All I have in this world is my spices and my word, and I don’t break them for no one.-Tony Montana
Eric Williams Photography
The fall of 2004 was a year that would dramatically change all future falls. Starbucks introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte, a drink that would become the most lusted after fall treat by a remarkable margin. It was so popular that it ended up selling 200 million units over a nine-year period from its launch. What followed was one of the largest seasonal flavor overhauls that we as a nation have ever seen, with pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and allspice) becoming the ever-present overlord of the fall season, going so far now as to have a Spam variant. I shudder at the thought, and I doubt I’ll ever partake, but I am a believer in the spice. I, like millions of Americans, feel an immense rush of joy when that familiar scent fills the air.
What we’re doing today is creating a guide to help take you through the mystical world of this godsend spice blend, and we’re keeping it local. So buckle down, flannel up and flare those nostrils as we take a trip down hashtag-basic lane.
Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles
400 Washington St. SE
Frank’s is no stranger to amazing food, being arguably my favorite place to eat in the city. They have even managed to top themselves with the addition of a seasonal pumpkin spice waffle. I was skeptical about how a flavored waffle would pair with fried chicken, but they found the magic balance. The maple syrup with the spiced-up waffle just feels like a natural fit and enhances the bold fried chicken flavors to the next level. I’ve never had trouble finishing their food, to be fair, but this time I was especially dedicated, sending back a plate of the barest of bones, and nothing else. This is one of those rare innovations on comfort food that works as well as the original. Make sure you sneak at least one meal of this combo in before the season is over.
Founders is anothetr favorite of mine, but not because of food. This craft cocktail lounge features some of the most talented mixologists in the state, who have no limits placed on their creativity. For example, with the introduction of their new fall menu launching Sept. 27, you’ll be treated to nine new cocktails, seasonally themed of course. The highlight, at least in my eyes, is the Pumpkin Aged Eggnog. Featuring a pumpkin spice infused blend of cognac, rye and Jamaican rum, the party doesn’t stop there. Add in whole eggs, heavy cream and sugar, and then they age this magical concoction for a month, topping it with fresh nutmeg and mace. If that doesn’t fill you up with warm fall feelings already, then nothing will, you cold hearted demon. Don’t slip on sipping this amazing delight when it finally hits bar tops later this week.
Rio Bravo Brewing Company
1912 Second Street NW
Rio Bravo Brewing Company has found their place in the brewery scene here with their stellar, award-winning beers, like the Piñon Coffee Porter, first place recipient of the Brussels Beer Challenge during 2018. They’re back at it again with the Basic Witch Pumpkin Spice Latte beer. This brown ale has all the hints and notes of the pumpkin spice that you love tied up with the heavier flavors you’ve come to know and love from brown ales. Best served cold and in the company of friends or your familiar, this is the beer that will send shivers from your head to your boots (probably Uggs, if we’re being honest). Stock up now for the impending holiday season, when you’ll need a couple of these to even begin dealing with that aunt no one likes.
Speaking of coffees, the Piñon Coffee House is bringing you the PSL of your dreams with the New Mexican twist you love and crave. Featuring their iconic New Mexico Piñon Coffee, you get a more robust coffee taste, bolstered by a Burqueño’s favorite nut, while still getting that sweet spice you associate with one of the few addictions that can only be treated with more product. It’s the medium roast with the most, so to speak. Let it wash over you, metaphorically speaking, and rekindle that fall love you thought you lost long ago.
Now, you have your hunting list in front of you, so what are you waiting for? Hot girl summer is long gone so let the spice take hold and flow you through the changing of the leaves in preparation for the year end. No judgement from us. Find something we missed? Email us at email@example.com and maybe we’ll do a follow-up article!