It’s not often where you find a diamond in the rough like Aroma Joe’s, but boy have I found one of the most fun coffee joints in New Hampshire. Located in the middle of Hampton, it’s sign stands like a beacon to passersby. Aroma Joe’s is solely a drive thru. I haven’t had the guts to go there early in the morning, but I’d imagine the traffic is still manageable as it has two drive thru’s and a very speedy staff! Plus, their drink choices and the price point are unbeatable. I get a large coffee with soy milk and try a couple of their flavors (their PB Mocha and Smore’s Fantasy are fabulous!), and it only comes out to $3.00. For soy milk and flavor shots, it’s fantastic! Next time you head to the beach (there are only a couple of warm weekends left!) you should stop here on your way out!
With the summer coming to an end, we decided to spend our sunny weekend outdoors. It’s been hot and humid, but there’s really something special about grilling outside with a nice cold drink in one hand and a plate full of smoky goodness. Matt invited us over, so Jay and I threw together a salad, mashed potatoes, and an assortment of craft beers. The mashed potatoes I made in a crockpot, and were honestly the best potatoes I have ever made. I used this recipe and replaced the cream cheese and half-and-half with unsweetened almond milk. I also used margarine instead of butter (lactose-intolerance at it’s best 😦 ) and it turned out perfect!
There’s a little beer store down the road from where we live (literally called The Beer Store), and we picked up a couple of six packs to pair with the burgers and potatoes. Unknowingly, Matt had grabbed some wine! So we had an awesome assortment to sip at with our various foods.
We grabbed Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout, Otter Creek Copper Ale, and Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Rogue makes some phenomenal beer, I absolutely loved the Hazelnut Brown. It was a little heavy, but not nearly as heavy as the Stout! On top of this, Matt brought Mionetto Prosecco, Allegrini Ripasso Valpolicella, and Terre Rouge Ascent 2006 Syrah. We only opened the Ascent, and that was all we needed! It was perfect and spicy and earthy, very well balanced and paired a little too beautifully with our food.
I fried up the tofu while Matt manned the grill, and I eventually went out to pet his little kitty Nala. She’s the queen of the neighborhood! We kept it simple and cracked open the beer with the food, but afterwards, we ate some fantastic Blueberry Pie from Nashua’s own Crosby’s Bakery and uncorked the Syrah. We had a spread of burgers, mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, a simple garden salad, fried tofu, soft cheese, and strawberries. Matt made his own pickles which we also dug into! So delectable when they’re homemade!
For a BBQ, it makes sense to keep things simple and straightforward. The food is pretty much the showcase of the evening, so we were aiming to keep the drink pairings straightforward, but somehow the Syrah just stole the show. It was a bit aged, which mellowed any harshness that Syrahs can sometimes showcase, and had such beautiful flavors. For a finale of a wine, it really was perfect. I’d suggest to anyone, that branching out a bit in terms of wine can sometimes yield fantastical results. You may even surprise yourself and discover a taste for a new varietal or region.
If anyone is interested in learning about wines or have any basic questions, let me know! I will try to address some basic wine knowledge and pairings soon. It’s an awesome, educational topic and its so much fun to talk about 🙂 Thanks everyone for reading! See you soon!