I’ve found myself neglecting this blog, believing that each post must be epic and detailed, loaded with carefully cropped photographs, the recipes triple-checked.
And while my favorite food blog excels at that level of output, I miss out sharing with you the little discoveries in my daily food life.
Like BBQ lasagna.
Beer Run, a beer store and restaurant in Charlottesville, stocks an unbelievable array of brews (and wine). It’s not one of those sprawling alcohol warehouses, but more of a carefully curated collection of beers from around the United States and the world. The beers on tap are always an interesting assortment. The staff is friendly and more than willing to share their encyclopedic knowledge of breweries. We recently found a mini keg of Munich Hofbrau Oktoberfest beer for $22, the sweet, freshly brewed fest beer we love, delivered all the way from Germany.
Beer Run also offers a delicious brunch, lunch, and dinner – fresh, creative fare with an organic and local bent. Think scallion cheddar biscuits, or local Polyface sausage links for breakfast. Or a Madison County burger on a pretzel bun with house-made chipotle ranch.
The menu also features a lasagna of the day. On the weekend we stopped by, lucky us, that was BBQ lasagna. I did a split-second double-take and then immediately knew what I would order.
The dish comes pipping hot, creamy and dreamy – soft pasta layered with pulled pork, tangy barbecue sauce, and luscious threads of cheese. The marriage of lasagna noodles and barbecue sauce is brilliant. Heavy and rich, the combination is pure comfort food.
The meal reminded me that so many familiar dishes can be viewed as templates more than fixed recipes, vehicles for new or beloved flavors and quirky ingredients. Pizza, with its endless array of toppings. Muffins, with so many potential fillings. Quiche, enchiladas, grilled cheese, rice, beans, noodles – they all cry out for new formulations. They all want their own version du jour.