Monday, April 30, 2007

Chatswood BBQ Kitchen

Those Aussies have a strange definition of barbecue joint.

Barbecue Opportunity

Our friends at Mothership BBQ are going through some financial struggles and looking to take on investors. If you were ever interested in owning a piece of a BBQ joint in Nashvegas, now's your chance.

Here's the story.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Night Videos

Homer is always good for a laugh. Homer speaking a foreign language is always good for a bigger laugh.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Rules

Click over to WhiteTrashBBQ today for Al Roker's 5 Rules of Barbecue. I'm down with all 5.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Night Videos

This clip speaks for itself.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pick up, Dingy!

OK , it ain't BBQ, but how could I visit Phoenix and not order a big bowl of chili at a diner? OK, I'm technically in Scottsdale not Phoenix. OK, the 5 & Diner isn't much of a diner. It's more like a Steak n Shake. OK! OK! I ordered a cup of chili and some crazy concoction called a Maximillian. I can't find it on their website menu, but it's a tortilla, folded and topped with tomatoes, peppers, hashbrowns and covered with a three egg omelet. It probably has green chiles in it too, but who the hell can tell? I ordered mine con chorizo. Strangely, it doesn't come con queso. But, it was alright, and it gave me an excuse to post a picture of Mel Sharples.

No, E. I did not eat all of that food. I promise. I didn't.

OK, I ate most of it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Did Someone Forget to Pay the Google Bill?

I have a magnificent bit of writing just waiting to hit the Interweb, but it seems I can't upload pictures right now. I don't think I'm alone there. What's a blog entry without pictures? Words? In the meantime, you can read my guest post on Listwork.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Historic Reata Pass Steakhouse

As mentioned, I am in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a week with two things to do – jack and shit. Tonight I drove myself out to the ass of nowhere for a steak at Reata Pass. It's one of them there famous southwestern cowboy steakhouses. I was prepared for something annoyingly touristy and obnoxious, but it seemed authentic enough. I'm guessing this is one of the places all the others try to imitate. Think Huey's in midtown versus Huey's in any other part of Memphis.

The service was good if a bit no nonsense. I ordered a couple of beef ribs as an appetizer and a sirloin, medium rare, with a side of cowboy beans. Of course, I needed a little Fat Tire to wash it all down – diabetes be damned. The ribs were well-prepared and came slathered in a very sweet BBQ sauce. I've come to the conclusion that barbecued beef ribs are just silly. The bone-to-meat ratio is absurd, and they just don't have enough flavor. My steak was cooked properly, but was a little tough and lacked flavor. I shouldn't judge because I don't normally order sirloin. In fact, that it is normally tough and lacking in flavor could be the very reason.

I do not like cowboy beans.

At this point, I would normally just refrain from giving the place a thumbs up or thumbs down. I didn't care too much for my meal, but I really just ordered the wrong things. However, near the end of my visit, someone cranked up C.W. McCall's epic song Convoy on the jukebox. Yes, they have a jukebox. Yes, Convoy is on the jukebox. Yes, that's enough to make Reata Pass my favorite Arizona restaurant.

Oh, I plum near forgot! I'm pretty sure this guy was sitting at the bar.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Carlsbad Tavern

I am sitting in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona, specifically a Hampton Inn, a little bit buzzed to tell the truth, wondering why I had to travel all this way to order for dinner what was essentially a BBQ quesadilla. The special at Carlsbad Tavern tonight was a quesadilla made from carne adovada – roast pork in red chili sauce with cheese and tortillas. It was quite tasty. Add some slaw and you've really got something. Shouldn't a BBQ quesadilla be a commonplace menu item at most restaurants in my hometown? Is it? Did I just not notice? This seems like an easy money maker. Sorry I didn't bring my camera, but I wasn't expecting the need. Here's Carlsbad Tavern during the day. It's impossible to find at night.

Dinner was good, but a lot of my time was spent listening to a complete tool whose voice carried like a train whistle ramble on and on to his date about how much he worked out, where he worked out, how she looked like his mom, and that his brother was a complete asshole while the poor, poor girl tried to be polite and I tried to reread Bluebeard for the first time since high school. Bastard.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Night Videos

Kurt Vonnegut died. Apparently, everyone on the Interweb was a fan. That's nice. It seems also that everyone with a blog is obligated to eulogize him. I suppose that's nice too. To be fair, I'd like to do the same. I loved the man. In fact, I've spent two days trying to figure out how to draw a connection between one of the greatest writers I'll ever read and the subject of this blog. I suspect that Mr. Vonnegut could have managed, but I can't. I'm not that clever.

So, in celebration of the absurdity of the human condition, here is Paul McCartney making mashed potatoes. It's not BBQ. It has nothing to do with Mr. Vonnegut. I'm not sure it's even cooking. But, it is ridiculous. And, it is funny. In better words, "No damn cat, no damn cradle."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

$100.00 BBQ

I can't say that I'm surprised these sandwiches aren't a big seller. While I appreciate both the excess and the experimentation, a BBQ pork, smoked foie gras and balsamic vinegar sammich doesn't sound particularly appetizing to me. However, I am 100% behind the choice of beer to wash it down.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

America's Test Kitchen

For those of us who both like to cook and like to believe there is a best way to do everything, the show America's Test Kitchen is great. Every week, they report on items like the best way to cook blueberry muffins or chicken noodle soup, or the best measuring spoons or the best brand of refried beans. Yes, it's geeky, and I'm sure the idea of devoting time to finding the best method for basting a chicken sounds terribly silly to most. I know finding the best way to brush your teeth or fold a towel isn't as important as finding the best way to build a bridge or educate children or extricate ourselves from Iraq. However, I think that if we as a society devoted more time to quality in all things no matter how trivial we might not be mired in the cavalcade of mediocrity that is American Idol, Wal-mart, NASCAR, and our last three presidents.

Wow, how did I rant myself into that corner? Back to the show. This week on ATK, they covered barbecue. Well, sort of. The results were less than appetizing to this Memphis boy, but I think they found the best way to cook ribs in the oven. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would ever want to do this. Although, the method was kind of interesting. They used tea leaves on the bottom of a sheet pan to generate smoke, put the ribs on a rack and wrapped it all in foil. It sure as hell beats the guy on Cookin' in Brooklyn who (no lie) boiled the ribs first. Shudder. And though it's not what I'm aiming for with The Sauce, they also made a 20-minute BBQ sauce of primarily ketchup, mustard and molasses that looked like it might have been good.

The point of all of this rambling is that I'm going to spend some time cooking BBQ sauce recipes other than my own. I'm starting here with the ATK sauce, and then I'll work my way through some of that book I bought not too long ago. Results to follow.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Meat News

The Memphis Business Journal did a blurb about Dixie Meat on Jefferson this week. I wasn't aware that they are open to the public – or maybe I was and just forgot. Have either of the two people reading this ever bought anything there? Worth the trouble? BTW, I love that they have a section of their website titled Meat News.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Night Videos

You drive with it on! Don't forget to tighten the rotation knob.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ridin' the Rails

Here's another crazy BBQ contraption because I don't feel like writing.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Euro BBQ

A tiny, MP3 playing, ridiculously expensive, retro-styled grill named the Memphis Barbecue is the kind of thing that would sell well only among our friends across the pond, but so help me, if I had £230 burning a hole in my pocket, I might just have to buy one.