Pork Yeah! Beachwood BBQ Brings Back “Build Your Own Mac N’ Cheese” Night

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Events, Food, Orange County, Restaurant
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Three weeks of 2014 have passed – how have you progressed with your new year’s resolutions if you made any? A majority of all resolutions revolve around more traditional objectives, like losing weight. On the other side of the spectrum, some people resolved to try new things. This resolution contains too many open ends, defined differently by each person. A person can simply drive a different route to work, and call that something new. But for those out there that definitely want to boldly try something new, they have to step out of their comfort zone. Some people already do that with food, especially trying new ingredients. How does one discover where to find new food or drinks to try? Many places offer ever-changing menus, but to find the place that started the rotating beers system, head to Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach.

Back at it again for their first dinner event of 2014, Beachwood BBQ brought back a classic in their list of returning events – the Build Your Own Mac N’ Cheese Night last Thursday night. Accompanied by a board of beers filled with a variety of choices, including many Belgian-style beers, this small restaurant filled up quickly from the get-go. Across the United States, craft beer fans agreeably credit Beachwood BBQ as the first to introduce the rotating tap system into mainstream bars and restaurants. In this system, instead of continually replacing tapped-out kegs with the same beer, a brand new beer comes in to replace the spot, meaning that if a customer did not get to try the previous beer, that customer missed out. Along with having amazing beers on tap, Beachwood BBQ dishes out incredible food with critical acclaim, even earning them a spot in the Top Nine Mac & Cheese Entrées in Los Angeles. Special dinner nights occasionally hosted by Beachwood BBQ allow them to step out beyond their normal menu to experiment with new ingredients. With this past Build Your Own Mac N’ Cheese Night, guests could select the pasta, cheese, herbs, vegetables, and meats. Observe the list below, which includes my choices:

  • Pasta: Black Pepper Rotelli, Garlic Rigatoni, Square Macaroni
  • Cheese: Gruyère, Pepper Jack, Truffle Velveeta
  • Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Vegetables: Ginger, Green Onions, Roasted Garlic, Wing Sauce, Asparagus, Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, Corn, Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Fennel, Peas, Portabello Mushrooms, Roasted Jalapeños, Smoked Cheddar, Smoked Chilis, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes
  • Meats: Bacon, Fried Egg, Andouille Sausage, Chicken, Chopped Brisket, Diced Ham, Pulled Pork, Crab, Crawfish, Duck Confit, Lamb Sausage, Pork Chili, Scallops, Shrimp, Camel

Yes, you read that right: Camel. I never would expect to see camel meat served like this. A meat that exotic should come on its own, not as part of another dish. For that reason, I opted not to take the camel meat. When eating something so unique and exotic like that, you want to savor it for its original flavor, not when muddled under other ingredients. Had I spotted the camel option sooner, I would have built my mac & cheese around that instead of picking strong flavors. Some other random thoughts about this menu and my choices:

  • Difficult to taste the garlic in the rigatoni, primarily due to everything else overpowering it
  • Creamy gruyère cheese always goes great in a dish like mac & cheese. However, Beachwood BBQ already uses gruyère by default in their standard mac & cheese. Also, truffles.
  • Cilantro and rosemary have strong aromas that did not necessarily mesh well with the rest of this dish
  • Roasted garlic felt mushy and tasted sweet, slightly reminding my taste buds of sweet potatoes. Sundried tomatoes added a necessary tart kick to an otherwise extremely savory dish. Saw the butternut squash and caramelized onions, but could not taste due to other flavors present. Looking back, I would sub those two out for smoked cheddar and spinach for some greens.
  • Picked three shredded meats, so initially difficult to identify the meats upon sight. Duck confit truly stood out with its unique duck fat flavor. Should have ordered a different texture meat over the pulled pork, such as the ham, scallops, or andouille. Brisket did not come out as tender as expected. As aforementioned, did not choose camel because the rest of the dish would have overpowered the flavor of it, preventing me from savoring its true taste.

Did you order a mac & cheese with camel in it? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts about it, so please comment below or reply on Facebook. Who knows – the team from Beachwood BBQ may even read your post!

 

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