Thursday, May 28, 2009

Serious Business

Super good buddy Chris has been hosting a Memorial Day party for 12 years now. It has always been a lot of fun, but in the past 5 or 6 years, the awesome factor has really been ramped up. We're talking live random jams, wicked deejays, random video projections, ever flowing kegs, and like a hundred or so really good folks. Buddies. Good ones. But the real feather in the cap is always the food. Dude loves to cook, so it's guaranteed he's gonna do something loony. Plus, everyone else brings side dishes, so it becomes a huge crazy feast of REALLY ridiculously good grub. Last year, I think he made like, 200 lbs of Adobo chicken.  This year, he told me he wanted to roast a pig. I thought he was just talking shit, but I could see that weird gleam in his eye. We've been friends for almost 20 years, so I knew he wasn't joking around. Sure enough, a few weeks before Memorial Day, he started talking again. It seemed to be a forgone conclusion, so I figured I had better break out the camera. 
Friday, the cooker showed up. In the day, it looked alright, sort of harmless. At night, it was like some lost prop from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The second one, with Dennis Hopper. I love that movie. Anyway, it had a smoker pit on one side, and a rotisserie on the other, large
enough for a human being to be roasted on it. It was kind of gnarly. 

 On Saturday, I went over there around 7:30 pm, and they were starting to dress it up, and get it ready to go on the fire, which was a MAJOR task. Luckily, there were like, 10 dudes there to make it happen. It had to be rigged up with all these rods for the spit, which is pretty tough when you consider you're ramming blunt rods through a pig's body. 

After that, the pig got stuffed with like, a whole rosemary bush, and a year's harvest of carrots and onions and mushrooms. Tons of seasoning and oil, too. Oh. And two 10 lb loins. That's right. Pig stuffed pig. It's like a some sort of riddle.

I missed them hoist the dude onto the spit, because I had to leave to for a bit, but when I got back at midnight, I signed on for a surreal, 3 dude all-nighter, cooking pig & drinking beer. Serious buddy time. There were only 3 things that needed to be talked about. How hot the fire was staying, how hot the pig was cooking, and how cold the beer was tasting. I should mention, if you ever plan to do this, get one of those radar thermometers. You pretty much can't do this without one, because you'll flip your shit after about the third hour when the thing starts to break up and split, and by that time you've already had like, a sixer, so you'll probably panic, thinking it's all going to hell. But really, if you've got one of these, you can lay back, radar gun in one hand, cold one in the other, and just play laser tag with the thing.

By 8:30 the nest morning, we were delirious, but it's cool. I smelled like fire, so when I went home to crash, the aroma gave me good power nap dreams. It was awesome, and when I woke back up a few hours later and finished the coffee my sweet lady had made me, I was ready to get back and see what I missed. Oh, and to set up the DJ area. Here's a pic of Buddy Chris layin' on some "mop water". I have no idea what was in that concoction, but it sizzled nicely. 

Buddy Geoff was running late, with buddy Daniel, but he got there just in time, 15 hours after the pig first felt the flames, to witness the gathering of the meat. First off, it was heavy as the universe, so when we tried to take it off the rotisserie, there was a lot of dudes straining, but we couldn't drop all of our hard work! After a major workout, our captive audience sighed relief as we got it to the table. Then the master chef Chris got in there, and proceeded to get busy. Like a magician, he presto'd that pig into aluminum  trays of tender goodness. Oh lord, was it tender. Didn't quite taste like pig, didn't taste like chicken...just tasted like MEAT. Never have had anything like it. 
Look, here it is giving birth to two tasty tenderloins:

All the while, as buddy Daniel put it "50% of the best deejays in town are here", just hanging out and playing records. Y'know. Casual. There was some rain at one point, but no one cared, we just huddled under some tents that were set up, and kept going. 

The best part though, might have been the impromptu Slip' N' Slide "competition". That ruled. Everyone was already drenched anyway, and probably just as drunk, so why not?

After it dried out, we tapped the last keg, and got real nice in the backyard, letting the deejays take over.
Chris is a true champion. And while it might take a whole village to make it all happen the way it does, that dude is the chieftan of throwin' down.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Demon Dogs and Gay Witch Abortion.

Beers. Buddies. Hot Dogs. Art. Metal.

Last Saturday all the stars aligned and the poo poo platter of bona fide gastrointestinal brutality occurred under the guise of Art-A-Whirl, the classic Northeast Minneapolis art crawl. I started the day at noon with a bloody mary and a beer back at Grumpy's Northeast, my favorite local haunt. Here's some of the photographic evidence:

OK buddies, here's a little primer. The Demon Dog is a creation made by Joe and Andrea Hoelzel at Creature Comfort Catering (highly recommended, look 'em up).

It's a big, all-beef frank slit down the center and filled with molten hot american cheese and diced jalapeno pepper. The dog is then tied together with butcher string and grilled to perfection over hot coals.

That's what a Demon looks like before loading it up with the goodies.

Schwenny rolled with the standard Brat. Seemingly delicious, and always an admirable choice. It was not however, a Demon Dog.

That's the beast from the bowels of hell, fully dressed and ready to destroy a weaker man's innards. If I were to characterize this dog like it was a living human interacting with me, I would politely suggest that he had just met his fucking maker.

Creature Comforts bottles a couple of special sauces, one of which is like an asian chili garlic with a whole lotta twang. The other was a carrot relish that cools things down a bit. I went with both, some old fashioned relish, a little kraut, and raw white onions. The flavors seep into the split belly like Han stuffing Luke into the Ton-Ton.

Needless to say, it was a taste sensation and a perfect foundation for a day of drinking and riding bikes to look at art.

I'm one handsome son of a bitch when I'm touching dicks with the dark side. In this case, a delicious Demon Dog.

Here's Gay Witch Abortion buffing some skin off my face. It was a dizzying display of sheer and unbridled metal freak-out goodness, that's for sure.

Surly Brewery set up shop as well, pouring some of Minnesota's finest.

Schwenny went back for round two, this time he got it right with a DEMON DOG!!!!

Here's the butt-end of one dog sure to inspire a tingle in your dingle. Yeah boners!

Pounding dogs like mason's building brick villages of old isn't just a man's game. Here's buddy Marisa showing her technique.

That's Jake's good buddy Al, visiting in town on probably the best weekend of the Spring thus far. We all finished the night at Flameburger. Al tried to leave town on a big dick note when he ordered the Mega Burger. Ingredients: one full pound of grade A American chuck, four slices of American cheese, four strips of thick cut bacon, all dragged through the garden.

He failed.

Jake and I gave the little buddy some help with a couple of monster bites. We couldn't let him leave town without his self respect intact.

Damn, I'm going to miss this town. Please forward on suggestions of where I can reproduce these good times in Seattle. Thanks.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Drinking with the Pig

So this doesn't exactly have anything to do with hot dogs but there were buddies, drinking and products of the pork variety involved.

A couple weekends back we got together to try out cocktails Buddy Tania was working on. Might as well start with the doozer right off the bat:

Bacon Infused Vodka Bloody Mary. Garnished with Jalapeno Smoked Sausage, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno stuffed Olive, Cornichon and Pepperoncini.

This neon green sumbitch is a melon and vodka shot garnished with Prosciutto. You eat the Prosciutto and take the shot. Damn tasty.

We also had an Old Fashioned made with bacon infused bourbon and a root beer float with some coffee flavored tequila. But to balance out all them shits there was a round of Shotgunnin PBR's

That's Buddies Northcutt, the Helms boys, Rob Jones, who designs everything for the White Stripes, Raconteurs and now Dead Weather, and the dude with the knife you can't see is buddy Beruman who is a fancy ass wine expert. A good dude to know when you want to drink like an adult now and then.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Wienery, Again...

When buddies come to town, my whirlwind tour generally consists of the Triple Rock, the Wienery, any south Minneapolis haunt within stumbling distance of my place, i.e. the Hexagon (pretty much just the Hexagon, actually), the occasional sporting event, and often a skate park. So pardon me, dear guests of the future, if we're not making it to the Walker for a career retrospective of some post-modern video artist who's filmed himself gurgling a raw egg and spitting it out every morning for the past ten years. The Russian Art Museum is a whole different story though, we can go there.

This is either a stock photo from a youth shelter annual report or my pals Chresten and Stan waiting for their hot dogs.

Drive in Fries at the Wienery are second to none. Huge grease soaked spud strips topped with homemade chili (not that spicy unless you ask for it) and their own coleslaw. All killer, no filler.

The Mexicali is on the left and it consists of onions, cheese, baked beans, and sport peppers. The peppers were quite sporty, too. Had a whole lot of spunk too them. I'm not sure if the one on the right had a name or it's newer on the menu but it had tomato, mayo, pickle, lettuce, and mustard.

Here you will find Stan's Chicago and other dog I can't remember the name of. The journalistic standards of the this blog are really slipping. My apologies.

Hot dog eaters of the world unite and take over.