Thursday, June 27, 2013

Anton's Taproom

I run by Anton's all the time, as it is on my regular running route. I have been saying (since before they opened) that I really wanted to go there, but for some reason I had yet to try it, until my beautiful wife gathered a group of friends and took me there for my birthday (plus she probably wanted me to stop saying "I really need to try that place"). Admittedly, I had built Anton's up quite a bit, and it still lived up to everything that I had hoped that it would be!

As soon as we sat down, I started to to work my way through the list of saisons that are on tap at Anton's.

We started off with smoked barbecue chicken wings and fried pickles. The wings were so tender that they almost fell off of the bones, I am sure that the only thing holding the meat to the bones was the skin. The wings came with a really nice, house-made bleu cheese dipping sauce (for you bleu cheese heads, like myself). The fried pickles were equally awesome; the batter on the pickles almost tasted like a funnel cake batter (which was surprisingly good). The dipping sauce for the pickles was even better than the bleu cheese, it was a cucumber buttermilk.

Continued my way down the list of saisons.

Entree choices were easy given Anton's adjacent butcher shop and lengthy selections of steaks; we did  what was essentially a tour of steaks. Anton's has filets, strips, and both bone-in & bone-out ribeyes, all of which are available in grain fed or grass fed and 14 or 28 day dry-aged versions (think they have enough steak choices?). *For those that don't know the difference between grain fed and grass fed beef, I will explain that (to the best of my ability) in the below note* The grain fed, dry-aged filet was without a doubt the best steak that I have ever had. The grass fed, dry aged KC strip had a stronger beefier taste, but was not near as tender. Finally, the grain fed, dry-aged bone-out ribeye was also some sort of fantastic. To go with our steaks, we had the seasonal roasted root vegetables (carrots and beets), they were just as good as everything else (I have no idea why people sleep on beets).

Enjoyed some neat whiskey (if it's not good enough to drink neat, its not good enough to drink, IMO) and switched from saisons to a dubbel (before beginning a long explanation about grass fed beef).

*Above referenced note (grass fed vs grain fed beef, in laymen's terms): Once upon a time, cows roamed free and ate grass & hay. Then, somewhere along the line, some beef farmer got the great idea to feed them grain to fatten them up (so that they would sell for more at the market). This industry tactic to add cheap weight to their cattle had the happy side effect of adding fat marbling to the meat, which adds tenderness to the texture and richness to the flavour. This is partially why we chose the grass fed strip, because that cut naturally has a slightly higher fat content, since grass fed beef is lower fat than grain fed beef. Grass fed beef is more natural, lower fat, and has a stronger beefy flavour. Grass fed is favored by many for dietary reasons, including higher omega 3 fatty acids and lower saturated fat levels, but also takes a lot more careful preparation (as the lower fat content makes it a lot less forgiving). Paleo dieters also love the grass fed beef, but the thing that I don't get about these Paleo people is how they have no problem with cell phones, tv, or air conditioning (cavemen didn't have those things either, why just pick on the food? </rant>). Long story short: I see both sides, therefore will continue to eat both types of beef.*

We wrapped up an awesome birthday with a chocolate mousse dessert, which was as good as you could ask it to be!

Anton's also has organically raised tilapia (raised in their basement) that they use in the fish & chips and fish tacos. They are very proud of this and love to give tours, all you have to do is ask.

P.S. I have no idea what kind of crack Urbanspoon voters are smoking, but 72%?!? No way this place is 72%, it's incredible!

Anton's Taproom on Urbanspoon

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