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Random bites: The Distillery, remembering Ron Higgins

If I had a hammer...

It had better be a “hog hammer” from The Distillery’s new menu. As if being the city’s pioneering craft beer bar wasn’t enough, this new menu highlights quirky little bites the bar has become famous for – and added another that should propel pork lovin’ diners into the stratosphere. Hog hammers are individual ribs neatly rimmed of excess fat, Frenched on one end to provide a neat handle and tender to the bone. A variety of dipping sauces are offered – but I’ve come to like my hammers straight up. An appetizer portion is plenty (three hammers) but heartier diners may opt for the four–hammer basket with choice of fries and slaw. Regulars tell me the new fish taco is awesome – next time.

Hollywood woulda loved a hammer

Local and visiting foodies have an empty spot in their hearts with the passing of Ron Higgins, whose Foody Tour broke new ground when it launched. Higgins had already established himself as a force in the hospitality industry with his popular movie and ghost tours, and his foody, martini and shopping tours gave local businesses a shot in the arm.

I would expect nothing less from a man whose perpetual smile, sincere bear hugs and sense of wonder always made my day. Bon appetit my friend, until we eat again.

Cooking with beer

The Magic Hat Brewing Co. folks (see my other column) have assembled a cool collection of inventive summer recipes built around beer. From main courses on the grill to dips and desserts, the recipe collection has something for everyone – and includes a shopping list for each recipe.

Find the concoctions online at



Pork lovers, meet the Hog Hammer