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We're-with-al(l)!

We're-with-al(l)!

Pictured here are our friends, wholesale partners & James Beard Award Winners Johnny Clarck and Beverly Kim, owners of Parachute and Wherewithall. I first met Johnny back in 2015 after a brief call about our wholesale program and soon after we ended the call, a visit was arranged at their newly opened restaurant parachute- At the time, both Darko and I performed most of the duties within our company and this particular lead was mine to pursue. Of course, being so small at the time meant having to juggle childcare and by child care I mean, when my wife was at work, I'd have to watch after our now eldest son Julian. So, when the time came for us to meet up and do the tasting at Parachute, we couldn't manage to find anyone to cover for me and I wasn't about to cancel which meant- Julian was coming with me to the tasting. Once I showed up, i had the usual butterflies that one gets with meeting new people and also worried that they'd think that bringing my kid along was "unprofessional" but not long after I arrived and started setting up, they clearly noticed a child sitting on the corner trying to quietly not interrupt whatever dad was doing and not even a few minutes into setting up, both Johnny and Beverly mentioned that they had a boy about the same age and invited Julian to peruse through his toy box at the restaurant. These are the types of interactions and memories that will always stick with me and tell of who they were as professional chefs, as restaurant owners, as parents and as people.

The first time we had the pleasure of visiting Parachute, as customers was nothing short of magical. When you walk into their restaurant,  you quickly take notice of the simplicity of the build because the intentionality is palpable. Their focus is the service and food- it's meant to be a no frills place that focuses on who they are as individuals and as a couple and every bite of their food represents them beautifully. Since then, they have opened their sister restaurant Wherewithal that is equally as amazing and a welcome step to the evolution of their story.

Today, the hustle and bustle of their nightly service has come to a lull. Like many restaurants in the city, they have been forced to explore new ways to keep air parachute and wherewithal lungs because this is Johnny and Beverly's nature- to embrace the challenges of the moment and find creative ways to feed the people. With that said- what can we do to support independent restaurants like Parachute & Wherewithal? With the impending winter approaching and in-dining limited, small independent restaurants will face an entirely new challenge that could likely put a great deal of them out of business. Our appeal to you, the reader, is to encourage you to find ways to support your local, chicago-based, independent restaurant by pre-ordering. If they offer gift cards, buy them. If they have apparel, buy it and proudly sport it.

The next few weeks and months will prove to be a challenge but we must not give up imn finding ways to support not just restaurants, but small-independently owned businesses here in Chicago which are at the core of what makes this city beautiful and amazing to live in.  

-Xavier

Parachute is open from Wednesday - Saturday : 4pm - 8pm  and closed on Sunday through Tuesday. To check out their full menu and order click here to visit their site. 

PS- Check out this wonderful video produced by The Abundance Setting: a project founded by James Beard Award-winning chefs Beverly Kim, Sarah Stegner, and Johnny Clark, The Abundance Setting provides meal relief, career mentorship, and networking opportunities.

 

Crossing the Damen Divide: Goose Island x Metic Coffee

This Saturday (3.23.19), we’re excited to tap into our latest coffee-beer collaboration: Damen Divide! This Dunkelweizen coffee-beer is especially exciting because it marks our first time teaming up with friends and neighbors, Goose Island, not only to produce a coffee-beer but also to learn from their extensive expertise and resources.

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Our relationship with Goose began mostly across the counter. Located just down Fulton and across the titular Damen Ave, members of Goose’s team frequent our #metricwestfulton cafe; we, their taproom. After some pleasantry and product trading, their team invited us down to kick the tires on something more than just a pint. Paul Cade, one of the brewers who led the project, commented, “the value in collaborating is working and learning from a group of people with a different set of skills.” Paul gets at what attracted us to developing Damen Divide. Having crafted delicious coffee-beers in the past, this was our first time working at this scale and bringing our coffee to a new style they wanted to explore. Dunkelweizens are a less well know wheat beer with rich-coloring, dark malts: a beer that was frankly foreign to most of our team. With Goose's help, we learned from their set of skills what we needed to find the perfect coffee pairing.

[Goose Island's Paul Darnaby Cupping in our Lab]

Due to its darker Vienna or Munich malts, Dunkelweizen profiles traditionally consist of toffee, banana, and clove notes. Our coffee palates immediately drifted to Central America in search of a traditional but nuanced flavor to compliment this style's robust body. After a group cupping, all parties landed on a coffee from one of our relationship producers in Honduras, Denis Enamorado. Working with Denis going on four years, we already knew his 2018 lot was special; it burst with pear, mango, and molasses notes that also just so happened to pack the perfect sweet characteristics we sought for this beer. Rather than competing with the “malt base… and the hint of banana from the yeast,” as Paul put it, Denis provided a soft pop to the Dunkel's depth. From there, the Goose flock took to point but generously kept us involved, even allowing us even to help brew the mash (the base) of Damen Divide and experimenting with different recipes of how exactly to introduce the coffee into the brew.

[Metric's Connor, @kondorfalcon, (me!) Stirring Malt at Goose]

[Metric's Jess, @jess_salgado, Assessing Damen Divide Variations on Goose's Tap Deck]

Now several months later and with a lot of consideration, work, and relationship churned into this beer, we’re ecstatic to share Damen Divide with you. Helping commemorate the launch, we'll have retail bags of a custom Damen Divide blend available as well as the opportunity to add a Hellion cold brew sidecar to your 16oz pour of Damen Divide (while supplies last). And if that's not enough, Goose and ManBQue’s own, Jesse Valenciana will be barbecuing German-style brats with a Honduran twist. So this Saturday at 5 pm, join us at our neighbors to share some good times and flavors!

A Full Bouquet: Lonesome Rose Pop-Up

How we partner with others is a common theme at, here, Metric Coffee. As an eclectic group of individuals, you can usually find us discussing our various interests. A through-line, connecting our idiosyncratic tastes, is the humans who unabashedly express themselves through their craft. Collectively we admire the confidence that comes through others’ work, and we work to apply it to our own, whether it be at origin, at HQ, or beyond.

[Image courtesy of @lonesomeroseforeve]

Lonesome Rose (one of the beyond) is a partner of ours we’ve been crushing on for a while now. From confident design to flavor, we're proud to be associated with Lonesome Rose's specific service of "approachability and openness." Since opening last year, we’ve proudly provided LR with their custom “Lover’s Blend,” and now, furthering our rapport and admiration, they’ll be slinging a curated menu of their tacos at our cafe this Saturday (from 8 am to 3 pm).

Along with these delicious tacos, our wild bunch of #metricwestfulton baristas curated three signature-drinks exclusively available for the pop-up! I sat down with Dom (@domrod7) and Ty (@honeyprocessed.destruction), two of the humans who helped craft the drink menu and after sharing some smiles about the excitement for Saturday, they laid out the details. “I was envisioning the perfect fusion of Tex-Mex heat and spices with coffee,” Ty explained: the coffee needed to provide a complimentary backbone to fuse properly. Dom simply recalled an image he had in mind while experimenting: a cowboy out in the plains just stewing and drinking coffee. This imagery and intentionality helped corral delicious ends:

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A Prickly Pear Tonic

A sparkling balance of Proyecto Cabanas espresso, prickly pear concentrate, citric acid, and a little sweetener all for a concoction Ty likened to your morning “juice.”

A Hot Horchata (with an optional shot of Quantum Espresso)

Dom insisted that LR’s signature horchata be featured on the bar, articulating, “chai goes perfect with breakfast and tacos with horchata,” so think of it as your morning, Tex-Mex chai.

A Draft Horchata Aguilar

A delicate but nutty cold-brewed coffee harmonizing with the spice of the horchata over its rice milk’s round sweetness.

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We’re thrilled to be sharing our space with such inspiring humans! “Saturday morning, I want [West Fulton] to feel like it feels at Lonesome Rose on a Saturday night,” Dom eloquently summarized all of our sentiment. Come by #metricwestfulton between 8 am to 3 am for community, creativity, and a carefully-thought menu— just like Lonesome on a Saturday night.