Burger joint Tucker Duke's Lunchbox in Deerfield Beach is striving to marry America's comfort food with its comfort beverage of choice, beer, for a series of craft-beer-oriented multicourse dinners.
Starting on Tuesday, July 8, at 8 p.m., the small and local establishment run by Cutthroat Kitchen winner Chef Brian Cartenuto, will feature a four-course meal with snacks paired with beers from Cigar City Brewing.
See also: Tucker Duke's Lunchbox Offers Unpretentious, Small-Town Food
This will be the first of four such events through the months of July and August, a real treat for the locals.
"We [at Tucker Duke's] are really huge craft beer fans," Jay Oakes owner and "Executive Vice President of Cuddling" told us. "It started a few years ago for me. I was always the standard Bud/Miller/Coors guy. Then last year, I went to Funky Buddha in Oakland Park, tried their OP Porter, and it opened my eyes to craft beer."
After attending a few different beer dinners across the area, Oakes found himself with a plan. "I thought it was an awesome idea, to give people some different special beers and let them see what the chefs are up to. Since we love Cigar City, Funky Buddha, and Wynwood Brewing, we wanted to do this summer series."
The menu for the first dinner (on July 8) is set to be:
SNACKS FOR THE TABLE
House made bbq tubed pork rinds, paired with Invasion Pale Ale.
Delta tamales with smoked pork and salsa rojo, paired with Keegan Nightman Black Ale.
Vietnamese style shrimp toast with braised bok choy and spicy tucker sauce, paired with Cucumber Saison.
"Roast Beast" red wine-braised flat iron with parmesan truffle fries, chimichurri and tabasco aioli, paired with Tocobaga Red Ale.
Strawberry cobbler with yellow cake topping and whipped buttermilk, paired with Cubano Espresso.
Is Cigar City Brewing not local enough for you? Then wait for July 22, when the Duke will be bringing in Miami's Wynwood Brewing for a menu consisting of:
SNACKS FOR THE TABLE
Fried plantain chips and guacamole, paired with La Rubia, a blonde ale.
Homage to El Mago Fritas: Tucker Duke's version of fritas with potato sticks and cheese in slider form, paired with Blonde Bock.
"Island Duo" Father Francisco steamed mussels & conch and corn fritters, paired with Father Francisco, a Belgian golden strong.
Jerk rubbed cornish game hens with plantain sweet potato mash, broccolini and spiced rum sauce, paired with Wynwood Fox, a double red ale.
Tres leches cake, paired with Vanilla Pop's Porter.
Finally, on August 5, get down for Oakland Park's Funky Buddha Brewery and the delectable menu that's currently to be:
SNACKS FOR THE TABLE
House charcuterie with mostarda, paired with Combat Rock amber.
"Asparagus Stir Fry" - asparagus with mustard seed, ginger, curry leaves, lime juice and curried hollandaise, paired with Floridian Hefeweizen.
"KFC" Korean fried chicken wings with sticky rice cake, xo vinaigrette, scallions and cilantro, paired with Passion Fruit Crusher session IPA.
"roasted pork loin tagine" roasted pork loin North African style with dates, almonds and sweet pea couscous, paired with Muy Bonita Double Apple Pie Brown.
peanut butter bread pudding with blackberry compote and berry ice cream, paired with Chocolate Covered Cherry Porter.
Oakes explained that these events are a fun time not only for the eaters but for the makers as well. "All the stuff we're doing are non-menu items. We're pretty much a burger joint, but [these dinners] really show Brian [Cartenuto]'s skill as a chef, coming up with great ideas. It's something different. We're hoping to draw people in to expand their horizons on both craft beer and food."
The restaurant is known for its flavor-forward dishes, with the pinnacle being the eponymous Tucker Duke: a half-pound patty of Florida beef arranged with fried onion rings, melted American cheese, mixed baby greens, and celery-salted tomato on a toasted, onion-encrusted bun. Pink Tucker sauce, Cartenuto's version of a Louisiana remoulade, gives the final all encompassing dab of enjoyment. Oh, and the burger comes "as-is."
"You don't want cheese?" Cartenuto told us previously. "Take it off yourself."
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.