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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back from Tokyo!

I'm back from Tokyo and sitting at the bar in Shultzy's -- traveling is fun, but it's good to be home. And I did try to do some "homework" over there, too.

The first exercise was palate broadening. We had an informal tasting of unusual tidbits this morning: strawberry-chocolate coated Cheetos (consensus: not good), Ritz Bits sandwiches with coffee-flavored filling (consensus: great coffee aroma would go well with Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka shots), and melon-flavored white chocolate crunch (no consensus, but no one liked the pale green color).

Then there were the things I had to try there and couldn't bring home. First Kitchen is a major Japanese fast food chain with a broad menu and many limited time items. This trip, I ate a Curry Dog, and it was surprisingly good; the dog had a nice snap to it and the curry was surprisingly spicy. Maybe we'll have to explore that one in the R&D Lab.

I saw, but did not manage to eat at R-Burger which sells burgers on Chinese "Bao" buns. R-Burger is a small chain with two locations that sells burgers featuring marine collagen, insecticide-free Shiso leaf topping, and a burger sauce with 19 ingredients. I'd like to try one and see what it's like; the fillings seem tasty, but I'm not so sure about the buns -- it seems like they would be too filling and sticky. I'll have to try it next visit.

I also didn't get a chance to eat at Tokyo's Madison Park Cafe. Really! MPC is the restaurant's name, like a tribute to its namesake Seattle neighborhood. They even serve Seattle's Best Coffee there! They feature hotdogs with intriguing names like "Tokyo Taxi Dog", "A Dog That Swims", and "Hold The Dog". The one that sounds most appealing to American palates is the "Pig Dog" with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado & horseradish sauce. That'll have to wait for next trip, too!

I did some drinking, too. I found Hoegaarden on tap in Kabukicho, and had 0.25L for about US$8.00 (yikes!). But, given that a bottle of Bud at the same place was $7.00, Hoegaarden wasn't a bad deal at all. The bar also had Bass Ale, Guinness, and Asahi Super Dry on tap.

And finally, just when you thought outsourcing was the only threat to jobs these days, there's the robotic beer pourer. Japan has actually had these for a while; they're a standard fixture in most airport lounges. It's a machine that pours a perfect beer every time using a spigot that starts at the bottom of the glass and then recedes as the glass fills. You get a perfect beer with a perfect head every time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's breakfast time in Tokyo...

Don just sent me the latest Shultzy's news by e-mail, so the What's on Tap list is up to date. There are lots of interesting new beers: HB Lager, Hacker-Pschorr Munich Dark, Bayern Maibock (6.7% ABV), and Franziskaner Weisse in addition to the usual favorites.

Here in Japan, there are some strange new varieties of canned beer. "Clear" beers are very popular -- aren't most canned beers pretty clear? They also have zero carbohydrate beers. There even are zero carbohydrate beers with the same alcohol as regular beers (5.0% ABV). I have pictures and may have to taste them before I leave (or fill my luggage with them).

No chimichurri cheesesteaks here, but I did try something called Sea Pineapple (or Sea Squirt) and it was... interesting. OK, it was actually pretty disgusting, but I finished it. It's breakfast time, and I'm heading out; today's breakfast treat: ramen, gyoza, and beer.

Kio Tsukete! (take care!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Today it's a UEFA Champions Semifinal match with lunch

Yes, there's still at least two baseball games on TV today, but we're also showing the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals between Liverpool and Chelsea (Liverpool's up 1-0 at 52:44). With all of these UK teams still in the competition, it's too bad that we don't have Bangers and Mash on the menu this month.

Tomorrow it's Manchester United vs. Barcelona in the other semifinal, and gametime is 11:30 am.

We also have the Fox Soccer Channel here at Shultzy's, and if I've decoded their programming schedule correctly, we have two UEFA Cup Semifinal matches on Thursday: Rangers FC (Scotland) vs. ACF Fiorentina (Italy) and Bayern München (Germany) vs Zenit (Russia). The games play back-to-back live at 11:30 am, with the first replayed at 5 pm and the second replayed at 8pm.

Shultzy's in Japan? No, but I will be.

I'm headed to Japan tomorrow for a few days, so there won't be any blog updates until I get there. Emily will be sending me beer updates via SMS which I will then relay to the Shultzy's Twitter account and on to the blog. I will have my laptop with me, so I'll keep you up to date with any Shultzy's news that occurs in my absence. While I'm in Japan, there will be plenty of eating and drinking, though in all likelihood I'll have to wait until I return to get my Chimichurri Cheesesteak and 1/2 liter of Bitburger.

See you when I get back!

We're open from 7am-Midnight weekdays. OK, not quite...

I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery.
When I got there, the guy was locking the front door.
I said, 'Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours.'
He said, 'Yes, but not in a row.'
-- Steven Wright (comedian)

Shultzy's is now open from 7 am to midnight weekdays, but there's an important asterisk. We're actually not open from 10 am-11 am, so our "real" weekday hours are 7 am-10 am and 11 am-midnight. Our hours on the website and the restaurant now reflect that, so we don't disappoint the occasional customers who show up at 10:30 to find a "closed" sign in the door.

What do we do during that hour? Accept deliveries, prep for lunch (onions and peppers don't chop themselves), tidy up, update the beer menu, go shopping, and the other gazillion little things that we can't do when we're focusing on our customers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Great pictures of Shultzy's online

And we didn't even take the pictures! :)

Euphtw has a blog called Blue Seattle. For many of our friends, the blog might be difficult to decipher because it's in Chinese (fortunately, my Singaporean-Chinese wife is conveniently located in my living room). If you don't have a Chinese wife conveniently located in your living room, you can try the Google "translated into English" version, but it's mostly a demonstration that computers, like me, have a long way to go in understanding written Chinese.

Back in mid-February, Euphtw did a write-up on Shultzy's, but what especially amazed both Don and I was the quality of the photos. They are fantastic! EuphTW knows a lot about lighting and composition -- the photos reminded me of some professional photos of the old Shultzy's from long, long ago that were done as part of a Microsoft advertising campaign.

I think we know who to talk to next time we're in need of great photos of Shultzy's. Thanks Euphtw!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Preview of Señor Shultzy's 5 Days of Cinco de Mayo

I just finished the poster, so you'll read it here on the blog even before folks in the restaurant see it...

¿What’s better than the Cinco de Mayo?

Señor Shultzy’s
¡5 Days of Cinco de Mayo!
May 1st to May 5th

Mexican Beer Specials
(Bohemia, Negro Modelo, Corona)

Sauza Gold Margaritas
(Con lima fresca/With fresh lime)

Our new Breakfast Burritos
(Spicy Chorizo, Bacon, or Veggie)

El Bitburger Mexicano`
(Con lima fresca/With fresh lime)

Nacho Cheese Fries
Nacho Cheesesteaks
(Amazingly, both are trans fat free. Really!)

¡Viva Los Bratwursteros!
(Long Live the Sausage Connoisseurs)

Friends of Shultzy's

A special shout-out to the first person on our Friends of Shultzy's blogroll...

John Wulff is a blogging Shultzy's regular and the first person to find and subscribe to our Twitter feed. For those of your interested in what's on tap, Twitter can give you the latest news on your favorite beers, and you can choose to get updates on your PC or on your cell phone via SMS. Also, as we get going, we'll have special offers for our Twitter followers, so stay tuned for those.

Thanks, John!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Play Ball!
Yankees -- Red Sox (or is it Red Sox -Yankees?)

Big Apple vs. Beantown
A-Rod vs. Manny and Big Papi
Mussina vs. Beckett
Manhattan Clam Chowder vs. New England Clam Chowder
"Enhanced" Roger Clemens vs. Young Roger Clemens...
Whose side are you on?

The winner of this game takes the lead in the AL East with only 145 more games to play.


First pitch is at 4:05 Seattle time, during Happy Hour.
Baron Bock (pint for $3.00) or Bitburger (1/2 liter for $3.50)
Hot Wings, MiniBurgers, Chili Dogs, or Chili Cheese Fries for $5

"Sliders" come to Late Night

Last month, we introduced MiniBurgers (AKA "Sliders") to our new Happy Hour menu, and now we're adding the to our Late Night menu.

Each order of MiniBurgers comes with three miniature beef burgers, served on toasted rolls, with chopped romaine, a slice of roma tomato, a pickle slice, and Shultzy’s burger sauce. It's like one great burger in three neat little pieces. It's no surprise that our customers who've tried them love them with our selection of premium German beers on tap.

Until now, you've had to come in at Happy Hour or ask your server to beg the cook to make you some at another time. But now, they're a regular part of our Late Night menu. So, from about 9 pm 'til close, you can get your MiniBurger fix any night of the week. Come on in for a MiniBurger and your favorite beer!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Signs of spring

I don't know if the swallows returned to Capistrano this year, but the Seattleites have returned to Shultzy's patio. On sunny days, it's a great place to hang out with food, friends, and beer (not necessarily in that order).

The other recent return to Shultzy's is Major League Baseball. Shultzy's has 5 flat screen TVs and MLB games on satellite, so when the Mariners or your favorite team is playing, stop by. If the game you're interested in isn't on when you come in, ask your waiter or the bartender, and we'll try to put it on.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What is Chimichurri?

Spy photo of Chimichurri sauce from the Shultzy's R&D Lab.

The origin of this month's cheesesteak was fairly simple: free association.

Cheesesteak -> Steak -> Argentina -> Chimichurri

I've been to Argentina a couple of times, and Argentinians both love steak and cook great steaks. Argentina's favorite condiment is probably Chimichurri, a spicy-tangy pesto-like sauce that goes great on grilled beef. What's in the sauce? Fresh parsley and garlic, lemon, olive oil, and a little crushed red pepper.

So, it wasn't a great leap of imagination to think that it might make a dandy cheesesteak.

So, off to the Shultzy's R&D labs. We started off with a Chimichurri steak with no cheese; I loved it, but it's too hard to explain a cheesesteak without cheese to customers, so we started exploring cheese combinations. Provolone worked best, and we were on our way. The sandwich was tasty, but a few slices of sweet roma tomatoes perfectly complemented the other ingredients in taste and texture.

And, the Chimichurri Cheesesteak was born...

But we weren't quite finished. Emily Schulze liked the ChimiCheesesteak (as it is affectionately known here), but wanted to try the same preparation with a veggie burger. Eureka! The Chimichurri Veggie Burger was born. Emily tried adding some grilled onions and liked it, so some onion-lovers may want to try that option. Yes, I know Argentina's not known for vegetarians, but perhaps they'll forgive our successful experimentation.

What's on tap?

As we were updating our menu of rotating beer taps, I thought it might be good to update you about what we've got on draft at present (in alphabetical order).

Alaskan Amber (Juneau. AK)
: Richly malty and long on the palate with just enough hop backing to make this a well-balanced “alt” style beer (16 oz. pint 3.95).

Bass Ale: (England): Calm, quick, sweet initial taste. Malty, unobtrusive, yet zesty, aroma has a hint of caramel (16 oz. pint 3.95).

Bitburger Pilsner (Germany): Very pale & extremely light. Clean, soft maltiness & a firm hop finish. Germany’s first Pilsner, since 1883.

Franziskaner Weisse (Germany) : A light, fruity, spicy aroma that continues to dominate on the palate with a hint of cloves and bananas. Originally brewed in 1363.

Hacker-Pschorr Alt Munich Dark (Germany): Dark chestnut color; with a smooth head, light creamy body, and rooty dryness in the end.

Hales Cream H.S.B. (Seattle, WA): Complex, deep amber color that’s both smooth and aromatically bitter. Reminiscent of the famous “special bitters” of Great Britain (16 oz. pint 3.95).

Hoegaarden White Bier (Belgium): Flavored with coriander seed and Curacao orange peel. A very light and refreshing unfiltered white wheat beer.

Leffe Brune (Belgium): Robustly flavored brown ale with a rich aroma of roasted caramel and hints of chocolate and dark fruit. Slightly sweet, balanced by a spicy hop finish (0.25L 3.95).

Warsteiner Lager (Germany): Rich golden pilsner with a smooth, full-bodied taste and refreshing hop finish.

Except, as noted, all beers are priced at $9.50 for a liter, $4.95 for a half liter, or $3.95 for 0.3 liters. Select German lagers are on special Mondays (3.50/half liter), Hoegaarden is on special Wednesdays (3.99/half liter), and Bass Ale is on sale on Sundays ($3.99/20 oz. pint).

Beers are also on special at Happy Hour (3-6 weekdays and noon-closing Sunday) with a
Select German Lager 1/2 liter for 3.50 or a microbrew pint for $3.00.