Tag Archives: BBQ

Deep in the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth

After my last experience with airport dining, I’m not expecting much. But the smell of BBQ as I left the plane overwhelmed my trepidations. Enter Cousin’s BBQ, a counter establishment in Dallas Fort Worth Terminal D. Again I’m surprised at the reasonable pricing. $11 gets you a dinner plate with two sides and Texas toast.

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The pulled pork has a perfect tender texture, but is lacking in bark. There’s great smokey flavor and color all the way through the meat. It’s slathered with a generous amount of a rather bland sauce. Skip the mac and cheese; way overcooked noodles and blue-box cheese is worthless. The potatoes are also a miss. They taste like the boxed stuff with a little bit of fresh spuds mixed in for color and texture. Lastly, the Texas toast: nothing worth saying, but then again, what do you expect for double-thick Wonderbread.

Long story short, if you’re going to hit up Texas, at least have the decency to exit the airport before seeking out BBQ.

SLO down for a quick bite

Posted from San Luis Obispo, California, United States.

Last time I visited Firestone Grill was the night of the farmers market, and so it was overcrowded and rushed. Tonight, a Monday night after the spring semester is over leaves San Luis Obispo quieter and more relaxed. A cool summer evening for a perfect outdoor setting.

As well as they can handle crowds, Firestone is even better on a quiet night. Tender, juicy tri-tip piled on a buttered flame-toasted roll and a sweet BBQ sauce has just the right balance of soft savory glaciers that make for an excellent example of this Central Coast specialty. With a side of huge hot onion rings, this is a great stop for a quick casual dinner, or am afternoon of watching sports. Either way a win.20140609-191657-69417921.jpg

Historic ribs in Old Town

Posted from Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Twin Anchors Tavern is a small dive on Chicago’s north side and a huge part if Chicago history. A favorite of Frank Sinatra, this tiny bar has a great beer list and is famous for their ribs. We started our tavern tour here, and grabbed lunch while we waited on a coldly snowy Chicago morning.
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The pork is tender, juicy, with some great smokey flavor. The barbecue sauce is tangy, sweet, almost picklish and light on the molasses. Great way to warm up!

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The ribs are worthy of the reputation. Great bark with lots of flavor and char. Tender fall of the bone, I can see why Frank enjoyed them so much. The spicy sauce with ghost peppers adds a lot of sweet heat that sneaks up on you, but doesn’t mask the great flavor of the ribs.

Both dishes were great, but the ribs really stand out and are worth coming back for.

BBQ, Beer, and the Bay

Posted from San Francisco, California, United States.

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Just off the plane and checked into my hotel on a Monday night in San Francisco. Stuck without a car, and not wanting to figure out the public transit just yet, I decide to stay in walking distance. Being a daytime tourist trap, the Fisherman’s Wharf area is pretty light when it comes to late night options. Applebee’s, Subway, and In-N-Out top the list. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Double-Double, grilled onion, protein style, but if I’m traveling, and blogging, then it needs to be a little more special.

After a bit of googling, I landed in The Pub BBQ, a BBQ bar with a late kitchen tucked away to the corner of Ghirardelli Square. It’s a typical dark wood paneled pub, but with BBQ. Quiet, with only me and a couple of locals, but it’s a Monday and there’s few tourists in February.

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Deciding on a pint of whatever I didn’t recognize on tap, I found 312 Urban Wheat, a nice light cloudy heff from Chicago. (I may have to look up the brewery next month when I’m there.)

Considering this is a BBQ place, and not too touristy looking, I opted for the pulled pork sandwich with a side of tater tots.

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Good, crispy, hot tots with house BBQ sauce for dipping. Very different BBQ from any I’ve had before. It’s apple cider tangy, sweet, heavy in the catsup and almost overwhelming celery salt, but not much molasses. Not quite Carolina style, but still worlds away from dark Kansas City sugary stuff. The pulled pork is served on toasted sourdough (this is San Francisco and Boudins is just around the corner). The pork is smokey, juicy, and tender, with a soft, but dark bark. Clearly this is prepared right and not just simmered in a crockpot. The pork is thoroughly tossed with BBQ sauce. Not sure if it was the same sauce as with the tots, but if so, it totally transforms on the meat. There also a house hot sauce, with the tang of Franks Red Hot, but some nice smokey flavors too. It blends really well with the BBQ sauce by adding heat without wrecking the flavor.

My only regret? It’s a beautifully clear night in the city and I forgot my camera and tripod.

Overall probably the best I would have found for late night dining without a guide. Next time you’re in San Francisco, step away from the generic seafood on The Embarcadero and try The Pub BBQ. Just don’t forget your chocolate soda upstairs.

SLO isn’t so slow on Thursdays

Posted from San Luis Obispo, California, United States.

On Thursdays San Luis Obispo transforms from a quiet rural town to a thriving festival with the weekly Farmers Market. Finally a chance to get some truly local fare.

We’re all adults, so let’s start with desert first. Ice cream sandwiches at Batch! Nice warm peanut butter cookies with a generous scoop of creamy coffee ice cream.

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For dinner I decided on Firestone Grill because everybody swears by their tri-tip sandwich and fries. It was on the corner, just past the end of the market, so easy to step in, but the line was huge! I recommend going on an off night since its apparently fairly crowded at lunch too. The line does move fast though, and food rolls out quickly considering the crowd.

The tri-tip was great. Silky smooth and tender, but not smokey enough for my tastes. Everyone says the fries are laced with crack, but I didn’t care for them. Though they were generous with the seasoning, it was mostly salt. So a lot of seasoning meant a lot of salt, which I guess is good in a college bar hangout. If you’re in town, do stop by for the tri-tip though. You won’t be disappointed.