Friday, March 25, 2011


Bread for salad and baba ganoush.

Simon came to town to convert Dianna from his girlfriend to his fiancee. She said "yes."

To celebrate, we met up at Zorba's in Baltimore's Greektown for dinner. Dai's parents-in-law and their clan treated us to some fantastic and classic Greek food. It was all delicious and the octopus was some of the best I've ever eaten. Grilled to perfection.

The food was good. The company was great and we had a fantastic time. I won't bore you with too much verbage. Just be sure to check it out when you come to visit, or propose.

Everyone gathered at the table.

Horiatiki Salata (Greek Village Salad) - Traditional village salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, kalamata olives and feta with house dressing.

Fried Calamari. Rubbery.

Spanakopita - spinach, onion, dill and feta baked in layers of crispy phyllo dough.

Mythos beer.

Baba Ganoush.

Grilled Octopus - topped with olive oil and vinegar. Stellar.

Pastitio - noodles and beef topped with bechamel and baked.

Kontosouvli - marinated pork, roasted on a spit.

Rice Pilaf.

Kostas & Petro

Gus insists that I eat more pork. I don't want to be disrespectful...

Galaktoboureko - custard wrapped in sweet phyllo dough.

Zorba's Bar & Grill
4710 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224

Tatuaje L'esprit de La Verite 2008

Totalmente a mano en Esteli.

While in Esteli touring the cigar factory with Pete Johnson, I spied a box for the Verite 2009 line of cigars. He told me about his approach to using tobacco leaf from one farm and one harvest to create a vintage line in the manner of wine production. I didn't really understand exactly what he was talking about but it sounded interesting.

Fast forward to this week and I'm browsing the internet and came across some reviews of the 2008 which spoke very highly of the cigar, my interest was piqued. Hopped onto and ordered a box yesterday. It arrived today.

Details, details, details.

The packaging is very smartly done and conveys the sense of something special. The bands are a little on the simple side but the ten cigar bundle smells and portends of something good to come.

Right from the start, the 2008 hits you full on with spicy notes. It blooms with spice and keeps on coming. It takes a few moments before the body starts to develop but once is blossoms, it's on.

The missing stick.

From there the cigar keeps growing. Continuously increasing spice notes and body maintains smoothness and flavor until it plateaus at a wonderful high and holds.

There's been a bit of chatter on the twitterverse about the 2008 splitting. Pete has responded that the 2008 needs 63% humidity to avoid the splitting. About two inches into the smoke, my wrapper started to split slightly. It could be an adverse affect on the cigar's humidity due to transportation but I'm thinking that it has more to do with the speed of smoke.

With a cigar this good, I sometimes have the tendency to smoke it on the fast side. Slight uneven burn and the splitting leads me to believe that these errors were due to my own rate of smoking than anything else.

Starting out.

Some cigars deliver and intense beginning only to develop into harsh bitter notes and sometimes offense aromas of ammonia - not the ideal way to end your enjoyment. The 2008 does none of that. It continues smoothly and evenly all the way through, until you're burning your fingertips and lips because you're smoking it all the way down.