October 2005


Monday 31, October 2005

Byron Chism – buttrub.com

Byron has become one of the most well known BBQ Cooks in the country. This it due to his good cooking and marketing expertise.

20:47 minutes High Quality 20:47Minutes Low Quality

Dink’s Pit Bar-B-Que
2929 E. Frank Phillips Blvd.
Bartlesville, OK 74006
Ph# 918-335-0606

The following review was submitted by James Moutray aka “Redbird” on the BBQ Forum. Minor editing by the reporter.

After all the years of growing up in the Bartlesville/Pawhuska area and driving back and forth in front of the Dink’s BBQ and saying “I’ll never eat at a place called Dink’s”, Man was I wrong!!!! Had a class reunion in Pawhuska this weekend and had to get a BBQ fix.

Well I was staying in B’ville and the only BBQ I ran across was Dink’s. I looked at my wife, she shrugged her shoulders (I had told her about not ever wanting to eat somewhere with that name) and we went in and ordered. She got a smoked turkey sandwich and I ordered a hot pig sandwich, pork loin w/coleslaw (not the creamy stuff) w/ jalapenos and both w/ fries and a couple of ribs.

Well I’m trying to plan another trip down home to get another taste of Dink’s BBQ!!!!! It seems after you get your cooking down and go out to BBQ joints, they never quite taste good enough, too tough, too soggy, not enough smoke…. you know what I mean. Well the sandwiches were both killer, they didn’t last long and the ribs… mmmm. And they have a $8.95 Tuesday night all-you-can-eat!!!!! Looks like there might be some extended weekends in the future!!! If you’re ever through B’ville give it a try, I’m glad I did!!!!

JOHNNY RAY’S
2910 Morgan Road, Suite 100
Bessemer, AL 35022
PH# 205-424-6639
www.johnnyrays.com

PART 1 0F 3 REVIEWS IN ALABAMA

It’s the week of October 17th and I’ll be heading to Tuscaloosa, AL for the annual Tennessee vs. Alabama football game on Saturday. Fortunately I’ll have several opportunities to stop by some of my old barbecue favorites in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. First up is Johnny Ray’s.

Let me start by saying that I was born and raised in the eastern section of Birmingham and have been a fan of Johnny Ray’s barbecue for as long as I can remember. Johnny Ray passed away last year and those of us who knew Johnny have missed his presence. He was a true barbecue legend in the Birmingham area. I can remember eating at Johnny Ray’s in the Roebuck Sopping Center back in the 60’s. That was Johnny’s first location and today there are several locations throughout Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Ok, enough for the history lesson. We stopped by Johnny Ray’s off of I-459 in Bessemer on our way to Tuscaloosa. The restaurant is located on the end of a strip shopping center complex. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the standard brick pit located behind the counter in the back. The Pit master was busy tending the meats; ribs, pork shoulders, chicken and checking the pit temperature. This is a common site in most barbecue restaurants in the South. You want see very many fancy smokers with all of the bells and whistles. This is true “Hickory Pit” smoked barbecue.

The three of us sat down at our table and were promptly greeted by our waitress. The menu had not changed since my last visit at the Montgomery Highway location a couple of years ago. Todd chose the rib plate with slaw and fries, Jason and I each choice the chopped pork plate with beans and fries. I asked for my pork to be mixed with inside and outside meat. After a short wait our food arrived. Todd’s rib plate was huge with an ample amount of ribs full of meat. These things were more like dinosaur ribs. The pork plates were full with meat and sides. Mine had a great mix of inside and outside meat. I really enjoyed the taste of the dark outside meat and tender chopped inside meat. Johnny Ray’s sauce is a vinegar/tomato base, sweet with plenty of interesting spices, complements the meat without over powering.

The three of us were completely full when we finished and decided to skip Honey’s famous pies for dessert. Honey is Johnny’s wife and over the years she has developed some of the best tasting pies you will find anywhere. All of the Johnny Ray’s restaurants feature Honey’s pies and I would recommend trying any and all of them.

Had this bread along with some beans and rice that John Eddy took to the Desoto contest. MAN that was some mean eats.

Fat Johnny’s Cheesy Beer Bread

Makes 2 loaves

6 cups self rising flour
1 cup sugar
2 cans of beer
Pinch salt
1 stick butter – melted
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced fresh jalapenos

Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon until just well mixed. Pour
into
buttered loaf pans & top with thin sliced jalapenos. Sprinkle a lil’
sugar
on top and bake @ 350* for 40 minutes. Brush generously with melted
butter,
and return to oven for another 10 minutes…or until toothpick comes
clean.
Don’t overcook it. Remove from pan, let cool for a few minutes, then
slice
thick and serve while warm. Makes great toast for breakfast, too!!

Care to Share?
Barbqr-Ken

SLOW’S BAR B Q
2138 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI. 48216
Ph# 313-962-9828
www.slowsbbq.com

Last week I had to be in the Detroit area on a business trip. I knew that I wanted to sample some of Motown’s barbecue so I prepared in advance by asking the BBQ Forum members for recommendations. One reply came back with a new barbecue spot opening up in downtown Detroit named Slow’s Bar B Q. Now this place is so new that they are not listed in the MSN City Guides section. It’s my guess that they will be very soon once word gets out that they are open.

I stopped in for lunch on a midweek day. Slow’s is located just a short distance west of Tigers Stadium. It’s in the Corktown section of Detroit. Now some of the neighborhood around Slow’s may not win any city beautification award. But there are ample sports bars and other restaurants in the area. The owners of Slow’s have done a nice job rehabbing an old storefront into a very comfortable restaurant/bar. A hostess greeted me and since I was by myself I chose to sit at the bar. Every table was taken and there were several customers along with me at the bar. The menu offered an abundance of appetizers but I chose to go straight to the entrees. Featured entrees included Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Baby Back and St. Louis style ribs and Smoked Chicken. They also offer a variety of combos. I picked The Big Three-Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken and Sliced Brisket. You also get two sides. I chose Cole Slaw and baked beans, however the bartender talked me into trying the baked Macaroni and Cheese.

While I was waiting for my order I had a chance to ask the bartender a few questions about Slow’s and how they got started. They’ve been open for about a month. The name Slow’s refers to the cooking method we all know and love: Low & Slow. They use a Southern Pride smoker for all of their meats. Apple wood is the primary smoking fuel. On each table and at various locations on the bar you will find 5 different types of barbecue sauces: Spicy, Sweet, North Carolina Sauce, Mustard Sweet and Apple. I sampled all of them and must say they were all very good. The Apple definitely had an apple flavor. The North Carolina sauce had a good bite with red pepper flakes mixed in the vinegar/tomato base. I decided to try them all with my meal. When the combo arrived there was a nice portion of all three meats. The side order of Macaroni & cheese was huge with plenty of warm melted sharp cheddar cheese. I started with a taste of the brisket and was a little disappointed. There wasn’t much flavor, very little smoke in the meat although it did have a nice dark outside bark. Next I tried the pork. Better, good flavor with a nice mix of spices and also dark outside bark. The chicken also had a spicy/hot taste with apple wood smoke, very good. The Mac & Cheese was awesome. They use a small shell type pasta Conchiglie, I believe and add spices. The Cole Slaw was adequate.

Slow’s also offers a variety of sandwiches. One that sounded especially interesting was the Longhorn, Beef Brisket with onion marmalade and smoked Gouda cheese. Pork, Chicken and Smoked Ham sandwiches are also offered. Side items besides those previously mentioned included Black-eyed Peas, Green Beans, and Black Beans. Service was excellent.

I’ll try Slow’s again in a few months. Until then if you’re in the downtown Detroit area I’d recommend trying Slow’s. And when you do, send me your review we’ll post it in the BBQ Forum Blog.

Upcoming reviews: Ken’s Hickory Pit Barbecue-Birmingham, Al. Dreamland Barbecue-Tuscaloosa, AL. Memphis Championship Barbecue-Las Vegas, NV.

Here is a recipe that was given to me from a friend I work with. It was handed down to him from his Mother who received it from her mother. If you have any of these left over, they make great hashbrowns.

Rick’s Grandmother’s Onion-Baked Potato

1 baking potato per person

1 yellow onion, cut in thin, round slices

1/2 teaspoon butter per potato

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Make a lengthwise slit in each potato, being careful not to cut potato in half. Use knife to crack potato slightly and “break” it open. Cut round slices of onion in half. Place one-half of each onion slice into slit in potato, straight edge down. Add butter on top of onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired. Wrap onion-filled potato in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees in oven or smoker for 45 to 60 minutes.

Note: Grate leftover baked potatoes the next day for hash browns.

Give these a try and let us know how you liked them.

Care to Share?
Barbqr-Ken

Tuesday 19, October 2005

Juggy D. Beerman – One of the BBQ Forum People

Juggy D Beerman is a colorful BBQ personality that frequents The BBQ Forum, which is part of the great good fortune of the BBQ Forum. Enjoy this interesting conversation with Juggy D Beerman.

16:30 minutes High Quality 16:30 Minutes Low Quality

Joey Mac’s season came to end at Arthur, IL a couple weeks ago. We didn’t do as well as we would have liked there, but borrowing from my Cub fan mentality, “wait ‘til next year”. The last contest is bittersweet. Many conflicting feelings abound, disappointment over our showing, elation over finally hitting in chicken, an emptiness at the anticipation of nothing to do but practice for 6 months, fulfilled for having a pretty decent inaugural season.

Taking a moment to reflect on my Newbie season, I’ve concluded the most rewarding aspect about it isn’t the money won, or ribbons, or trophies, but about the friendships established this year. Cooking together with the people who I met at that first contest, meeting new folks who are more newbie than me, and getting to know some other more seasoned competitors are unexpected pleasures of the season. I guess when the smoke all settles after the awards, it’s the friendships and camaraderie that stick out in my mind. In all likeliness, I’ll not see any of these folks until next year, but I expect we’ll pick up right where we left off.

It takes a special type of person to wander the grounds of a competition at 1:00am and talk a fellow competitor off the ledge when his/her cook isn’t going quite right. The Friday night dinner gatherings, the Saturday morning breakfasts, the wandering around at all hours, the unified stress of turn-ins, the decompression that happens as you turn in brisket and you share your doubts with your comrades are what stick out in my mind. You don’t think about this aspect of competition BBQ when you’re making the choice to get involved, but believe it or not, it’s what keeps you coming back.

Like many others, we’ve got several months to contemplate what went right and what went wrong. We get to work on flavor profiles and timings a little more. But while I’m taking a little breather from the intensity of competition cooking, I’m going to also fire up the cookers and cook some BBQ for the sole purpose of enjoying the low and slow method and share that with friends and family. I also get to compete at the Jack Daniels and other events vicariously through others, doing my best to send any good cook vibes I may have to them as they continue on the trail for a little while longer. Good luck to all still active out on the circuit, and good luck to those who are planning to make the leap in the spring.

As for the Blog, next time I hope to speak a little more about what happens at a competition, from arrival to departure. Other plans are to have some guest interviews from seasoned teams to other newbies and how they chose to get started.

And don’t forget if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email at joe@bbqblog.com.

On the forum, most folks probably just know him as ‘mike.’ But if you don’t know him, he runs HawgeyesBBQ.com and TNT Landscaping out of Ankeny, IA. He’s someone who has done alot to foster the bbq community– in particular by carrying and promoting so many projects made by BBQForum.com members– so it made sense to me to start here.

The questions were emailed to Mike and his responses are unedited. I hope to do more of these soon and to revise the questions to try and keep things fresh. As always, send me your suggestions.

Thanks, Mike and thank you readers!

Name?
Mike Tucker

Where From and/or where do you currently live?
Originally Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri, and then Iowa.

Married, kids, etc…?
Married 20 years, two Kids, a big black dog, and an iguana. I see a cat from time to time also.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc. please mention)?
President/ founder TNT Landscaping. Operate a 5 acre retail nursery/garden center, along with Hawgeyes BBQ carryout food, and HawgeyesBBQ.com internet sales. Full design & install service. Also have a complete outdoor cooking center featuring all items on our website.

# of pits and what are they?
I retail Horizon, WSM, Big Green Egg. I own a Oklahoma Joe (2), a Big Green Egg, a Ducane Gas Grill, several Webers, and a big Horizon Trailer Mounted Smoker.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
No, i bought a piece of junk fuel tank cooker, and had a fire box added. Sold it soon after. I decided to leave it up to the professionals.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
My Dad was big into grilling. We had a nice home in Missouri, with a deck overlooking a lake. The perfect background.

Favorite thing about bbqing?
It’s outside, and a chance to be creative.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
I was told about it by local cooks around 6 years ago.

What was your first pit?
An Oklahoma Joe Tailgator.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
I honestly don’t remember. The most memorable was the frozen pizza that cooked all night (in college). I fell asleep after “studying” too hard. Not a good experience.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc.?
Cherry, pecan, lump charcoal. Rubs and sauces are what we sell, so I don’t name favorites.

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name,
etc….)?
1999 World Pork Expos’ “Barbeqlossal”. We were the Iowa Hawgeyes, and won grand champ. Ed Roith and his wife took reserve. She was in a wheel chair. He supported us, and he supported her. I will never forget that day.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why?
No. I get enough of my own. Having a carryout shack kind of burns you out.

Favorite record albums, books, tv shows, movie, etc…whatever you want
to include.
I don’t listen to music much anymore. Still like rock when I do. I never really liked to read or follow directions, and I like action movies. Oh yeah, I like the show “Cops”, and Two and a Half Men.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often
when not eating bbq)?
Pizza, burgers, a good steak.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?
Budweiser/Budweiser/Budweiser

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
There have been a bunch. I guess the genuine ones. Some of them never get a response and should. Sometimes it takes someone to say “hey look at this”. Qsis did that with a post about kids. It had to do with a project with Juggy and his father Father. That was one of my favorites.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)?
I saw a couple that hit below the belt. Any post that deteriorates into a personal attack or the threat of “repercussions” has gone to far in my opinion.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
Yes. We have Hawgeyesbbq.com. It was a natural tie-in with our outdoor cooking supply sales.

Westpoint Barbeque
25301 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn, MI. 48124
Ph# 313-278-3311

The following review was submitted by Brian Pearcy aka ‘The BBQG Guy”:

My wife Linda and I stopped in for lunch today at Westpoint Barbeque at 25301 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, MI. It’s the first time Linda has tried a barbecue restaurant since we moved here from Florida and my second visit to a commercial barbecue restaurant in the Motor City area.

Before I say anything else about our experience, I should offer this disclaimer: Linda and I have cooked in barbecue contests with KCBS and FBA for the past three years. We cook our own barbecue at home and enjoy it a lot. Linda grew up in Tennessee and is a southern-style barbecue connoisseur. I grew up in Missouri, but fell in love with Tennessee style pulled pork after I moved to Tennessee after college graduation.

I’ve driven by the Westpoint Barbeque restaurant a lot in my trips to and from work and the place always seems to have a lot of cars in the parking lot. We stopped in at 11 a.m. for lunch on our way to Greenfield Village. We were ahead of the regular lunch crowd and there were only two or three other groups in the restaurant when we arrived. We figured that any restaurant that has the word “barbeque” in their name should stand a good chance of serving some pretty good barbecue, so we decided to give it a try.

Our intention was to order pulled pork and spare ribs; that way we could both try some of each. The waitress brought our menus and we noticed that Westpoint Barbeque serves a lot of other things besides barbecue. The first item that caught my eye when I opened the menu was “pitas”. They must have had three or four different pitas to choose from. They also serve fish, steaks, hamburgers, and a variety of other sandwiches and salads. Linda was disappointed that they didn’t have “pulled pork” on the menu. I ordered the barbecue ribs (1/2 slab) and Linda chose the “sliced” barbecue pork tenderloin sandwich. The waitress served our drinks quickly and brought silverware to the table with the food arriving within 10 minutes of placing the order. The tables were clean, the waitresses were pleasant and we were greeted and seated within a few seconds of arriving.

The ribs are served with Texas Toast and a choice of fries, broiled potatoes or a baked potato. I chose a side order of cole slaw and the broiled potatoes. At first glance the ribs appeared over cooked. They were very black in color and were slathered in a bright red barbecue sauce. The ribs were pre-cut to make them easier to pull apart, but I was able to separate the ribs easily. Upon first bite my taste buds were greeted with some flavors and textures that I do not usually associate with barbecue ribs; a “charred” texture to the meat from the top of the ribs and a lack of sweetness to the barbecue sauce. I did not notice any rub on the ribs at all. I can only guess that the ribs were cooked with a lot of sauce, and therefore the cooking process “burned” the sauced onto the ribs causing the charring effect. I prefer barbecue sauce that is sweeter and have grown accustomed to honey or molasses flavors. The sauce seemed to be a derivative of the Cattleman’s sauce that you can buy at Sam’s Club warehouse store. I can also only assume that the ribs were cooked a long time before they were served; perhaps the day before. They had the characteristics of barbecue ribs that I sometimes eat as leftovers. The vinegar slaw and broiled potato wedges were very good.

The barbecue pork tenderloin sandwich was served on Texas Toast with lettuce, tomato and A LOT of barbecue sauce slopped on it. Linda commented that she’d never had barbecue with lettuce and tomato. She promptly removed them. Sauce was oozing out onto the bread from all sides. Linda commented that the meat was dried out and that the spice flavoring did not penetrate the meat through and through. I had a bite of the tenderloin and it didn’t take long to figure out why it was served with so much sauce; it was really dried out.
The waitress offered us refills and presented the check: $21 and change. We left a $4 tip and left.

I’ll be the first to admit that we are pretty critical restaurant guests. We notice things like unswept floors, finger prints on the glass, cigarette smells, and unclean restroom facilities. We found NONE of those characteristics at Westpoint Barbeque. The restaurant was very neat, very organized and very clean throughout the dining room area, the waitresses and bus boys were neatly dressed and pleasant. The restroom was one of the cleanest I’ve seen in a family-style restaurant.

On a scale of 1 through 10, I’d rate the overall dining experience a “7″ and the barbecue as “marginal”.

Thanks,

Brian Pearcy
“The BBQ Guy”
www.thebbqguy.com
Member Kansas City Barbecue Society
Member Florida Barbecue Association

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