Saturday, February 14, 2015

There is something wrong with this picture.

To begin, let it be understood that my head does not customarily explode over the topic of "proper" glassware for better beer.

That said, on Friday evening, we stopped for a bite in an out-of-town eatery. We were away form the weekend. My first beer was a draft Rodenbach Classic, served in a signature glass.

My second was a bottle of Orval, coming in at $9. The price seemed normal to me. The bottle was brought to our table by a server who already had conceded that he was new. He popped the cap, placed the bottle on our table, and started to walk away.

Pardon me, I said. Could I, er, have a glass for this?

Of course.

As you can see, he returned moments later with a chilled shaker pint, of which he was very proud, pausing to observe how nicely cold the glass was.

Okay. It's better than drinking from the bottle.

I shrugged and enjoyed my merguez sandwich. Every other aspect of our dining experience was exemplary -- apart from Orval in a chilled shaker pint, and it isn't really a server's fault that he or she has not been taught properly. That's management's job.

Now, teaching moments are elusive on a Friday night in any busy place, and I offer none of this in a spirit of "slag 'em with one star" internet snark. As noted, things were fine otherwise. I don't even believe that signature glasses are necessary; experience has taught how much more likely it is that a branded Orval glass goes out the door in a coat pocket or purse than bare, see-through glass.

A generic, wide-rimmed, quasi-Belgian glass of any sort would have worked just fine with my Orval.

My overarching point is gentle and constructive: Folks are going to detect a higher bar and expect more from an eatery called Taste of Belgium, because in Belgium, there are precious few frosted shaker pints. Just saying.

I still heartily recommend Taste of Belgium, which is located on Vine Street in OTR.

No comments: