Or at least that’s what “Cleanse” Diana did in her wildest dreams.
The real Diana – the "Diana Takes a Bite" Diana whose stomach may or may not resemble a pregnant lady’s when she eats large quantities of food – opted for a different tact…
Consume. It. All.
And then go to Pazzo Gelato for two scoops of ice cream after.
I told myself that I wasn’t going to go completely overboard when my friend Katie and I arrived at San Antonio Winery yesterday afternoon for the Beer Boutique Tasting and Food Pairing. After a two week break from indulgent eating and drinking (excepting my mother’s birthday and a glass of wine at Laurel Tavern this past Thursday), I was feeling confident in my ability to resist the temptation of an all-you-can eat and drink buffet.
Especially considering that I’m not a beer girl, and Mexican food doesn’t typically have a kryptonite effect on my iron will like chocolate or pizza or “D,” all of the above and more.
It started out all well and good. I savored my pour of a crisp Maddalena Pinot Grigio (wine was also available at the event), took one chicken taco instead of both the chicken and the carne asada, and when asked if I desired white beans, I said (a smidge too girl-on-a-diet-esque), “Just a little.”
My black rectangular plate looked refined in those early moments – chic even, and I was proud of my ability to ignore the sweet Siren’s song luring me toward gluttony. I thought to myself, “I can do this. I can be a normal person who doesn’t eat her weight in food and then go back for more.”
And then I saw them. Not one, not two, but four different types of tamales.
In less than one minute my plate went from a chic runway model to a prime candidate for TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” It was a train-wreck, and after two weeks of eating whole grains, fruits & vegetables, and lean proteins, I was more than a little ready to hitch a ride on the Overindulgent Eaters Express.
As the live jazz band began filling the space with an ebullient energy, I found my pulse bobbing to the beat of food lust.
“I’m sorry, I can’t focus on talking right now.” I apologized to Katie as I eagerly tore into the El Salvador chicken tamale at one of the round tables set up for the 200+ guests. Stuffed with potatoes, succulent pieces of white meat chicken, and other curious items like peas and raisins, it should have been called the “Everything but the kitchen sink” tamale. Or, in valley girl speak, the “Like Seriously Rando” tamale. Either way, it was really really good, and outshone the pork tamale, chicken taco, rice and beans, corn salad, and cilantro cabbage salads also renting space on my plate.
“I think I need a break.” Katie moaned as we headed to the beer stand to sample one of the nine beers available for tasting. (Note: Drinking counts as a “break.”) I had started with the lightest beer– the Czech Rebel Pilsner, and opted to proceed to the next lightest – the aforementioned Mission Ale – next.
Emboldened by my discovery that I’m not entirely repulsed by extremely cold light beers served in cute little glasses, I forgot all about my plan for a “break” and headed back to the buffet for a carne asada taco. And when that was gone, I headed back to the beer station for another “break” to sample the Weihenstephaner Weisse from Germany. The beer stirred up my appetite once again, and I was soon holding two more plates – one with sausage and multiple mustard dipping sauces, and another with lean strips of jerky-like tri-trip and fries.
At this juncture in the afternoon, my food baby had reached its second trimester. I would have been completely content to call it quits (after a brief foray with the mini brownies and blueberry coffee cake) were it not for the words, “my favorite beer here.”
My ears perked up at the sound of a potential missed opportunity. Despite the “no vacancy” sign that was now hanging over my stomach, I couldn’t leave without trying "the best beer here."
Throwing caution to the nonexistent wind (the event was held indoors), I strode over to the nearest beer tasting station and proudly thrust my glass across the make-shift bar.
“I’ll have the Great White, please.”
Now, as previously discussed, I am not a beer girl. While I did do a 30-second “Keg Stand” in college, my taste for the frothy brew has formed an inverse relationship with my taste for wine. I love wine therefore I now (almost always) hate beer.
Or so I thought.
The Great White from the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, California was a, wait for it, “Eureka” moment for me. Since I don’t possess the beer vocabulary to describe the taste (other than "yummy"), I’ll let the words on the disposable coaster do the talking.
“An American version of a Belgian style, this unfiltered beer has a translucent golden color. It has a full-bodied mouth feel, yet is surprising light to drink. Great White is topped with a hint of citrus and a secret blend of herbs, for a crisp refreshing finish. KILLER BEER.”
It was the perfect way to, wait for it, “kill” off “Cleanse” Diana once and for all.
At least it was until Katie and I exited the 101 freeway and decided that we had to have ice cream too.
Two scoops of blueberry white chocolate and fudge mascarpone later (courtesy of Pazzo Gelato), and I was ready to be wheel barrowed into the delivery room.
I named her “Cleanse Diana” in memory of the girl who died and went to Heaven yesterday.
May she rest in peace.
San Antonio Winery
737 Lamar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031