Much of the United States has this fixation about their local fair, whether the city or the state fair. From a narrow perspective, nothing changes year after year at the fair – if you attended previously, you would receive the same experience again the next time. This largely remains true persistently, but the experience generally changes based on who you attend the fair with, not which fair you attend. If you visit various fairs within the same region, you would see most of the same things: fair food, carnival rides, animals, and tons of vendors. For example, the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles fairs all have the same basic outline of the aforementioned features. Once you have gone to one fair, you have basically experienced it all. So what can you do to continue to enjoy fair life without wading through the hoards of people in the hot sun? If you enjoy fair food, you would have wanted to go to Beachwood BBQ last week for their rendition of fair foods with a twist.

Nestled in a small space in historic old-town Seal Beach, Beachwood BBQ has garnered an outstanding reputation not only among the locals, but across the nation for their influence on the craft beer industry. Sure they revolutionized the idea of rotating taps, but Beachwood BBQ churns out some stellar eats above and beyond standard bar food quality. For the most part, one can see Beachwood BBQ’s menu as mostly bar food, since most, if not all, of the menu pairs really well with whatever beer they have on tap. Folks in the area last Thursday evening could truly immerse themselves in the bar food experience when Beachwood BBQ hosted a dinner night aptly entitled Beachwood On A Stick. On this night, Beachwood BBQ took a good look at common fair foods, and re-envisioned a more gourmet version of each of their ideas. In addition, each food item received its own beer pairing to go with it. Some of the pairings matched well, while a few lost me in the mix. You can peek at the menu above, or scroll down to read the descriptions plus my review.

  • Lamb Kofta, $5: smoked lamb, mint BBQ sauce | Pairs w/ Duvel Single Belgian Pale Ale

I will call this my favorite out of all of the menu. This looks small, but the sheer meatiness of it plus the unique minty BBQ sauce makes for a divine bite.

  • Poutine, $4: mashed potato, mozzarella, sage gravy | Pairs w/ Avery Samael’s Oak Aged Ale, an English Barleywine
  • Chicken Gumbo, $4: diced chicken, onions, bell peppers, okra, sassafras cream, fried rice | Pairs w/ Brouwerij Malheur 12° Belgian Strong Dark Ale

The Poutine basically represents a mozzarella stick, but with mashed potatoes in it as well. The gravy made it soggy, so it crumbled right off the stick. This did not contain meat, which made me sad 😦 Also this beer pairing sorely did not work out for me. On its own, this barleywine would taste great as a sipper. However, due to its strength, it badly damaged my palate.
The Chicken Gumbo basically represents a shish kabob, with no fancy tricks other than the fried (literally) rice.

  • Funnel Cake Dog, $4: smoked andouille sausage, powdered sugar | Pairs w/ Firestone Walker Easy Jack IPA

Take a really spicy sausage, batter it with funnel cake batter, dust some powdered sugar on it, and you have this… Emphasis on really spicy. The beer pairing, for as much IBU’s as it contains, could not douse the fire raging in my mouth.

  • Liver & Onions, $4: grilled chicken livers, roasted pearl onions, red wine demi glace | Pairs w/ Tahoe Mountain Bright Moments Pale Ale

Once you get over the fact that you have liver on a plate in front of you, the flavor comes up remarkably well. The texture of the liver may make some people queasy, so turn off your mind when you eat liver.

  • Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana, $3: rolled in pork rinds | Pairs w/ Almanac Biere de Chocolat Porter

My favorite dessert, since it does not taste that sweet, and it also has pork rinds to give it a salty taste. Imagine a frozen chocolate banana with sea salt, and you have this amazing dessert seemingly easy to make at home.

  • Twinkie, $4: sorrel marshmallow filling, funnel cake fried | Pairs w/ New Belgium Wild² Dubbel

If they could tone down the sweetness, this would have turned out as the most demanded item. The funnel cake batter and the filling’s overbearing sweetness makes this large enough to split with another person.

Miss out on Beachwood On A Stick? Pay attention to their Facebook page, as they always announce events like this in advance there. Even if you cannot make it to a special dinner night, head on over to check out their ever-changing beer selection, plus their menu of great eats.

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Comments
  1. Nice blog you got there. Cool pictures. I really love bbqs. Have you tasted steak bbq? I bet you’d love those as well.

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