Everybody loves a combination of two great tastes, right? Peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, meat and potatoes. But what about whiskey and steak?
Earlier this week, restaurant chain Applebee’s introduced a new set of menu items with one special ingredient: alcohol. According toÂ National Restaurant News, dishes in the new “Spirited Cuisine” category utilize alcohol to deglaze, as a base for demi-glace or as flavoring for the foods:
“New dishes include Napa Chicken & Portobellos, a grilled chicken breast in a cabernet demi-glace with onions, Portobello mushrooms and Parmesan over a bed of zucchini, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and crispy red potatoes…Â Also on the menu is Brew Pub Pretzels & Beer Cheese Dip, which includes soft pretzel sticks finished with sesame seeds, coarse salt and crushed red pepper that can be dipped in a white cheddar sauce spiked with craft beer.Â The two new menu items join the Double Barrel Whisky Sirloin that was added to the menu last year. That dish has two 4-ounce blackened sirloins with caramelized onions, garlic mashed potatoes and a bourbon-based sauce.”
While these do sound like tasty items, particularly for a chain restaurant of Applebee’s magnitude, I found it interesting that these items are available to eaters of all ages. Dan Smith, spokesperson for Applebee’s, reportedly told The Huffington Post that anybody can order from the Spirited Menu.
Though many people still believe in the ol’ “alcohol evaporates when you cook it” myth (myself included until probably just last year), this isn’t true–up to 50% of the alcohol can remain. Laws vary state-to-state on all alcohol distribution, including selling food with alcohol in it, so I’m not surprised that this is an all-ages menu. But I am curious about whether or not other people will be willing to serve it to their children. Chances are, this won’t cause much disruption since cooking with booze typically requires fairly little, but there are plenty of parents who wouldn’t allow their kids to eat liquor-filled chocolates which also have quite a low alcohol content.Â After all, it’s one thing if you cook with alcohol and are aware of how much you put into your own dishes, but when that’s out of your control, does that make you less comfortable with the idea?
Photo: flickr userÂ ejwines2