A most pleasant Sunday afternoon late in September was reason enough to take a refreshing walk and enjoy the neighborhood ambiance, fine weather and a late-lunch-early-supper known as Brunch.
The origins of this culinary creation will be discussed in a later posting. The place where the “Brunch” pictured below is not unfamiliar. We have visited Car #4 a few times. There was the BeerBasics visits Char#4 and the follow up More Pig Five Way.
This particular afternoon it was time to sample their Shrimp & Grits & Collard Greens, with a Bottle of Abita Light and a shot of Black Dirt Bourbon Whisky (the spirit/beer combo sold together as a “Pick Me Up”).
The choice of “Light” beer might seem against all preached here but it does make sense in this context because of the light flavors of the shrimp and grits. On the other side, collard greens and a touch of cheese in the grits, the Black Dirt Bourbon Whisky accented the smoke in the greens and the rich touch of the cheese.
Texture also played a role here. The light, almost airy feel of the grits (yes, I know that may sound counterintuitive but that was the case here) and the tender shrimp would have been overwhelmed by a heavier beer or a sweeter bourbon whisky.
Context also played a part in the choice of beverages. The Abita brewery in Louisiana echoed the Southern origins of the dish. The Black Dirt Bourbon Whisky introduced a Southern iconic offering disguised as a New York State spirit. The flavor was just this side of sweet but wasn’t as emphatic as traditional Southern Bourbon, accenting the hint of smoke in the greens.
For traditionalists who may find offense in anything mentioned in the above may I offer the following… If you can’t get there for the original…“ Improvise, Adapt and Overcome”.
Sitting at the bar of Char #4 there was no way to argue with that. So I followed Johnny Cash’s advice and had another “Pick Me Up” for desert.