Chilebrown at home

Friday, May 29, 2015


A blast from the past for anybody that enjoyed bbq back in the day was the iconic East Bay late night stop called Flint’s BBQ.  While growing up and as a young adult Flint’s BBQ was the only bbq that we knew. Flint’s had a flavor and atmosphere that forever will be remembered. There were several locations in Oakland and we would frequent the Shattuck ave branch.  It is the late 70’s, late at night, we probably imbibed with excess multiple stimulants and we were hungry. Flint’s would be open till very late. We would stumble in and get in line with a colorful group of locals, cops, pimps and a few long hair hippie freaks. All were welcome at Flint’s. You would order a sandwich. You would pick your bbq meat and it would be piled high on a slice of white bread on a paper plate with a perfectly round scoop of potato salad to the side.. A huge ladle of bbq sauce would be poured over the meat. White bread would be placed on top and all put in a brown paper bag. We were familiar with this routine so we knew to put this bag on the floor or trunk of the car because sauce and grease would leak all over the place.

 Flints has long closed down but the memory of their unique bbq sauce still lingers in the flavor memory banks. Cornelius N. Flintroy started working at his families bbq restaurant at the tender young age of fifteen. He now is trying to revive, bottle and sell his families special bbq sauce. I met him recently finding him on social media. He graciously invited me to his house. Cornelius is a soft spoken man who has the gravely voice of a seasoned blues singer. It was fun reminiscing about the old days. He currently is making the sauce in his kitchen and hopes to expand to a commercial setting. We parted ways and I left with a couple of sauces and a smile on my face.

Flints bbq sauce is a unique bbq sauce that triggers memories for me. It is very dark red, almost black in color. It is smooth and fluid that pours easily from the bottle. The tastes are deep and rich with coffee and molasses. It is not sweet but has a little sour tang from the vinegar. We cooked some ribs and used this sauce at the very end of the cook. The rib rack was brushed liberally with sauce and returned to the smoker just long enough for the sauce to set. This sauce works. Ms. Goofy really enjoyed it. My tastes have changed over the years but this flavor is one that always will be great in my book. We wish Cornelius  success in returning his families sauce and tradition back to bbq aficionados.

The image of Flint's was used by permission of Cornelius N Flintroy. You can contact him about his sauce on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This meal was so amazing that we had to share it with you. These are stuffed hamburgers wrapped in bacon and then smoked. Oh my gosh were they fantastic. The technique of creating these burgers is shown in the video below. The burger meat is formed around a cold beer can. The beer can is removed to reveal a cavity that can be customized with your choice of stuffing. We have also changed the recipe to cooking our burgers in a smoker instead of a covered grill. This will add another component of smoke. Our wood of choice today is apple wood.

Our hamburger and bacon was sourced by our friend Angelo of Angelo's Meats. Our stuffing includes mushrooms, young garlic, onions, bread crumbs (made from toasted fresh bread), cheese, and parsley. The onions and garlic was briefly given a saute in olive oil. The heat was raised and the mushrooms were added. A dusting of salt & pepper is mandatory. Once the mushrooms were nicely browned the heat was turned off and I added a pat of butter. The bread crumbs were added and stirred to combine.The mixture was removed from the heat and cooled completely. The parsley was chopped and the cheese sliced. The parsely was added to the cooled mixture. I place a slice of cheese on the bottom of the burger cavity. Then stuffing was added. A slice of cheese was put on top to cover. Bacon was wrapped around the burger and secured with a toothpick. It is time to cook.

I smoked our burgers for one and one half hour. It was so tempting to lift the smoker lid to watch their progress. I could smell bacon rendering and sweet apple smoke. Oh my! They looked and tasted fantastic. This  recipe is a keeper. The nice thing about this technique is that you can customize it to your desire. The fillings and topping combinations are only limited by your imagination. Have fun.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Curiosity got the best of me,twice. My friends in the bbq community advised me not to go. My first trip to this national chain bbq restaurant was mediocre at best. first visit  They did not have ribs available at the noon lunch hour which should of been a red flag then. Ms. Goofy was visiting her sister Shastina and I did not feel like cooking. I decided to brave this establishment but at a different location once more. I walked through the door and the clerk immediately proclaimed; "We do not have ribs". I turned around and hightailed it home. Fool me once with no ribs, shame on you; fool me twice with no ribs, shame on me.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Hot sauce aged for at least a year in a bourbon barrel? This sounds intriguing. Blis Gourmet Foods located in Grand Rapids has done just that. Blis is an acronym for ‘Because Life is Short”.  This company has taken a blend of chipotle, cayenne and arbol peppers and stored it in a bourbon barrel for at least a year. These bourbon barrels have also held maple syrup, and stout beer. After a year the sauce is bottled and promises to give us a blast of Umami. This should be a fun and unique review. Let’s give it a try.


Real ripe peppers, vinegar spices, garlic, seasoning, sugar, salt, Blis barrel aged maple syrup, and Xanthan gum are the listed ingredients. Real ripe peppers I assume mean chipotle, cayenne and arbol peppers.

Aroma & Texture:

When the protective seal is removed and the top unscrewed a mash of pepper aroma tickles your senses. I want to smell bourbon but that does not happen. The sauce is  thick fluid and seed free.  The color is of ripe red tomatoes/peppers.

Label and Bottle

This package of sauce is a vision of hot sauce beauty. The container is a thick bottomed 375 ml glass bottle. The label is bright and eye catching. The combination of label and bottle shouts out quality. This is a winning combination.


Wow, we have a whole lot going on here. Where should we start? First and foremost we have a pepper lift off. This mix of peppers is pleasing with it seductive mix. The cayenne teases with a gentle heat. The chipotle give a suggestion of smoke and the arbol adds a faint earthy accent. A sweet component from the syrup and possibly the bourbon barrel is prevalent but not overbearing. Vinegar and salt are in this mix but only complement and enhance. The heat is gentle and warming. There is a mouth feel that has you craving another taste. I believe I have experienced a blast of Umami. Sweet, savory, and peppers galore, this is a mix of ingredients and technique that is powerful in taste. Wow.


The heat meter will only warm to 1 star out of 5. This is a warming gentle heat.


Our go to meal of bbq chicken was the first vehicle to taste this sauce. It was accompanied by a potato salad dusted with bacon pieces. I could not get enough of this sauce on the potato salad. The mix of sweet, warm, pepper blend, with all of its components elevated this meal to culinary heights.
  The lowly breakfast egg will never be the same with this sauce. This sauce has so many aspects of sweet, savory, warming and most of all pepper love that breakfast is no longer boring.

Best wings ever. That is about all I have to say.


This is a fantastic, complex sauce that may be one of the best sauces this reviewer has ever experienced. This was a fun journey with this pepper blend, the sweet components of maple syrup, and maybe bourbon nuances all with a bonus ‘Umami Blast’ finish. The flavors and feel of this sauce leaves you with a longing and craving for the next bite. This sauce goes with all food. This sauce is aged in a bourbon barrel that has also had stout beer and maple syrup before. Bourbon is not an identifiable component in this sauce. The aging in the barrel is a process that has married these ingredients and transformed them into an elixir extraordinaire. This sauce is a extraordinary find. Blis also makes a maple syrup that has been aged in a bourbon barrel. I cannot wait.


Sunday, May 17, 2015


Two New York steaks, one prime, one choice will do battle on the grill for a taste comparison cook-off. Will one prevail in the tenderness or taste in this non-scientific culinary experiment? Pull up some barbeque tongs and let’s fire up the grill. Both of our New York steaks are from Harris ranch. The Choice was procured directly from Harris Ranch in Coalinga, California. It has been wet aged for at least three weeks. The Prime cut was purchased from Alexander’s Prime Meats in San Gabriel California. They purchase prime beef carcasses from Harris Ranch and dry age them for at least three weeks. Both of these contenders weigh in at about 16 ounces.

The differences of marbling in these two steaks are very obvious. The prime looks beautiful with its little streams and creeks of beef love (fat). The prime cut is also a tad thicker in girth and was a little firmer to the touch possibly because of the dry ageing. The only seasoning was of salt & pepper. They both were cooked over a very hot mesquite charcoal fire until they were medium rare. (125 degrees internal temperature) The prime took a couple minutes longer because of its thickness. They both were rested for 10 minutes before serving. The envelope please?

This may come as a surprise but they both were equally flavorful with beefy flavor. The prime had a slight buttery mouth feel and possibly was minuscule more tender.  Was the prime a clear knock-out punch winner? Not really,they both were fantastic steaks with beef flavor that we crave. Prime beef is expensive and difficult to find but that will not sway the judges. The Prime New York steak will be declared the winner by a TKO. The Prime is slightly superior with its tenderness and lusciousness.  I do not think we can call the Choice steak a loser by any means. It will be a winner at any dinner we serve.

Friday, May 15, 2015


EL Diablo, the newest, latest, burger creation from the corporate folks of Carl's Jr will grab your attention. The research and development department must have a lot of fun thinking up this wacky burger combination. Do they have a cosmic connection to the inner cravings of my mind because this burger may have been created just for me. Are you ready for the ingredient list? You have a choice of 1/2 or 1/3 pound beef patty. It is topped by several strips of bacon, pepper jack cheese, fresh sliced jalapenos, habanero sauce and drum roll please; jalapeno poppers. This is all held together by a freshly baked roll. I went to the drive through window and gave the clerk $7.22 for the 1/2 pound version.

Once home I unwrapped the burger immediately to reveal a troubling red flag. A jalapeno popper looked like somebody had taken a bite out of it and place it back on the burger. I removed it. A bite was taken of this devilish creation. The roll was fresh, soft and tasty. The hamburger was a little dry but is not all fast food burgers that way?. There was a pronounced jalapeno component from the fresh sliced jalapenos. This was a welcome and satisfying flavor to me. I did not even notice the habanero sauce and did not even know of its presence until I read press about this burger. The jalapeno poppers were good with there fried goodness. The bacon was a little limp but was real with bacon flavor love. The pepper jack cheese was silent with blandness. The verdict?

This burger will receive a passing grade of C for average but an A for creativity. This burger was not hot as promised. It was pleasantly mild with jalapeno flavor. I thought the jalapeno poppers was a little overkill for this burger. I did contact Carl's Jr. about the popper with the bite. They replied with an apology with no explanation and coupons for another day. I will not purchase another El Diablo but had fun giving this one a try.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


I said turd. Now that I have got that out of my system, ABT (Atomic Buffalo Turds) are a mighty fine snack. Ms. Goofy made a version using sweet peppers instead of jalapenos. She also used Jimmy Dean sausage with cream cheese in the filling. All wrapped in bacon and smoked with hickory wood for several hours creates a spectacular afternoon snack. Here is the original recipe. RECIPE

Sunday, May 10, 2015


In the Chilebrown ice cave is a collection of meat from previous Meat Adventures. We bring out and thaw a couple of Baseball steaks from our last adventure to Harris Ranch for tonights bbq meal. Baseball steak is cut from the sirloin with a circular cut to mimic a filet. The sirloin has a lot of beefy flavor. When cooked to a medium rare leaning to the rare side it is almost as tender as a filet. This cut is also a little more economical to the pocket book. Overall this steak was spectacular.


Tonight's PSA is brought to by yours truly. Do as I say not as I do. When using mesquite charcoal as a fuel for grilling wear proper footwear. This will protect your tender feet from any charcoal that pops and explodes from the fire. A hot glowing red ember may possibly lodge between your toes and cause havoc and lots of pain. I have not learned my lesson because this is not the first time. The small molten glowing hot ember will immediately melt into the tender skin and it does not matter how fast you try to remove it the damage is done. Someday, I hope to be smarter than the fire.

Friday, May 8, 2015


While hanging out at my favorite hot sauce shop, Heat Hot Sauce Shop, Dylan the owner said he had a new product that I may like. ‘Late July Snacks LLC’ makes an organic non-GMO stone ground tortilla chip that is bacon habanero flavored. Well, ‘Howdy Doody, Fancy That” Why yes, I would love to try a snack made with two of my favorite ingredients. The chips were put in my cart with other great hot sauces and I went straight home to give them a try.

I had to do it. I read the ingredient list. Sometimes it is better not to. “Non-GMO Bacon Habanero Seasoning which I assume are these listed ingredients; Maltodextrin, sugar dextrose, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, natural smoke flavor, yeast extract, spices habanero pepper powder and natural extractions of paprika. Except for calling this bacon seasoning NO bacon is listed. Let’s give them a taste.
   Crispy, salty, and a slight hint of smoke and sweetness are my initial observations. The heat level is weak or mild for the so called habanero component. Where is the bacon? If I close my eyes and wish very hard, bacon is still not present. Do not get me wrong, this chip is pretty decent. I could sit down and eat the whole bag but bacon and habanero is a promise that is not met. You know I had to try them.                                                                                                                                                                          

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Do you know the true reason for celebrating 'Cinco de Mayo'. Well, pull up a cold one and I will tell you. Cinco de Mayo is a holiday when "Wally World' discounts avocados and pork shoulders. The true meaning of this holiday is to barbeque with a Mexican theme. Pork shoulder roast tacos accompanied by fresh salsa and avocado is a simple but very flavorful meal. We are going to cook our roast over an indirect hot fire. Our roast weighs in around  five pounds and took three and one half hours to cook. The effort is minimal but the results are outlandish.

The roast was trimmed of all visible excess fat. It was then rubbed with 'Robs Smokn Ruib'. This rub is an all purpose rub that works well on many bbq applications. The roast was left out for an hour to bring to room temperature. We used a 22.5in Weber bbq for our cooking vessel today. A fire consisting of 40 charcoals was lit. The live charcoals were placed on one side of the fire grate. A foil pan was placed on the other side of the fire grate to catch all the roasts drippings. I then place several chunks of hickory wood on the lit coals The grill was put into place and the roast was placed over the foil side. The vents were opened all the way for maximum air flow. After 1.5 hours I restocked the fire with 20 live coals. I used restraint and did not lift the lid to check the roast. After 3.5 hours I removed the roast and let it rest for another half. The internal temperature read 185. I could of left it on the fire for a smidge longer but I was hungry and it looked fantastic.

Fresh tortillas warmed on the grill, pickled jalapenos, fresh salsa (pico de gallo) and sliced avocado was all this fantastic pork needed. This is the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo in our household. I think we will celebrate this holiday several times again.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


What a fun day we had in Elk Grove California. I got to wear my cowboy hat again at the Elk Grove Western Festival. Ms. Goofy and I sampled and scored some of the best bbq in the nation. Fun was had by all. We cannot wait till the next event.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Bud's Meats in Penngrove, California has an extensive line-up of exotic meats. Ms. Goofy and I usually stock up on ground buffalo meat when ever we visit Bud's. Buffalo meat is leaner and has more flavor than traditional beef hamburger. These frankfurters begged for further inspection. We were not disappointed. They had a mellow beef like flavor. There was a hint of smoke. I would even venture to say it was more sausage like than a traditional frankfurter. They were yummy. This will definitely be in our shopping cart the next visit.

Buds Custom Meats
7750 Petaluma Hill Rd.
Penngrove, Ca.94951
(707) 795-8402