MAD MEAT GENIUS
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Monday, December 20, 2021
Love it or hate it fruitcakes are my Holiday passion. I found one at Alpine bakery in Concord California. It is a pretty decent rendition. I did make some home made fruitcake that I will share with you in the future.
Rocky, my emotional support monster wants to wish you a Merry Christmas.
Monday, December 13, 2021
To be honest Smokin Wood BBQ was my backup plan to have a bbq meal today. I originally had planned to go to the latest popular and cult like bbq establishment Horn BBQ. At ten minutes before opening Horn had a line of 25-30 people and I was not prepared for the crowd. Smokin Wood was a short drive and my parking Karma confirmed my choice with a metered spot across the street open. Smokin Wood is located on the busy Telegraph Av. A once four lane thoroughfare is now a crowded two lane bottleneck because of bike lanes and restaurant parklets. Smokin woods has a large parklet which kind of gives me the creeps when you realize you are sitting in a former lane of traffic. I go to the entrance a mysterious voice greets me. I realize there is a lady behind a sliding window greeting me over an intercom. You place your order with her and choose indoor or outdoor dining. I ordered my usual ribs, brisket, cole slaw and beans.
The inside has a sportsbar theme with full bar and plenty of T.V. screens for your enjoyment. My meal is delivered on a cafeteria tray that seems to be the new industry standard of bbq delivery. The plate looks fantastic. I am going to cut to the chase right away and tell you I liked this meal. I did not love it. Mediocracy or my new favorite term “meh” comes to mind. The ribs were pleasantly seasoned and cooked well, the brisket was tender but not the beef bomb that I crave and the sides were fresh out a can and deli case. The side dishes seemed to be an afterthought that they might of picked up at the local supermarket. The bbq sauce immediately got thumbs down for the liquid smoke it reeked of. Only one little container was provided with each meal and an extra at 75. Cents was charged for more. One whiff was enough for me.
Smokin Woods BBQ might be a fun place to have a drink and watch a sports game. The bbq was not really bad. It also was not exciting and worthy of a return visit.
Monday, December 6, 2021
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Tyler Florence the food celebrity on the Food Network has recently opened a swanky new steakhouse in San Francisco called Miller & Lux. We had some friends visiting from out of town that wanted to take us out to dinner and this was the choice. Put on the old feedbag and let’s take a journey into a high end steakhouse dining in the City by the Bay.
Miller & Lux is located in the sports complex for the Golden State Warriors. It was only built several years ago and is not only a sports arena but has shops and restaurants. We went on a Monday night when no game was scheduled. Parking Karma was enforced and we parked right across the street in a metered spot. (Game day would be a different story). The restaurant is bright and modern. There is an open kitchen were you can view the chef’s at work. Our hostess scooted the table back as we squeezed into a circular booth. The table was put back into place like a safety device on a culinary carnival ride. The menu was only a page with a short list of ‘modern’ steakhouse staples. Let’s just invoke the “Do not ask rule” on the prices. I will say the prices of beef have double in the last two years. I chose the 45 day age old New York strip Black Angus, Ms. Goofy a filet and our friends split a 32 ounce Tomahawk. These steaks were ala carte with sides extra.
We were served warm fresh popovers as a bread course. Our server announced with great glee that this was butter made from grass fed organic cows. We had multiple servers throughout our dining experience. One would take a sip of water and a busboy would immediately refill your glass. I had sparkling water, of course. I did say busboy but I should have said busperson. This is San Francisco you know. Gender neutral bathrooms were something I was not really used too. I digress, back to the meal. Our Caeser salad was made at the table with great fanfare. The salad was topped with whole anchovies, parmesan crisps, extra cheese and the plate was garnished with a swirl of infused lemon oil.
Dry aging a steak is normally a two to three week process. Miller & Lux serves a 45 day aged steak which is something that is pretty unique and wonderful. I have never had a steak with such a unique and rich flavor. My steak had a funk. A wonderful funk that is hard to describe. It was buttery. It was nutty. It might of not have been the most tender U.S.D.A. prime steak but each and every bite was a ‘umami’ rocket of flavor. I craved the next bite after finishing the first. This was almost a religious experience for me. We all shared a little bite of our different steaks and it was unanimous that my steak was something to behold.
Miller & Lux was a fun treat for the culinary senses and elegant fun. The beloved 'Crumbsweeper made an appearance. The dessert cart was the finish to a wonderful meal. I am still thinking about the 45 day dry aged steak. Fantastic!!!!
• My apologies for the crappy photos. I left the house without my camera and used a phone. It turns out my phone had a crack in the lens.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
This cake comes in a fancy metal tin. The cake is wrapped in a muslin cloth to retain booze and moisture. When you remove the lid step back and be prepared to become overcome with alcoholic vapors. This cake is very moist. There was not small chunks of dried fruit like a traditional cake. The fruits had been pureed to make this a smooth texture with some small walnuts throughout. This is a very nice cake. This is a fruit flavored smooth textured booze bomb that works. Hot damn it's Christmas.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
We are on a wild journey to Black Star Pirate BBQ. I do mean journey. The location is somewhat of a challenge to navigate. One must drive into the Richmond San Rafael Bridge toll lanes and take the last exit before hitting the bridge. You then drive through a historic abandoned Navel fuel depot. You think you have hit a dead end and there is a sign pointing up a narrow, steep winding road. Carefully navigate this road and at the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Point San Pablo harbor. You still need to be careful making your way down the winding road to the large parking lot. We have arrived.
This is a working harbor that has a lot of history. Nearby was a whaling station. I used to go fishing from this harbor on charter fishing boats. When you get out of your car you will notice whimsical art installations. You will see the entrance to Black Star Pirate BBQ by the colorful sign. I immediately get a 60’s type vibe with the colors and flower child themed decoration. There is a sign board with the menu and a hostess to take your order. Once your order is placed you have a choice of seats indoors or out. The inside is a very old coffee shop that is very busy with employee activities. There are numerous seating arrangements outside. This place is set up to handle a crowd. There is a stage for music. Most seats have a view of the Bay and the harbor. It is a fun and scenic way to eat your meal.
I ordered ribs, brisket and it came with my choice of sides; mushrooms, cole slaw and beans. It was delivered on a cafeteria type tray. It looked spectacular. One eats with their eyes first and I loved it before I even took a bite. I started with the ribs. They were not trimmed of excess fat. The rib had a crisp crust of seasoning and fat. I am not even mad. I took a bite and out oozed some of some of the most heavenly pork fat that has ever existed to mankind. WoW!. They were fall off the bone and I tasted a real pork flavor. I wonder if this was some heritage breed of pork. The brisket was very tender with deep beef flavor. It was seasoned very well and was very enjoyable. These meats were served with a generic bbq sauce but it was not needed
The sides were hitting on all garlic cylinders. I love mushrooms and these were rich and full of garlic. The assortment of beans was tender, rich and satisfying. Again, a garlic theme was present. Maybe I had achieved garlic overload but the Cole slaw may have had a kiss of the stinking rose.
Overall Black Star Pirate BBQ is a destination restaurant. Be prepared for a drive and rewarded with a fun dining experience. This is not competition bbq but who cares when the food is passionately made with great results. The grounds are fun, making for a most enjoyable meal. I hope for success for Black Star Pirate BBQ.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Monday, October 11, 2021
This Mad Meat Genius attended the Blade Show West in Long Beach California this weekend. I stayed in the Swanky Hyatt right across from the Convention Center. Across the street was a bunch of chain restaurants which included “Q Smokehouse”. It was a no brainer to walk across the street and give it a try. Walking through the door my senses were assaulted with BBQ kitsch. It reminded me of a Famous Dave’s. I actually kind of like it. It is fun and puts one in the mood to be delighted. I was seated immutably.
The menu had the 4 meats represented. Brisket and pulled pork with beans and slaws was my choice today. It was delivered on a paper lined cafeteria tray. The presentation was very nice showing the kitchen took pride in their food. I dug in and was pleasantly surprised. This offering of bbq meat and sides was actually pretty good. The meats were not competition style but I was not expecting that either. The brisket was a tad dry but slathered in the sweet house brand sauces made for a beefy treat. The sides were good with the cornbread winning this round. It was cakelike, warm and delightful. Smokehouse Q was a good choice for dinner. It hit on a lot of cylinders. Do not expect competition bbq but expect to have fun and a decent enjoyable bbq meal.
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Ms. Goofy and I were doing our happy dance in anticipation of the "Pig Jig" bbq competition to be held in San Jose California. BBQ competitions are few and far between these last several years and it is a joyous occasion to break out our judges badges. Today's competition was a fundraiser for the NephCure Kidney International organization. The teams were all corporate sponsored. We did see a couple professional cooks today but it was all for a good cause. Let's get right into the competition. Ribs , tri-tip and a very fun third category called; "Wild Card". Be prepared to become hungry.