Korean food, Chinese wine: Bap til you drop on Wednesday at Saveurs de Coree

Just a reminder that Saveurs de Coree, in Xiang-er Hutong, will have Korean food and Chinese wine pairings available on Wednesday — it also did the special yesterday. This is also the first place to stock the light and fruity “Tao Fu” wine from Grace Vineyard in Shanxi.

Diners have two options for rmb69 from 6 PM to 10 PM:

  • Grilled marinated bavette beef steak, shredded, with a glass of Grace “Tao Fu“.
  • Classic bibimbap with a glass of Grace “Tao Fu“.

Extra glasses of Tao Fu are rmb29.

Address: 128-1 Xiang’er Hutong, Jiaodaokou, Dongcheng District. Phone number: 5741-5753.

Beers for Books update: Boat races, Beijing Beatles, Strange Brew, fold-it poems & more

If you got the guts, you might get the glory. (reelingreviews.com)

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Brussels will hold Beijing’s first “Beers for Books” event, on September 9, with the taps pouring from noon to midnight and rmb15 from every brew going to the Library Project. Brews start at rmb30 for Vedett Blonde and Vedett White. Look for a similar “Bubbly for Books” deal to soon be confirmed for those who prefer grape-based beverages whilst fundraising.

From brown ale roast potatoes to La Chouffe battered fish, the event will have a half-dozen beer-themed foods, say co-owners Jessie Wang and Kenn Bermel. There will be a children’s menu, with smaller portions, until 7 PM. I’ll post separately on the eats.

The lowdown on entertainment

Given their longstanding commitment to literary pursuits (think: Paperback Writer) and their equally longstanding commitment to beer (think: they like it), it only makes sense that the Beijing Beatles will play.

As a bonus, lead singer Don Lemmon a.k.a. Ian Burns will hold an unplugged singalong session in the afternoon to teach the youngsters a song or two (think: Yellow Submarine).

Also expect plenty of beer-themed videos, from movies Beerfest and Strange Brew to episodes from The Simpsons (think: Duff beer) and Laverne and Shirley. And expect a few book-themed movies  (think: The Jungle Book). (Have I worn out the “think: [fill in blnak]” gimmick yet? Yes? No? Think about it). Anyway, ff you have suggestions for videos, let me know at beijingboyce (at) yahoo.com.

More stuff:

  • A boat race: We’re looking for two teams of four imbibers — each imbiber will need to drink two beers — to compete for the title of Champion of The First Ever Beijing Beers for Books Boat Race. If you want the glory, and think you have the (beer) guts, let me know at beijingboyce (at) yahoo.com.
  • Lucky draws, including for two 1.5 liter bottles of beer — one of Duvel and one of “Big Chouffe“.
  • A fold-it poem writing contest.

More details are coming, including a minute-by-minute hour-by-hour schedule, but long story short: September 9, noon to midnight, with a Beers for Books food menu, a singalong, movies and TV shows, The Beijing Beatles, poems, draws, and more, plus reps from The Library Project on hand to deal with the money.

Oh, and beer. Lots and lots of beer.

Note: For more info, see Bottoms up: Brussels to hold Beijing’s first ‘Beers for Books’ event.

“Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?” (beijingbeatles.com)

Sips & bites: Tim’s turns five, plus Moment Cafe, Ocean Grounds, Terra, Mao Mao Chong, Nespresso, Saveurs de Coree

Get grounded on coffee after a big night at Tim’s.

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Tim’s Texas BBQ celebrates five years of serving both a steady stream of regulars and of tourists wandering in from The Silk Market. Look for some free beer and eats tonight and for Tim to be wearing his favorite cowboy boots.

Moment Cafe is selling some its sandwich sauces for takeaway, including tartar, garlic and that spicy Indiavolato.

That Nespresso shop in Swire Village South, the north side, is open. Expect to pay rmb50 to rmb58 for a sleeve of ten coffee capsules. Friendly and informative staff.

Ocean Grounds, third floor of U-Town, is introducing its first direct trade coffee this Saturday — Buenos Aires Tabion from El Salvador . Coffee, eats, live music from 2 PM to 4 PM.

Also on Saturday, Terra turns two in Sanlitun South.

On Sunday, Mao Mao Chong will feature sausage rolls, veggie rolls and Greek-style meatballs, at rmb45 per serving, from 1 PM to 4 PM and 6-10 PM. Book yours with the bar by 11 PM tonight.

Looking ahead, bibimbap til you drop and drink til you sink at Saveurs de Coree in Xiang’er Hutong next Wednesday as this place pairs Korean food with Chinese wine. More details here.

Pisano on the patio: Torres China opens first Everwines branch in Beijing

Torres China, which distributes wine from 16 nations and handles two of this country’s top brands — Grace Vineyards and Silver Heights — has opened its first Everwines retail shop in Beijing. The shop is on Xindong Road, close to both Sanlitun and Workers Stadium, and follows on similar outlets in Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai.

Along with retail space, Everwines includes two patios (one out front with plenty of sun, one out back with plenty of shade), two lounge areas (one as part of the retail space, one as an event space and VIP room) and an eight-bottle enomatic machine that Torres’ man in Beijing, Damien Shee, demonstrated earlier this week.

Bottles are available for takeaway or, with a rmb50 service charge, for drinking on site. By the way, that rmb50 service charge applies to all bottles, whether at the lower end of the price scale, like this low-alcohol option for the person who needs to function after a liquid lunch:

Or at the higher end:

Retail: rmb14,968; on-site charge: rmb15,018? There is something fun and quirky about that, although I have a feeling the service charge might get dropped if you actually bought the bottle and drank it in the shop. If anyone wants to plunk down the cash to find out, I’d be happy to tag along.

Anyway, I made a second stop recently with B-Side to drink a bottle of Pisano Tannat, a tasty wine from Uruguay. Nice to find there is a 20 percent discount until September 8.

Sips & bites: Taps’ awesome lunch, Blue Frog’s opening bash, plus Ciro’s Pomodoro, Brussels, Fubar

TAPS BAR & GRILL, the relatively new and revamped German-themed space below Luga’s Villa, has an excellent lunch special from 11 AM to 3 PM, seven days a week. Patrons get the following for a mere rmb48:

  • Two pieces of dark German-style bread
  • Cream of broccoli soup or beef goulash
  • Choice of four mains: 1) Jagerschnitzel and fries or 2) curry sausage and fries or 3) beef goulash on homemade noodles or 4) Schwabentopf, a noodle stew with cream and mushrooms and topped with pork fillet.
  • A soft drink or 200 ml draft German beer

I recommend giving the Schwabentopf or the beef goulash and noodles a try.

Seating options include the patio out front, the lower level (you might have to swat a few mosquitoes) and a zone in-between with tables and lounge space. The wait staff  is polite, the wireless signal is good, the chairs are relatively comfy and the self-serve beer taps are nearby in case one wants to invite one’s friends for an impromptu drinking session. The only downside: a kitchen staff that can easily be heard shouting and, perhaps worse, sneezing despite the moderately loud music.

Other specials at Taps:

  • Monday: Buy one, get one schnitzel (4 PM to midnight)
  • Tuesday: Buy one, get one German draft beer, with  Gaffel, Radelberger, Eibauer and Paulaner as options (4 PM to midnight)
  • Wednesday: discounts on sausages, with plates starting from rmb38 (4 PM to midnight)
  • Nightly: Four meat and bun options, including sausage, breaded pork and meat loaf, at rmb18 (midnight to close)

The food menu includes giant pretzels at rmb18, cheese and meat plates from rmb58, 300-gram sirloins with potatoes at rmb135, and much  more, not to mention a good range of German beer options.

Nali Patio first-floor original CIRO’S POMODORO has closed shop, joining the likes of Let’s Burger and Pantry Magic. The veteran continues to be The Saddle Cantina. I’m not sure why Ciro’s closed — perhaps, like Let’s Burger, lease renewal coincided with a rent increase? — but this situation caught many by surprise, mainly because they never thought this place would last so long. Me, too, given my first three visits included witnessing a member of the kitchen staff through the restaurant with a dripping plunger (see Ciro’s Pomodoro: As its slogan goes, ‘Expect the Unexpected’). The burning question is what happens to all those photos of the

BLUE FROG will hold an opening bash at its Indigo branch in Lido on August 31, from 7 PM to late. If this party is anything like the last one, expect plenty of food, drink and fun (see Jump-start: Twelve notes from the Blue Frog You-Town launch). Entry is rmb100 for adults and rmb50 for children, with all proceeds to Operation Smile. The last bash raised more than rmb35,000.

BRUSSELS no longer includes a drink with its Buffalo chicken burger lunch special, though at rmb20, it still offers good value (and comes with fries). The rmb58 fish fry on Fridays, from 5 PM until close, has proven popular. Brussels has also started serving rmb10 Mojitos from 9 PM to 10 PM on Saturdays. “They are real, full-size Mojitos and we don’t skimp on them,” says Kenn Bermel.

Fans of the rmb50 Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic at FUBAR now need an extra ten-kuai note when the bill comes. The budget conscious can always go from 1 AM to 4 AM on Fridays and Saturdays for the rmb100 all you can drink deal — and the Double Dawg deal: two wieners, one bun, rmb25 —  though I’d take a return to the original Hendrick’s Tonic price instead. Fubar has rmb10 Mojitos on Wednesdays from 7 PM to 9 PM and rmb10 Sangria on Thursdays from 7 PM to 9 PM.