The Washington Times-Herald

December 20, 2011

Pub Crawl takes stamina, testing

By Todd Daniel Lancaster
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — Most people know me from the Times Herald’s food page for my recent tailgating series that I tried to put together throughout most of the fall.

I hope the tips led to some enjoyable afternoons both before and after game time, because that is really the part I do best.

With that being said, people have asked me, “What about basketball season?”

The only solution I could come up with was a weekly pub crawl through some of the finer establishments throughout Southern Indiana, places where you might find a good pulled pork sandwich, fried catfish fiddlers and a local libation.

I think the only way to be fair is for me to truly spend as much time as possible researching these things and cataloging the finest, in my humble opinion, pizza, wings and other things that can be piled high and washed down with a craft brew.

I don’t want to come across as a critic, instead, I would like to think of this as more of “what was really good” instead of the “Gordon Ramsey visits greater Otwell.”

I’m hoping to find the kind of places where you might want to stop for a bite before a game or for a drink afterward. In fact, I might even throw in the occasional arena concession stand or snack bar where you might curb your hunger (aka the concession stand in Mt. Vernon Junior High that had homemade cinnamon rolls and fresh coffee ready for a 9 a.m. junior high tourney two weeks ago — first rate. Officiating during the tourney? Not quite so first rate).

So if you know a place where the jalapeno poppers are hand-breaded, the pizza is fired in a brick oven or the brisket spends 12 hours over smoke, let me know and I’ll try to check it out.

As a homebrewer, I’m particularly partial to ales and beers that have a little imagination, but as the old golf saying goes, “the only truly great round I’ve ever had was the round someone else paid for at the 19th Hole.”

I’m not afraid of giving the occasional shoutout to local places. However, I think the first couple of weeks I will focus on road trips.

So if you see me out eating a rack of ribs or a big tenderloin, just know I’m probably not enjoying it — it’s just my job — but someone’s got to do it.