It’s a little before 9 a.m. and the creatures in my bedroom, which probably could more accurately be called an aviary as there are more birds sleeping there than people, let me sleep in until almost 7 o’clock.
I have a load of laundry started and I washed and cleaned some floors, with roomba’s help. The cats are fed and the dishes are going.
I had the pleasure of hanging out last night with my good friend Bill, also known as Billy Crash from Crash Palace Productions.
Bill has a horror-themed blog focused on horror movies and I don’t hesitate to say he is an expert on the genre. He was just lamenting last night that he hadn’t seen a movie worthy of inclusion on his “best of” lists since 2016.
To read more of Billy’s work—he has lots of degrees, used to be a college professor and has enough eclectic interests to either intrigue or piss off just about everybody, visit Crash Palace Productions.
I’ve written for him a few times: Search results for me on Bill’s site.
He and his partner-in-crime have a podcast, too.
So, anyway, there I go getting sidetracked again. Bill and I had dinner and drinks last night as I’ve been dying to try Banter’s Hard Cider which is in Stroudsburg, Pa. I think Bill might be their biggest fan.
First of all, being a good cockatoo mama, I got Nala a new toy to entertain her while I was gone.
After Bill and I had the preliminary getting-caught-up chatter, we headed downtown. Stroudsburg is an odd little university town that thanks to the influx of people from higher priced housing markets has struggled with a clear identity in the 40+ years of my life.
Banter’s is a very small establishment with various home-concocted ciders. The service is excellent, the atmosphere jovial and the staff knows their stuff, which in this case is cider.
The first time you visit, Banter’s suggests a tasting flight. They serve the flight from dry to sweet to dessert, and currently one peppery oddball in the middle, Green Drank.
The first selection was Bön, a dry cider with a flavor reminiscent of champagne. Of the unflavored ciders, I prefer Bön to the sweeter more typical Overcast.
The third selection was Jack Horner, so named for the plum in the mix. I enjoyed this definitely more than Overcast, as at this point sweet hard ciders have become a boring norm.
But Green Drank blew them out of the water. It starts as a semi-dry cider with kiwi, jalapeño and bell pepper. It smells peppery, but the spice was milder than it sounds. It was like a tickle in the throat versus full-out heat. Loved it, contemplated bringing home a growler.
But I didn’t. Because I’d have to drink it. And with the stress I’ve been under I didn’t think a growler in the house was a good idea.
Next came Dippins, the salted caramel cider. Delicious. Amazingly delicious. But I don’t think I could drink a whole glass unless I got one of the cocktails where they cut it with chocolate vodka. But… I’m not a fan of vodka. Or chocolate.
That left Deez Coconuts. Probably my second favorite after Green Drank. Coconut and chocolate notes. I couldn’t taste the chocolate, but I didn’t really want to. My favorite beer ever is Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, and I think I prefer my chocolate as stout, not in cider.
As I finished the flight, Bill asked if I had picked my favorite and if I was ready for a glass or a cocktail to which I promptly responded, “Not without dinner.”
So we went to La Morena BBQ, which is Mexican-influenced Portuguese food. And I had a tender, flavorful beef Baracoa sandwich and the French fries Bill has proclaimed the best in Stroudsburg.
Then we returned to Banter’s where I met some of Bill’s friends. It was incredibly delightful to meet Bill’s housemate, because he had told me so many wonderful things about her. The other gentleman was nice, too, but he dissed Eminem and I was too tired to start defending one of my favorite public figures.
Which that might be a great post for another day.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
**This post got interrupted and started again at 11 a.m. as my mom and I had a really lovely coffee date in my kitchen. Hey, Mom. That was really nice. Can we do it again soon?