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Monthly Archives: February 2011

A Tour of Hudson Bars

Last night my friend dropped by and Kristy and I took him out on a brief tour of some of Hudson’s finest drinking establishments. It was by no means a complete tour, but one can only drink so much responsibly in one evening. I like to joke about my boring life living in the outer suburbs of Cleveland, but honestly Hudson does have a pretty decent beer representation.

The first stop of the night was at my favorite (and closest) spot, North End. We managed to catch it on a rare non-busy Saturday night and get 3 seats at the bar (the actual restaurant was pretty packed though). I started the night off big with a Great Divide Grand Cru, which was really good and didn’t overwhelm me despite the 11% ABV. Then, per the bartender’s recommendation, we split up a bottle of Weyerbacher Heresy, a barrel-aged imperial stout that was a very solid brew, but a little lacking compared to some of the higher profile barrel-aged beers I’ve had in the past year. North End may only have 8 beers on tap, but they’re all craft beers and are usually pretty varied and not-too-common, which is great for me as I am always looking to try new things. And if nothing on tap fits your fancy, there is a great bottle selection as well.

Next, we drove a little further south into downtown Hudson and made our second visit to Flipside (I reviewed my first visit over on Cleveland Hops last month). There was a bit of a wait, as we expected, but we grabbed a few drinks from the bar and the wait seemed to go by pretty fast. I had a Southern Tier Old Man Winter, and my companions both got the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. Everyone enjoyed their selection. The Old Man Winter I have had several times before and it’s nothing special, but a good session beer that pairs nicely with food by not overwhelming anything. After we grabbed a table, we all got burgers and an order of the sweet potato fries. I went with the Shawn’s Burger, named after the owner, which Michael Symon recently called out for being a copy of his famous Lola Burger. This was a great burger, and further proof that I think I am addicted to fried eggs being added to food, as I also recently made this discovery at Melt by adding one to a Chorizo & Potato grilled cheese. Not exactly a healthy habit to pick up. This also was my first taste of the sweet potato fries, which were great, and much more generous in serving size than the frites I had on my last visit.

The third and final stop of the night was local favorite Kepner’s Tavern on the old main street in downtown Hudson. I had honestly only been there once before, as it’s craft beer selection is almost non-existent, but it made for a nice cap to the evening. I went with a Dogfish Head Chicory Stout and sat back and enjoyed some crowd watching. This place seems to be the young person hangout, though there are people of all ages crowded around the small bar or hanging out in the booths in the back, enjoying some cheap beers and greasy bar food. We were right next to the jukebox (since when do songs cost $1?!) that seemed to be a crowd favorite with everything being played from Journey to Justin Bieber.

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House of Jealous Lovers

It’s been a good weekend so far after a pretty busy week. This working out 6 days a week plan is hard to stick to, but I have managed to do it two straight weeks in a row now. Prior to that, I was finding I was having trouble getting in that 3rd run of the week, before the weekend’s long run. And I had missed my Monday night spinning class for several weeks in a row. But today I capped off a second straight 6-day workout week with a very hard 90 minute hot yoga class that left me about as exhausted as a run twice that long. My wife bought me a new yoga mat and a package of classes to the nearby studio she has been going to for a while, Yoga Lounge, in Hudson. So that is our new Sunday thing to do together. She is way better at yoga than I am, but I hope to keep slowly improving over time.

As far as running, I logged just under 25 miles this week, capped off by a 7 mile “race pace run” on Saturday, that went great. I’m usually pretty bad about holding a steady pace, but with the help of my Garmin I managed pretty well. My current race target is 3:40, which would replace my current PR of 3:44 which is now 3+ years old. So that means an average pace of 8:23 per mile. No matter what I tell myself, I typically fall into the trap of starting off too fast and then crashing at the end. But I am going to do my best to stick with a pace group this time. Fortunately, Cleveland does offer a 3:40 pacer.

As far as my rewards for running, I did enjoy some fine brews this weekend. On Friday night, I cracked one of my recent purchases, the limited Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. It is a double IPA, which is one of my most favorite styles. I enjoyed it, though it had a pretty boozy taste to it. While beers of this style usually have a pretty high alcohol level, often the alcohol taste is more masked than it was in this case. Other than that, which wasn’t even necessarily a bad thing, just unexpected, it was a solid beer. Saturday night, my wife and I ventured up to the Tremont Taphouse. The food was really top notch, with a daily special of duck confit sauerkraut balls as an appetizer, and a burger w/ white cheddar, fried egg and tomato, lettuce, onion and a side of fries, which was seriously one of the best burgers I have ever had. Paired nicely with a Heavy Seas Black Cannon. Have only been out there a couple times before, but it has definitely earned some future visits after last night.

 

Today’s title comes from the song by The Rapture, which happened to come up on my iPod during the last few minutes of my run on Saturday. Great song to run to, though I found I had to slow myself down as running to the beat led me to going faster than I should have been.