I stopped in Local 44 tonight for a late dinner, and to check out their "East Coast vs. West Coast" beer special. Tonight it was Rogue's I2PA v. Brooklyn Brewery's Blast Ale -- both double IPAs. I was tempted, but had to drive, and those 9% beers would have been trouble. So I opted for a Duvel Green to start -- it was crisp and hoppy, quite different from Duvel's signature ale. Very refreshing.
For dinner, I ended up choosing the fish & chips, for one reason: hush puppies included. I am a sucker for cornbread in all its forms, but deep-fried might be the best of all. I've loved hush puppies ever since I was a kid, when our family would go on vacation down south. You don't see them too often in these parts so I jumped at the chance. Local 44 didn't disappoint, either -- the hush puppies were piping hot, springy and slightly sweet. The fish and the chips were fine, but those fluffy spheres of cornbread made my night.
With my meal, I drank a Laurelwood Workhorse IPA, which had been recommended by multiple people at the bar. Good choice. For an IPA, it was surprisingly light-bodied and appropriately hoppy. Austin enjoyed his Laurelwood in Portland back in January, and I can see why -- they make great beer. I hear Local 44 is one of the only establishments in the area to serve their beer. So get down there and get some, before it's all gone. And have some hush puppies while you're there.