Sunday, December 28, 2008

Arthur Bryants

Oh hey bros. I just got back from burying my Grandpa in Kansas City, Missouri. No tears here, Ol' Bob Slegman was a good man, and he lived a long life over 94 years. He was a horseman, fox hunter, clothier, and one of the best storytellers I've ever met. Of course one of the coolest things about Grandpa Bob is that he loved good BBQ and soul food. Thus every time I've traveled to KC we would visit a number of their finest BBQ and soul food joints. I've been to so many of them since I was about 8 years old that the list would be too long to post here. That's a lot of ribs, buddies.

I consider a KC trip to be a pilgrimage of pork. A sojourn of sauce. A gathering of burnt ends amongst friends.

Anyway, Arthur Bryants is a fucking temple of deliciousness. I don't want to hear anything about Texas beef ribs, or Memphis sauce, or god forbid some heresy about Minnesota even coming close to bumping uglies with KC BBQ. Deal?

Arthur Bryants is known worldwide, but the original location is still nestled in the 'hood. Of course the neighborhood looks a lot nicer than the one I live in, but just to acknowledge the street cred I captured a couple of 40oz buddies perched in front of the restaurant, likely waiting for their gorging BBQ fan drinkers.

That's my plate stacked full of burnt ends, pulled pork, and amazing pork short ribs. I also grabbed KC's finest Boulevard Pale Ale in a frosty mug. I prefer the original Bryants sauce which isn't sweet at all, and packed with gritty spices. They also carry two newer varieties of sauce that are sweet and thus easier for white people to enjoy. Pussies.

A 2lb stack of delicious pork ribs. That's a lot of piggy for this piggy. One of the best things about Arthur Bryants is ordering by the pound. The longer you wait in line, the longer this seems like a great idea. I think we ordered something like 12lbs of meat plus the beans, slaw and beers we threw down.

Every table at Bryants comes stocked with a loaf of Wonder Bread. I remember going there once when I was about 8 years old. My Dad asked the man behind the counter why they use such shitty bread when they served such great ribs and sauce. The gheri-curled man replied "Dat ain't bread, dems napkins". Fucking brilliant.

Another view of the original Arthur Bryants. They added a fancy new parking lot, but you're still going to wait 45 minutes in line over lunch time.

Ribs are my favorite food on the planet. I like ribs more than hot dogs, tacos and bacon, and I really love hot dogs, tacos and bacon. I guess the moral of the story is that I like a lot of different kinds of food, especially when you're stuffing your face with a buddy at your side.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Buddies

Hope you and yours are having a gooder. I'm on the couch with my squeeze watching some James Bond and tossing back some coldies. Merry Christmas indeed.

The Kobe and The Chili Hole

Duders, here's the last two dog related eats I had before heading back to Austin. First down on Venice Beach at Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom. I got a giant Kobe Beef dog and saw Harry Perry the roller skating guitar turban guy. I'm not sure there is a huge difference in a Kobe Beef dog and a nice Vienna except cows that drink beer and get massaged in sake but it was still pretty tasty. Nice gimmick though.




Then I got this chili hole at a place called Barney's Beanery. A joint where you could trade your license plate for a pint, where supposedly Janis Joplin had her last drink before kicking it and where Jim Morrison got bounced for pissing on the bar. We sat in a booth.

This was one of those trendy sourdough bowls filled with shit that seems to be the hip way to serve up soup and crap. This was stuffed with some really decent chili and diced dogs. Just like being a kid again except with pints.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two In The Pink's

Made it to the Famous Pink's today. When it's 50 degrees out and wet people don't really get out and stand in line in L.A. Which was fine by me. This is a pretty decent joint but it's no Hot Doug's, so I'm glad I didn't have a Hot Doug's line which I was fully prepared for from all the stories.

That said fellas, Pink's does have some intriguing shit on the menu. Like the Martha Stewart Dog, a 10" Stretch Dog, relish, onions, bacon chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut & sour cream or the THE OZZY SPICY DOG, a Spicy Polish Dog, Nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole & chopped tomatoes and so on. But today for my two I went for the BACON CHILI CHEESE DOG topped w/3 strips of bacon, tomatoes & cheese and the PASTRAMI REUBEN DOG - Pastrami, mustard, Swiss cheese & sauerkraut. One of the most amazing things was how the bacon grease met the chili grease and dripped right off the corner of the cheese slice. The little puddle was like those art/light show things hippies used to do with coloured water, oil and an overhead projector. I don't think I've ever seen grease suspended in more grease.


I figger the test of most places is the standard chili cheese and if I was to throw bacon on top of that how could I go wrong? And truth be told it was pretty dang good. The Pastrami dog I was hoping would be an actual sausage made of pastrami but it was just their regular dog covered with flat grilled pastrami, a slice of swiss and some kraut. Tasty enough.

My squeeze got the 10 inch stretch and her sister picked up a plain chili. All in all a nice sampling despite most my buddies who had been there telling me "Pink's is Wack."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Original Tommy's and a Simpson's Dog

Hey Buddies. I'm out in not so warm LA for the holidays so I thought I'd post up a couple joints I've made it to so far. First on the way from the airport we stopped at The Original Tommy's where everything comes with chili.

Now it's a rare occasion when I wouldn't want everything covered with chili but this hain't the best chili you've ever had. As you can see there was a lot of pretty bland goop on the dag and fries. The buns were ok not super soft like they should be but not totally dried out. Thankfully they did the dag right. It had the right snap that kept this from being a complete dog fail.

This next stop was at Universal Studios. Right outside the Simpson's ride, which I must say is one of the most awesome things I've ever been on. Theme parks aren't my gig but we were taking my 8 year old niece so it was pretty fun. Here's a tip. If there is a retarded long line for the backlot tour hop over into the Spanish speaking line. We only waited 5 min instead of 45 and even though we hardly understood any of the tour guide they had some rad music. And since I was sitting on the back car the Norman Bates dude almost stabbed me. I actually had to duck.

Look just like if you were getting cartoon dogs on the show!

Perfectly acceptable plain dog. Longer than the bun with nothing to dress it up but mustard and sweet relish. And while I love a cold beer I kinda felt like a dirt bag walking around all those kids slugging back hooch.

I'm off to Roscoe's for chicken and waffles but I'll hit a few more dog stands in the next couple days.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brothers in guts. For Dad's day.

That's Dave. Friend of buddy Nate. Part-time buddy of the Brew. Hanging out with his brothers and Dad. About to fire up the grill. I think we should all call our Dads and tell them how fucking awesome they are for teaching us about meats.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Buddies, Bloody Mary's, BBQ, Bacon Waffles and Brad

I went to Smitty's today and it reminded me of some pics from a previous trip that you fellas should appreciate.

Buddy Brad, also known as Whisky Beard, came down to visit from OKC. Brad is a whiz at the barbecuing. So much so that bands like Magnolia Electric Co. and Ladyhawk from Vancouver B.C. will route their tours through that crap hole Oklahoma City just to eat in his back yard.

After their most recent show there Ladyhawk were nice enough to let Brad get in the van down to Austin so he could then get some meat in his belly. Once in Austin Ladyhawk delivered the rock and we hung out till the wee hours talking about metal and slugging back hooch. The next couple days were spent slugging back more hooch and talking less about metal and more about meat. Delicious, delicious meat (but still plenty about metal. I mean c'mon it's metal)

First off this is Brad with one of my Bloody Mary's

Next this was breakfast. Bacon Waffles and Brad's Atomic Donkey Turds which are cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapenos. You read that right, BACON in the waffles. I won't make them any other way and neither should you.

Enough of this "most important meal of the day" nonsense, this is Smitty's. Open flame pit on the floor as you walk in.

Buddies Brad and Ladyhawk surveying the take. Just look at that beautiful pile of meats. No forks at this joint.

And since this site is about the tubed variety of animals here is a sweet close up of the Smitty's Sausage.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Saturday Sausage Party

You know when you are pumping ground meat into pig guts there isn't a single thing anyone can say that can't be construed as a dick joke. Oddly enough making sausage and cooking for 4 hours the dick jokes don't get old. It's like we are still retarded teenagers but reality is we are just retarded adults who drink a lot and laugh at stupid shit...all. the. time.

But for a bunch of tards we can make some pretty mean eats. We started the night off with a version of Poutine. Seeing as I have only had it once in Montreal about 10 years ago I couldn't exactly remember the gravy. Buddy Northcutt managed to pretty much make good ol' KFC gravy from scratch. It wasn't quite the traditional Canuck brown gravy but it was damn tasty so that's what we ate. And we ate the hell out of it. Waffle fries, cheese curds and gravy, fuck yeah.

Now enough of this Canadian grabass let's talk sausages. First up I marinated 6 ribeyes and a pound of hickory smoked peppered bacon for about 4 hours, ground it up and got to stuffin'.

These were deelish. Dressed with whiskey butter (!!!), Amish Bermuda Onion cheddar and crispy onion strings. Other offerings for the evening were a spicy sweet chili teriyaki dog with a spicy goat cheese sauce made by guest buddy Adrian who is working on a documentary called "Slow Food" about organic and local foodstuffs. Northcutt whipped out a portobello, roasted garlic, balsamic soaked Quinoa and shallot "sausage" dressed with a roasted red and yellow bell, pear chutney and topped with marjoram, basil, sugar and black pepper crusted Chèvre rounds. And finally, for good measure, I tossed out a BBQ brisket sausage dressed with a mustard base hot pepper/garlic, Yukon gold/sweet potato salad, Butterkase cheese, baby dill slices and Habanero BBQ Sauce

Here they be. Portobello on the left, Ribeye in the middle, Brisket on the right, Teriyaki on top

And just so you guys don't think I've gone full on fruity I grabbed a pretty alright dog outside Home Depot today on a run to get some shit to work on our roof. You know man stuff. And some potting soil to re-pot some plants. Wait..shit I've said too much..

p.s. it was 76° here today. I think we may have to have a Wizzard New Year's Eve in the back yard if this weather holds up.

Big Business. Buddies. Bullwinkle's Famous Dogs.

So a couple of buddies had made plans to eat some dogs and then rock. No gals allowed.

Much to our dismay, the Wienery was closed on Saturday night. The night that Big Business and the Melvins were to grace the stage of the Triple Rock for a face melting rock show of monumental proportions.

Ol' Mancaster got a hot tip about some dog eatin' at Bullwinkles, a West Bank college town luminary. Screw the Wienery and their unpredictable hours, off to Bullwinkles!

Bullwinkles claims to serve the Twin Cities finest Coney Island Hot Dog. Jake gave it the thumbs up, but our personal favorite was the Minnesota Chili Dog. Holy christ! That beast had more girth than a shut-in at a Piggly Wiggly!

Just a couple of bros holding their babes proud. Where's the cigar!

We both threw caution to the wind and dangled our dusty nuts over the Minnesota Chili Dog. Jake followed that with the Coney Island, and I got the Chicago Style Dog. One round of tots to share please.

That's the Chicago and the Minnesota Chili. I thought the Chicago was one of the best I've had outside of Chi-town. The Minnesota Chili was like a demon sent from the orifices of hell. So bad, but so damn good.

Jake rolled strong with the Minnesota Chili, and the Twin Cities Coney Island. Two thumbs up!



All in all, we thought Bullwinkles was pretty damn delicious. 4 dogs, a pitcher of beer, and a side of tater tots for ten bucks each. Hot damn!

I have to admit that I've never been so uncomfortably stuffed in my life. I bitched all the way to the Big Biz show and couldn't even consume my Tecate once I got there. Not sure what the issue was, but let's just say I stretched the boundaries of abdominal fortitude.

Read more about the Big Biz/Melvins show over at Superbeast.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crif Buddy

What is the best part of New York City's Crif Dogs? Enjoying them with a buddy! I have about 9 pictures of this dog and he's chewing in every one. Must be some good dogs.

After we'd both made it through our two dogs a piece we thought would fill us up (and crepes from a couple hours prior but that's a whole different story), we were not quite full. Hmmm. What to do, what to do. Easy, order one and have it cut in half. I give you the Chihuahua; a bacon wrapped dog covered with avocadoes, sour cream, jalapenos and their homemade salsa.

Shared. Savored. Salame!

Getting Criffy

If you're out wandering around the East Village on the island of Manhattan and look up to see a hanging sign of a dark red weiner with the phrase "eat me" emblazoned in yellow type across its flesh, you've made it to the one and only Crif Dog's.

Step inside and you're once again reminded of the dog-centric Crif culture with this objet de arte.

Above you will find the "Tsunami." It's a house dog, bacon wrapped, with teriyaki, pineapple and green onions. It is deliciously sweet and salty, much like a Hawaiian pizza.

As far as chili dogs go, this was like the Bret Saberghagen of chili dogs; perfectly suitable and decent in the clutch, but definitely not a superstar.

I'd been here before and this trip was just as delightful. And I was pretty drunk so these really hit the spot.

Get Criffy!

"You've Come to the Finest Restaurant in Toledo."

Even if you're able to, I imagine there's not a lot to see on the Ohio Turnpike. That's why I decided to get off it and head into Toledo; past the McDonald's, Fazoli's, Hardee's, Starbuck's, Taco Bell, Perkins, Bob Evan's, Steak 'n' Shake, Burger King, Dairy Queen, and Subway to Rudy's Hot Dog, self-proclaimed King of the Hot Dog's and a family tradition since 1920.

Also known for their chili mac (an Ohio thing that will get it's own article someday but it's basically spaghetti noodles topped with chili and cheese and onions, I think) and burgers, Rudy's offers hot dogs with only three toppings; mustard, chili, and raw onions. I got "the works" with fries and a Coke. The weiners are eerily similar to those found at both George's Hot Dog Shoppe and the Milwaukee Weiner House in Sioux City, Iowa (all of which are owned by Greeks, btw, weird, I'll have to get to the bottom of that soon with some hot dog sleuthing). And just like those found elsewhere, they are some tasty treats for the road weary. A steamed and heavenly soft bun. Chili sauce that is nearly sweet. Finely chopped white onions. A most likely not all beef wiener that definitely does the trick. Put all that together for a completely amazing couple of dogs.

As I finished up my dogs and sipped on my Coke my buddy Lee rang. I told him I was in Toledo eating some dogs, you know, no big deal, and told him I'd have to call him back. When I hung up two older couples said they had overheard me and that I was driving from New York to Minneapolis and all that. The elderly and well-dressed gentleman said I'd come to "the finest restaurant in Toledo." Sir, I cannot argue with you.

Hungry Like the Wolfy

I've seen a few flashing neon signs in my day; but none quite like the one on 2734 W. Peterson Ave in Chicago, Illinois. There's something about an 18 ft. tall grilling fork spearing a 10 ft. long weiner that makes me laugh out loud even after driving 12 hours in a U-Haul truck from Pittsburgh in a snow storm all by my lonesome (unless you count The Original Motor City Mad Man, Bob Seeger, whom I feel a close and almost spiritual kinship with).

Anyway, this place was amazing. I was immediately greeted by two grown up humans (like over 50 years old) dressed from head-to-toe in what I'll try to describe as achingly adolescent and garish streetwear screaming at each other really loudly about who was getting the bowl of chicken noodle soup and who was getting the cup (they serve chicken noodle soup at Wolfy's along with about 80 other menu items in addition to hot dogs). I'm not sure why they both didn't just get the bowl, they must have been really strapped for cash. After slinking past them I made my way to the counter and ordered two Chicago Dog's, fries and a Coke. It seemed a little arrogant to order a bowl of chicken noodle soup in front of the arguing couple so I passed on that.

I got my order and plopped my ass down right underneath this fella.

I'm not a huge fan of the Chicago dog, but these were probably the best two I've ever had. Incendiary sport peppers, giant and miracolously fresh tasting tomatoes, just a touch of celery salt, a soft but not too poppy seed bun and snappy pickles that were nearly as large as the red hot Vienna beef dog hiding undearneath it all like a stripper in a cake. Surprise!

I ate quickly, left quietly, and belched the sweet burn of raw onions all the way to Minneapolis.