Monday, October 18, 2010

Stare At This Pumpkin Cheesecake and Quiver In It's Presence!

Once we'd soaked up the Ren Fest atmosphere, we moved on to more quality foodiness to finish out the weekend. We headed to nearby Legends for lunch and knowing that we had some beer connoisseurs in the group but also requiring some kid friendliness, we stopped at the Yard House. The Yard House is a chain that features over 100 beers on tap and the list is impressive and exhaustive. I went for a Belgian Strong Ale called Delirium Tremens (pictured) that I totally dug. Chris had the Chimay Triple and Anne and Randy went for the fruity Lindeman's Framboise. K and I had been here a couple of times before; the last time was with Tom and Sharon Fenton from Marietta. It had been awhile since we'd been here and on this day they were crazy busy due to an actual Beer Festival going on at Legends. While we were there, the Fest had run out of tickets and many who came to sample ended up just coming to Yard House to get their ales. The place was packed. The other notable difference is that The Yard House had clearly stepped up their was overflowing with delicious-sounding choices. Of course, that don't amount to a hill o' beans if the food ain't good. It was very good, actually...I had a seriously good Blue Crab Cake Hoagie with avocado, applewood smoked bacon and Cajun aioli on toasted Garlic Bread. Jill had a Chicken Enchilada Stack but her husband Chris had the plate presentation winner: the California Roll appetizer that featured a sizable sushi rice cake with cucumber, snow crab, tobiko, and avocado fan. The runner-up for presentation: the tomatillo garnish on Jill's did they do that? Even young Caitlyn was duly impressed..this articulate seven-year-old declared her grape and cherry soda combination "electrifying"! The whole gang was quite pleased....way to step it up, Yard House!

We returned to Excelsior Springs where the family was staying at the Elms and took them on a tour of the ever-growing downtown. We stopped at Broadway and Penn; they picked up some wine at Willow Spring and revisited the koi pond at English Garden. We headed back to the hotel and split a bottle of Pinot Noir and strolled the grounds. Eventually, we went to Ventana Gourmet Grill for dinner because, according to Keith, we weren't leaving ES until we'd had some of the titular pumpkin cheesecake. Did I tease it enough? Well, now you know how I felt....K had been talking it up all weekend. I've blogged Ventana's masterful housemade cheesecakes before and 'tis the season for pumpkin. We were seated at the Last Supper Table, complete with church pews. My evening brew marked the approaching All Hallow's ice-cold Hobgoblin. We had dinner and it was as good as ever....I had the Zesty Basil Pasta made with broccoli, green onion, fresh basil, crushed red pepper and mushrooms in a light olive oil and garlic sauce. Caitlyn, now getting her first adult tooth, declared it her "noodle cutter". We were finally ready to try some of those wonderful cheesecakes and between us all we tried several....Snickers, the always terrific blackberry with walnut crust, caramel pecan and (cue the choir singing) pumpkin. I love pumpkin cheesecake and I've tried several but this was...The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake I've Ever Had. Creamy, a little spicy, filled with fresh pumpkin....Wow. It was completely worth the tease.

Utterly sated, we walked back to the hotel on a beautiful autumn night. We finished off the weekend on Sunday morning with breakfast at old fave Ginger Sue's, home of the fluffiest of biscuits and that bacon that brings us back every time. We finally found out the ingredients....sugar, pepper and rosemary. We also tried their amazing pancakes for the first time and they were as fluffy as the biscuits.'s back to raw vegetables and water for awhile, but oh, was it worth it.


Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

You are killing me here...with the pumpkin cheesecake.:) Gosh I sure would love of piece of that right now. I've always been intimidated by making cheesecake. Last week, I decided to cook my own pumpkin, I've always used canned. Not sure if I had the wrong kind of pumpkin or what, but it wasn't orange enough to suit me...pumpkin should be orange.:) I ended up making pumpkin butter with it...Good, but still, I wanted it a nice 'orange' color. You have me craving pumpkin cheesecake now.:) *hUgS*

Linda C said...

Wow, what a day you had! Talk about living the good life: Ren Fest, Yard House, Pinot Noir and cheesecake all on the same day. My envy is overwhelming! Great post, love reading about your great adventures!

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