Pittsburgh?

    Comment by dave | August 27, 2009


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