A Beautiful Mess

By mess I mean garbage plate. I’ve always wanted to come up with a Rochester hot sauce, or meat sauce, or whatever you’d like to call it. And this was just the excuse I needed. Linh Phillips from Sir Rocha Says is going to be presenting at the RAF 20 Minutes and a Beer on April 19th (see the Facebook event). We needed a photo for the event creative and I thought why not pay tribute to Linh’s (and my) love all all things food and drink….including Sriracha.

The garbage plate was made famous in Rochester. And while mine is not exactly the classic from Nick Tahou’s, it was super good. I started with Wegmans frozen sweet potatoes fries. I pan fried them in a touch of oil then caramelized them with maple syrup. Those are topped with Wegmans deli macaroni salad. Two Zweigles pop-open red hots come next, followed by the hot sauce and Sriracha.

Don’t forget the Sriracha Hot Stout from Rogue Ales & Spirits. It’s an easy drinking stout with hints of chocolate, malt and coffee. The pepper spice is definitely there, but not nearly as strong as you may think given the bright red Sriracha bottle look. A very interesting beer and an excellent pairing for our plate.


The hot sauce was pretty easy to make and ridiculously good. I mixed a touch of sweet in, to go with the spice….especially since I knew the Sriracha was coming. Given it’s a Rochester recipe, I used the Dundee’s Porter instead of only water….and it’s way better! Here is the recipe.

  • 1 medium or 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 bottle Dundee’s Porter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 8-16 oz. water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet, then fry onion and garlic in oil until lightly browned. Break up meat and add to pan with all spices. Stir continually until browned to keep loose. Once browned, add the porter, tomato paste and brown sugar. Simmer 1 hour, adding water if necessary to keep it moist.

Heather and I shared this and it was splendid! Let us know your “plate” suggestions and favorites and we’ll make another! Cheers.

Irish Red

I realize that St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone. But since the Irish Reds are some of my favorite beers, I figured I should write about and photograph them while they are still fresh and available. To give props to some of our hometown brewing talent, I decided to do both a local ale and a lager. The ale, Custom Brewcrafters St. Patrick’s Irish Ale. The lager, Dundee’s Irish Red Lager.

My esteemed group of tasters all agreed that the CB ale is stronger and hoppier, but still very drinkable. It has a slightly sweeter smell and taste, with a hint of caramel. The Dundee lager is malty and mellow, not strangely, just as the label states. It has a slightly roasted, nutty, smokey aroma and taste.

Both get my thumbs up, it just depends on your mood. Cheers!

Custom Brewcrafters St. Patrick's Irish Ale.

Ah, the color and bubbles of St. Patrick.

The perfect pour!

Too good to shoot full! (and a very cool label!)