Thursday, July 30, 2015
Two sensational days of music, food, fun and art in beautiful downtown Oakland promises the promoters. We attend last years festivities here. A KCBS barbeque competition will be held amidst the towering skyscrapers. of a revitalized vibrant downtown setting. We are polishing or judges badges and fueling the Racing Honda and we hope to see you there. Art & Soul Festival
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Gentlemen and Ladies,start your barbeques. We are firing up the grill to give Hot Rod's BBQ sauces a ride down the drag strip of meat over hot charcoals. We have three different and unique bbq sauces to sample and review. Come on over to Peppers & More and read all about it.
Read Review Here
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Ms. Goofy loves cheese. She also is a Chilehead in training. When I first met her, she was a novice in all things chile. Jalapeno peppers, one of the mildest peppers was a challenge for her. Over the years, she has been introduced to many varieties of peppers. She still shies away from the exotic peppers so I was a little surprised when she came home with some 'Three Alarm Pepper Cheese'.This Colby Jack cheese has a trio of peppers: Habanero, chipotle, and jalapeno. This is some great cheese. I love the mix of peppers with creamy Colby Jack cheese. It definitely will warm your taste buds. I would give it three stars out of five on the heat meter.
We have a glut of tomato's right now. BLT's, spaghetti sauce, and wonderful summer salads are my favorite tomato meals this time of year. How about mixing the Three Alarm cheese and our red orbs of summer? We thickly sliced the tomato's and seasoned them with salt and pepper. They were topped with a thick slice of our pepper cheese. The toaster oven was put to use. This was a wonderful hot summer treat. So easy but so tasty. As a side note, even though Ms. Goofy is more learned in her pepper palate, this cheese was too hot for her.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Here at Mad Meat Genius we are going to celebrate 'Throw Back Thursday' in a non-traditional meat sort of way. We are not going too far back, in fact we are only going back to Tuesday evening. I could not resist sharing a couple of images of the biggest baddest beef ribs ever. These Fred Flinstone cuts were found at Lakewood Meats in Lodi. We smoked them for 5 hours until they were very tender. It does not get any better than this.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Welcome back to the second half of the Bang-Bang. Our second stop of two successive barbeque meals was Baby Blues BBQ. Baby Blues BBQ was only several miles away from Cathead’s but in the City the distance was too far to walk. We did the politically correct thing and took two separate vehicles. This was political correct in my eyes, to protest the bureaucratic fascists that have the title of ‘Spare the Air’. Ben pointed to a parking spot in a residential area a block and one half away. I pounced on this spot and declared this parking berth, great ‘Parking Karma’. Baby Blues is located on a very busy corner on Mission Ave.
Baby Blues BBQ is located in an old drug store. The exterior has seen better days. We walk into the interior and a funky local tavern like establishment is revealed. This place has character that may be mistaken for blight. The tables and chairs are a collection of miss-matched hodge podge. We grab a small table in this dimly lit establishment. The table does have a nice assortment of house made bbq sauces. We taste them all and the habanero based sauce is quiet tasty and has a kick to make me smile.
Our pleasant pregnant waitress takes our order. My usual order of ribs and brisket and Ben ordered some chicken wings. The ribs offered here are baby backs. In a prompt amount of time our waitress returns with our order. As judges, we are trained not to compare entries but to judge each entry on its own merits. This is no easy task but here we go. The presentation was fine enough except for a small bowl of mystery meat on the corner of my plate.
It had to be brisket because that is what was ordered. It was a mound of oily, stringy beef that did not look that appealing. I am not sure if it had been boiled or just cooked to death because it was a hot mess. I did take a bite and it did not taste much better than it looked. The baby backs were tender to the fault of being overdone. The seasoning was lackluster. I did smother them in habanero sauce and they were edible, barely. The coleslaw seemed purchased and the muffin was unremarkable. This may be a little harsh but this meal failed on many levels.
Ben’s chicken wings were delicious and the bright spot of our visit to Baby Blues. Our waitress was pleasant and we received prompt service. The atmosphere is funky and a little gritty. I want to love all the bbq establishments we visit. It is not going to happen at Baby Blues BBQ. Bang-Bang.
Baby Blues BBQ
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Welcome to the Bang-Bang. I met up with fellow ‘KCBS Certified Master BBQ Judge’ Ben Lobenstein to eat two successive barbeque meals. Our first stop is Cathead’s BBQ located in San Francisco. Cathead’s BBQ has their own adjacent private parking lot, so parking karma was not needed this stop. The outside is painted a bright red with a whimsical mural on the wall. Cathead’s looks fun before we have even stepped through the door.
I arrived several minutes early and got a chance to meet with one of the owners; Richard Park. Richard is half of a culinary trained husband and wife team. This spot originally housed ‘Big Nates BBQ’ which was an iconic bbq restaurant. This place has been open for over three years. Where have I been? Richard explained how everything is house made from scratch. He uses different woods for different meats such as cherry and apple wood. They also host a yearly bbq competition that features other local bbq restaurants. Richard brines his brisket in Coca-Cola. Ben arrived and it was time to order.
The menu is fairly large with the standard bbq option and daily specials. There are a lot of creative side dishes. Every meal is accompanied by a small house made buttermilk biscuit. You can order their signature large Cathead size biscuit which is accompanied by honey butter and pepper jelly. Of course I wanted to try everything but we were on a Bang-Bang. I ordered my usual brisket and ribs. Here was the fun part. My sides were: habanero cole slaw, bacon creamed corn, and pimento mac & cheese.
Our names were called and it took several trips from the counter to deliver our large meals. Cathead’s BBQ does not hold back on the proportions. Each and every plate was crafted and sculpted to look yummy delicious. Let’s start with the proteins. The ribs had a flavorful dry rub and were smoked to a wonderful degree of doneness. There was some house made sauces available but were not needed. The Coca-Cola brined brisket had a great bark and a nice level of smoke. It was tender and satisfying. I did not use them but there was a wonderful mustard/vinegar sauce, tomato based sauce and a pepper infused vinegar available tableside.
The side dishes shined with care and beauty. Fresh corn creamed, studded with bacon was, ‘Oh so good’. I would of sworn cream had been added but was informed it had not. The habanero cole slaw was vibrant and had a kick that made this Chilehead smile. The mac & cheese was gooey and rich with the added bonus of pimentos. Overall it was a colorful and satisfying meal.
Cathead’s BBQ is now a destination restaurant in our itinerary. It hit on all cylinders. This meal started out on a good note with just the simple pleasure of parking and the festive mural painted on the colorful building. The barbequed meats are the stars of this show but the side dishes were spectacular. We got into our cars and journeyed to our next destination of Baby Blues BBQ
Thursday, July 16, 2015
‘’Bang-Bang’ was the sound captured in large font print when the bad guys were shooting at our favorite comic book super hero’s. ‘Bang-Bang’ has another meaning inn the culinary scene according to comedian Lois C. K. Bang-Bang is when you eat two back to back full meals in succession. Not small snacks but two full course meals. With so many bbq restaurants to visit this sounded perfect for this hungry trencherman. Ms. Goofy was out of town so I enlisted the help of a fellow Master BBQ Judge, Ben Lobenstein. We ate at two separate bbq restaurants back to back. In the next several days I would like to share this experience with you. As a teaser, I will tell you the names of the establishments we visited: ‘Cathead's BBQ and Baby Blues'. Stay tuned, because we are going to BANG-BANG