Chilebrown at home

Monday, June 21, 2021


I am one lucky sonagun. Ms. Goofy loves to bake. This past year she has outdone herself with sweet treats. This was her first attempt at Boston Cream Pie. She is a perfectionist and for some reason she was not happy with this rendition. She also said she would have to try again. I thought it was perfect. It is a tough job being her official pie taster but somebody has to do it. If it gets any better I will let you know.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021


Smokin Axe BBQ is a competition barbecue team from El Cerrito California. They competed a couple of weeks ago in Murphy's. It was after our judging duties and I was walking the grounds. I noticed this table set up with bbq sauce samples and sales. I sampled a couple and picked this sauce; Mango, Apricot & Habanero. Pitmaster Dave Gibson is a retired fire fighter who runs Smokin Axe BBQ operations. I always want to support the bbq teams and purchasing this sauce was a small gesture.
  When back home we fired up the bbq to cook some chicken thighs. I cooked the chicken and in the last five minutes I coated the thighs with the sauce. The sauce set and it was time to eat. This sauce is heavy on the influence of fruit flavors. The Mango and apricot flavors shined to add a sweetness. The habanero pepper flavor was there with a gentle warmth to round out this sauce. It made for a pleasant dining experience. This sauce is on the sweet side which for my personal preference is a little to much. We were happy to support our teams. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021


The news that my favorite Mexican restaurant may be closed, has saddened this Mad Meat Genius. This news was relayed from the most reliable source of news today; Facebook. La Estrellita, for forty plus years,  has been my go-to all time favorite establishment to enjoy the 'Gold Standard' dish of chileverde. At one time in my life, I sampled all 150 tequilas offered at the bar. I have my fingers crossed this news is not true. One can only hope. 


Sunday, June 6, 2021



Yesterday we had a fun day judging bbq at the Throwdowns in the Vineyards KCBS bbq competition held at the Ironstone Winery in Murphys Ca. It was a beautiful day with 29 teams compositing. What made this day very special my wife Ms. Goofy achieved a milestone in her judging career. She achieved the number of judging 100 sanctioned KCBS contest. This was a fun day with a little celibration   honoring her achievement. Here she is pictured reciting the judges oath. She is the only women in California and possible the  Western states to have achieved this honor. Congratulations.

Saturday, May 29, 2021


Sometimes you just stumble into a Meat Adventures. I was in San Francisco to visit Dago Bagel and procured a coveted parking spot in North Beach. Little City Market just so happened to be right across the street from my parking spot. “And Away We Go”…Jackie Gleason.

This is an old school butcher shop located in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The retro red sign is a beacon inviting you to step back in time. Mike and Ron Spinali, father and son owners make more than 30 types of sausages, and make guanciale and meatballs in addition to stocking a full butcher case. This is living meat history. They do not have all 30 sausages available at a time but I did pick out two; Calabrese and Puccini. There were lots of other cuts of meat that sparked my interest and will return at a later date.


We cooked up the sausages and were pleased with the flavors. The Puccini is an Italian style sausage that does not have the traditional fennel as an ingredient. It was mild with lots of garlic to keep the vampires away. The Calabrese was my favorite. It was aggressively seasoned. I would not say it was hot but this pork sausage got your attention. It did have some wonderful pepper flakes throughout. We plan to return to Little City Market. Hopefully our parking karma is intact. 


Friday, May 21, 2021


Tony Gemignani, 13 time world Pizza Champion and food celebrity extraordinaire opened a bagel shop in the City and I had to go visit. You may have seen Tony on the food network tossing pizzas. He has built himself a food empire. The bagel shop is his latest venture. My parking Karma has not been lost. I did take a quick (illegal) U-turn but I landed a coveted parking spot in San Francisco only a block away from my destination.

As soon as I walked through the door, there was Tony to meet and greet the customers. He is larger than life with charm and humility. He took the time to meet and greet anybody that wanted a picture or chat. I ordered a couple of bagels and then talked to Tony. I felt like a little schoolboy meeting some sports or action hero.

I was a fanboy today and the image above is a rare photo of yours truly. It is not every day you get to meet food royalty. I think Tony was impressed.

Sunday, May 16, 2021


What a wonderful day in Galt, California at a beautiful private ranch to host the Canyon Riders Invitational BBQ Competition. This competition had all the right components. Friends, great weather, fantastic bbq, beverages, and just the sense of normalcy. We gathered to judge three categories of food that consisted of Ribs, Pork and Anything Goes. After judging we were invited to participate in a huge buffet supplied by all the competitors. Oh we had so much food today. We would like to share a couple of images with you.

This was our tables entry of Anything Goes. There was a bacon and grits dish *upper left corner" that was heavenly. A tortellini salad with cheese balls, pasta salad and a bacon macaroni salad with a shot of Jack Daniels on the side. I would like to mention the mac & cheese ultimately won and I am not sure if the booze was a bribe or a good pairing.

This was a private residence and we judges hunkered down in a spacious garage. We have not judged a lot of contests in the last year but it is just like riding a bike. It is what we do. It just so happens this judging included a side dish of fun. Tasty Fun. 

This was a beautiful day to have a competition Congratulations to Son of Smoke for taking Grand Championship honors. Most important of all is that we got to hang out with our barbecue friends. We hope to talk to you soon.