They are not bad.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
The parking karma still works because; we found a parking spot half a block away from the ‘Beaver Creek Smokehouse’ in Martinez, California. Once we exited the vehicle a beautiful intoxicating smoke aroma that I know so well greeted our bbq sensors. We walked to our destination to take our place in line with the customers already waiting for the 11:30am opening. The opening bell sounded and it was time to have some great competition worthy barbeque.
Beaver Creek Smokehouse is operated and owned by Rob Z (Zavatero). We know him from bbq competitions. He is a champion and darn tootin nice guy. Beaver Creek Smokehouse has only been open for six months and I am kicking myself for not coming sooner. Rob makes everything from scratch. He uses the best meats available in our area such as; Niman Ranch, Homestead Natural, Certified Angus Beef and Mary’s air chilled chicken. All the sides and sauces are made from scratch. I want to try everything. They do have a “5 way” sampler that will fill this bill for now.
This was one pretty platter of meat. I devoured every single morsel on that tray. The smoke was perfect. The tenderness was excellent. The chicken was so juicy it gave me a squirt of love when I bit into it. At each table three different house made sauces are available. I enjoyed my meal so much; I did not even try the sauces. (A first). It is rare to have all meats done to such competition worthy perfection. The Cole slaw was bright and fresh with a vinegar tang. The beans were studded with brisket. This was more than just beans; it was like an award winning chili.
Rob offers local micro-beers for your pleasure. There is a nice beer garden in back that will be a summer destination. Why? Why did I wait so long to try Beaver Creek Smokehouse? We shall return. I definitely want some more of that brisket.
Beaver Creek Smokehouse
601 Main St.
Martinez, Ca. 94553
Friday, March 7, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Kitchen tools can make mundane cooking chores fun, easy and simple. Do you ever get frustrated and tired constantly chopping garlic? Fear no more, the "garliczoom" may be just the utensil for you. My birthday was last week and Ms. Goofy gifted me this special tool because she believes it is cute. It does look like a little space creature. Let's go chop some garlic.
The instructions are simple: "load, roll, remove blade, empty". The chopping chamber is fairly small. You can fit one large clove or several small ones. I rolled it against the counter with ease. It was time to empty. I skipped the remove blade instruction because I have big sausages as fingers and I could not figure that part out. I just opened the lid and shook. Ms. Goofy had to show me the correct way to empty this contraption. The garliczoom did chop the garlic easily and I guess it was kind of fun. I already have a special spot in the back of the gadget drawer to store the garliczoom.
Monday, March 3, 2014
"Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind"
The aroma of fresh strawberries reminds me of a summer breeze. "Honest Ember' has created a 'Strawberry Kiwi Habanero Hot Sauce' that has bottled that summer feeling in my mind. Come take a look.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
We celebrate our anniversary on my birthday. It is convenient and I never forget the date. This very special day we like to dress up and ‘kick up one’s heels’ at a fine dining establishment. Steak Houses are our favorite dinning destination. McNamara’s Steak & Chophouse in San Ramon is a place we want to explore. Come along on this roller coaster dinner ride and experience the highs and lows with us.
McNamara’s is located in Dublin California. The outside is large and looks like a huge house. There is outside seating with a landscaped patio. We enter the restaurant to a dimly lit steakhouse den. When our eyes adjust we are treated to a warm and cozy steakhouse like palace. The décor and theme gives an old school steak house charm. We are a couple of minutes early and cozy up to the showcase bar. Martini’s are on order to start this special celebration. Pomegranate and Stolichnaya are shaken but not stirred for two very tasty libations. Our reservation is at six and on the dot the lights are dimmed a little more.
Once at our table our pleasant and perfunctory waitress greeted us. Our orders are taken. Let’s start out with the highlights of this meal. The steaks were cooked to perfection. Perfectly medium rare was my rib eye and Ms. Goofy’s filet. This beef was flavorful and rich with beef flavor. The horseradish mashed potatoes were creamy and studded with yummy spikes of horseradish. The vegetables were also cooked to a perfect texture. The side of sherry mushrooms was decadent and rich. The roller coaster was at the peak before it plummeted to its abyss.
The Chop House salad sounded great on the menu. Blue cheese, bacon, roasted peppers, greens, caramelized onions and did I mention bacon? This salad was so overdressed all the components were overpowered by dressing. Crab cakes are Ms. Goofy’s favorite. They arrived at our table with a very dark color. When I turned one over it was burnt on the bottom. Needless to day we did not finish them. Our waitress was no were to be found. The busboy came and asked us why we did not finish our crab cakes. We told him our concerns and our complaint fell on deaf ears. We will not even mention how the waitress forgot our wine order.
This was a very special evening for us. When we made reservations, we indicated that this was a birthday/anniversary celebration. The host and the waitress never even acknowledged our special day even though it was clearly stated on the reservation. Our waitress was pleasant enough but we could have used just the slightest more attention. The steaks and potatoes were great but the salad and crab cake appetizer not. When we spend a couple of large bills on dinners we have some expectations. This dinner could have been perfect with just a couple of easily correctable events. We all vote with our dinning dollars. McNamara’s will not receive our vote again.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
This flavor of our mustard was a 'Mendecino Brand' style mustard. It was sweet with a large amount of brown sugar. Only yellow mustard seeds were used. Apple cider vinegar would add its contribution with a mellow tang to this melody of flavors. The texture was course with rustic flair. A slight heat from the mustard seeds gently awakened your palette. This was an epic sandwich. Mustard was the star with an all-star back up cast. This sandwich was very special with our home made mustard.